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Norrick Throws In the Towel; Goes Out of Business

The last 15 months have been the most humiliating and painful of my life.

It all started when I lost my job on Valentine's Day 2003. I had just bought a new house and a new car. The two big purchases left me totally wiped out, but my income at the time was high enough that I anticipated being able to recoup in a couple of months. I had recently been assured that I had a future at that company; I didn't see the layoff coming at all. It was a tremendous blow, both financially and emotionally.

I immediately started hustling my ass to find work, any work. I scored maybe $10,000 of work in that first 6 months; understand that I had grown accustomed to earning almost $50,000 in that same period. I cashed out my retirement account to keep things going. By the time I found a poorly-paying subcontracting gig in September, my savings were gone. Since September, anchored by that subcontracting gig, I've been getting a steadier stream of work. But it's been extremely frustrating and low-paying work.

I'm tired of working with clients who have no budget. I'm tired of killing myself to find projects and not even managing enough billables to match my old salary. I'm tired of being treated disrespectfully by clients who do not understand the value of technology in their businesses. I'm tired of being nickel-and-dimed at every turn.

I used to work with big companies, Fortune 500 companies. I used to work with smart clients and smart co-workers. I used to make good money and enjoy kick-ass benefits. I used to lead interesting projects that impacted thousands of people. I developed a damn good skillset for myself, combining development abilites with project management skills.

Now? My little consulting business is stable, sure. But it is stable at a level that is personally insulting and professionally unsatisfying to me.

I had entertained the idea of developing a product I could release, so I would not have to rely so completely on uber-volatile custom software development work. But in truth, I just don't care anymore. This is an absolutely miserable existence.

Money and respect; that's what I wanted most out of my career. I used to have both. Right now I have neither. I used to enjoy the work itself. Now I don't.

So that's it. I'm done. Finitio. I do not want to do this anymore.

I'm closing my consulting business as soon as I can find a suitable job. I don't even care if it is a job in the software development world, or the world of tech at all, for that matter.

I feel ashamed of myself for failing to make self-employment work out better. I feel - dare I say it - like a loser.

This is failed business #5 for me. I dont think I'm going to attempt a 6th.

Norrick
Friday, May 14, 2004

Ever think of starting a worm farm?

Harry & Lloyd
Friday, May 14, 2004

Damn! That really sucks. Hang in there man, things will get better.

Don't feed of your apathy. What kind of work are you looking at? What are you going to do in the near future?

Prakash S
Friday, May 14, 2004

You're going to have to grab the finances by the horns, here.  You know that right?  Cash out of the house while you still have equity, because if you get forclosed on, you'll be at the mercy of the bank.

I'd sell the car too and buy a $500 beater to get around in.  Doing something active to get ahead of the curve is your best and only option.  Being free of high monthly expenses (do as I say, not as I do) will immediately help you gain perspective.  You won't be dependent on the whims of your employer.

If you're married, you need to get a plan together with your spouse and quickly get on the same page, or you're writing a plan for disaster...

hoser
Friday, May 14, 2004

> Ever think of starting a worm farm?

This is either some bad joke or the worst reply on a pretty serious topic I saw since months.

(I'm sorry Norrick, I'm not really into the US market so I can't give you much advice myself)

Jilles Oldenbeuving
Friday, May 14, 2004

Norrick....

The Road to Success is Paved with Failure.

Try something else!  How about looking into affiliate programs online & building a few sites to promote the products or services or even build your own storefront using merchant's xml feeds for prod info/ordering.  Keep failing, eventually you will succeed - the odds of failing 100% of the time are low! 

"You can do it!" - from The Waterboy
http://www.moviesoundscentral.com/sounds/waterboy/do_it.wav

I'm in the middle of trying this...
Friday, May 14, 2004

If it's any consolation, I've got a lot of respect for anyone who's started 5 businesses - even if they didn't pan out.

It would be worthwhile for you to take a look at your business plan and identify where it failed.  Identify the reasons that were within your control and those outside of your control.  Also, identify the things you learned in the process. That way, you'll be ready to discuss it logically in a job interview if you're asked (and if I were the interviewer, I would ask).

Good luck.

yet another anon
Friday, May 14, 2004

Thank you for your post Norrick. I've been in a similar position, and for me the hardest loss was the pride. It's a tough thing to swallow.

I found it almost unbearable when being told I was "overqualified", when looking for any job that would pay the car bills.

Good luck, friend.

Edward
Friday, May 14, 2004

If you don't mind me asking, Norrick, where do you work?

