When You Don’t Want to Be Big Business

Writing is intensive work. It takes a good mindset, some creativity, a productive moment and a muse that feels in the mood for love. Creative work can be draining, too. It takes energy to think, and a session with words can leave you feeling mentally exhausted.

When you’re a writer or when you have to use your creativity on a daily basis, setting a proper pace is important. Too much, and you’ll end up with performance anxiety, writer’s block or worse, a full-out burnout.

Yes, there is such a thing as too many words.

But in the craze of earning money online, writers are often pushed to do more. Grow bigger. Network. Get new gigs. Outsource. All the moneymaking schemes point to one thing: big.

What if you don’t want to be big? What if you don’t want to be popular or have a so-called stable of writers? What if you don’t want to work with a team or find yourself in management shoes when you prefer ballet flats?

Learn Your Limits

With growth comes increased pressure. You need to stay on top of everything, and often many things at once. Bills to pay. Emails to answer. Money to collect. Wealth is great, growth is wonderful… but what if the cage is gilded?

Know your limits. Recognize what your time requirements for your personal life involve. Understand the commitment of a bigger business. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you’re quite happy being a small business and that you’d prefer to stay that way.

Learn to Say No

You’ve heard this one a million times: saying no keeps you sane. But all the good advice out there does you no good if you don’t practice that one little word and use it as necessary. Discovering how to say no without upsetting others may keep your business nice and small – and manageable.

If you find you have trouble saying no, then say yes – but to what you will do, not what you don’t want to do. “I can have that back to you by next Friday,” you might suggest, instead of saying, “No, I can’t have it to you on Tuesday.” You’re a writer – wordsmith the situation.

Learn that Small Means Success

Society tells us that business growth is a mark of business success. I find that small is also representative of success – hey, you made it, didn’t you? No one said that you have to make it even more to be considered good enough for compliments.

Big businesses have to make bigger investments. They have to consider larger overhead or increased expenses. Their tax bracket might change. They may have to hire additional people to take care of daily tasks. By staying small, you chose a smarter path – elimination leading to doing what you love best.

Bonus – Learn that Small means Personal Attention

Many people are starting to shun big businesses. They want personalized attention. They want to work directly with one person that they can come to know and trust. This added value of staying small is a benefit you can use to your advantage.

Tell your clients exactly why you’re a one-person show – because you want to offer them your undivided attention. You respond to them directly and they can always contact you. They can depend on an answer, and you’ll hear what they have to say.

The only catch? Make sure that you deliver on your promises. Sometimes lone workers find they scramble to stay on top of everything. So cut back even more. Raise your rates a little to compensate for the lost income and give your customers the added value of your personalized devotion.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with earning just what you need, no more, no less. Some people are perfectly happy meeting their basic needs and finding fulfillment in other areas of life. Some people enjoy the freedom of small business or the experience of doing it all on their own.

You can too. So stay small – and stay successful.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. Brett Legree says:

    I like this. It reminds me of an essay by Paul Graham, “You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss” http://www.paulgraham.com/boss.html

    I work for a large company, and passed this essay around work. Just about everyone who has read it nods in agreement. Of course, I haven’t shown the boss.

    The best companies I’ve worked with, the most successful, energetic, fun companies, have been small. Ten people or less.

    Added bonus – small means dynamic. You can adapt to change *very* quickly.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  2. This post is why I love Men with Pens.

    I am the one who would rather wear ballet flats 😉

    *Pirouettes off into the sunrise*

    Goodnight!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..What Can Fiction Writers Learn from Poetry?

  3. I already have this one in my life lessons bag…yep been there done that and downsized our family businees! Big isn’t always better and it isn’t going to always mean more money at the end of the dollar.

    After all, somebody has to pay all of those employees!

    Well thought out, I haven’t had my coffee yet, but you seem to have covered it. I’ll just agree! Be back later for the gang’s two cents.- oh I mean- Million dollar view-points!

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Blowing out Candles

  4. James,

    It’s the choir you’re preaching to here. 🙂 There is a lot of evidence to show that what you say is dead-on in the wider world. I love this point best:

    Many people are starting to shun big businesses.

    There is a backlash going on right now. The longer the global economy stagnates the stronger that will become. There’s a ripple effect from big business’ difficulties. Almost everyone knows someone who’s been stabbed by a big company, which makes their problems seem worse by word-of-mouth. Then folks seek little businesses to work with (or for), to keep away from corporate stench.

