A Major Setback

Last night and today were bad days. Actually, it’s been a bad 3 weeks – I just didn’t realize it. About 3 weeks ago the data feed that powered the website running subscriptions stopped working…permanently.  Without the feed it renders the website impotent, as the entire site is built of the fact that people have up to day information. But it wasn’t until last night that I learned not only that our website wasn’t refreshing current data, but that it was never to be refreshed again.

When I first read the note from our developer, I don’t think the full implication hit me. The idea of the site not working just doesn’t register. I’ve been working on this site for literally years. To one day wake up and find that it is no longer working and won’t for the foreseeable future just doesn’t compute.

But within an hour my brother also saw the note and said, “This looks like trouble. Do you see a way around this”, to which I replied, “Nope, we’re screwed.”. That’s when it set in. That’s when I allowed the consequences of of what happened to hit me. As is usually the case with emotions, I am more aware of how I am responding emotionally than actually feeling immense emotions about it. “I should be really upset about this. This is something to be upset about. Can you just walk away from all the money and energy you put into this?”, were some of the things going on in my internal dialogue. I was and am upset about this. I’m not ready to quit on this. The time and money I’ve spent cannot end here.

And yet…

I have feelings of potential relief. Doing entrepreneurial means that you are never doing enough for your own business. You can’t just leave your work at the office. It means that the wonderful time I get to spend with my family always has a nagging question with it – should I be working on the business? And of course, it goes both ways, when I’m spending time on the business, there’s a nagging question in my mind – should I be spending time with my children? Often for me this means that I tend to do neither completely well. I struggle to be fully engaged with my family and I struggle to be fully engaged with my business. So the potential relief is that maybe I can fully engage with the other things in my life like my family.

But I’d be super non-self-aware to think that not having my business to make me feel guilty about my priorities. That’s just who I am. That’s my M.O. Whatever I’m doing right now is always brought down by what I could be doing instead of what’s to come. Why is it that when I have an appointment in an hour, I can’t get any work done? It’s not like I’m prepping for the meeting. If that were the case then good on me, but I’m so caught up in the fact that I have a meeting soon that I can’t focus on what else can be done. And once I get in the meeting? I’m thinking about the meeting or what I could be doing instead of that meeting.

Anyway, the question I’ve been asking myself is whether or not I’m depressed. (Again with the self-awareness, I know.) But I think the answer is no. Honestly, I tried to convince myself that I should be. But depression would only come if I’m actually going to walk away from this project. And I’m not. I may have lost my early adopter customers and may lose my business partners, but I’m still not giving up. No way. I’m going to find a solution to get the data flowing again. I’m going to pay for it and I’m going to continue investing in the business. I’m convinced the site can and will be successful. Up until today, we had 5 really consistent subscribers to the service who were paying faithfully each month. I paid a lot of money to get those subscribers, but we had them. That means that the platform was doing something. It was on it’s way to being profitable. I may be a glutton for punishment, but I’m absolutely convinced the idea is going to make me self-sustaining. And that is my goal – to be self-sustaining.

So, yes, it’s been a bad couple of days, but I will carry on. I will rise above this. I will double down and make this thing work.

We Need Your Support!

Bushel Boys Early Years

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s always been a dream for each of us to start a business, but my brothers and I never thought that we’d be starting one together. Well, that’s just what we’ve done! As of July, 2015, Jeremy, Nathan, and Matthew Carman are now the Bushel Boys, LLC!

About a year ago I was doing some testing with some entrepreneurial ideas and websites when my brother came for a visit. I showed him what I was working on and I could tell he was interested. Then, when I mentioned it to my other brother, there was no looking back. We were all hooked on the idea of starting a business together. Fast forward about a year and we now have a full-fledged idea, designs for a website and are now in full-on development!

