Ming the Mechanic:
Money and Making It

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Money and Making It2004-12-26 17:52
picture by Flemming Funch

Hm, I haven't written much here the last month.

Mostly because I've been a bit occupied. With trying to make a living mostly. Yet another time my main contract that was paying the rent ran out, last month. And that's the time when I belatedly realize that I don't have much of a working plan. I usually live from paycheck to paycheck, whether it is big or small, which is first of all stupid. And when it has been coming in every month I tend to get complacent, forgetting that it could end any time. You know, I usually don't even have a real contract. Just a few companies who pay me something every month while there's something useful for me to do. And sometimes their situation changes and they don't need me any more. And it is always "Thank you so much for your great work. If there's ever anything we can do for you, just let us know." Well, keep paying me, for starters. But it doesn't really work that way. A business isn't a charity.

The answer is either that I do something on an ongoing basis to have projects and acquire new projects before the old ones run out, or that I start thinking more entrepreneurially building up business of my own, or that I go get a JOB. The latter being my worstcase scenario. I'd rather not. Jobs are rather badly paid here in France, and, well, you've gotta be somewhere all day. Oh, it would be less work than the hours I normally keep, but I just can't bring myself to put that option anywhere else than near the bottom of the list. Not to mention the difficulties of getting a job where I am, where one ought to speak perfect French and one's list of diplomas is all important.

So, short term we're talking about that I need projects. I do programming in PHP (or Python or C if I have to). Website database stuff on Linux. And I administer servers. I have a lot of experience and I'm very good at what I do. Shouldn't be hard, should it? But where does one actually get projects that aren't just 9-5 jobs? Usually people have somehow found me by themselves, and I haven't done much to actively seek business.

I previously mentioned rentacoder.com which is a site where people put up projects and coders bid on them. Well, last I looked I thought it was ridiculous. People put up large projects with outrageously small maximum amounts. You know $50 or $100 for something I would have thought of bidding $5000 for. And programmers in Romania and India actually take those jobs and apparently do them successfully. Anyway, I now took a second look. And have actually spent the last few weeks doing interesting jobs. At ridiculous prices. But I'm learning a good deal. For one thing I made several pieces I actually needed myself, but didn't get around to making. And then there's the clarity and discipline needed to do a specific job at a relatively low price. It actually often is quite possible if one analyzes it well enough and one does exactly what is asked for. Oh and then there's all the good business ideas. People often lay out their whole business plan and ask for a bid for somebody who can do the whole thing. Anyway, I'd wear myself out very quickly making a living on rentacoder, but I think it will be a very useful experience, and some useful contacts. I probably did more real work in the past month than in the year before that.

But, really, I'd much rather figure out how to be an entrepreneur. And it is not like I haven't talked about that before, but what exactly do I do? And, now, how does it work to actually put great focus into making businesses that make money? I mean, that's what successful business people generally do. Most of their actions relate to increasing what comes in and lessening what goes out. Not that that is complicated, but my priorities have never really looked like that. I find it sort of blasphemous to make profits the primary focus of one's activities. But, ironically, that usually ends up meaning that I spend an extraordinary amount of effort making up for the fact that I didn't make wise long-term business decisions. By avoiding thinking of money other than in the abstract, I easily end up having to think about it all the time, because there are things that need to be paid.

I might be boring you. Most people have it figured out quite well, and don't think it is hard. I.e. having a routine that keeps you having an income most of the time, and making sure you have reserves set aside for slow periods, and investments for your retirement and that kind of thing. It isn't rocket science, to plan for being able to pay the electricity bill next month. But maybe I'm too dumb, or rather, my mind has mostly been elsewhere.

Anyway, so I'm making an attempt of being a money-motivated, success-oriented internet business entrepreneur. Greed is good. Buy low, sell high. Well, at least I'm exploring some things I normally wouldn't explore, and changing my focus. Chances are that I can't be somebody who makes profits the primary focus on my life. But there should be some happy medium where I stay true to my principles and still can be successful and prosperous. By my own design, and not just some of the time, by luck. No reason not to.

