For a startup, money doesn’t solve problems, it just changes them

We finally locked up funding for my company. There are some catches, though, and one of them is that we can't use the funding to pay back debt.

This is a problem because our company has been out of money, pretty much, since November. We have revenue, but not enough to cover operating expenses. So we've all given up a portion of our salary for a while now. And we stopped paying rent. And we didn't pay freelancers, (which meant that for the past months, any time something broke, it was very high stakes because we couldn’t hire someone to fix it.)

The lack of money got so bad that one day I was driving to Chicago to meet an investor but the company credit card (which is really Ryan Healy's credit card) was declined. And I didn't have money for gas. So I had to drive back to the Brazen Careerist office and get money from Ryan Paugh, who is the only person in the company who has any sort of financial cushion in his life. But he only had $20, which is not enough to get to Chicago, so the investor had to meet me in Milwaukee. And buy me lunch.

The no-money thing has also been stressful at home. At first I cut back on stuff that was not a good idea. Like, cut back on the vet for our two new kittens, and then it turns out they are not that new, at least to the world, because one got the other pregnant. And now it's really expensive because we have to have a cat abortion.

So I looked for more innocuous cutbacks and thought of my ex-husband. I am supposed to be paying him $250 every month for two years. But he already sort of lives in my house anyway. Because I'm nice. And I thought maybe he wouldn't notice it if I didn't pay him that. Or he wouldn't say anything. Because he's nice.

I also cut back on the cleaning woman who comes every day. Please shut up about how it's a luxury. Anyone who has a stay-at-home spouse has someone doing a quick clean up of their house every day. Also, it's pretty hard to have an ex-husband in and out of my house every day if I have to clean up after him. And, a clean house is so important to women that it is actually a good indicator of whether or not she'll want to have sex. Women like having sex more when their house is clean.

Not that anyone is having sex in my house. Well, except for the kittens. But my point is that cleaning is important.

I also thought it would be good to decrease household help because the other night we were having dinner and my six-year-old found an apple seed. He said, “Let's save this til the spring and then plant it and grow an apple tree. And we can water it every day. I mean, we can pay someone to water it.”

Okay. So I told myself cutting back expenses is an okay thing to do to keep the company going.

And then we got funding, but we are not allowed to use the funding to pay debt. So all the months that people have been expecting to get back pay, they are wrong. That's not happening. And, also, all the freelancers are not going to get paid.

The investor tells me, “Oh, this is fine. Treat your stock like Monopoly money and give it to the freelancers.”

This does not sound right to me. So I call the guy on my advisory board who is plugged in to all things Silicon Valley. He tells me that paying stock is generous. He says a lot of companies would just not pay. Period.

I am still scared, though. I was a freelance writer for five years, and I got so frustrated when people didn't pay.

But I called one of the freelancers we owe money to and asked him if he'd take stock and he confirmed what my advisory board member said: Stock is surprisingly generous and startups screw people over all the time.

Great. Now I'm ready to make the rest of the calls.

Things go pretty well. No one is happy. But we have always hired freelancers we adore, so we have good relationships — well at least we do at the beginning of the calls.

Then I get to my SEO guy. He is a nut. First of all. Let me tell you a little about the SEO world. It happens after dark. I don't know why the SEO guys don't sleep, but they don't. Also, it's always guys. I think because SEO runs a lot like the mob and the mob is all guys. Really, think about it. Who are the top Diggers? Guys who never change out of their pajamas. And who is ranking on Google for top search phrases like “buy guitar lessons right now” or whatever. That's right. Guys who never change their pajamas.

So, anyway, my SEO guy is very gracious about the stock. And I make a note to myself to maybe stop twittering about how he's a crazy person. But then he calls back and says, “Uh. Could I have links instead of stock?”

Really. He tells me his plan to dominate the world by having his various web sites rank high on Google for odd business term searches. And, then, after he shows me all the places on my blog where I mention the perfect business phrase for linking to him, he says, “Um. And also, you know that post about your first date with the farmer? I'd like a link there, too.”

Yep. That's right. My SEO guy has a gardening site, and apparently my farmer page is one of the most popular pages on the Internet for this one, specific word, which he does not want me to tell you because he thinks you will then develop a site yourself to leverage traffic from this word.