Also, I'm sorry to hear about this.    However, there's something I don't understand.  Did you immediately decide to go into consulting after being laid off or did you fall back on it after not finding a "regular" job at another company?

Crimson
Friday, May 14, 2004

Also, don't busy yourself with trying to get respect from other people.

Crimson
Friday, May 14, 2004

Norrick, I know exactly how you feel. I don't know what kind of person is right for running a business, but I've learned from experience that I'm not one. I tried to start a company years ago, and it is an exercise in frustration. The longer I did it, the more I found myself getting futher away from what I really like to do.

Don't be ashamed that your not that type of person. I myself have come to the conclusion that I need to be insulated from business realities for maximum happiness. All I want to do is be an engineer, and I'll be happy to make someone else rich if they can pay me well and let me concetrate on my strengths.

ronk!
Friday, May 14, 2004

"However, there's something I don't understand.  Did you immediately decide to go into consulting after being laid off or did you fall back on it after not finding a "regular" job at another company?"

I fell back on it after not being able to find a regular job.  I had to do something to get dollars in the door.

Norrick
Friday, May 14, 2004

Firstly, I don't view it as a failed business.  It has sustained you through these many months of disaster.  Your innovation and adaption to perservere through such moments is incredible enough; and often attribute to building character.

Now while this may sound all good and noble, in truth when the cash dries up, the shit hits the fan, and people either wallow and self-destruct; or kick their own ass to take control and trudge on.

The lay-off experience (and I've been there too)  sucks no matter how you look at it.  But it is your attitude after this fact that makes you or breaks you.

I salute you (no I'm not an officer or shit, but who cares) to basically "not giving up".  Whether you continue on a similar path or not, it sounds like you're smart enough to have a plan and not just become some E.I. bum.

You have a lot you worked for.  These moments make you wonder what are truly the *important* things in life.  Make your choices, take advice with a grain of salt, fuck pride, and continue to build and live your life.

It sucks sometimes.  Sometimes really, really bad.

"But if you're not living; you're dieing".  (or something like that.  Go watch Shawshank Redemption.)

sedwo
Friday, May 14, 2004

""" But in truth, I just don't care anymore. This is an absolutely miserable existence"""

Wish I knew what to tell you, but I feel the same way. Making too much money to quit though.

Steve Burke
Friday, May 14, 2004

"Wish I knew what to tell you, but I feel the same way. Making too much money to quit though. "

And I am making too little to justify the misery.  Arrgh, I say.

Norrick
Friday, May 14, 2004

Novick, that's a bummer.  Hope things work out for you.

If I have any advice, it would be to change your lifestyle first.  You might be surprised as to how little material possessions it actually takes to be happy.  When you scale down the house and the car, it will give you the financial flexibility to take a lower paying job that might compensate in other more fulfilling ways, like respect, feeling of importance and actual usefulness, and possitive co-worker experiences.  Stuff like that is worth a lot of salary to me.

Anyway, for whatever thats worth.

BTW, the line from Shawshank:

"Either get busy living, or get busy dying."

Clay Whipkey
Friday, May 14, 2004

Sorry, .... Norrick.  (not Novick)

Clay Whipkey
Friday, May 14, 2004

Norrick I understand your pain...but from experience everyone has to get over the "Nickel and Dime" hump. To get your foot in the door you have to do it...but if your skills are as good as you say they are...over time your clients *will* understand your value and pay you for that...do not be disheartened.

The product idea is good...you can develop something in your spare time...something you would love to develop and use...but a good brain is a terrible thing to waste. Don't give up so easily...downgrade your car and house and maybe you can survive well till you earn enough to upgrade

Good luck

Code Monkey
Friday, May 14, 2004

Hey Norrick, sorry to hear that.  FWIW, I've always valued the input you've had on this forum. 

Where are you based out of?

I hope things work out.

Joe Blandy
Friday, May 14, 2004

"Hey Norrick, sorry to hear that.  FWIW, I've always valued the input you've had on this forum. 

Where are you based out of?"

Thanks, Joe.  I'm based out of Visalia, CA.

Ah...I see Joel has bold-ified this topic.  Now nobody will miss out on my humiliating tale of frustration and failure.  Nice. 

Thanks, Joel!  ;)

Norrick
Friday, May 14, 2004

"The Road to Success is Paved with Failure"

The road to failure is also paved with failure.

"I've failed five times!  I *MUST* be succeeding!"

