Small business, late nights, big goals, and passion

Some evenings, when I’m up absurdly late (right now it’s past 1 am) and trying to think creatively (currently taking a break from writing media releases), it suddenly occurs to me that I have the best job in the world: although no doubt a lot of people would disagree.

You see, I often work more than 18 hours most days, and spend the other six hours talking and thinking about it, unless I’m sleeping. Yes, I tend to work (at least a bit) seven days a week. Yes I do a lot of things at the moment for little to no pay. And yes, I am the Queen of doing a million things at once – sometimes to my detriment. Often, the housework gets neglected; I find, some weeks, that I haven’t done the washing – and usually discover this in a moment of desperation when I run out of things to wear; and it’s only when you start seeing things that aren’t there that you realise you need a weekend off occasionally to recuperate.

So why do I love it so much? Well, firstly, I’m doing what I love: writing, editing, and publishing. As a little kid (I’m talking grade two) I knew I’d be writing for a living some day – and although I’m not exactly doing that, it’s pretty close to it. Secondly, I own my own business (and did so before I was 28, which is another goal ticked off). Thirdly, I get to meet and work with amazing people on different jobs all the time.

The other reasons are that I publish both books and an online magazine; I still get to indulge my passion for music journalism (thanks to Metal as Fuck, which I now edit as well as publish) – meaning that my love for going out and seeing bands is now also work, which is brilliant (not to mention interviewing fantastic bands that other people go weak at the knees about). Thanks to social networking I meet new and amazing people all around the world every day of the week, and tend to gain clients that I love to have coffee with – just to chat.

While it sounds like I might not have much of a social life, that’s not really true, although a lot of it is virtual these days. My work dictates that I’m online damn near constantly, so keeping in touch with mates – wherever they may be – is easier and quicker than phoning them or sending a text message. Advice on anything is an email away, because my network is of a reasonable size. And living by the notion of going above and beyond in terms of giving, I find myself surrounded by people who help me out for free, which always astonishes me.

There are downsides to being so passionate about what you do. Like, the lack of sleep gets old after a while; too much coffee turns you into Tweak; and you start to realise that you’ve maybe not eaten lunch for a week because you’ve been ‘too caught up’ in everything else (and smoking excessively too, on occasion). And then there are those things that plague all small business owners: money, marketing, reporting, taxation, blah blah boring blah.

And really, when I look at my life goals and realise how many I’ve met, I’m amazed at how many more there are to gain! They say that world domination doesn’t happen in a year, but you can bloody well try to achieve it! So what are my other goals? They are:

  • Launch our new traditional publishing model (yes, really, and it’s so exciting) within a fortnight from now
  • Travel overseas in 2010 as ambassador of Metal as Fuck, which was my brainchild back in late 2007
  • Expand everything to the point where I have a full-time, on-site editorial staff in different areas – preferably by the beginning of 2011
  • Grow our titles list so we’re producing at least five books per year by the start of 2012
  • Bring MaF to the point where it is the dominating force in metal online by 2012
  • Get to the point where I have made such an impact on the world that I have to turn down offers to talk in exciting places about what I do, so we can go and spend some time trekking in remote parts of the world just for the fuck of it (which would be nice to have now, but I’m a realist: so this one has a longer timeframe: by the time I’m 35 I want to have achieved this).

Not only do I want to have achieved all of the above by the age of 35, but I want to have made everybody’s world a better place along the way, which would make me personally happy.

Big goals, right? And that’s just a few of them! But you never got anywhere by looking right in front of your feet. Even if at the moment some might consider that I’m doing the hard yards, it’s because I’ve got my eyes firmly fixed on the shiny obelisk sitting on the top of the highest mountain, way the fuck over there on the horizon. And I’m going to reach it within five and a half years. Watch me go.

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