I go to the board meeting with Ryan and Ryan. We report that we got the debt off the books and we're ready to take in the money. And I am feeling sort of good. Like we're turning a new page in the life of our company. And snow is thawing, and I'll draw a salary again and I'll get some cute spring skirts. In fact, I'm hoping maybe I'll get enough money to revamp my whole wardrobe: Does anyone want to buy a link on that farmer post?


Posted in Entrepreneurship, Money, No image
89 comments on “For a startup, money doesn’t solve problems, it just changes them
  1. Alan Wilensky says:

    One of the best posts so far. Cat abortion mention is great SEO term. Find a back link for that.

    When I brought my old cat for a pregnancy termination due to her health (she was supposed to be infertile), a bunch of nutcase protesters blocked the vet’s entrance and tried to counsel her. We had to get an escort. The photos they were showing were rude and shocking.

  2. Susan says:

    I think you should pay people with kittens instead of stock. Then everyone’s paid, there are no kitty abortions, and you operate debt-free.

    • Tom O'Brien says:

      Susan:

      Maybe the best comment ever!

      “I think you should pay people with kittens instead of stock. Then everyone’s paid, there are no kitty abortions, and you operate debt-free.”

      Well done.

      TO’B

  3. Greg Rollett says:

    Your SEO is one smart guy!

  4. Brian Gladu says:

    This post made my day… what refreshing honesty. I wish I had the guts to make a post like this. When my business was in the same situation I hid it from the world in shame while you post it for entire interweb to see. I love it!

    I would *never* want anyone to know how I was spending my personal money at the time…

  5. Cathy says:

    All I can say is I’m glad I was able to get my company off the ground with only two people and a whole lot less money. Congrats on staying afloat.

  6. Brian Gladu says:

    Also, I’d love to hear about the process you went through to acquire funding and/or any tips you picked up.

  7. Dale Beermann says:

    It seems like money solved a lot of your problems though. Now you can drive to Chicago and you won’t have 10 baby kittens running around the house. And while money wasn’t a direct factor in it, your company is out of debt and you’re on your way to being cash flow positive. Most importantly though, I think the influx of money will reduce stress and help you focus on your business.

  8. Pete Wann says:

    Could someone explain to me how our economy works again if it’s accepted and normal for companies to not pay for services they receive?

    Or maybe just how business people sleep at night knowing that they deliberately fuck over their fellow business people regularly? Are they shallow enough to REALLY believe that bullshit line about it being “just business”?

    Imagine what a shitstorm we’d be in if companies all over the country decided one day that they couldn’t honor the agreements they’d made with other compan— Oh. I don’t have to imagine; that day is here.

    Penelope, I appreciate that it’s hell starting a business and that you had terms you didn’t like shoved down your throat to get the money you needed. But that doesn’t make screwing your vendors a decent thing to do. I appreciate that you at least questioned it and felt bad about it, and my questions above are directed more at the culture that allows this sort of thing than you directly.

    Penelope and her cohorts talk all the time about careers and business being about more than just money. Apparently that message hasn’t gotten through to anyone in the venture capital world.

  9. Marcus says:

    I agree with the other commenters: Most of your posts are very good, but this one’s a riot. :)

  10. Pete Wann says:

    Interesting post, in light of this post featured on the front page of brazencareerist.com, titled “Don’t tell me it’s just business.”

  11. Randy says:

    Why do people think it’s okay to not pay freelancers, not to mention in a timely manner? Recently, a buddy of mine finally had to file bankruptcy because he couldn’t collect from all of his deadbeat clients. And this was going on way before the economy took a header.

    Earmark your funds. If you can’t pay, then don’t call. Hopefully your freelancers fully knew what they were signing on for when they agreed to work for you. Yes, yes I know you paid with stock and they agreed. That’s their choice. But probably because they figure stock, hopefully not worthless, is better than nothing at all.

    When I was young and starting out I did the same thing. I traded design services for stock and the dream of dot com millions.

    But I would have preferred cash.

  12. Randy says:

    Hope my post didn’t come off too harsh. Your blog is my new favorite. Cheers!