Alyosha`
Friday, May 14, 2004

Hey, your posts have been boldified since you began bitching a couple of posts back.

Ok, I've been there too. The job market here in Europe is picking up again, I just had an offer to go on a 1 year contrat to another country, but I sure damn know how you feel. I was fired from a blue-chip on the most lame ass excuse I've ever seen.

Keep your chin up Norrick. Your pride is all you got.

RP
Friday, May 14, 2004

Norrick,

Just remember: you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!

Stuart Smalley
Friday, May 14, 2004

Norrick, you should make your experience known to your political representatives. You're not the only one in this situation and it is clearly wrong. It's not you that's at fault.

With the tenacity you've shown, you might enjoy adifferent line of work such as working as a political staffer or something like that. Those are jobs with the same grief but you don't have to actually deliver any work product as you when running a software business. Much easier.

Also, I second the advice about taking the bold steps to keep your finances steady. When income falls, there's a trap where people eat out all their savings and have no cushions at all.

Good luck Norrick. We all wish you well.

Must be a Manager
Friday, May 14, 2004

Dude, that just sucks.  I hate when people give up, especially people whose opinion I respect.

Go read the most recent article on http://www.dexterity.com/articles/ and maybe it will help.  Maybe not.

Good luck in your future endeavors.  May you find happiness in whatever you finally decide to do.

Aaron F Stanton
Friday, May 14, 2004

One thing I want to make cleat, lest anybody get the idea that I'm wallowing in negativity and/or self pity - I am, as always, committed to excellence in whatever I happen to be doing.  I'm optimistic that I will find some arena in which to be a high acheiver again, even if it's not in the arena of self-employment.

Posting this topic was a nice way for me to feel some closure on something that's been difficult for a long time.  I really appreciate all the feedback, both here on the forum and via eMail.  The JoS crew is awesome, and I'm really pleased to be amongst you.

That said, I spoke to an acquaintance who does business development, and he had some fascinating things to say about "competing against non-consumption" - that is, attempting to service businesses that do not understand how consulting services can benefit their company, and therefore do not consume such services.  As a double whammy, most of the small-to-medium businesses I've been targeting simply do not want very large project; that makes my costs relative to my average project that much larger, and therefore leaves me with no leverage. 

Boy...I should have talked to that guy BEFORE I threw my hat into the market!

You live, you learn, you move on.  I'll be kicking ass and taking names soon enough.  Now, which industry will I do this in?  At the moment the answer to that question is wide open...

Norrick
Friday, May 14, 2004

If you got a little consulting business running, then you were successful in gaining some customers and learned a lot about interacting for business delivery. The fact that your business "failed" doesn't mean anything. It's very hard to get business from nothing and to also develop software. 

You might be good at sales and business development. In whatever field you have background expertise in. Obviously software of some sort would be a candidate for that. You would know more than lots of the bus dev guys that get a lot of money.

Must be a Manager
Saturday, May 15, 2004

When you are not doing well at something you've put your all into there is no shame in cutting your losses.

I'll bet you feel like you've unloaded the world from your shoulders.  Congrats and good luck.

Crusty Admin
Saturday, May 15, 2004

That makes two of us, Norrick! I'm planning to get back to a full time job, 'cause I am also at my wits end. I am sick of people saying "Well done! It's a great idea. I would sure use it in my company. How did you do it? You are brilliant! Sorry, you want money? No can do!", despite my products having a proven track record of 2 years in the market.

But, do not give up. Maybe you are pitching to the wrong people, just as I am. Give it another shot. And another. There _are_ good people in this world.

KayJay
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Norrick,

Statistically speaking your business was destined to fail.

The problem with trying to start a custom software development consulting business nowadays is:

-  Most individuals don't have a chance in hell of landing even one project with a big fish type of client (i.e. medium-to-large size corporation).

-  Most small businesses don't need your services and those that do can't/won't pay you what you need to make a profit.

Question: What are you going to do now?


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Norrick, are you in the position to organize your small business assets and sell it? What are some things you are thinking of doing to clean things up after?

On a more future note, will you be going back to school? Are you thinking of getting a somewhat unrelated degree? Or maybe find a non-computer business (but be accidentally really great at solving computer problems in that venture) to own and run? Are you going to temp doing administrative jobs? What are some other trades you know?

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Norrick,

Failure is a word that doesn't exist in my vocabulary.  A missile has a guidance mechanism that allows it to change course slightly in flight to remain on target.  A missile may correct course a hundred times to stay on target.  Is each correction a "failure"?  Of course not, business is the same way.

