The light, once again, at the end of the tunnel.
1- I'm not, I don't think, dead. 2- I AM, however, crazy swamped. Like, 60+ hours-per-week swamped. 3- For the first time since the Great Recession started -- do the math(s) -- I have just sent my first client invoice with an expectation that chemical traces of $ may be the answer. (It's as much as I used to clear in a week back-in-the-day, but happy nonetheless.) It is remarkably, scandalously Not Fun to be, by several orders of magnitude, a former 1%er. Still, glad that there is a suspicion of improvement in things. It is at this point in the proceedings I 'splain to you (in an entertaining and interesting way, one hopes) some of the more technical aspects of my day job, briefly. In this gig you are supposed to have, ideally, a network of people. These people bring certain things: financial resources, expertise/influence in a given sphere and their own network. So, here's an example of how these things work: You are contacted by someone who has been sent your way. You meet. You discuss the project they are undertaking. A new widget, say. They need funds to launch, for widget R&D, a new facility, etc. You say you can help not only in "placing" their project but in -- watch this, now -- placing it with investors who can also bring to bear their expertise/influence in a given sphere and their own network. What's called a "strategic" or "synergic" investor. Someone for whom the widget would fit nicely in a product range carried by his pharmacies, say. For getting ready all the stuff to pitch to the various investors, you charge a tiny bit, just a few billable hours. Then the deal is consummated and for placing it you clip off a small percentage of the funds provided. Three-point-something is the usual. But! You also have provided (and will provide) the client with strategic advice to make the sale of the widgets far more profitable than expected, for which you are compensated with X shares in the XYZ Widget Co. and next thing you know, you are a one-percenter. People are now free to accuse you of wrenching morsels of bread from the trembling lips of the proletariat, dressing like the guy in the Monopoly game and generally swanking about like a plutocrat, oppressing the rabble like a King Louis XVI and enforcing a caste system. Until, of course, you run into a "Leo" one day. The real problem with such a "Leo" is that not only are you clipped to the tune of eleventy squillion dollars, but all your network -- those guys with financial resources, expertise/influence in a given sphere and their own network -- evaporates overnight. They may still like you, they may still talk to you socially, they may not hold it against you (much) that their investment was wiped out, but they will definitely not work with you again. That, friends, takes much time from which to recover. How much time? Four years, by my calendar, to see the first inkling of normalcy. By the time is all said and done, it'll probably be five years before you're looking at being where you were before Krakatoa. -J.