Reverb 2011 – When did you struggle?

Quite a bit, actually. This year was funny in that way.

I opened 2011 with money saved and no good ways to earn, so by the end of January I was a little tense from the work-search. On January 27th, two crazy, simultaneously-strugglesome-but-opportunityesque things happened.

1. My boss at The 1010 Project told me that he’d be leaving very, very soon. I would be the only paid staff (aside from our part-time Country Director in Kenya). At that time I’d been hanging around as a consultant with a stipend. Anything could have happened – maybe I’d become Executive Director, maybe we’d find someone else, maybe the organization would shut its doors. But we rolled through. The Board crowned me Director of Operations (a part-time employee) and tasked me with guiding us during the transition.

2.  Spotted Koi, a web development firm whose principal I was friendly with, offered me another part time position. This meant doing some project management stuff for online things here and there.

Suddenly, my calendar was a LOT more full, and my bank account wasn’t hemorrhaging quite as massively. But then came April, and TAX SEASON.

For the second half of 2010, I basically earned all my money as a contractor, i.e. I did not pay taxes. Suddenly, I was staring down the barrel of a considerably large payment to the IRS. I hired an accountant and set about trying to make sense of the previous year’s expenses and payments. Luckily, we worked my dues down to a slightly lower level, but it was still enough to wreck me. April and May were not pleasant, as I dodged student loans and cut back on food budgets.

I went to Kenya for a few weeks in June to lead a group of high schoolers on an Engaged Learning Experience with The 1010 Project, which is not the easiest thing to do, but it did provide some breathing room.

I spent the rest of the summer and early fall with Jackie, hiking and camping around our beautiful state. That wasn’t a strugglesome part, but I will mention it in a later REVERB post, I’m sure.

And then to wrap the year up, I started Denver Seitan Company with Mark Mann and another dude. Launching a company, especially one that requires me to cook food and distribute it is a wildly nuts thing to do.

Also, it was goddamn cold today and my bike rides to and from the office were fraught with misery.

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