    I have a friend who used to work for [multi-billion dollar bank in this town, filled with multi-billion dollar banks]. He was one of the junior v.p.s of a section of the human resources division. They have just a little red tape there.

    He left to join what he called a startup, which I later discovered was eight years old. To him that probably is a startup; to me that’s an example of staying small successfully. He became their head of h.r., which in a firm of less than twenty was probably a title invented only to lure him. When he was doing his final interview, he suggested a few improvements he’d thought of in his research about the company. Nobody made notes, so he assumed they weren’t listening. When he came to his first day of work a week later, all the improvements had been made. He said at the old place between the forms and the layers of approvals, the same changes (probably wouldn’t have been made and) would have taken at least two years. The first email I saw from him: “This place rocks.”

    Control, stability, creativity, freedom, camaraderie.* Small business rocks.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    *Late nights, weekends, anxiety, decisions, marketing, sales, can’t pass the buck or cry on a downtrodden coworker’s shoulder. 😉 Small business rocks.

    Kelly’s last blog post..Naomi Dunford’s “I Never Called It a Meme,” Meme

  5. Michael Martine says:

    Freelancing doesn’t scale. Hiring virtual assistants would be about as big as I’d care to get. Certainly, one can be an army of one and make plenty of money. But if we think about why we really do what you do, is it only because of the money? I would hope not. Getting bigger means bigger headaches and management issues, and then where did all the fun go?

    Michael Martine’s last blog post..Web Site for Your Business in Plain English, Part 2: Site Platform

  6. Brett Legree says:

    A personal example of why big business stinks:

    About 7 or 8 weeks ago, someone tripped on a loose stair cap just outside my office (I heard the poor woman fall down the stairs, luckily she was okay). So the usual things happened – it was reported, discussed, put up on the web page as a safety related issue.

    Two weeks went by, and I saw a gaggle of managers standing around the staircase discussing the wording that should go onto the sign warning people about the loose stair cap.

    (Guys – fix the fracking stairs…)

    The next day, there was a groovy, full colour laminated sign with a graphic of a poor person doing a header down the stairs.

    (Guys? Fix the stairs!)

    See, the problem is, the work to fix the stairs is such a low priority that they can’t get the carpenter over. So two months later, the hazard is still there.

    *Anybody* could take a hammer & nails and fix the stairs. But we’re not allowed to do it (unions)…

    *sigh*

    That’s why I love small companies – roll up your sleeves, and get busy 🙂

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  7. @Michael – exactly what I was going to say. Some people get off on how much money they make, like Donald Trump. But most people aren’t “in it for the money,” but rather they are in it for the benefits money can provide them (vacations, a nice car, a house ,etc.).

    Everyone should remember the value of living a simple life. Oh, and remember to not live “within your means.” People should live “below their means.”

    @James – your article has me curious about your actual feelings toward your new growth (no, not the one on your back LOL). I kind of get from the article that you’re in a way wishing for things to go back to the way they were but you’re not convinced of that because we all know you like the spotlight. So what’s the deal?

    John Hoff’s last blog post..Good Business Decisions Should Become Second Nature

  8. I have been down both paths. I had a business where I had 35 employees and woke up every morning wondering how to feed them and their lovely children.

    On the other hand I have worked in small groups or on my own, and although the opportunity to work till you drop can increase when you need to do so much to make a project succeed, there is, as has been said, freedom and flexibility.

    James you wrote a great post. And I think our Canadian mindset may be more accepting of this point of view. However, now having lived both lives I find that the money comes in either situation the more I change internally rather than my outside circumstances dictating my income.

    THANKS…I can tell we are in for a day of good discussion around this one.

    Harmony

    Harmony’s last blog post..The Moment And Money

  9. Brett Legree says:

    One other thing – the most satisfying job I ever had, was at the smallest company – only 4 employees – and it was the lowest paying job I’ve ever taken.

    But the freedom, the flexibility, the friendship more than made up for it. I miss those guys.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  10. @Brett – you should take a picture of that sign and post it on your blog. I love funny pictures like that.

    And yep – that’s the corporate mentality of idiots. I don’t think all big businesses are like that but man, when you got a dumb person in charge . . .

    John Hoff’s last blog post..Good Business Decisions Should Become Second Nature

  11. Good stuff, James.

    Of course, I’m OK with earning just what I need. I made more than what I needed working in IT and was miserable. I work harder now for less money, but I’m happy.