You have to want to be in business to succeed in business.  The price of admission is steep.  I'm finally beginning to hit paydirt in business, but this is after 3 years and changing my business plan about five or so times midstream.  In fact, the current iteration of my business is far removed from the original concept, and was conceived and implemented in about a weeks time.  The previous 2 years of business development were just dropped, although the shell company and the skills, and the relationships were salvaged.

I also was miserable at one point.  I determined that long, extended onsite projects made me miserable and testy with clients, and that travelling via airplane on a frequent basis was a bummer.

So those elements have been removed, and now I have almost unlimited growth opportunities in my local area, and have reps in other cities for muliplier growth there.

Point is this, business is evolution, take what works, throw away what doesn't, don't be afraid to completely change what you're doing as long as you're moving in a direction that is sensible and profitable.

JT
Saturday, May 15, 2004

I think JT is suggesting that you refactor your business.

Good advice.

Mr. Analogy
Saturday, May 15, 2004

If you're at all interested in VR you might want to email me. My employer is trying to increase the software side of our business as well as just increase in size. Not sure how good a fit you would be/how well we would fit you but you never know.
tim

tim
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Dear Norrick,

In the past, I lost my job in September 2001, two days after the 9/11 tragedy. What followed for the next 14  months was an ordeal. I do not have words to describe those days. I am sure you're going through a difficult time. I did too, but please don't give up. Keep the faith. These days will only give you something good and go.

My life was filled with darkness. I had no money in my bank account. Thankfully, we just had food to last us  each day. I would borrow a few tens of rupees from my mother and spend my days in a cyber cafe on a  Visual Basic forum, helping other coders. I didn't know of anything else to do. Beside that, I kept looking for  employment opportunities, which were almost non-existent then. I had no friends, I've never had any. I had  no one to talk to. When I rang my ex-colleagues, some would just have a kind word to say in between their  busy day. But mostly, they had little time for me. Some would poke fun at me between themselves. I would  retire home everyday, with a heavy-heart, not knowing what to tell my parents. Day after day, I'd ask my  mom for money so I could spend some time in the cafe. I'd asked the cafe owner to install Visual Studio on a  machine that he reserved for me. I'd sit there 10 to 14 hours a day, and either write code or help others on the  forum.

On some days, I'd hang a bag filled with copies of my resume on my shoulder and trudge the streets going  door to door looking for a job, both for me and my sister.

I was very fond of going to theatres to watch movies, but those days, I couldn't dream of doing it even. Some  days, I would just go and sit outside the theatre and watch people squander away money, and feel hapless  about it.

I knew I was a skilled developer, better than many others who have their jobs intact. But ironically, there was  no place for me in the bread-earning world. What I learnt from those days is that it is only most common to  see talented people starve of material success. To succeed, more important than talent is perseverance. One  has to learn to persevere. Things will look up, I am not only hoping that for you. I very well know that. I  know that sooner than you think, an opportunity will grab hold of you, because it is eagerly awaiting your  arrival in time just as much as you are anxious to meet it. Please hang on and keep the faith. There has to be  a dawn after darkness.

What limits the conveyance of the horrible experience is that today, I know in hindsight that it was a  measurable time-frame of 14 months. But back then, you just did not know how long this was going to take.  You'd have to face everyday with the same beravement and remorse. Everyday would usher in a new wave  of mystical sorrow, where your only hope was God, and all you could do was just take it. You just had to live everyday. You had to keep breathing in and breathing out. Sometimes, you'd just loose hope. Other times, you'd just not want to fight it anymore. Gradually, the guilt of not bringing home any money, the guilt of being truthful and naive where diplomacy was warranted, the guilt of not fulfilling your personal goals was just too much to weigh on a breast weakened by the blows of mistforune. I recall, in desperation, my destitution led me to seek recourse on the Visual Basic forum, just as you do here now. I detailed my plight to my fellow-brothers there, saying I would accept the work of even washing dishes if someone was kind enough to let me do that for some money.

Often, my mother would console me. Sometimes, it'd be my sister heeding to my woeful complaint. And  they would not show the slightest tinge of expectation from me. In my heart, I knew how deeply effected  they were. I just kept breathing in and breathing out. I prayed. I just prayed. I didn't know if there ever  would be another day when I would see myself formally attired walking to the office as casually as I  used to.

