Honey & T

Biting the Bullet

I talk a lot about Project V and my goals on this blog, but when am I actually going to do something about it?  Why am I just sitting here twiddling my thumbs, working as a tax accountant?

That’s easy!  I’ve got two words – cash and experience.  I don’t have either of them, at least not enough.

So let’s talk about the second word (I’ll circle back to #1 later) and what I’m going to do to change the fact that I don’t have much experience in running a venue.  Alright, let’s face it – I have no experience whatsoever, but who’s keeping tabs on this anyway?  As much as I’d love to be hired as a venue coordinator at the moment (and if anyone knows somebody, speak up!), no one is going to hire an inexperienced CPA.  I tried applying for UCLA’s event services and my resume was rejected.  Twice.  I’ll keep my eyes peeled for opportunities via Craigslist and the rest of the internet, but my confidence is pretty low.

Another obstacle to gaining experience is the fact that I have a full-time job wherein I put in over 40 hours a week.  Last I checked, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of free time to do things like finding my dream job.  When you factor in how much I loathe my current day job, I think the most obvious solution is to quit.  I’m scared, you guys!  I’ve been out of college five years and have always had a cushy cube job with a regular salary and health benefits.  What happens now?  Do I quit so I can focus on different ways to get my foot in the door?

Venues are expensive.  They’re capital intensive, especially when it comes to the start-up costs.  Since I don’t have a trust fund or wealthy inheritance, I’m pretty much working with what I’ve saved up in the past five years.  I’m going to be upfront about money with you guys, because I think this will benefit those who may be in my same position now.

Piggy Bank

Image via Bed, Bath & Beyond

At the moment, I have $100,000 to invest, plus a cushion that will support me for 3-4 months.  In Los Angeles, $100,000 doesn’t get you a lot of real estate, especially when you’re required to put at least 30% down for commercial property.  And don’t forget closing costs of at least $10,000 and construction/renovations.

To review, I have no experience as a venue coordinator, would like to quit my current job so I can try to get experience, yet I do not have enough money to acquire and build a venue.  Ideally, I would continue to work and save until I had enough money.  Realistically, I hate my job and come home miserable every day.  The solution is that I am going to quit in February.  Quitting in February buys me enough time to save for future big-ticket items (e.g. birthday gifts and our honeymoon), add to my savings about another $5,000 and save up some money to support myself during my “unemployment.”  This also buys me enough time to seek and close escrow on a residential rental property (lenders aren’t going to lend money to an unemployed bum like myself!).  That’s right, folks.  I am taking part of that $100,000 and putting it into real estate.  My hope is that the appreciation will help out when it finally comes time to invest in the venue property.

If I am resigning in February, what will I do during my unemployment?  How long will I stay jobless for?  What about health benefits?  Who’s paying for my living expenses?  Will we finally get that pet dog?  The answers will be revealed next week!


Why No One Has To Know

Here’s my big fat secret: no one knows I have one.  Okay, a very small handful of people know about Project V.  Most of those very few are colleagues in the wedding industry, and of course my incredibly supportive fiancé (loves you!).  You’d think that I’d be dying to share this to those whom I hold nearest to my heart, and you’re right.  I’ve wanted to tell them all so badly, but you know what?   I felt like most of my big goals and dreams don’t really come true after I’d announced them to my family and friends. I couldn’t figure out why this pattern persisted. Finally, I’ve found the proof!  Check out this video via TED.com for more details.

This secret’s between you and me now.   So sshhh…

R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H (Find Out What It Means To Me)

I’ve never been my own boss or even had my own office (just a lowly cubicle worker).  Being a CPA, I’ve only been in a corporate environment and played along with a predetermined “ladder of success” – associate, senior associate, manager, senior manager and the ever-exclusive partner title.  I could get an MBT or MBA, but we all know that additional education means more money.  Money I don’t have to spare (venues don’t come cheap).


Post 3

Image via Barnes and Noble


Instead, I’ve chosen to replace it with good old fashioned, elbow-greased research.  I read Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio.  True to my eco-friendly and money-saving mantras, I borrowed the book from the local library.

Unfortunately, I felt that the advice given in the book was too broad; what I was reading seemed to be common sense solutions, stuff I already knew.  However, in my opinion, here are a the most helpful takeaways from the book:

a)     When searching for a commercial property, check with the city and/or county first for “incubator” properties.  Some jurisdictions will give you subsidies for developing in certain areas.

b)    Be sure to consider the security of the property and its surrounding areas (especially important for females)

c)     If you’re renting a property, consider the common areas you may have to share with other tenants and who is paying for the upkeep of it (e.g. entryways, restrooms, toilet paper/towels, etc.)

d)    Again for renters, you have to consider a landlord’s flexibility regarding decorating the place.  Are you allowed to paint the walls?

e)     Inquire about tenant improvement budgets (i.e. how much is the landlord willing to spend to build out what you want)

f)     Annual rent increases

g)     If you decide to raise capital for your business through loans, make sure you have a plan for how that money will be spent once you acquire it.

h)    Register your website so that it will show up in web searches through websites such as www.addme.com

i)      Check with the city/county ordinance to see if health permits are required for your line of business

j)      If a property is open to the public, then a fire department permit is required

k)    Some cities require sign permits for putting up signs, so again, check with the local authorities on this one

All-in-all the book was not a terrible read.  I got some information out of it, and the introduction was definitely empowering.  Sometimes we just need a healthy reminder that goals are worth fighting for.