Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Beautiful Sunday...

...Just waiting for Z to wake up from her nap so that we can go outside and prepare our garden plot for planting this afternoon. I still have to work on my marketing plan for my class, but I'll save that for later, when it's not so sunny and beautiful outside.

I've been hearing a lot of mixed reviews about the new Matrix. On the radio, mainly a bad review, and on here, mainly bad ones too, at least perhaps from those unwilling to let the premise of the movie stand on its own. I still haven't seen it, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to, but I'm looking forward to seeing it to find out what I think for myself. A couple of in-depth commentaries I stumbled across this morning are here and here, from vyoma and symphy, respectively. (Don't look at those unless you've seen the movie or don't mind reading details about it, though. I don't mind, and so I read them both.)

The main media thing on my mind (and in my ears) at the moment is the new Radiohead, which is slated for commercial release sometime later this year but which is widely available via P2P all over the place. Radiohead fans are pretty die-hard. And from what I've heard so far of this one, they are due credit for taste. This album is fucking great, dudes. Kid A and Amnesiac took at least a few hearings before growing on me, but I've loved every track I've heard on this one so far (it's called Hail To The Thief). It's great. So glad to have something new to listen to.

Had a brutal eating week this week (basically a whole week of bad eating), and also skipped my leg workout again. But you should see the size of my arms (my legs are already huge). Had a really nice bikeride yesterday, and three great runs this week. I still haven't found time to get into the pool though. Gotta get on that.

Also having big-time second thoughts about my business right now, primarily due to financial considerations. In last week's classes (we've finished the marketing sessions and now we're on to the money stuff), we generated our first income statements (month-by-month sales/expense forecasts for year 1) and cash flow statements (a schedule of when those sales and expenses get received and paid, aligned with our business bank account balance from one month to the next), and the experience was an eye-opener, to say the least.

What I unhappily discovered is that my software licensing costs are so expensive that I barely break even by the end of the year, and even then, I don't really have enough cash to pay my taxes when all is said and done. The cash flow exercises also demonstrated to me that I won't be able to pay myself for at least the first three months, and that I'll have a zero balance in my business bank account until about month 5 at the earliest. Man.

So yeah, this highlights my need for start-up financing, and it also tells me exactly how much I'll need, but... But I have to admit that when I think about B starting a well-paying staff physician position next year and our probably having a second baby next summer, I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get a bloody job for 12 months instead and be done with it. There's a couple of good leads for pretty well-paying positions available in my field here, so I think I could actually get a job if I wanted one. It's feeling increasingly difficult to justify my going through the process of starting my own business when I'm just going to have to scale it back or close it down when B finishes her maternity leave with the second baby. Plus, if I did go back to work right now, I could go back on parental leave for at least a few months when the second baby is born, just as I did for Z last fall and winter. And hopefully by that point, B would be making enough that I wouldn't need to work full-time or at all until the kiddies went to school.

I'm torn. Any thoughts?

(God-DAMN, this album is good. I can't wait to buy it when it's released.)

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jjjiii May 18th, 2003
I've never really been clear on this, do businesses have to pay taxes on their revenues? Or on their profits? If it's profits, the cost of the software shouldn't make that much of a difference to your ability to pay taxes, since it'd essentially be a deduction, right? Of course, if it's prohibitively expensive because it's no longer worth it to expend that much effort for so little profit, then you should try finding cheaper software, or else rethink the whole thing.

iamom May 18th, 2003
do businesses have to pay taxes on their revenues?

Yes, but in the context of your question here, the way in which the taxes are levied depends on whether or not the business is incorporated (in US, I think it's called LLC - Limited Liability Corporation). For people such as myself who are not incorporated but simply running a sole proprietorship under my own name, so to speak, I have to pay personal income tax on any revenues that exceed my allowable tax-deductible business expenses.

Having said that, the income statements and cash flow charts I described in this post do include a modest salary for myself, on which I would make quarterly income tax payments for my own personal tax. If my unincorporated business made any additional profits at the end of the year, those would simply be considered extra personal income for myself, and I'd have to pay tax on them.

Your point regarding cheaper software is well taken, though, and I am investigating what other options exist for me there. So far, for the level of functionality I think I would require, the only other applications I can find are the same price or higher each year, which isn't too encouraging. I was hoping to be able to find something quite a bit cheaper that would do what I needed it to do, but I haven't found it yet.

And then, regarding your last point about expending that much effort for so little profit... Well, that point's well taken, too. I'm really starting to feel like the timing on this whole venture is just not right.

vyoma May 18th, 2003
Starting a business = having a child... and a demanding one at that. Unless you're ready for three children, you might want to wait a bit.

iamom May 18th, 2003
Wow, how well put. Another eye-opener, to be sure. I hadn't thought of it like that.

This whole parental leave thing is starting to make me hesitate on starting my business now, too. If you're self-employed in Canada, you can't pay into the unemployment insurance program and can therefore not take paid parental leave. That's such a huge benefit, it makes me really think that I should get a job if only to be able to take a few months of paid leave with the second baby.

You've mentioned that you started your own business in the past -- what kind of business was it? Was it related to your executive recruiting stuff?

vyoma May 20th, 2003
Right... if you go back to the early days of my journal, there are a lot of entries about my former business. The money could be very good, but the stress was intense. When I first got started with it, I was putting in 12-14 hour days six days a week, too.

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