After 6 months, I got an offer from the parent of one of my students whom I used to tutor Accountancy to. He  ran an export firm and offered me to write software for them and look after other activities such as shipping  documentation, supervising accounts, shop floor control and such. And all that for a paltry Rs.10,000 a month. I worked with blue-collars. I jumped at the opportunity not having anything else to do. Man, I worked like a factotum. I would ask my father questions about fabrics in use, search the net for resources on fabric science, do their merchandising, and also write software. I wrote a lot of apps for them in 8 months, some small and one large one.

I followed every opportunity and waited for things to look up. Luck wasn't on my side. There were hardly  any jobs anywhere. The market was in the drains, and there was nothing to look up to.  When I got a few  calls, something or the other would happen to spoil my chances. Bizzare things happened. I got selected  once at HCL Technologies as well as IBM sometime during December 2002. And on a Christmas party, the  HR fellows incidently met each other through a common friend. Of all the things in the world, imagine, they  started talking about the new guys who had come for interviews at their companies, and I was braught up in  that conversation. And I don't know what happened that they made fun of something about me, and none of  them called me ever again. I was told this by the common friend they had, Soni, who was in college with me.

One day, I got a call from the first place I had applied to in September 2001 after having lost my job. They  had first rejected me earlier because I told them the truth about why I had lost my job. They called me this time for Rs.30,000 a month. This was a purely software development and I was waiting for it. Simultaneously, I got a call from my current employer. I joined that job while my current employers were busy processing my application. They took about two and a half-months and then gave me a call. Gradually things began to look up and life was all on track again.

Today, I'm actually planning the same thing: buying a new house and a car in the coming month. And both are going to be financed.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Saturday, May 15, 2004

---"Failure is a word that doesn't exist in my vocabulary"-----

You don't run the Department of Defense by any chance do you?

Stephen Jones
Saturday, May 15, 2004


Norrick,

Regardless of what you decide to do with your business, don't lose sight of what you have learned through the experience.

I know that sounds trite, but after my first business failed I felt just like you did. I felt ashamed, like a failure and like I had let people down. There was a period of "mourning", but after I was able to really think rationally about it, I realized how much I learned about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses and most importantly..what I learned about other people.

In hindsight, I can see that my failure was actually one of the best things to happen to me. The things that I learned could have only been taught by experience.

Several years later, I began work as a consultant and the experience that I gained while running my own business allowed me to have a much greater insight into my client's business needs. Had I not failed like I did, I don't think I would have been as successful as a consultant.

My success as a consultant helped launch me into exactly the type of business you are in today. The relationships that I made in the past, and more importantly, the ability to understand and solve their problems has fueled my the growth of my business.

I say all that only to point out that my failure in the past was actually the beginning of my success today.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that after some time that you'll look back on this experience and see how much you've really learned.

Mark Hoffman
Saturday, May 15, 2004

We learn more from failure than from success.

We pay attention when we fail. It hurts so we try to figure out how to not have it happen again.

When we succeed we just chock it up to the inevitability of our own success.


Of course, there are people who always blame thier failure on the world and thier success on themselves. It's tempting will won't lead to success the next time.

Success is the result of learning from experience. Experience happens chiefly through trial and error (i.e., lots of failing).

Mr. Analogy
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Well, all that stress, disappointment and grief, and yet, you don't have a single cancer cell in your body.. I'd say, you are a winner!  ;)

Be happy that you have your health.

grunt
Saturday, May 15, 2004

> I had no friends, I've never had any.

Satyaish, surely this can't be literall ytrue, right? I mean, you at leas thad friends in school, right? Or growing up? How could you have never had any friends unless you were badly crippled and lived in an iron lung, or perhaps raised in a basement or in the woods?

Everyone has had friends at some point in their life. Does friend have some special meaning in india that is different from the west?

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I think by 'friend', Sathyaish is referring to real friends. Those who will stick with you through thick and thin. You'll only know your true friends when you're down and out. Nice story by the way, Sathyaish.

Napoleon Hill's Law of Success volume has a whole section devoted to 'Failure', and that it is an important component of success, because we learn the most from losses rather than victories.

robtwister
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Boo hoo, Norrick.

So you can no longer earn 100k a year.  The vast majority your fellow citizens have never even managed to reach that level of income.

Maybe you have to face the fact that you are just one of those turkeys that was around when the wind blew hard enough.  Just hope you make it past Thanksgiving.

For many they could only aspire to where you are now, so forgive us if we have trouble drumming up some sympathy.

You don't need sympathy, you need some reality.

I miss Bella
Sunday, May 16, 2004

And maybe he's a decent guy who does a good job and has been forced to troll around in suburb land because most of the new jobs were given to H1B's or shipped to India.

