The Work Begins


"Alright, I guess it's finally time to do the damn thing."


Jim had not been looking forward to this part of his day today. In fact, he had largely been dreading it. The words of his new mentor were still ringing true in his ears.


"Put it off as long as you like. Every day you do so brings you closer to losing this dream project and clients of yours."


"Fine Bob, I'll do this thing now, but I still don't understand what will change that will help me land this project! Now, what was that first thing I needed to do again? Ah, right, I need to write down my income first."


This was a strange notion to Jim. His income hadn't really mattered to him as long as it was more than what they needed to spend. "What does it matter," he thought, "as long as I'm able to work hard enough to bring more in than we spend out?"


With the paper in front of him, he wracked his brain over what number to put in.


"Last year, I brought in $186,000. I guess I could start there." He wrote $186,000 in the slot marked "Income."


"Jim, your yearly income isn't what matters for this kind of thing. Trying to keep your expenses tracked against a goal over 365 days is too much. Try sticking with what you bring in for the next month only." Bob's words bubbled up out of his subconscious memory unbidden.


"Right. I need to know what I think I will make next month. Got it." Jim started poring over what next month's income should be.


"I don't know! This is what I pay a bookkeeper for! I guess I will stick with what I made last year. I guess that would be the $186,000 split up over 12 months." Some quick numbers typed into the calculator in front of him revealed, "$15,500?! For a month? That doesn't seem right." Jim thoughts were a mixture of surprise and confusion with a twinge of anxiety. "If I had that much laying around I wouldn't feel so broke! Now what the hell was I supposed to do next?"


Jim spent the next twenty minutes writing expenses down as categories, then looked at his paper, couldn't think of anything else, and said "this seems pretty good. I bet Bob will be surprised at how much I actually thought of!"


He put the papers away and got back to his "real" work.