I’ve been largely quiet on the blog scene over the last week or two because I’ve had a resurgence of energy and ambition after spending nearly a month and a half in a debilitating depression. I still have plenty of work to do; for instance, I still need to send my next article to bphope.com.
Speaking of bphope.com, my last article has received another overwhelmingly positive response, and I love the fact that people from all around the world take comfort in my honesty about what I go through. As I have always said, my goal is to be an inspiration to others in the fight against this horrible illness, even though I am by no means a perfect patient. BP Magazine for Bipolar (bphope.com) has a wealth of information and personal experiences that everyone that suffers from the disorder, as well as friends and family who knows someone who deals with it, should check out, and add to their library of material on the subject; as well as other mental health issues. It makes my work that much more worthwhile, especially when I see people say that they felt they were alone or thought no one could understand them until they read my article(s). It makes me feel great because I was there, so I understand their feelings. The feedback also helps me, as they make me feel that much less alone.
What I’m about to tell you is something I tend to keep to myself till right around the time it’s time to announce, especially since I don’t want to jinx it or here the negativity that could come behind it (there’s a difference between constructive criticism and straight out negativity) but I’m opening up about it today because of the significance of this decision and move. I’ve been putting a lot of effort behind the 10th Avenue Media Visions brand over the last few months, that I forgot my own branding and didn’t see I was putting too much into one small business. So I made the not-so-difficult decision to turn 10th Avenue Media Visions into a production company, which is something I wanted to do eventually, anyway. The only difference with this is that it’s not going to include all of the other services I was originally planning in this company. It will be strictly entertainment production. I won’t get into specifics, yet, because I’m still trying to get papers signed and the ink dried, and come up with a business plan. I’m in the process right now of bringing on a producing partner to help me run the company, because as gung-ho as I am about going in alone, I simply can’t take on this venture by myself. It will be my first attempt into the production business since 2015, and hopefully this time it will be a big hit. With it being headquartered somewhere in the Atlanta area, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.
What about all of the things I’ve talked about creating a writing business like you’ve been talking about so much? Well, I decided to form The JB Burrage Agency. This new company will be for my writing business, self-publishing assistance for writers seeking to get into the self-publishing game (as I have over ten years of experience in it), and publishing (I will be publishing my own material; I will not open publishing to other authors). In a way, this pushes my plan back a little more to get to work. I originally wanted to start work in September, then it changed to this month, then to November. It’s now looking like the end of November or beginning of December. This is because I have to incorporate the business (I never form a business entity without forming an LLC or corporation; it makes it more official than being what’s called a sole proprietor). It will take a couple of weeks to get my documents official, so once that happens I will be in business. You can go to the rest of the site now and learn more about the services I’m offering.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Working on my business. Getting ready to make big moves. Defeating the odds by showing that suffering from bipolar disorder won’t hinder me from following my passion, and being my own boss while doing it. It’s not easy. Not only do I have to deal with the episodes, which can throw a monkey wrench in all of my plans, but I also have to plan things like marketing and public relations, as well as stay on top of what the state and federal government requires of me.
Some people don’t understand how being a freelancer could be any kind of a life to live. After all, it’s well-known that one day you could make a truckload of money, then the next you’re making next to nothing if anything at all. So believe me, I know it’s a challenge. I’ve done years of research, with a lot of optimism and a whole lot of skepticism before I decided to jump into this. A big chunk of the American workforce are now freelancers, and employers and companies are loving it because it means they can get quality work without putting these people on their payrolls. But also be aware, being an independent contractor can be fun and rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. Because of the fact I’m a creative writer and a blogger, as well as my personal career goals, I feel that it’s the best opportunity for me; now is the time to do it.
I know there are people out there who think what I’m doing is a waste of time, and could even argue that people with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses can work regular jobs fine. That is true because I know people who are bipolar who are working everyday jobs. But suffering from any mental illness present challenges that the regular employer is not ready to handle or understand. If you’re experiencing the side effects of a medication and you overslept, an employer might not buy it. If you’re so depressed or your anxiety is so bad that you can’t leave the house or get out of bed, and this happens frequently, you could get fired for missing too many days. If you’re manic, you can be so wired that it could be counterproductive, and do more harm to your work and the company than anything. Employers simply won’t take that risk. While there are employers that completely understand and have plans in case you’re down, most employers haven’t caught on to this. Even as a freelancer, it’s a huge challenge, but for me, this is the best option; especially since I’m doing something that I absolutely love, which is writing and business management. So for the ones who are doubting me and are closed-minded, keep that in mind before you judge and make assumptions.
Am I saying quit your job and become an independent contractor? No. That’s all on you, your needs, and desires. You have to weigh the pros and cons, especially if you’re at a job that’s been pretty good to you, or you’re mentally ill and you feel like the stress of the job is affecting your health. The pros could be in your favor, or the cons could outweigh the pros. You have to make your own determination and based it on your current and future plans, especially if you have family that is involved. You also have to know what you’re going to offer, how you’re going to offer it, and why people should take what you’re offering. Because you’re building a business, you have to be dedicated, which could mean long days and nights. For me, it’s a continuing thing, as I continue to refine my business plan and services to make sure I’m ready when it’s time to go and know what the hell I’m doing and saying when a potential client asks me, “Why should I let you work on this project over all the others?”
Anyway, I actually have a couple of projects (I’m always working on some project that I don’t tell me about) that I’m hoping to launch a few months after the official establishment of The JB Burrage Agency, Inc. They are personal projects, but you will enjoy them once they come out. I’m hoping to get the wheels of 10th Avenue Media Visions, LLC rolling soon. Despite the time push of when I will start working, I will open my schedule in the second half of November (instead of November 6 as originally planned). I can’t wait to get started.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the site to see what I’m offering, and how to book me when it’s time to work.
Take care, stay healthy and warm (it’s chilly here in Atlanta), and stay posted. I’ll be looking out for you.