From: Bill Polhemus <bpolhem(--nospam--at)swbell.net>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 21:54:56 -0500
I have unsubscribed from my old "work" email address, and am now subscribed from home.
REASON: I lost my job yesterday. Call it a reduction in force. Call it (also) a cold glass of water in the face of my pretend
reality where you just keep gaining, in turn, more salary and more "security" until you attain nirvana, in the business world of
So, I'm not an employee of anyone at this time. Well, that's not exactly true: I intend to be employed by MYSELF. From this day
forward, come what may (and I shudder to think what MAY), I am a free agent, a freelancer, a self-employed professional. Use any of
the epithets we call ourselves these days when we simply get tired of the unreasonable compromises we must make to earn a regular
Don't get me wrong: I'd LOVE to have a regular paycheck 'long about now! I got my LAST ONE today! But I know I've got to do this. It
isn't simply the "entrepeneurial spirit", it is the unquiet realization that I simply can't work for anyone anymore. The boredom was
becoming palpable, and my own productivity was becoming a victim of atrophy.
I'm a little too old (I think) to be considered part of the MTV Generation, yet I know that I have to be kept interested, and the
world I'm leaving just doesn't hold it for me.
This is a little pep-talk for myself, broadcast to that realm where dwell my peers (and I flatter myself GREATLY that I dare to
consider myself such, in this august company). I hope to get some help from you. Some advice, some encouragement, and some support,
because frankly I'm pretty scared.
I'm not financially well-off by any means (I guess we're living off my wife's paycheck for awhile!) and the only reason I'm willing
to give this a shot is that I live in a large market during economic boom times right now, and I think I can do this. I have no
employees, and few big financial commitments. So perhaps living on peanuts might work?
I have been surprised and pleased at the reception my idea has gotten with some of my contacts here. One fellow, who started a
traffic engineering consulting practice back in the mid-80s--when NO ONE in Houston, Texas was starting ANY KIND of a business!--and
now enjoys a robust success, volunteered an hour of his time today, after we finished negotiating my first contractual agreement, to
reminisce about the "good old days" when he was getting started.
Another, a geotechnical engineer, when he heard the news invited me to his office at my convenience, so he could counsel me about
what to do to file for subchapter "S" in the state of Texas. I couldn't believe how this guy was willing to give freely of his time
just to help a "newbie" out!
As it is, I do have a small contract that promises some work for the next few months--probably not enough on its own but it's a
start. And I know that there are lots of folks out there who need help; the market shortage here is acute, especially for those with
tranportation sector experience.
But there's so much I need to know; the marketing arena in particular is one where I fear the Gladiators would make short work of
me! Not that I lack enthusiasm, poise, and Nice Teeth, but let's face it: I'M AN ENGINEER, NOT A CAR SALESMAN! Well, guess I gotta
turn huckster, eh?
Thanks for letting me rant awhile.
I'm also starting as of this evening, two NEW mailing lists for the benefit of any and all who might find them worthwhile.
The first, SE-Marketing, is the one we've been discussing, related to marketing structural engineering services.
The second, SE-Practice, is about the nuts and bolts of EVERYTHING ELSE associated with running a consulting business, such as
accounting, bookkeeping, networking, growing the business, time management, efficient production of deliverables, client interface,
you name it.
Subscribe to EITHER or BOTH of these by sending mailto:majordomo(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc
In the body of the message, say:
I thought I'd take the liberty of subscribing those of you who earlier expressed an interest, to BOTH mailing lists. If you don't
like it, let me know and I'll "unsub" you with no problem.
Cheers, and thanks AGAIN for the rant!