Who's Bella?
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Compare Norrick's problems ("personally insulting and professionally unsatisfying") with Sathyaish Chakravarthy's ("we just had food to last us  each day"). 

Aren't the developers in India decent guys who do good work?   

Check the archives
Sunday, May 16, 2004

>Compare Norrick's problems ("personally insulting and professionally unsatisfying") with Sathyaish Chakravarthy's ("we just had food to last us  each day"). 

>Aren't the developers in India decent guys who do good work?

I wouldn't know what you'd have meant by that comment. But whatever I said is true. May be you're trying to say, it wasn't all that pertinent in the context of Norrick's problems. I wouldn't know.

And Dennis, I don't know why I've not had friends. I really don't. May be, I haven't had evenings outside of office, that's why. I was braught up in an ashram in South India, where we were encouraged to keep silent and conserve energy. So I didn't learn to mix up. And I turned very studious after my 12th standard. Not that I was studying my textbooks, but mostly reading outside stuff. And from the 12th standard onwards, reading the Bhagwad Gita, My Experiments With Truth (Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography) and a whole lot of other stuff like An Autobiography of a yogi (Paramahamsa Yogananda), the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, they had a bearing on my disposition. They led me inward. To top that, the job of a software developer is more sedentary (spelling) and makes on sedative. Not so good with words but I hope you understand what I mean.

I learnt yesterday, that the threads I posted didn't show up on JoS anymore. I guessed I might have gone a little overboard cussing on one thread and eventually had myself checked. It made me so sad throughout the rest of the day and till now. Thanks, Joel, for undeleting this post.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sathyaish Chakravarthy,

My criticism was not aimed at you.  I think your post was extremely relevant.  However, Norrick's level of despair is not even close to what you have experienced.

My point was that for those who have to work hard just to eek out an existance it is distasteful to listen to somebody bellyaching because they don't find their stable business professionaly satisfying.

I sometimes think America could do with another depression so that they could get a proper perspective on things.

I miss Bella
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hold on a minute there. Norrick at no time claimed his troubles equated to those of people struggling for food. As a participant of a prosperous Western economy, he was commenting on the situation he found himself in.

By the way, he has bigger financial commitments that a person in a developing nation, and inability to pay them can lead to a situation not far removed from a starving villager.

Let's not confuse the topics.

Who's Bella?
Sunday, May 16, 2004

There's more to life than money.  Hey, at least you're not shoveling dirt or selling strawberries on the street corner, Norrick.  Now that's HARD work.

Joe
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Illai! Illai! enbavarku kavalai illai
Anaal,
Irundhum illai enbavarku endrum amaidhi illai

"Illai" --> "Do not have"
"enbavarku" --> "for such people"
"kavalai" --> "Worry"/"Unhappiness"/"Distress"
"Anaal" --> "But"
"Irundhum" --> "Had"
"Endrum" --> "Always"
"Amaidhi" --> "Peace"/"Contentment"

It is very diificult and downright painful to get to terms with monetary lacunae and personal under-achievement, having tasted success in both, however fleeting that may be.

On the other hand, Grit. Guts. Glory. The Grit part is where most of us fail. Been there, am doing that. It is *not* a pleasant situation. Thanks to Joel, I now know I am not alone, but that does not lessen the feeling of dejection.

Norrick, Mr. Joel Spolsky notwithstanding, good luck with your "refactoring".

KayJay
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I don't feel for this Norrick character.  Let me ask you how much you made last year Norrick?  I bet you it was a hell of lot more than most people.

You don't deserve jack shit.  You need a good swift kick in your ass.  I can't seem to advance myself above shit shoveler and you complain about something so trivial as "professional satisfaction."

Get real.  Or better yet, get a real job.  One where you actually have to work to make a measly amount of change.  I think you'd change your attitude in a second.

I'd bet I could live the rest of my life on your salary... until I became a greedy bastard like you.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

You know...I was wondering when the personal attacks would show up.  I'm very impressed that it took so long.  Thankfully, the few negativists do not reflect the majority of JoS posters.

To "I miss Bella" and "SOB", I can only say that you've a) read waaaaay more into my post than I ever intended, and b) despite reading more into it than was actually there, you managed to miss the point of the post.

At its most basic, my story is that of a guy who set a goal for himself, busted his ass in an attempt to reach it, failed, and is now frustrated, trying to figure out where he went off the tracks. 