  13. LC says:

    Maybe you could save some money instead of spending it on clothes you don’t need or spoiling your family with a housekeeper who visits DAILY, and next time you need to take a long drive, you’ll have cash for gas…

  14. Nino says:

    If you’re going to write about me, at least be accurate. Make corrections please.

    I’m going to print this one out right now, for the record. Might be handy later.

    Have a good day!

  15. Rachel says:

    Your SEO guy is a genius.

    Instead of links, why don’t you sell ad space on your site? You get enough targeted traffic to do so. You could also sell affiliate links/products.

    Just spend a little time on JohnChow.com and he’ll tell you how to monetize your site…

    • Melissa says:

      It must be quicksprout. I just saw him speak a few weeks ago. Yep. He’s pretty clever. And pretty accomplished. Lucky you that he accepted the stock option. That’s great.

  16. Mark W. says:

    Overall this is what I get from this post – you’re brimming with creativity right now based on your post titled ‘Bad situations breed creativity’ (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/01/18/bad-situations-breed-creativity/).
    Specifically a couple of quotes from the post -
    “The time I am the most creative is when I feel the most trapped and desperate. These are the times when I see no model for solving my problem, and I have to come up with an all-new solution that will, invariably surprise even me.
    I have found that bad situations get creative juices flowing. And I have come to have an appreciation for the bad times; they give us unique opportunities to find our best ideas.”
    and
    “Bad situation #2: Low budgets. No one ever came up with a grand idea when they had more than enough money. You would be stupid to think of new ideas when you have enough money to pay for what is already tried and true: Best practices, most outstanding performer, top-tier firms, these are all great places to spend a big budget. Why take a risk when you don't have to? The good news about a small budget is that you can't pay for the paths that have already lead to success. So you have to come up with a new path.”
    Also it’s good to know you’re not alone on this startup and that you’re asking for and receiving help and advice from your various people resources.

  17. Jenny Lee says:

    While I really enjoy your blog – I liked this post, I really did – except for the part where you talk about paying freelancers with stock. I agree with Randy. Not paying freelancers is not OK. I can’t spend stock at the grocery store. Stock doesn’t pay my rent or buy my gas. Or pay for a cat abortion.

    How would you feel after doing the requested work in a cheerful and timely fashion and then waiting patiently to be paid so that you could then pay others and buy necessities only to be asked to accept something that is not going to help you pay your bills? At the very least, you should warn a freelancer up front that they will be paid in a non-immediately-spendable fashion. It is then up to that freelancer to make the choice. Most I know would rather have a check, thanks all the same.

  18. Jamie Varon says:

    WHAT!

    No one is criticizing you about getting a cat abortion!?!

    I fully expected to see representatives from animal rights groups commenting away and ‘tsk-tsk-ing’ your desire for a cat abortion. Hmph, I’m disappointed. Where are all the people who pull out the most random details of your post and criticize you for it? They still sleeping?

    Ok, sarcasm aside, this post is fantastic. It’s honest, raw, and will probably make 99% of entrepreneurs feel like you understand their struggle with funding. I’m sure many of them will say, “Finally! Someone understands the stress of building a startup.” Even if they’ll never have the courage to write this themselves.

  19. Holly Collins says:

    You are funny. One of my cats had to have a kitty abortion too. I was so horrified that I couldn’t tell anyone that I had it done. But here, I read it here! And btw, do you mind if I clarify, woman only want sex if the house is clean but cleaned by the husband!!

    Perhaps next to links you should sell lunchtime, too. Lunch with P.T. You seem to have interesting stories to tell…;)

  20. Bethany says:

    Please remember to get all cats and dogs fixed as soon as you get them! Most cities have cheap low-cost spay/neuter clinics.

    Kind of funny because yesterday was Spay Day 2009 to encourage people to fix their pets and you helped encourage that!

    Congratulations on the positive flow of money. Let me know if you need any kitten tips. My shelter started classes lately on training kittens (both for entertainment/distraction and for health–claw clipping, scratch post use, etc) and they’ve all worked really well with my cat.

    Interesting health note on a cat’s purring: it’s in the right hertz range to help heal cat bones, so now there are investigations into whether purring cats help human bones.

  21. Shefaly says:

    Whoever says employing a cleaning lady is a luxury probably lives in a tip (a cutesy British word for rubbish dump).