    Having said all that, Seth Godin would argue that small business can be highly profitable and successful, beyond “earning just what you need, no more, no less.”

    Sorry, been on a Seth kick lately. Don’t know what my problem is. It might be that shiny bald head. I dunno. Same reason I like to watch Remarkablogger videos, maybe? 🙂

    Bob Younce at the Writing Journey’s last blog post..Getting Started as a Writer

  12. Brett Legree says:

    @John,

    Great idea – I might do that, and I’ll credit you of course 🙂

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  13. @ Brett

    3 months ago, I was trying to remember Graham’s site (couldn’t even remember his name). Came across his stuff years ago and fell in love with his dry wit and his writing. So, thanks.

    @ James

    Great post. It’s a good treatment of going (or staying) small. I remember having dinner with an acquaintance years ago who was bringing in over $1 million a month. Sounds good, right? A million smackers a month ain’t bad. But, he hated the experience (mostly because of the employees he had to manage).

    Today, he’s back to doing his thing with a few assistants. Less money, but far more pleasure.

    That said, everyone has to find their preferred balance. Some folks may want to remain a 1-person shop. Others may not want to blow up big, but having 5 employees would be perfect.

    For writers who want to build and manage a stable of writers, the trick is in finding that perfect balance (i.e. number of writers) that allows flexibility, provides increased revenue and doesn’t present quality control issues.

  14. Brett Legree says:

    @ Damon,

    Glad to have shared it so that you could find it again. He is an awesome writer, isn’t he…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  15. @ Bob – Unfortunately, very often doing what we love means we need to work harder. The payoff is that the work is part of what we love. As for Seth… no big fan here, but I know he inspires many people.

    @ Brett – Who should approve this? Joe? Oh good… oh, he’s in a meeting. Out of the meeting? Great, Joe, could you… oh, you need Marty’s approval? Right. Where’s… ah, on vacation. Okay. (two weeks later). Hey, Marty, did you… A meeting first? Great idea. Let’s order lunch (day goes by)… So Marty, you think we should hire a structural engineer to see what the best method is… and we’ll need the safety bureau in… who approves that? Jan? She’s on vacation. Okay. (two weeks goes by, another meeting) Brett? What’s your opinion of the recommendations?

    “Fix the frackin’ stairs.”

    Awed looks… “Oooh… Wow, that’s a really good idea. Guys? We’re in? Okay, who approves that…”

    @ Harmony – I agree. Between Gen X and Y taking over business and the Canadian mindset holding values over business, I think you’re very right.

    @ Michael – I disagree. Freelancing does scale. (We’re proof.) But I agree that you do this for the love, and nothing else.

    @ Kelly – Small business rocks. Love it or hate it. It rocks. And people don’t want big business anymore. They want to be heard, recognized and dealt with as an individual person with a brain. Thank god.

    @ Melissa – Can my construction boots pass for ballet flats? No frou-frou here, I’m afraid.

    @ Wendy – Big doesn’t pay. More lucrative up front – way more involved. Not worth it, in my eyes.

    @ John – I don’t long for the way things were. I embrace the changes and am thankful I am experiencing them, as it gives me richer knowledge and the ability to say, “I did that.”

    However.

    What I’m finding is that while we were prepared for growth – BIG growth – we didn’t expect it to occur so quickly. Not a problem, we’re flexible and we adapt with what’s happening. The rapid pace of the Internet, though, means that we have to adapt quicker than we’d like.

    The result is more of an introspection on what to change, how, why, to what degree and for what effects. We’ve found ourselves having to look rather rapidly at how we’re doing things to see what we need to change without being impulsive or hasty. Long-term solidity is more important than fireworks that don’t last.

    I love what’s happening. You know me. Victor victorious all the way, baby. But I also need to be realistic. I’m well aware that fame is fleeting and we need to keep a business mindset with our heads screwed on tight.

    I don’t want to go back. I want to make fireworks that last forever. I do, however, find myself questioning certain aspects of my business. Do I really have to do this? Is this going to achieve my goals? Is this necessary now? Should I do X or Y to get Z? Everything comes under scrutiny.

    And this post? It came about because of the number of people who have said they’ve loved to watch everything get big real fast – but that they wouldn’t want to be in my shoes for anything.