I started a second blog last month. I had sort of vowed that I'd never have any reason for having several blogs, but I guess I can change my mind. You know, I need a place where I can talk about making money more directly. And, hm, somehow I find many aspects of that a bit embarrassing to mention. And I had in mind exploring various things I normally would have a bad opinion about, like MLM and internet money-making schemes and marketing. Well, to try some of it on for size, and see if I'd feel like changing my mind. And since my tone in this blog here is mostly quite anti-commercial, there was a bit of a conflict. Wouldn't really fit here if I asked all of you to join my MLM downline or something. I'm not sure that works for me anywhere else either, but, hey, I'm looking in a few different places. Anyway, it actually seems that I'm finding that what I'd write when talking about making money isn't all that different from what I'd otherwise write. I don't think I'll end up writing up a lot of hype with lots of underlines and superlatives and exclamation marks to get stupid, but motivated, people to sign up for some worthless money-making scheme somebody has cooked up. But then again, there might be sensible and valuable things out there, or I can invent some, which can be explained in plain terms to smart people, and which also happen to make money. Of course there is. Happens all the time. Business of any kind doesn't have to be based on lies.

OK, enough qualifiers. My other blog is called Escape Velocity, so take a look. For some people it will probably sound pretty much the same as this blog, but other people might find something here and there to be offended about. Whatever. For me, I put on a different hat when I step over there, so it has to be a different place at this point.

I have several of my own projects that are beginning to take form. More on those later. In the meantime, if any of you have programming projects or server management jobs you need a little help on, you know where to find me.

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic]



26 Dec 2004 @ 18:21 by jmarc : i think your article
on stone soup is one that you may want to look at again. One of my favorites, so much so that a certain child would roll her eyes everytime i suggested it as bedtime reading material. I think a big secret to being an entrepreneur is to say, "i am an entrepreneur", not "i am trying to figure out how to be an entrepreneur". Now, i'm not a big success at business, but i have managed to keep the 7 of us off the streets and slowly improved our situation over 15 years, so you can take this suggestion as you see fit, i guess. Nothing like a little over confidence at least for show, to get things rolling. (now i'm hoping i haven't jinxed myself, since this is a VERY slowtime of year for me, which also brings to mind that these things do come in cycles, and a little cash buffer never hurts).
I also like to compile a list throughout the year of projects mentioned by people that i can't do at the time they are mentioned, my rainy day list. Also, and i bet you have a few yourself, are the clients who always seem to have a little something for me to do, every time i ask. Nothing like those folks to give you a quick ego boost when the chips are down. Also, when someone says at the end of a job, "wow! thanks! Great work!" always say, Well, thanks, your easy to work for. Make sure you tell your friends!" Even if your so busy that you can't take on more work, you can put them on that list...  

27 Dec 2004 @ 07:36 by gea : I agree with James
Might be a good idea for you, to get something significant back from this tremendous work. Plus, if there were more projects like ours (groups, instead of individuals), NCN could be very different. I think it didn´t get to fly high enough, and it COULD :-)  

27 Dec 2004 @ 09:04 by b : Entrpreneuring as you say Ming
Proposals are someting a consultant considers to aquire new business. Scouting out places that you think could use your services, finding a contact in the company who can hire your services and make a proposal of what you will/can do, a time frame and your price. You could have a template version or make different proposals for different companies or agendas. Shops probably still want websites linked to city pages on the web. Aging business could use a shot of advertising on the internet or data collection of competition.. Or consolidating data bases to send out mass emails to current and past clients. Get referrals. Make a proposal as a free lance to local chains. Part of being an entrepreneur is often bootstrapping. As a consultant you do your thing, leave an invoice and get paid. That's it right?  

27 Dec 2004 @ 15:57 by Seb @ : Teaming up
Maybe all you need is a good partner?  

27 Dec 2004 @ 15:57 by jstarrs : Thanks Ming...
...I'll follow this with interest, since I'm kind of in the same boat...
Pooling ideas, uniting strengths can also lead to fresh possibilities rather than going alone ;0)  

27 Dec 2004 @ 16:35 by ming : Monetizing
Yeah, that might be a key word. How does one monetize what one has done that is of value? I do have software pieces, a network, connections. Should be lots one can monetize. Really it is just a different way of thinking about it.

And, yes, I need a good partner. Like Seb, or any of you guys.  

27 Dec 2004 @ 17:35 by astrid : I'll be happy to...
... pay $50-100 /year Membership fee! How about giving people first 6 months free membership after that it would be what ever you deem appropriate to be more fair to YOU and YOUR Life and Efforts! Maybe a sliding scale fee or a fee of conscience or ability.... there's many ways...What do you, the rest of the Members say to my suggestion?  