    A clean bathroom prevents drain blockages (expensive in £££ and time) and UTIs (especially high risk for women); a clean kitchen means the desire to cook and eat properly (energy is essential to thinking creatively); a clean living room means when you take your 15 min break you aren’t driven mad by dust bunnies in the corner but can relax.

    Well done on the funding!

    • Caitlin says:

      @Shefaly Getting a cleaner is not a luxury (though sadly it’s something I’ve had to forgo for the past few months) but getting a cleaner EVERY DAY definitely is.

      • Shefaly says:

        @Caitlin

        It really depends on where one lives and how one’s life is structured. Someone with kids and cats may well need or like their house cleaned everyday – who is anyone else to say?

        It also depends on how one’s time is valued. If the time one would otherwise spend cleaning can be used to do billable work, why not get a cleaner if the cleaner charges less per hour than you charge your clients? Indeed people have housekeepers who come in every day, to clean or to cook or to iron. The label does not matter. I find it funny to see how many people think of it as a luxury :-)

        Why I do not see daily cleaning or daily cleaner as odd is also because I grew up in India. Our cleaning woman came twice a day!

      • Emily says:

        @Shefaly, but don’t you think that if one lives ones life starting a business where said one has asked people to do work with promise of pay, that one should spend money on paying those people instead of paying a cleaning lady for their personal residence every day? There are three people (with a sometimes fourth) in my household and as much as I’d love to have an every day cleaning lady, we simply can’t afford it. So guess who does that daily picking up/cleaning?

        Would you consider having the cleaning lady come clean your house and then after a couple weeks tell her that you’d be paying her by putting her on the title to your tool shed?

  22. Rachel says:

    Penelope,

    Do you have a link for the sex bit? I’m sure it’s true – I mean, if I came home and my apartment was straightened and the dishes were done and the floors were shiny, I’d have about an hour of newly created time because one of the first things I want to do before I sit down to relax is make room to actually sit down. And if I have an hour of free time, I’d be more apt to go for a good romp any day.

    But I’d like to read the research that backs this up because it’s very interesting. And I think I may post it on my fridge for the boyfriend. Thanks.

  23. Mark F. says:

    Go GIRL!!!
    A Happy Penelope is a capitalized one.
    P.S. If you get stuck in NYC with no dough/cab fare, I will be more then happy to lone you a few $$$ (and I won’t even ask to barter stock or SEO keywords)….Ummm, well maybe a little help on cleaning up my blog or twitters, etc…..
    Seriously…congrats!
    M

  24. curiously random says:

    Maybe I’m old fashioned or was raised by hippies or something, but I can’t imagine hiring someone to clean my house EVERY DAY. That’s crazy talk.

  25. Nisha says:

    I can’t believe you just wrote about cat abortions, your ex-husband, and how you made the investor meet you in Milwaukee and buy you lunch — all in the same post. I think you are my favorite blogger ever.

  26. Chris Yeh says:

    The funny thing is, you could probably delete the first three words of your title (“For a startup”) and it would still be true.

    Money doesn’t solve problems, it just changes them.

    Two other things I loved:

    1) That your son decided to pay someone to water the apple seed.

    2) That someone realized that you could pay off the freelancers in kittens. That’s brilliant!

  27. Christina says:

    Great post! I too can relate to having no money and wondering how to pay the bills. I hope you at least got a great lunch here in Milwaukee.

    Glad to hear you are turning it around – it give all us small entrepreneurs hope.

  28. Carla says:

    I love this post, and Susan’s comment was perhaps my favourite ever! Poor kittens. You really are one of my all time favourite bloggers.

  29. Lucie says:

    I did freelance work for a start-up for 2 months and they never paid me or any of the other freelancers. The company eventually lost funding for not having a viable revenue model and no longer exists.

    Having people do work that you never pay them for is using people for your own gain. Take the money that you intend to spend on cat abortions, personal daily cleaning service, skirts and a new wardrobe and pay people the money you owe them instead! You will be a better person for it. Have some integrity.

    I took a cash settlement for 20 cents on the dollar from the company I did all that work for because 20 cents was better than nothing. I doubt your freelancers are feel your stock offer was generous, but what else are they going to do? A stock offer is better than nothing.

