Monday, February 12, 2018

I Am Retiring From A Few Services That I Have Provided Over The Years

Last week I finished the last 6-week project for a client. It was the last week. Final deadlines. I had been working on these projects for over a year. It's been a phenomenal journey. While it's a little bittersweet, I'm relieved that I'm finally done. The last deadline marked a milestone in my life. I made the decision to retire certain services that I've offered for the past decade and more...

1. Ghost Writing. If you're not familiar with ghostwriting, let me define that for you in a nutshell. A ghostwriter is hired to write pieces, speeches, or other content. The credit for the written piece is given to the person who hired the ghostwriter. I've been a ghostwriter for over five years for a long list of people from entrepreneurs to lucrative business owners. What I've written, well, you wouldn't know it was written by me because their name accompanies the piece. Due to my strict policy of confidentiality, I'll take all of that all to my grave.

2. Tutoring College Students. I've been tutoring College students majoring in writing for several years. I dove into this because I honestly thought students would appreciate a balance of compliments and constructive criticism from seasoned and published writers. I wish I would have had that 30 years ago when I started my writing career. However, that's not the case. About 80% of the college students I've tutored have the attitude that their pieces are worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. Um. No. You're not quite there, but...

I've had it with the attitudes. I've had it with students telling me that I don't know what I'm doing. In short, because their pieces are swooned over by family and friends, everyone else should be impressed.

Here's a little reality check. I've been a professional writer for 30 years. I'm STILL getting constructive criticism from those who have more experience. I embrace any and all. That's how I learn. That's how I improve year after year.

If you can't embrace the same philosophy, then you're at a dead end. If receiving an email with constructive criticism puts your panties or boxers in a twitch, and you waste your time replying with arguments and criticizing my ability to tutor, we're done. Goodbye. Best of luck to you paving your way as a self-proclaimed entitled writer.

3. Independent Living Tutoring. I have been contributing to the world of Independent Living Classes for well over 10 years. That journey started as a guest speaker for various sessions. Then, I started teaching my own classes. Right around that time, a student in my first class said, "I'm not going to get a job. Instead, I'm going to have a baby. Welfare pays more than minimum wage paychecks." That's pretty much the mentality I've worked with since. There have been a few exceptions.

Despite the challenges, I've kept at it. However, over the past six years, more challenges have surfaced. I've had to compete with the digital age and high tech. I've had to deal with teens and young adults who give 10% but expect 150% in return. Who manipulate every situation to meet their needs. Who blame the teachers and everyone else for their trials and tribulations. Who does not take responsibility for their bad decisions. Who have no boundaries or structure or discipline at home. Who have no interest in becoming hardworking, productive adults. Who don't give a shit about school or continuing their education. Who can't part ways with their phone or video games long enough to help their parents with housework, yard work or anything else to contribute to the household. Who lie in order to save face. Who throw their teachers and tutors under the bus to avoid consequences or taking ownership.

I've seen it all. I've heard it all. Time and time again. I've dealt with parents who are worn out and defeated and who no longer want to have parent-tutor conferences. They're fed up. They no longer want to talk about it.

I. Am. Done. I've had it with the lack of parental support, discipline, and follow through.I'm SO done with the piss poor excuses. In order for things to change, you have to be willing to make changes. I speak from experience.

I've also had it with wasting my time. My time is valuable. I go above and beyond what someone pays me for. If your teen or young adult isn't going to put in the time or effort and you aren't either,'ve exhausted your resources. Including me.

4. Providing services for free. I'm no longer going to be a doormat. Yes, I'm a Work at Home Dog Mom. I'm here. At home. Every single day. I have 12 years of experience doing what I do for work under my belt. BUT, that does NOT translate to being at your beck and call. I have work that I have to do each day. And, I need consideration during MY work hours like quiet time and very few or no distractions.

