Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.
~ Jane Austen
It’s been a busy time for me over the last month or so, not because it was Christmas either. So busy in fact that I was left floundering like a fish out of water. So in hopes of getting myself back on track I took stock of what I’ve been doing. It’s an impressive list:
- Repaired this blog. Twice. First it was a corrupt MySQL table, then it was a corrupt WordPress upgrade.
- Learned not one, but three major WordPress plugins; NextGen Gallery, WP Shopping Cart and cforms because I had to…
- Build another blog
- (Re)Installed Linux (Ubuntu) alongside Windows and set it up as my web development/programming sandbox.
- I even had to repair my crashed iPhone.
Doesn’t seem like much at first glance, only 5 items, but it represents a significant amount of skill and knowledge and equates to days of work. It also made me realise a couple of things. Firstly, how much of a geek I am. Not only do I possess all of those skills, but I also enjoy putting them to use.
Most important of all however, I realised that I haven’t been paid for all that work. Not one single penny. Why? Because it’s all been for me or for family (fiancée in this case).
Friends Don’t Work for Each Other
My point is not so much ‘never work for friends or family’ – though speaking from experience, that is sage advice – it’s ‘don’t do it at a loss to yourself’. Here I am, using my technical know-how and applying my vast (cough) knowledge to solve problems, but not getting rewarded for it.
Which is silly because I can guarantee you two things:
- No matter what you are knowledgeable about, someone else knows less.
- That someone is willing to pay you to apply that knowledge and solve their problem.
It’s a case of do as I say, not as I do. Or as Bruce Lee put it,
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.
So go out and make a living from doing what you know you can do. Just don’t do it by working for your friends or family.