    Word gets around fast even when you don’t post it on the web. How many people will want to work with you going forward? I hope they at least request half the money upfront.

    • Bleakspot says:

      Watch how fast she finds cash if the housekeeper threatened to quit. Why pay the housekeeper in worthless stock?

  30. GeekMBa360 says:

    Great post. Love your writing. But, I just think that you’d be much better off by staying at an independent blogger, instead of building a VC-backed start-up.

    In this economy, I just don’t see how your business model will work. However, if you have stayed as a independent one-person blogger, you’d have enjoyed a very healthy income stream, and a well-established brand. The ads revenue, plus speaking fees, consulting fees, etc. will be quite good. And you’ll not have the headache of dealing with investors, and run into all of those issues you described.

  31. Craig says:

    I think Lucie says it best with “Have some integrity.”

    It is sad how you are completely willing to screw your freelancers out of their earnings. Is this a new morality you have acquired with your recent funding or have you always been this manipulative? Is it a comforting feeling to know you are now sitting pretty while they wait for payment that will most likely never be realized? I can almost guarantee those freelancers that you “adore” realize who they are dealing with now and Lucie is right, “Word gets around fast”.

    This kind of disregard for others with will ultimately undermine a company “built on a blogging community”. Enjoy your skirts.

  32. Jim says:

    I’m sure your freelancers appreciate you thinking about tricking out your spring wardrobe with cute skirts.

    I’ve been burned by startups not paying consulting fees and stock alone really does not cut it. Stock is a future upside benefit but does not pay the bills.

    Maybe pay the freelancers out of your blog syndication fees or reassign the “house manager”.

  33. A freelancer.... says:

    I'm one of Penelope's freelancers, and I'd like to chime in here.

    I feel the need to defend Penelope and Ryan a bit, because really, they are fantastic to work with. I've been working with them for about a year, and up until November, I was receiving payment within two weeks of sending an invoice.

    I truly believe they really couldn't foresee what was about to happen, and I completely do not feel taken advantage of. They've been very transparent with the situation since it first seemed like there might be difficulty in closing future funding. I haven’t been doing work for then since November, so no one was “tricking” us into working for free.

    I'm very disappointed in the outcome, but also feel like there have been lessons learned that will only help all of us moving forward. I also think this is the price of business sometimes. Maybe I'm being idealistic, but this situation didn't unfold in the malicious manner that some of you are suggesting.

    And for gods sake, people still need to buy clothes. One skirt isn't going to make or break a company.

    • Jamie says:

      Who are you? When I start my own company, I want you to work for me.

      That’s the way to do business: with flexbility, understanding and a dose of compassion.

    • Bleakspot says:

      Because this is your first job out of undergrad and you have no real responsibilities, you probably think this set-up is great. Trunk’s got plenty of clothes, and plenty of money for herself. Think long and hard about why you’re willing to be raped.

  34. Lucie says:

    Time spent doing work that you are not paid for amounts to charity. Instead of helping build someone else’s brand for free (and they reaped the benefits of your efforts with funding), wouldn’t you have been better served investing that effort into yourself/your freelance business/pursuing new clients?

    I am sure if you had to pick your favorite charity it wouldn’t be Penelope Trunk.

    I am glad you don’t feel taken advantage of…but, wouldn’t you rather get the money for your services than stock if given the choice? Wouldn’t you rather get paid the money you are owed instead of Penelope getting her house cleaned on a daily basis?

    The point is that freelancers depend on the getting paid for the work they do in order to pay their rent, car payments, buy food, etc. How many people who are employed full time would find it ok NOT to be paid for weeks on end, if at all? You can’t eat stock options.

    • A freelancer.... says:

      Duh… yeah, of course I would rather get money for my services. And my point is, I WAS, until November. And then they had me stop working.

      I don’t find it “ok” to not be paid, but this is how it worked out. Whining about it isn’t going to change that, and I can only take what I’ve learned and make smarter choices next time.

      And, I still intend to work with them in the future.

      I think the problem is, you aren’t separating Penelope from the business. Penelope doesn’t owe me, the business does.

      • Brian says:

        “Penelope doesn’t owe me, the business does.”

