It has been a very long week. Seriously, most days this week, I had to think about what day it was and if I had eaten lunch yet. My years of professional experience was what got me through the client work, nothing else as my gas tank was hovering on less than 1/4 tank.
Dramatics aside, we surprised each other at the meeting. I talked for over 80% of it about my philosophy of doing business, what I built it on, how it has been changing in the last 6 years, how I have been simpifying my life and household in the last 3 years, how the new fee guideline conflicts with how I would like to manage my business expenses, how I am looking for more control over my business.
Bottom line, when I ran the numbers from Jan to now and for the rest of the year plus where I'd like to be 2 years from now, it doesn't work for me.
How could they not see this coming?! Ah, that's right. Because they judge power by what one wears, what one drives. As I am not into showing off and drive a 13 yr old car, neither of them know about my properties or my lifestyle. So to them, I'm a dependent in quasi self employment shoes they "own". I did however, show up wearing all black :)
The back peddling started. No, they weren't trying to back me into a corner. No, they do not want me to leave. They have always (right!) believed in creating a place where different business people could run the type of practice they wanted. They didn't want a clone of them (right!).
I decided to give them my pitch.
I told them that should we were meeting for the first time today and I was an existing business owner in town looking for a new place to hold my small business, this is what I would be looking for... would you be able to accommodate this new business model?
They admitted they had never considered anyone who would want to practice this way. I didn't think I was asking for a flight to the moon. Just a few rooms, reception, perhaps billing service -- A hybrid model.
Here's where I think I sold it too well.
What they would gain would be my prime time real estate. Right now I hold the best group of times and space for doing business. If they could build/arrange a new space for me, then I would be freeing up that area whereby they could rent it to a more "conventional" full time business whereby their cut would be higher.
They liked it and I saw light bulbs go on and eyes get slightly bigger. They aren't very good with the poker face.
I was asked if I had a number in mind. I didn't (other than "much lower") as I really didn't think they would go for it. As we ran out of time, we will be reconvening next week with numbers for 3 scenarios from least to most services provided.
I waver between wondering if I did the right thing by pitching them my new idea and signing myself up for another week of this or if it would have been easier having it end right there.
I'll be sending a summary of our discussion as well as a guideline to further negotiation/discussion which will make it necessary for them to accept that I will be paying my current rates month to month to a maximum of 3 months (thanks I'd rather be sailing!) until we come to a resolution. Should they not accept the above, an appropriate exit strategy will be put in place. Those are the conditions for my continued participation.
Meanwhile, I've been spending the other waking hours fine tuning my home office idea. Whether it end up being here or elsewhere, the same preparations need to be made.
D is up at the cottage this weekend surveying the plumber's work (they fixed it and water pressure is normal) and doing the big spring cleaning. I'm going to do my best to take the weekend off -- which will likely mean working at only 50% capacity on the business :)