The idea is this: Create a platform to allow people interested in trading commodities to practice risk free. With our platform, users will be able to mock trade commodities using real, live conditions, such that if it were a real trade you would have made (or lost) the money invested with a broker. Having experience in trading commodities ourselves, one of the most essential aspects of trading commodities is what is referred to as “paper trading”. Paper trading is simply pretending you’re in the market and tracking your progress based on real market conditions.

Thus was born papertrademe.com! Papertrademe.com will allow aspiring and professional commodity traders alike a place to practice and test out trading ideas and theories. All at no risk to losing real money! We’re really excited about this and think it will be a well-received platform once we get the word out. And that’s where we need your help.

So, how can you support us?

  1. If you’re remotely interested in trading commodities, look no further. We’re glad to help you.
  2. Chances are, though, that you have no idea what the last two paragraphs mean and are kinda just staring blankly at the screen. That’s cool – we know it’s niche – but we still need your help. We would love it if you would help us spread the word about this to everyone you can think of.

Here are some ways you can help us spread the word:

So, with many thanks and much appreciation, thank you for your support! Please stay in touch and share, share share!

Jeremy, Nathan, and Matthew
The Bushel Boys

Creating a Web App

Most recently I’ve been quite busy with starting a new venture. I’m excited to be working with my brothers on this particular project.

The name of the project is PaperTrade Me. The basic idea behind the project is a platform to allow for commodity traders a place to practice trading on the real market. One of the fears of going into the commodities market is the fear of uncontrollable loss of money invested. While it is true that loss is a possibility and even an expectation when trading on the commodities market, one can learn how to control the losses and eventually have more wins than losses. That is where PaperTrade Me comes in. On this platform commodity traders – novice or experienced – can come together and log their practice trades and see just how well they could do.

At this point we’re working with a designer and are starting communication with a developer.

Updates to come later.

Need some help

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve started a business. Jalopyhead Enterprises was born on June 11, 2013! Yay! I’m quite excited about it and excited about what’s to come!

To make a long story short, Jalopyhead Enterprises will function as the parent company of a couple or more companies. Therefore, though official paperwork will go through the parent company, the name(s) actually before the public will be different.

My first venture will be in Web Consulting. And here’s where I need your help. What name should I operate under?

Let me give a few details. Here’s what I hope to do:

  • Build Websites
  • Consult / Setup
  • Social Media
  • Online Advertising
  • Online Branding

Here are some other considerations:

  • I want to use “jalopyhead.com”. It’s my brand. Not negotiable.
  • “Jalopyhead” doesn’t mean anything.
  • I need a tagline that is descriptive.

With all of that, here are some possibilities. Let me know if you like any of them:

  • jalopyhead.com – “Make your presence known”
  • jalopyhead.com – “Be Seen Online”
  • jalopyhead.com – “Online Branding Solutions”
  • jalopyhead.com – “Improving your Online Visibility”
  • jalopyhead.com – “Let the World See You”
  • jalopyhead.com – “Web Design, Social Media & Online Marketing”

Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Oh, and if you’re interested in any my services, be sure to give me a holler.

Starting a Business

Not long after arriving back to the States about 2 years ago (Wow, that was quick), I quickly got a freelance job from my first official client. (Read about it here.) It was great. I was excited to be going into business for myself. Since then, I’ve had several more clients. They’ve been relatively small sites, done for friends and family, but they’ve definitely helped me hone in my my skills.

But my dream for a long time has been to start my own business. It hasn’t necessarily been in web consulting, but I’ve wanted to start my own business. It’s such a huge undertaking. Even as I write these words, I’m overwhelmed with feelings doubt and excitement and fear and happiness all within milliseconds of each other.

So, after my most recent adventure applying for job fell through, I decided that I was just gonna go for it. I went down to the County Clerk’s office and registered my business name. It’s official, Jalopyhead Enterprises no longer exists in my head. It’s now a reality.

I’ve got some things in the works to help me launch it, including some airtime on a local radio station as well as getting a new logo and website that are already in the works.

Exciting times!