If We Were Having Coffee – 6 Months In, An Update.

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If we were having coffee we’d have a lot of catching up to do. I haven’t done one of these posts for a quite a while. In fact I think this is my first one since Nerd in the Brain has been at the helm.

As my regular readers know, lately I have only been on here for my weekly Thursday Doors post because this past winter IΒ started scaling back on my social media after I accepted a severance package from my employer of the past 14 years, and thenΒ set out to start my own MarComs agency along with two of my former employees.

NJN Communications Inc (don’t bother Googling it – we don’t have a web presence yet) was federally incorporated and officially born here in Canada as of April 1st, 2017.

All three of us are working from home and though we don’t quite have enough business yet to justify three full time salaries similar to what we were accustomed to, it is going well and we’ve already surpassed our targets for the first quarter, which isn’t even over yet!

So what do we do? Well, we produce various types of bilingual literature (English and Canadian French) as well as written and visual content for small to mid-sized machinery manufacturing brands in the woodworking and construction equipment industries.

We’ve also started branching out into home/consumer products, having recently completed a project for an importer/distributor who’s introducing a new heated floor mop to the North American market this year.

Basically we offer marketing material production services for companies that either can’t or don’t want to set up their own internal marketing/graphics departments.

So pretty much any materials that are printed or published to help a company take a product to market in Canada or the U.S. (and conceivably elsewhere as well) – we produce it.

Drawing on our experience and industry contacts from doing similar work for one company, our work includes things like promotional brochures, catalogs, spec sheets, product literature, technical writing and user manuals. We do translation for existing documents, andΒ write press releases, new product bulletins, and corporate notices intended for media outlets. We also do product photography, print and on-line ads, packaging artwork, and hopefully more promotional videos as well.

Though the three of us we each have our own complimentary areas of specialization, we all have a well-rounded skill set, to allow us to offer such a wide mix of services.

And it’s kinda cool that in many cases each of us is capable of pitching in whenever one of us is overloaded, to help move a project forward. It keeps the work challenging, varied, and fun.

I will say that after over three decades of getting up each morning and travelling to another physical location to do my job all day, working from home is quite an adjustment.

On the positive side, not having to commute has been more of a blessing than I ever thought possible.

After years of 45-90 minute drives twice a day, my morning commute from the kitchen coffee machine to my downstairs office desk now takes me a grand total of seventeen seconds.

Yes I actually timed it πŸ˜‰

This allows me more time to maintain a regular light exercise routine and still put in a full workday; without feeling that same level of fatigue I normally would after a day at the office.

Being at home means breaks are spent doing and putting away laundry and other light housework, and things like prep work for meals. This means that Honey and I end up having more quality time to relax together when she gets home from work and there’s lots less housework for us to do on weekends.

I also get to make healthy home-cooked lunches including barbecue too!

The downside of working from home?

When you’re among your own things all day distractions are everywhere you look.

There’s always something that needs to be done around a home so it takes a lot of discipline to tell yourself it’s work time, and not homeowner time, and stay focused.

It only takes a minute or two to drop a load of laundry into the machine, but fixing that darn fence gate is out of the question during the workday…or so I try to tell myself πŸ˜‰

I also miss the social side of working in a building full of other people. I do spend a good amount of my time talking with our clients and coordinating with my partners, but time spent on the phone isn’t quite the same as one-on-one face-to-face social interaction with others.

Now that the warmer weather is here it is easier to go for lunchtime walks and bike rides around the neighborhood. It’s good to stretch my legs and clear my head because I have to admit that for a while this past winter, I was starting to go a little stir-crazy from being cooped-up at home all day in front of a computer screen.

So if we were having coffee I would tell you that overall things are going well and that I don’t regret making the move. In fact I kinda wish now that I had made the move earlier. But hey, we weren’t ready then.

I’d also tell you that I don’t expect my blogging/social media activity to change much in the foreseeable future. There’s still so much to do. We have to get our website built and create some promotional content to put up on a few key social media channels.

The irony is not lost on me that a company that helps others promote their products has no web presence yet to help promote their OWN services πŸ˜€

For the moment anyways, though I’ll try to pop in now and again to read some of your posts, one Thursday Doors post a week is all the time I’m willing to commit to my blogging.

So for those who were wondering how things have been going, there you have it.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and encouragement and hopefully we’ll see you here again next Thursday πŸ™‚

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly open link-up event originated byΒ Diana over at Part Time Monster and is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain. It’s a great way to meet and get to know some pretty awesome fellow bloggers. You should check it out πŸ™‚

About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
This entry was posted in Opinions, Writing Challenges and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to If We Were Having Coffee – 6 Months In, An Update.