        Exactly. When Penelope is talking about her maid and her skirts those are her personal finances. People create companies (incorporate) to keep their personal finances separate, among other things. The business is a separate entity and that shouldn’t be confused. She could have given her personal money to the business to cover business expenses, but that’s entirely her choice and does not reflect on her integrity at all.

        The freelancers were put in a bad position because Penelope’s company was in a bad spot. It wasn’t that she felt good about doing it and I’m sure she understood that freelancers would have preferred to have been paid with money. The fact is, the company did not have any money to pay them. She was between a rock and hard space and did what she had to do to keep her company alive – something freelancers and entrepreneurs nurturing start-ups can both relate to. She’s not condoning it, endorsing it, or promoting it. She just blogged about what happened. Maybe she treated it light-heartedly here, or didn’t dwell enough on how difficult a decision it was, and that is what is getting under people’s skin but I think she’s taking the same attitude as the freelancer who was affected – it happened, it sucks, but there is no reason to dwell on it. Pick up the pieces, learn from it, and move on…

  35. Lucie says:

    Get half the money upfront! Good luck…

  36. Dennis says:

    1. Congrats
    2. Dark side and the fluffy side debate also at copyblogger.com if you haven’t seen it
    As usual you can tackle an important issue with wit & panache

  37. LizD says:

    Just had to point out that while SEO guys may all be guys, the mob is not all guys. See Women: The Rise of the Godmothers, Mob Ladies: Women’s Roles in the Italian Mafia Are Growing. Both these articles are fairly old now–so this may be old news.

  38. Rob says:

    Not paying your freelancers [and then trying to sound generous by not shafting them completely], defaulting on your alimony, and basically “paying for links.” You know, I really want to like your site, but you don’t come off very well in this post, or as having very good planning or integrity.

    • gregcnorca*AT*aim says:

      Dont read to much into the stories, sometimes it comes off likely a lot more dramatic than the reality. People working for start ups, especially blogs, are taking well documented risks –its not like working for General Mills.

      More importantly, there is no “planning” that can account for an economic storm like the globe has seen in the last 7 months.

  39. gregcnorca*AT*aim says:

    Getting funding for a web site about careers (when so many jobs are dissapearing!) is a positive sign for the economy. Silver lining amongst many gray clouds.

    Glad to see one!

  40. Mike Hadden says:

    Do we get to see pictures of the kittens?

  41. KateNonymous says:

    We both work away from home and don’t have a cleaning service. Our house isn’t spotless, but it isn’t a pit either. (Well, it isn’t great right now, but that’s because we both have the flu. However, there are clean plates, and most of what is sitting around is paper and clean laundry waiting to be shredded and put away, respectively.)

    So a daily cleaning-service visit sounds like a pretty amazing luxury to me. Wouldn’t having them come every other day cut that to at least 3/5 of the cost?

    As for personal finances vs. business finances, it sounds like they’re co-mingled to some extent. They certainly are in this post. I mean, their company credit card isn’t a company credit card.

  42. LisaNewton says:

    What a visual, the SEO guy in PJs all day long and all night long, too. Yupp, I really like this one…………..:)

  43. rennie says:

    This was such a funny post. Yet, if taken literally (which, with Penelope I don’t think it ever should be) there’s a bit to dispute.

    #1. Cleaning service every day
    Hopefully, you jest. Just because two people work outside the home doesn’t mean they can’t do a little cleaning once in a while. Really now. Lots of us do it without ANY cleaning service and still manage a good sex life. Also, a six-year-old is capable of helping clean.

    #2. Not paying freelancers
    It’s nice your freelancer rose to your defense. I have to say, as a self-employed graphic designer this ruffled my feathers. I’m a new business too, only four years on my own. But I’m funding it myself and when someone doesn’t pay, it really hurts. And I’m not referring to my feelings!

    #3 “I think the problem is, you aren’t separating Penelope from the business. Penelope doesn’t owe me, the business does.”
    While this comment is true, it’s also what’s wrong with much of corporate America. “The business” has become completely separated from the human and in doing so people no longer feel the need to be accountable for their actions.

    Here’s a thought: How about Penelope put a little more of herself into the business, such as her own funding. Like, take the money she pays for a cleaning service and put it towards her freelancer’s pay.

