Interesting article from the NY Times in today’s Bulletin about a Times reporter and new mom who decided to start a “side business” on Etsy.com.
It’s something my brain has been wrestling with for many a moon — the idea of doing some consulting, workshops and book-writing on the side about what I’ve learned in 40 or so years in the news media biz — about everything from how to write a good news release to how and why the media do what we do (and don’t do what we don’t do) and why – at the local level.
Of course, the trick is time management – isn’t that always the trick? And how to find time to properly do a side biz.
I bet I’m far, far from alone. I’m not about to give up my wonderful day (and night and weekend) job. But it is all-consuming — Deb and I refer to it as “the Vortex,” as the daily tide of news can suck me in and spit me out who knows when. It prompts a typical response like one e-mail reply late last night to me: “Do you ever sleep??” Of course I do, but I usually answer e-mails right away – not just to be nice, but because if I don’t I’ll forget! Such is life when one has no memory, only Google and archives — and they only go so far. (Have I said that here before? Probably. See what I mean?;-)
So while the idea of a little side business that can help people, and help us have a place for folks to turn for such advice … is very appealing, the balancing act is a challenge. Besides, who just works 40 hours a week any more? And who feels so comfortable in their job that they realize they can put all their eggs in one proverbial basket?
Then there’s which comes first – the blog, the Website, the consulting business, the workshops? All interrelated, but figuring out the methodical step-by-step process is both freeing and frustrating. I have started a second book via the great free site http://www.fastpencil.com — working title: “How the Media Works: A Reporter’s Guide to How and Why We Do What We Do, and How We Can Help Each Other..” (Who needs a cover photo with that long a subtitle?;-)
It’d probably be an e-book – they are cheaper, more convenient, easier to update (the Website and blog would make it a living book – I don’t want to buy books, I want to subscribe to them! Besides, I wouldn’t be in it just for the money, but to provide a service I want to see happen – and I see a real niche and need for.
So anyway, back to my point – and like Ellen, I did have one;-) Of course, like many, I have dreams — being a talking head on the networks (see other book-in-progress, ‘Rejecting the Blame Society’) – but know that it’s best to keep my nose to the proverbial grindstone, very glad to not just write news articles and help colleagues do the same, but answer people on Facebook etc. when they wonder why 5 cop cars just sped down their street on the way to something. I find out, tell them – and we each benefit from the exchange of information. Perfect!
That’s an immediate, helpful interaction I relish – even cherish. And I’m not about to give that up, no matter where my “hybrid career” dreams take me. One should feed off the other, and make it better.
How about you? I bet you have dreams, too – may they come to pass! And I hope my path gets clearer as I keep talking, and typing about it.