    I wondered how many people out there ended up in my shoes only to realize that they *did* have a choice and that deciding to stay small was perfectly acceptable. Many, MANY people find something taking off and that’s not always what they wanted. They feel stuck.

    So I wanted to say, “Hey. It’s okay if you don’t want to grow.”

  16. @ Damon – Many people who achieve their goals realize that was never their dream. They give it all up and start over to do what they love. I find that admirable and very mature – because they often give up a lot.

    As to the perfect balance of flexibility, income and quality… Dude. You have no idea how difficult that is to achieve on the Internet. It takes a lot of analysis, observation, scrutiny and having radar on high for a while. And you’re absolutely right. If you have that balance, you can rock the world.

  17. Michael Martine says:

    @James – There’s only one me and only so many hours in a day. So maybe it would have been better to say that I do not scale. 🙂 Would love to have a chat with you someday about how you guys are doing what you do.

    Michael Martine’s last blog post..Web Site for Your Business in Plain English, Part 2: Site Platform

  18. I used to want to be big business.

    Then it almost *killed* me.

    Finally, I got smart enough to decide specifically how much I *needed* to make, rather than “as much as possible” – and life got much easier …

    Dave Navarro’s last blog post..To Those About To Rock, We Salute You!

  19. Brett Legree says:

    @James,

    Laughing here with coffee coming out of my nose, you can tell you’ve been there before… I’m sure I heard that exact conversation the other day 🙂

    Although, sometimes I feel like the guy in the FedEx commercial who suggests his company use FedEx to save money. Everyone in the boardroom stares at him…

    …then the boss says the same thing, but gestures differently. Guy #1 says, “I just said that”, and one of the cronies says, “but you didn’t do ‘this'” and gestures like the boss did…

    *sigh*

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  20. James,

    You and Harry are at a very important crossroads right now and I am really glad to hear that you guys are taking some time to be very thoughtful with your choices.
    I have had the experience of going from rookie to highest on the hill in a short amount of time and it can be like being caught in a bad storm if you don’t have your guiding principles firmly in place.

    The thing is..those principles have to be in place in all the areas of your life or its hard to keep the ship on course. It is hard not to let ego get the best of you when fame comes knocking at the door, but if you have those principles down in writing where you can always measure your decisions against them, then small or large, famous or not, you will be just fine.

    Once again, what you guys have going for you is integriy, forsight and and the ability to play fair.

    You guys are going to do great.

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Blowing out Candles

  21. Wendi,

    Brilliant comment. Following your principles in all areas of your life is so important.

    James,

    Love it or hate it… if you run one, you always love it, but sometimes hate a moment or two. If you have too many in a row that you hate, you have lost your course. It happens to a lot of people, but I doubt you run into that much.

    Until later,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  22. I think it was in the Tipping point, the discussion of the Magic Number 150. The number of people beyond which we would have trouble having meaningful engagement with at one time.
    I work alone mostly, and then interact as artist- in- residence, or in collaborations with others along diverse projects. My love for what I do, combined with my intense hatred of wearing panty hose and being in small cubicles ( unless said cubicle is on a sailboat, helicopter, or other transport to unknown territory) motivate me to remain as independent as possible. Flexibility and interesting projects motivate me much, much more than the money. Although, not being Canadian, I do like money. More, what money affords in opportunity . Okay there are a few things that I consider necessities that others wouldn’t.
    I am still grateful for some large corporations, like Apple, and the New York Times,
    and all those engineering firms that make cool stuff. I just couldn’t work there full time, or not for long…and I am sure I would have to have the office with the window, and a courtyard..and no panty hose…and flexible hours…and initiate my own projects…and have dance breaks regularly…and use moleskines for everything or the wall….hey that’s how Steve Jobs does it.
    Scalable? Am I scalable…note to self, write Jeff Koons, how the hell do you do it? Aren’t we all looking for that balance? Designing that lifestyle where our innate mode of play also allows us to do it?

    Janice Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  23. That would be:
    ” Innate mode of play earns enough that also allows us to do it?”

    oops.

    Janice Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  24. Janice,

    I saw Jeff Koons on some PBS show once, his “factory” was amazing. He lets everybody do side projects on their own time while manufacturing his works. Total WOW.

    Artists, like any solo practitioners, usually scale their pricing. This can cause problems, like being able to afford an apartment and a studio, or paint and wine.

    Grateful for Apple—and how!

