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The business side being self-employed is sometimes very difficult. I am not naturally a business person. I think I handle it okay, but there are times when it feels like slugging through thick mud. Not fun...just hard work that makes my brain swirl.

When I was an art director I had account managers working with me on projects. They kept me on schedule, set up meetings, handled money issues, dealt with client concerns. Now I do not have that luxury. There is no hiding behind account managers when you're on your own. And frankly, I miss it. I also have a new appreciation for what they do. (To all my account management friends: I have immense respect for you and will shake your hand hardily next time I see you.)

I was told by my old creative directors that I could work easily on the account management side as well as the creative side because I am naturally organized, really reliable, get projects done on time and keep things moving. And back before I was doing both, I smiled and thought they were right. I took the compliment. But woh...I question that now. I do it, sure. But it's like pulling hen's teeth.

Sometimes I want to just create. Just sit at my drawing table and paint the days away. Instead, I do a lot of administrative stuff. I have to buy all the office supplies (trying really hard to do that before I run out), meet with clients, explain my rationale with projects, do proposals, invoicing, think about self-promotion, etc. It's a lot for one brain to hold.

I've tried different systems to help myself out. First I tried listing open jobs with my computer stickies. I really never open stickies so that didn't work. Then I tried to do paper lists. This is sort of working, but I have a hard time knowing where I am on a project at a glance. Then I set up job jackets for myself. I can't even find my job jackets right now (hee!)... I'm still trying to figure out a system that works through trial and error.

Well, I had better wrap this up and go look for those job jackets. But first, I think I'll call an account manager and tell them I love them.

Do you have a system that helps you through jobs? If so, I'd love to know about it so I can try it. Post a comment so we all can benefit from your well-organized, smooth-running system!