That's an experience that can happen to anyone, from a CEO to a developer to a janitor.  Of course, I understand that for those who have poor attitudes and the need to tear other people down for reasons of personal satisfaction, it's not really about me personally - I just happen to be the guy who stuck his head up in view of the would-be snipers.

So you can criticize me, make snide comments about how much money I make (which isn't nearly as much as you're probably thinking), and so on - go right ahead.  Just remember that in doing so, you ignore the basic fact that we all have goals and we all feel the need to excel in some way.  In slamming me you're slamming everyone who ever tried to improve their life and came up short.  To tear a guy down for trying to improve his lot in life (even when he fails to do so) speaks volumes about you, none of it good. 

I want to make the most of my abilities.  I want to do right by my family - provide them a safe neighborhood to live in, reliable transportation, the ability to see a doctor when they need to, and a comfortable home.  I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where this is all possible, which makes it even more disappointing when I fail to pull it off.

If you think that makes me a bad guy, well...I can live with that.  ;)

Norrick
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I don't tear you down for personal satisfaction.  I tear you down because I see a whining, sniveling person who continuously complains about problems most people wish they had.  Your post is one big excuse for yourself.  If you're making a living then you have nothing to complain about.  If you're living above your means then live a little lower.  Hell even if you're making $30k per year, that's more than I have ever seen.  I'd bet you're making a hell of lot more than that.

I have a perfectly fine attitude BTW, but spoiled brats like you piss me off.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

SOB you have no concept of economics, evident both in your obvious belief that it's a zero-sum-game, and failing to realize that it is entrepreneurialship like Norrick's (or at least what he initially displayed) that made the First World Nations what they are - vibrant economic zones where the rising waters lift all ships (I mean poverty now means "Only a NTSC 27" TV").

.
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Actually, I'm well educated and well versed in economics and am just being an SOB for the hell of it.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

"I tear you down because I see a whining, sniveling person who continuously complains about problems most people wish they had."

Which problems are those?

"Hell even if you're making $30k per year, that's more than I have ever seen.  I'd bet you're making a hell of lot more than that."

How is the amount of money you earn relevant to how much anybody should be earning?

"I have a perfectly fine attitude BTW, but spoiled brats like you piss me off."

How is a guy who has been busting ass in his chosen profession for 11 years spoiled?

Sounds as though you're upset about your own failure to acheive.  And that, my friend, has nothing to do with me.

Norrick
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I'm not your friend.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Heh-heh-heh.  I forgot one:

"Your post is one big excuse for yourself. "

Now, maybe you just got excited and started posting before you had read my whole post, but the last line:

"But being in denial about my own failure isn't going to help me; may as well admit it to myself now and deal with it."

sure sounds as though I'm accepting the blame for my failure, rather than making excuses.  Don't you think?  And in a later post I even mention that I chose the wrong market to target - another acceptance of my own errors.

You're cracking me up, friend.  If what you say about your own failure to acheive is true, then your words are truly weightless - after all, why should anyone care what a guy who's never acheived excellence in anything has to say about another guy who has spent the past decade acheiving excellence, even he has fallen on his face recently?  ;)

Anyway, SOB...I'm sure you'll be perfectly disappointed to hear that I have changed my mind - I AM going to continue doing business, at least until the end of the year.  I am going to seek some good mentoring from people who are better than I am at running a business, and hopefully I will manage to build up my business to the point where I am not losing money every month (which is where I am now).

And if I manage to turn my long hours, sweat and struggle into something worthwhile, I'm sure there will still be knuckleheads like you who will call me spoiled.

*chuckling*

Norrick
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Damnit!  I'm not your friend.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Whatever you say, compadre.  ;)

Norrick
Sunday, May 16, 2004

You're a good man Norrick.  Don't let anyone tell you different.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

"why should anyone care what a guy who's never acheived excellence in anything has to say about another guy who has spent the past decade acheiving excellence"

This is why people are taking shots are you.  Pure arrogance.  Learn some humility.

I miss Bella
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sathyaish,

Very interesting about the ashram. I would say that qualifies as a cultural influence during your upbringing that strongly contributed to the friends thing. Reminds my of a friend I have who was raised out in the middle of Africa by missionary parents. His first language was that weird clicky one. When he was 18, he left his parents and came to the US wher ehe had nnever been but was a citizen. He got a degree in Classical Studies and then went on to be a developer, something he had never studied but had an aptitude for. Even today, he lives by himself in a small studio in the mountains outside of Denver, eating spartanly while meditating and going for long walks in the woods.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, May 16, 2004

"This is why people are taking shots are you.  Pure arrogance.  Learn some humility. "

Admitting my own failure isnt good enough for you?  ;)

Norrick
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Having no friends isn't all that uncommon.  I have no friends outside of family.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

SOB and I miss Bella, are you actually Bella? If so, stop taking out your own frustrations on your Norrick. You couldn't make it in IT, but others do.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

I've always had friends. Friends have saved my life, friend have helped me when I was lost and friends have given me jobs when I thought all was lost.