    James,

    Are all Canadians (outside my beloved Toronto) wearing construction boots instead of a little John Varvatos now and then? *sigh* Eventually I knew there’d be a downside to my 2017 move.

    Until later,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  25. Oh, everyone.

    I’m so glad to see this. I don’t want to be big and bad. I want a bunch of little tiny businesses, whose owners I get to know personally, and I want to work for them all the time. I want to pay my rent and buy an ice cream without having to think about my bank balance. I want to fix my poor dilapidated car. I want to go to the doctor to take care of this nasty flu thing I have. That’s all I need money for. Otherwise, I just want to like what I do all day.

    Small business kicks ASS.

    That’s right, I said it.

    Tei’s last blog post..Good Ink. It’s What I Do.

  26. @ Kelly- Yeah, Koons has a Wall Street background. Chihuly same kind of factory thing. Fabricators are a way to go on some projects. Scale again.

    “Artists, like any solo practitioners, usually scale their pricing.” Not sure exactly what you mean there. Can you elaborate?

    @ Tei- I hear you. Wish you were feeling better.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  27. Been there, done that.

    Had five employees once. Plans for a mega-empire.

    Did not work out.

    I *like* being just me. I work less, make more money, and have less stress.

    Tony Lawrence’s last blog post..More on PTR Records by Anthony Lawrence

  28. Get well soon, Tei!

    Janice,

    Sorry, the “problems like being able to afford stuff” was a reference to the who-needs-too-much-money theme going on here lately, with which I (mainly) agree.

    I meant that you can raise prices as you become better known, thus resulting in no longer being a starving artist, thus resulting in ethical dilemmas (and sometimes, lack of inspiration if you were a moody-sad artist when poor).

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  29. Brett Legree says:

    @Kelly,

    I’m outside Toronto and wearing my funny shoes today 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  30. @Everyone – interesting perspectives, all. My Web activity is 100% hobby (well, ok, maybe 2% paying) and I’m used to working for a mid to large sized corporation, so it’s rather illuminating to read what everyone has to say.

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..8 Things About StumbleUpon That Annoy Me

  31. Brett,

    If not Varvatos, at least Kenneth Cole funny shoes? Think he could make the Five Fingers in a nice shade of cordovan? 🙂

    Mark,

    DO tell horror stories of bureaucracy, anonymity, and ice-cold greed. Well, unless you own the place.

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  32. Hmm…”too much money”… ???….
    Looking for taint of evil….knelling bell of soul dying….still looking…nope…not there.

    As in a lot of things, the character of the possessor has a huge part to play. With most of the captains of industry that I have had the good fortune to know, it is more about the creativity, the juice, of making things come into being than the cash they accrue. Oh the cash is good. They like that no doubt. Makes nice things happen, but it’s the deal, or the fruition of an idea they had. Lots of philanthropy in the lot.
    See my business survives thanks to these guys. I am not saying it is for everyone, but big and rich doesn’t mean bad.
    I know a banker who wanted to retire at 40. He did. HIs wife said, “You will not sit in your pajamas in front of the computer and game all day” after about six months. So he founded a competitive gaming league that took off like crazy. I went to one of their international tournaments just last year. Whoa!! Now he is tweaking and creating some new gadgets and tricks. He doesn’t know how not to make money. But it’s the play, the dealing, the innovation that makes him tick. : )

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  33. Brett Legree says:

    @Kelly,

    I honestly thought there would be a market for nice looking versions of those. They are so comfortable, but in the boardroom… well… maybe in Hobbiton!

    (here’s a secret – I do have a shoe fetish – I love shoes… I have more pairs of shoes than my wife…)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  34. @Kelly – the threat of legal action prohibits me… 😉 Actually, I’ll need to put some thought into that.

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..8 Things About StumbleUpon That Annoy Me

  35. Mark, Brett kisses and tells, and the security of his country may be at stake. No fear!

    Brett,

    Here’s a secret back at ya. I have an un-shoe fetish. I buy the very best looking things I can at a price that doesn’t make me choke, polish as needed, then I run them into the ground because I despise purchasing shoes. I actually like owning them just fine, I just hate buying them. I own fewer pairs of shoes than any woman I’ve ever known, which is to say about 5 for work and 5 for specialty (sandals and stuff). My daughter has more pairs of shoes than I do.

    Umm, sorry, I just can’t make this comment relevant. But I will throw in a wink:
    😉

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  36. Oh, Janice,

    Any of those fine fellows SINGLE????