You want me to edit a paper, well, here's what I charge. Going on vacation and need your furry kids taken care of? Here's what we charge. You want me to look at your Facebook page and website and do a write-up about areas that are strong and weak, here's what I charge for a consultation. The list goes on.

5. Discounted rates for services. A lot of people don't realize how much it costs for various services. For example, if you need to hire a professional ghostwriter, like me, be prepared to pay $50 to $70 PER HOUR. Yes, you read that correctly. Per. Hour. That includes reading, research, writing, editing, and presenting a final copy. Bottom line, if you need a 5-7 page "column" written, the final copy that you will present will cost you anywhere between $200-$280. If you need a 2-page blog column written, that would cost you between $100 - $140. And, that's on the LOW end.

For those who I have written dozens of columns and papers for, use those numbers to calculate what everyone else would have charged you. Then, think about what I charged you. Now, do you understand the concept of "discounted rates?" More than likely, you saved anywhere between 75%-90%.

The same goes for house/pet sitting. Finding a reputable boarder you trust is trouble enough, but the cost is rather high too. For one pet alone, be prepared to spend anywhere between $20-$30 a day. That amount is for ONE pet for basic care. Certain boarding facilities offer luxury services like one on one play time, snuggle time, real-time cameras, and personal yard time, but you're going to pay extra and that can sink you over $50 a day PER pet.

At this point, if you still can't understand why I am retiring my discounted rates for services, let me ask you this. Would you work your current job and give your employer a 75%-90% discount on what they pay you?

So, instead of making $20 an hour, you're only going to receive $5 or less per hour.

Would you do it?

I'm guessing that would be a big, fat NO.

That's what I've been doing for a long, long time.

I have a big heart, but a lot of people have taken advantage of that.

And, it sucks.

Big time.

I'm done.

On the other end of the stick, with retiring from certain positions within my career, I have more time for other things...

That would include but is not limited to, volunteering for fundraisers we want to contribute to. We have a few fundraisers coming up in the next few months that we're super excited for. These events are dear to our heart.

I'm also going to be working on a couple of books I want to publish by the end of this year or the beginning of next year. The first is a homemade dog treat recipe book. We want to encourage pet parents to make homemade treats for their furry kids. A portion of the proceeds will go towards providing much-needed items to our local animal shelters, rescue pups, and pet parents in need.

The second book is about my personal journey over the past 30+ years. I lived on the streets in the dead of winter when I was 18. I made some rather poor decisions in the years to follow. Due to that, I have a TBI and suffer from chronic pain. But, I'm proud to say I do not rely on prescription drugs. I wake up every day and do what I need and want to do. It may take me longer, but oh well. It gets done. Our kids are happy and healthy and thriving. They're loving life. So am I.

I'm going to be 45 this year. I have a successful career. I'm married to my best friend. We have a family. We do what we can for local shelter and rescue pups, pet parents in need, humans in need, and for the wonderful humans in our life.

I'm a hard worker. So is Lisa. Between blogs, writing, social media, content management, DIY Dog Mom Projects, creating new homemade dog treat recipes, etc., I work about 80 hours a week. That's not including my job as a Dog Mom, housework, cooking, baking, and other household stuff.

If I'm going to make time for anything extra, it needs to be worth my time and/or for a worthy cause like raising money for local animal shelters and helping pet parents in need.

This year is about change. Mostly on my end. I'm making those changes. I'm not putting up with the same ol' bullshit I have put up with year after year after year.

Life is short. Too short. It's much too short to continue wasting my time on those who have no ambition, motivation, and who feel they're entitled

I am more than happy to assist those who genuinely need and want help. But, there's a fine line between utilizing my time efficiently and wasting my time.

There's also a fine line between respecting what I do for work and the services I'm able to provide and taking advantage of what I do for work, the services I'm able to provide and the fact that I'm a Work at Home Dog Mom.

Change is good.

This year, I'm making lots of 'em.

No comments:

Post a Comment