Damn, without friends I was dead.

RP
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I'm as good as dead.

SOB
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Norrick, I agree with Sedwo. It got money in the door and (presumably) you have kept your house and car. Sure, find a job if that's what makes you happy, but there's no way that this was a failure.


Monday, May 17, 2004

Norrick,

I think you need a breader. Try some manual labor for a change. Maybe you'll even like it. If not, chances are you'll be back in the game in 6 months and appreciate the business again.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, May 17, 2004

"Admitting my own failure isnt good enough for you?  ;) "

Try recognising your own good fortune.

I miss Bella
Monday, May 17, 2004

Norrick,

Your experiences make a dipressing read for those of us who dream about being our own bosses.  Look's like the grass isn't always greener.

Glad to hear your going to persevere.  After all, you have been able to build up a stable business during the lean times.

Ged Byrne
Monday, May 17, 2004


"Try recognising your own good fortune"

And here we have a specimen of the classic "I hate anyone who wants more out of life than me" person.

Note the bitterness and resentment they show to anyone who tries to succeed. See the derision they display for those who do better than they? Those are classic symptoms of people that have an unfortunate combination of laziness or ineptness and jealousy.

While these creatures are quite common, much akin to a cockroach and they do have an ability to spread disease they are as inconsequential as most insects and can easily be crushed or ignored.

I dislike losers
Monday, May 17, 2004

That was sure a quick transition from "I'm throwing in the towel" to "fuck you all, I'm going to keep going!"

Glad to hear it, though. Best of luck.

Jimmy Jo-jo
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"That was sure a quick transition from "I'm throwing in the towel" to "fuck you all, I'm going to keep going!""

I got some good counseling from some people I respect.  I'm going to try a couple of things to re-tool and attract a different clientele.  COnsider it a temporary stay of execution.  ;)

Norrick
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Good for you, man.

Go for the people who can afford your services and are smart enough to realize they need them.

Now, as to who they might be?  Can't help ya there.  :)

Best of luck, I hope it works out well.

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Good luck with everything.  Life is like a sine curve, and right now you're at -.6    Actually, maybe life is more like y= -cos(x)  b/c you do start out filthy and bloody and crying.



First, you didn't mention if you have a wife, if she works, and if you have kids.  These are vital factors when assessing your circumstances and options.


> I'm tired of working with clients who have no budget.

Figure this out *before* doing any work.

> . I'm tired of being treated disrespectfully by clients who do not understand the value of technology in their businesses.

Then don't oversell your services to clients that do not want them.

> I used to work with big companies, Fortune 500 companies.

Find a way to get back inside those firms.  Leverage your email Rolodex.


> I had entertained the idea of developing a product I could release

Don't bother, unless you have a very clear plan of how it wil make you money.


> I lost my job on Valentine's Day 2003. I had just bought a new house and a new car

Some would consider it irresponsible to be financing large purchases in the throes of an IT recession. 

Bella
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"Some would consider it irresponsible to be financing large purchases in the throes of an IT recession.  "

Maybe you missed there part where I said:

"I had recently been assured that I had a future at that company; I didn't see the layoff coming at all. "

Norrick
Thursday, May 20, 2004

> "I had recently been assured that I had a future at that company; I didn't see the layoff coming at all. "

1)How much time elapsed b/w the reassurance and the layoff?
2) What did this person who reassured you say when you were laid off? 

Bella
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"Some would consider it irresponsible to be financing large purchases in the throes of an IT recession.  "

The master at work.  Tell it how it is!

I missed Bella!
Friday, May 21, 2004

"I had recently been assured that I had a future at that company; I didn't see the layoff coming at all. "

There is no surer sign of impending doom than when the management start to assure people that there jobs are safe.

Ged Byrne
Friday, May 21, 2004

"1)How much time elapsed b/w the reassurance and the layoff?"

About three weeks.


"2) What did this person who reassured you say when you were laid off? "

"We can't afford you."

Norrick
Saturday, May 22, 2004

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