    Hehehe.

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  37. @Kelly- How do you feel about neurologists who love running, sailing, wine and travel? Ahh, nope, loner. Let’s see… no, married , married,…. hmm, writer guy, football star, Pulitizer nominee? Nah, we’d have to fight it out over him…hmmm…I ‘m still lookin’ at the list… I hear ya….:-)

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  38. *drools over football player and Pulitzer nominee* I’ll just borrow them, I’ll give ’em right back… probably…

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  39. @Kelly

    I know a slew of delightful, intriguing, intelligent men who do awesome stuff for a living. A boat builder, a carpenter/graphic designer, an adventure guide, a poet/stonemason . . . Trouble is, they’re all my former or current lovers, and you kind of feel weird peddling those guys about to the serious-relationship market.

    Great guys, though. Seriously. One of ’em has a birthday today. Happy birthday to him.

    Tei’s last blog post..Good Ink. It’s What I Do.

  40. Yeah, fabulous ..ahh… athleticism AND brains in an aw shucks gentleman package.

    AND he collects art. I ‘m just saying sometimes God does it right.
    Ahh, he’s in his cave working on his current novel…got to come out for air sometime I’m thinking….

    🙂

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  41. @ Tei- we’ll be gentle. Really.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  42. @Janice – Heh. Yeah. I think that’s what they’re afraid of. Poor menfolk.

    Tei’s last blog post..Good Ink. It’s What I Do.

  43. Ah Kelly, we really do belong in the same girl gang.

    I dislike buying shoes and I strongly dislike paying good money for them.
    As long as they don’t hurt my feet they are fine.
    Only exception-my running shoes.Good quality New Balance.
    Other than that
    A pair of flat sandels, a pair of killer heels- (spikes to kill as needed)
    Dress boots, basic pumps and snow boots.
    What else is needed?
    Besides my best friend has a shoe fettish and wears my size. If it was a shoe emergency I could go shopping in her closet. 🙂

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Having Faith

  44. @ Tei- laughing outrageously…is there an icon for that? Well… Ahem…don’t say it , don’t say it… :)) …so trying not to say it…..

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  45. @ Janice – Come on. You know you wanna. Plus, we have to give the MwP something to raise their eyebrows at when they return to check in on us.

    Tei’s last blog post..Good Ink. It’s What I Do.

  46. @Kelly: I like boots. I have one pair of black steel-toed construction boots, scuffed from road debris, I have a pair of cowboy boots (made the mistake of buying suede and then getting rained on – they’re still comfortable as hell), and a pair of standard harness boots. Other than that, I don’t like shoes. I go barefoot around the house and yard. I *think* I might have dress shoes somewhere.

    The thing I hated most about big business was having to keep up a decent wardrobe. Ties? Yuck. Those have got to be the most useless piece of clothing on the face of the earth. Can’t stand anything around my neck.

    Ok, trying to get the convo back on track and failing miserably. Not well today. I think I need some sun, the house feels awfully cold.

  47. Harry,

    (Some) Women go crazy for a sharp dressed man. Ties, yum. Where is Cary Grant? He’d wear Varvatos for me.

    Without out the suit, how do we prolong the misery? Ahem, mystery?

    😉

    Dear Harry, do get some sun and feel better.

    Tei, Wendi, Janice, love to you all. Well, love to all the men you no longer love. Still imagining football player…
    … in a suit.

    When James comes back I’m gonna be in trouble. Hehehe.

    Later…

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  48. It’s all about doing what you want. It’s your business so be professional of course, but set your own goals.

    It’s also your own life–remember to have a life without letting work swallow it up, unless of course your work is your life.

    Great points, James.

    Jesse Hines’s last blog post..Speak TO Your Readers, Not AT Them: Good Bloggers Persuade Rather Than Simply Assert and Command

  49. @Kelly,

    Darlin’
    I don’t know what you’re sippen over there, but you don’t want any of my left overs.
    One of them will try to kill ya and the other two will leave ya if you cut off the cash.

    Men…were one of the LAST things I figured out.
    Smart in business…Dumb on men.

    I think I got it covered now…but you can’t have this one..He’s a keeper :).

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Having Faith

  50. Oh Tei-And incur all that testosterone wrath?!! hehhe… ironically I am painting a little pastry nun at the moment….but I am thinking naug aw aw ty! I blame you and Kelly.