  44. Maya Harrison says:

    Agree. Love your writing but I will no longer read your blog.
    You love money too much, lack morals and are an emanation of PURE ego.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

    http://www.sheeple.net/

    Shift is here. The reign of ugliness is over.

    Recommended Reading before I leave you:

    The Freedom Manifesto:
    How TO Free Yourself From Anxiety,
    Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt,
    Government, Boredom, Supermarkets,
    Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression
    Work, And Waste

    Tom Hodgkinson, authour of “How To Be Idle”
    wrote that. Brilliance.

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/

    • That Mike says:

      Uhuh … packed with thousands of Kool-Aid recipes there in your links.

      Listen I bet you do come back.

      I take often issue with Penelope but I won’t penalize myself by not occasionally monitoring her trek.

      There are things to be learned from her adventure, her mistakes and successes. Her poor taste in men.

      Funny how you didn’t mind dropping shameless plugs for your agenda here. I especially loved the sheeple link. You are a prime example of exactly that kind of behavior yourself – just following in another herd. A goat herd.

      Aren’t you supposed to be all excepting and understanding and passive? Let Go and Let Karma. I guess when that doesn’t work your herd get all aggressive. To mix metaphors: You are not yet a Jedi, it would seem.

      I would not have given Penelope gas money, I would have driven her to the meeting myself and looked forward to the conversation there and back. I myself look forward to Penelope and her new skirt(s) and hope she posts pictures. We all wonder about those legs.

      And while the idea of cleaning a woman’s house would not normally occur to a man, I can tell you from experience the white and rubber glove treatment can bring about magic.

      Signed,
      An unabashed follower of Penelope Trunk
      Baaahhh

  45. Don says:

    If you expected Penelope to write that she lived on ramen noodles and kept the thermostat at 60 degrees before breaking her commitments, you haven’t been reading her long.

  46. David says:

    It’s really too bad about the six-year-old deciding to pay someone else to water his dream apple tree though. Not much of the DIY entrepreneurial spirit in that decision, is there? Maybe he’s learning some of his values from the cleaning lady instead? Then again, maybe your business approach is ‘work smart, not hard’, and you’d rather he was running his own paper route and then paying someone to water the plant with his earnings from that, instead of spending time on it himself…

  47. Maggie says:

    My question is how do you pay the house manager and the cleaning lady? I’m not being facetious (sp?)–surely those are two people who are not willing to work for links or stock.

    For the freelancing, what it’s worth to people is being able to put on their resumes that they worked for/with you and/or your business. Stuff like that matters and is worth money when it comes to future job opportunities. Blogging and even commenting on other people’s posts is basically unpaid freelance writing but people do it all the time without even thinking about it. If I’m going to be writing anyway, it may as well be for someone who’s stuff people actually read.

    I would gladly freelance for you for free ;)

  48. Don B. says:

    I agree with Nisha. Local dairy farms may be interested in providing kitten home for the mouse patrol.

  49. Randy says:

    My earlier freelancing comments aside, I must give Penelope full marks for having the stones to write it as it is. I’m sure I would be tempted to edit out the less flattering parts. I find it quite refreshing.

  50. Jessi says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve read your posts…not that I have forgotten about how entertaining you and your writing are. Time has been short like the dollar, as of late.

    Hang on.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "For a startup, money doesn’t solve problems, it just changes them"
  1. Blog: Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk | Bscopes Feeds says:

    [...] Blog: Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk tagged with: inspiration Post: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/02/26/for-a-startup-money-doesnt-solve-problems-it-just-cha… [...]

  2. The Business World | The Cowtown Chronicles says:

    [...] The article she posted today, though, motivated me to comment, which I normally don’t do. Unfortunately my comment is being held in a SPAM or profanity filter (sorry mom), not because I cursed out Penelope, but because I used my usual salty language to describe what the business community is doing to itself. [...]

  3. Why It Makes Sense To Start Your Company Outside of The Valley | Grasshopper Group says:

    [...] will be months when you cannot pay people. There will be days when you worry you can’t pay your own bills. You will fall behind much [...]

  4. Jeffe Kennedy says:

    [...] work hard to give me everything I need to make it bearable for me to be on the road so much. So, (nod to Penelope Trunk and her promo links), here’s the free promo, Hilton. Full disclosure: I’m a Hilton gold member, which just [...]

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