  1. One of the things I find difficult about working from home is that there is always more work to do. Sometimes home activities intrude into work and vice versa. I’m also familiar with the social aspect. I have just joined a local art association and hope to start teaching classes there. I’m looking forward to the interactions. Sounds like you have a great start on your business. I wish you well! Thanks for keeping up with Thursday Doors, its an important part of my social interaction!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for the update and best of luck as you continue along with your business. πŸ™‚ I know all about getting sidetracked by house stuff… even without running a business.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jesh stg says:

    Wish you lots of success, ingenuity,and persistence!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pistachios says:

    Good to hear things are going well for you, and glad to hear you’re still gonna make time for Thursday Doors!
    I reckon I’d go a bit stir crazy if I worked from home. Breaking things up with other tasks and going for walks etc sounds like a good strategy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Margy says:

    I love the idea of a company that does translation for existing documents. I have some ‘existing documents’ that describe how to use my camera. I sure wish the manufacturer had used someone a bit more fluent in English and Explanations to translate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      So sorry for the late reply – thank you for the kind words. A lot of the products we work with are made in Asia and require better English written instructions.
      As we like to joke, sometimes we translate from Chinglish to English πŸ˜‰


  6. Thanks for the update, Norm. Many congratulations on all the work you’ve done in setting up the business. I wish you and the business much continued success. May it all go from strength to strength. Cool office. Great to see another Apple iMac user.
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      So sorry for the late reply and thank you for the kind words Hugh. I’ve been a PC guy for my whole life and have only been working on Macs (reluctantly) for a few years. Now I bounce back and for between the two and I must say I am starting to get comfortable with the Mac πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, all this going on behind closed doors! I’m glad you opened your doors to let us in and understand the new changes going on in your life. Sounds like the change is something that will give you happiness and satisfaction (parts of the equation that leads to success) and all that’s needed is more clients and revenue to keep your new venture going. Best of luck to you and your partners!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds great, Norm! Congratulations on your new company and much success going forward! See you around the blogosphere, at least on Thursdays… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. reocochran says:

    This sounds very productive and successful in the early part of your combined business. I would think this is a dream job and well worth efforts to increase each quarter, carefully and steadily. The extra benefits of healthy choices in riding and exercise, as well as preparing home cooked or barbecued foods are such excellent bonuses! Enjoy and much success wished you and your company. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good luck with your business. Keep us updated on your success.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Corina says:

    It definitely sounds like you made the right decision at the right time. I think you’ll eventually find ways to incorporate some in person social time. Much luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      So sorry for the late reply – thank you for the kind words Corina. It will take some time but I’m sure I’ll get the right balance or work/social time figured out πŸ™‚


  12. I would never want to go back to working in an office after 35 years in my own business. I find social interactions, and clients are enough for me if I have a social life. Renting an office only makes sense if you guys can rent it together, then perhaps that can be your social interaction… I am glad to hear you landed on your feet and good you on the new company!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Claudia says:

    Welcome back and good luck on your new business! Proud of you for making a new start.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Desiree B says:

    Good luck with your home based business. I know a few people who run their businesses from the comfort of their homes and they battle with similar distractions. Discipline seems to be everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. amoralegria says:

    Good luck on your new (ad)venture, Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bset wishes on your new business. Working from home can be very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. klara says:

    best of luck Norm. this sounds like a nice, new adventure in your life. less time vasted on commuting, more quality time with Honey. good for you. enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. joey says:

    I am so glad your new endeavor has exceeded prediction and that you’ve got more balance in your life.
    Having worked freelance from home off and on for years, I understand a lot of this. Every side of any choice has its benefits and downsides, and you seem overall happy, or pleased, and that’s what really matters. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tara says:

    Best of luck. And I loved working at home. I don’t anymore, but my “no more than 15 minute commute” stands. Working out well. Will have to do the same if/when I move on from my current location. πŸ™‚ I commuted for years. Don’t miss it at all. Glad you’re enjoying your traffic jam-free 17 second one!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Norm, you make the perfect husband! Good luck with your new adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Almost Iowa says:

    Good luck, Norm. Working at home is great, if you have the discipline to do it…but I have known a few people who rent a small office close to their house just to have that “office feel” and limit distractions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you!
      I have thought of renting office space but we want to keep expenses down as much as possible. So far it has been going okay but it’s good to know that the option is there if we decide we need it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Aimer Boyz says:

    So glad to hear NJN is doing well πŸ™‚ Congratulations and enjoy your morning commute !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Jennie says:

    Many thanks for the update, Norm. Please update whenever you have a chance. Glad the new business is going well, and glad you are still going strong on Thursday’s Doors. Best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Best wishes for your new endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for the update, Norm and all the best in this new venture. I understand the pros and cons of working from home. I still only manage an occasional day, but it’s so nice not to have to make that commute. I also find that I get more work done without the social distractions in the office. And then, as you say, I miss them. I understand the shoemaker’s children syndrome you’re living with, but do let us know when you have a website established. I know I pick on marketing, a lot, but only stupid marketing, not the kind you (or my daughter) do πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Dan. It has been a fun adventure so far but we still need to draw in a few more customers. The website and social media will be coming soon, in fact I’ll probably have our LinkedIn page done by next week. Will keep you posted about the rest.
      Cheers πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about your new venture. I was wondering how it was going and I’m glad to hear you have gained good traction.
    Yes – it is ironic that you don’t have your own social media presence, but you know what they say about the shoemaker’s children! πŸ˜‰

    Working from a home environment requires a different kind of discipline, but eliminating that long commute actually ‘creates’ more time available. My husband has been doing it for over 20 years and acknowledges that he would never have had the time to devote to being a triathlete if he had still worked from an outside office.

    Good luck Norm! I hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joanne. We have been so busy with the set-up, admin and then the actual work that we haven’t had time for the marketing. It just means that we hit the ground running with several loyal customers who are giving us a steady amount of work.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. conspicari says:

    Best of luck for your new venture. I quit work about three years ago, didn’t miss the work or the commute, but really missed the banter with my colleagues. :>)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. quiall says:

    Congratulations! You are where you should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. It sounds like you made a good move at the right time. Dream come true for almost everyone who traveled to and from an office working for someone else for many years. You go, Norm. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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