Doing work that matters

One of the best parts of running my own business is getting to say “Yes,” to some incredible jobs.

Be careful though – too many yeses can lead to a serious scheduling problem. Always consult your calendar before committing to extra work.

Essentially, you get to decide how strenuous your work schedule. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have one of my busiest work weeks this year. Busy schedules don’t always equal productivity, however. In fact, every time you say “yes” to something else, you have the opportunity to be less productive in other areas of your work.

Here’s how I spent my week:

Sick Day

No, I wasn’t sick but as for my 16-month old son, he woke up with a low grade fever. Could he have gone to day care? Probably, but the flexibility of running my own business allowed me to stay home with him. Because I chose to stay home on Monday, I had to make some decisions about how this would affect the rest of my work week.

As soon as he was down for nap, I sent out emails to my customers letting them know the backup plan for this week. I managed to split my Monday route into two sections and I added those customers to my Wednesday and Thursday routes according to location. While this caused me to work longer on those days, it was a small sacrifice to ensure that my son recovered well so he could return to day care on Tuesday.

Waste Removal

Tuesday through Friday, I spent cleaning up dog waste from the yards of my more than forty customers in Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, Meade, and Oldham counties. I drove to each stop, prepared my equipment, and began my trek through each yard marching back and forth across varied terrain. Sometimes, the weather was favorable and other times the rain came pouring down.

After scanning each yard twice, I secured the collected waste and placed it into a second plastic bag. At the end of the day, I hauled the waste back to the dumpster where I disposed of it.

Pet Sitting

I had the pleasure of pet sitting for two customers this week.

PetCorps currently offers pet sitting services to pet owners in Radcliff, Vine Grove, Fort Knox, and Elizabethtown. However, one to the customers I served this week lives in Brandenburg, KY. Because the drive is a bit longer to Brandenburg, she pays a little bit more per visit than my local customers. And she is happy to do so! It’s not unusual for me to pick up a check for more than the invoiced amount. I am truly honored and blessed to have her as a customer.

She has several cats and a very detailed feeding regimen. With as detailed as her instructions were, it took a couple days to find a good rhythm to caring for the cats. Once I found that rhythm, however, it didn’t take very long to complete the work each visit required.

When I visited, the cats were often hiding. Occasionally, one or two would come out of hiding for some love and attention.

As for the other customer, this one lived much closer to home. However, when the two pet sitting agreements overlapped, it took about 37 minutes to get from one house to the other. That’s a lot of driving!

The second customer requested shorter pet sitting visits. We usually recommend 30-minute visits minimum; however, for this contract each visit was 15 minutes. It is a challenge to complete the necessary work in such a short time but it is possible. All it takes is a little bit of forethought and focused attention to get the job done.

Diamond Evans 001

Both customers requested two visits per day. Each morning, I was up at five o’clock driving to my first house. I would get home a little before seven o’clock with enough time to get everyone ready for work and daycare. This time, my pet sitting obligations did not interfere with my scooping schedule because the visits were spread about 12 hours apart. However, when afternoon visits are required, it takes a bit more effort to arrange the route in a precise way to get the work done as effectively as possible.

FPU Yard Sale

FPU Yard Sale 019

The last commitment I had on my calendar was a multi-family yard sale at my church. In May 2015, I volunteered to facilitate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at my church. Since then, I have led three classes. This was the first time we hosted a yard sale.

What fun! We had several families from the church sign up for a booth. They donated $10 to the church to rent a booth. Families brought out furniture, paintings, clothing, toys, candy, baked goods, and so much more to sell.

There was some uncertainty as to whether the event would take place. Weathermen predicted rain on Saturday; however, we banded together in prayer and confessed that it would not rain as predicted. Except for some mist and gray clouds in the morning, we had a nice cool day for yard selling.

The yard sale opened up at seven o’clock. At first, we didn’t get very much foot traffic. Around ten o’clock, interest in the yard sale by passersby began to pick up and the vendors were selling all they could.

To teach my oldest son about entrepreneurship, we set up a lemonade stand together. The lemonade stand sold lemonade, bottled water, hot dogs, and chips. We sold over $30 at the lemonade stand.

At the end of it all

Although muscles all over my body were sore from all of the work involved in scooping, pet sitting, and setting up and tearing down a yard sale, there was a much bigger feeling. It’s a feeling you know many times in your life. The feeling you get when you just finished mowing the lawn. Or having washed the dishes. Or anything worth doing. It is the feeling of accomplishment. You did something this week and your body knows it. Even through the soreness, it is endorphins flooding your brain that make you step back, take a deep breath, and say, “Yeah, that was worth it.”

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