    I’m just leavin it at grrrrr, baby , grrrrr.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  51. Well actually for the guys- it might be apt to mention that this particular guy we’re drooling over is more than drool worthy. He said no to the NFL career being offered, the fame and glory, to have his own idea of what success is, not an easy thing when you are a small town hero… so it kind of fits with the theme…. No. I want to be a writer. And he is.

    Compasses again Harry, compasses. 🙂

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  52. @Janice: True. Now be a dear and pass the Nyquil, would you?

  53. Harry- 🙂

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  54. Brett Legree says:

    @Kelly and Wendi,

    Well then, Cathy (my wife) is definitely a lot like both of you (a lot like Ellen, too) – I’ll have to count, but she probably has about as many pairs of shoes as each of you.

    I should qualify my shoe fetish – they have to be practical and good for your feet. So no heels at all (no, I don’t mean stilettos 🙂 ) – they have to have flat soles with no cushioning so they are close to my toe shoes. Well, except for my cowboy boots (hi Harry!) – I have three pairs of those…

    @Harry,

    The best thing to happen to big business was IBM telling people to lose the tie… problem is a lot of folks didn’t get the memo

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  55. Good lord, people. I go away for a few hours and come back to shoe-fetish revelations from a man and all the women scorning the Pen Men for the rich buggers. Sheesh.

    High-priced Nikes, leather jacket, jeans and a t-shirt. But damn, I do suits and the whole shebang just finnne. 🙂 Still broke, though. Oh well. Two outta three ain’t bad.

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens’s last blog post..Participate in RSS Awareness Day

  56. Still in CAN, too, from which I can not pluck you… well, what I can see of you…

    Kelly’s last blog post..Chapter the Next, Wherein the Author Gets Fan Mail

  57. Did Quebecois say leather jacket….jeans…hmmm, testosterone in the room…. told ya Tei..
    I ‘m still wondering if Brett does ballet in those “toe shoes” or if it’s footwear I don’t know about? If so, he wins hands down, as Renaissance guy.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Zen Blue Lines

  58. Brett Legree says:

    @James,

    We want to keep you, err, on your toes 🙂 and hey, nothing wrong with being broke… I make a good wage but the kids eat it

    @Janice,

    Never tried ballet, or proper dance of any kind – perhaps Allison could give some pointers!

    (I might take a picture of all of the shoes someday, but I’ll lay off of it for a bit, or you guys will think I’m really weird. Oh wait, you already do…)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  59. James, it was though you’ve been reading my journal. I was in a mastermind group where everyone wanted to create giant conglomerates and I was the lone one opting for sanity. I have watched friends grow from solopreneurs to huge companies and they grew a whole host of other problems. Many ended up unhappy and leaving their creation to become solo again. Thank you for reminding everyone that success has many flavors.

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..Finding the Strength to Lace Em Up Everyday

  60. This is why I love the write once, read many approach of the Internet. That article I wrote about Query Letters in the nineties is still generating income for me today. Get rich slow has been my web philosophy for years.

    John Hewitt’s last blog post..Game 22: #2 Seed Content Maven Versus #6 Seed Write From Home

  61. @ Janice – That’s exactly what I thought when Brett said toe shoes!

    @ Brett – I’m thinking that’s NOT what you meant though… pointe (toe) shoes are so anti-comfortable, I’ll bet you wouldn’t be caught dead in them!

    Allison’s last blog post..Taste and Create 7

  62. So Allison what kind of toe shoes is Brett talking about ? Hmmm, maybe it’s some kind of nuclear thing? I mean I get it the boot scoot shoes, but when does he wear these “toe shoes’ and what on earth is he doing?

    It is oddly puzzling.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..The Essence of Cakeness

  63. Brett Legree says:

    @Allison,

    LOL, I meant you could give me some pointers as in dance lessons 🙂

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why blogging for profit is like collecting underpants.

  64. One of the most common feelings when starting a business is uncertainty over whether you’re doing the right thing. And that’s when you’ll need all the help and advice you can get. If you’re feeling a bit lost about where to get help and advice, then take a look at these resources – some of which are online, and some may be available close to you.

  65. I left a keyword for a name says:

    Discussions like this one remind me of why I feel strongly that making your own way is so much better than being a corporate drone. Depend on your ingenuity not the market share of your company!
    .-= Online Marketing Strategy´s last blog ..Link-building & Link Popularity =-.

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