27 Dec 2004 @ 18:22 by Tim @ : Ponying Up
I enjoyed this entry Ming. It's kind of synchronistic, because I now find myself having to put my attention on exactly the same area myself. A lot of stuff to do with business, I had previously 'not-ised', so there are areas that I need cleaning up certainly. But it's not just that. Like you, I don't want to simply become profit motivated.

I recently subscribed (after a months free trial) to Ken Wilber's integralnaked.org The audio and video archive there alone are worth the monthly fee (about 10 dollars).

As someone else suggested, it might be worth considering something similar with NC.

Oh yeah. I decided to 2nd blog too - but mainly because I wanted to play around with the perl-based blosxom www.blosxom.com  

28 Dec 2004 @ 11:13 by gea : I agree with Astrid
I would be OK to pay that kind of money. Your programme (NCN) is doing a REAL service for our group/project and we are working within the context of elaborating a "new civilization", so it would be only right that something came back to you.  

28 Dec 2004 @ 13:44 by jstarrs : Agreed, Lionel, agreed!
We're good friends...!  

28 Dec 2004 @ 14:58 by ming : Monetizing Myself
Hey, keep talking, I like it.

So, now, what I'm lacking it not particularly business ideas or components or energy, or skill, if we believe these people. Maybe rather some more low-level time organization habits. And a bit of discipline to get things out the door, and both work on short term and long term projects. An excellent business coach pointed out to me that I'm quite a bit of a perfectionist and I really need to get the 80/20 rule (one of them at least), of getting something out the door when it is 80% ready, rather than going for 100%. The last 20% often aren't needed, and if they are, that becomes another cycle, of delivering 80% of those. And then there's the part of learning to use other people's work, in a win-win manner, rather than trying to do it all myself. That's a bit of a struggle, as I often stupidly think I'm the only guy who can do a certain something right. What arrogance. And usually that isn't true. I generally play well with others, but I need to learn to do that in business as well.  

28 Dec 2004 @ 23:29 by astrid : OK, Dear Ming....
the Membership payment... if you feel better, let it be on voluntary basis.
Now, tell us where to send the money! What Creit Cards can be used, or do you prefer Internat. MoneyOrder?

And overall, let's all continue this Money Talk. We all know Money is phony and based on DEBT/The more indebte one is the "richer" one is... in one way, which is stupid... because in this kind of "rich-concept" is hidden the fact that ALL are kept as slaves...even the rich ones.In fact; the richer, the more enslaved....
Though the so called rich people think they are more free than the rest of Mankind(; THEIR slaves:( Upstairs/Downstairs, allover again,) because they can afford "everything". Yes, all the MATERIAL things, but their very LIFE is the price they pay!

To the extent we, who believe in a Universe, fair and just and loving and caring, find ways to either get out of the system or to modify it, the better off we are. Next week I will buy the Ithacha Money Kit...  

29 Dec 2004 @ 00:57 by ming : Membership Donations
OK, so now there's a donation thing in the {link:http://www.newciv.org|NCN} page one first gets to in the member area. I assume most people are comfortable with PayPal. Otherwise I can process credit cards manually. And cash, deeds for Swiss chalets, anything is fine. Yes, I made it optional. I don't believe in scaring anybody away. Better to come up with some extra bonus facilities for those who give something. So, let's see how that goes for starters.  

29 Dec 2004 @ 06:55 by astrid : SOS. Ming!
Would you be so kind and talk to PayPal to set up the paysheet in ENGLISH instead of French.
I don't want to take a chance that I think I understand all the paypal things in french and then it turns out I didn't and now I sold my old mother to you or to the French Government!....See whaddddimean. eh?
I will get back there and do the payment as soon as I can answer ENGLISH questions and commands. GOOD GOING Ming!
and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

29 Dec 2004 @ 12:06 by jstarrs : Ming - I think you have a language...
...option on the Euro Paypal pages. Somewhere!  

29 Dec 2004 @ 12:37 by gea : Félicitations!
Now you´re on your way! ;-) We´ll be happy to contribute.  

29 Dec 2004 @ 13:05 by ming : French
Oh, damn, I didn't realize it was in French for everybody. That will slow down the donations a bit, heheh. I just need to find that option somewhere.  

29 Dec 2004 @ 22:03 by hgoodgame : Mine came in English
but I'm already a Paypal member so that's maybe why I didn't get Frenched, lol.
Great idea Ming, and why not! Good luck with it.
A suggestion if it's possible, once someone has made their contribution as requested, is there any way for that big display regarding donations to be removed?  

30 Dec 2004 @ 02:38 by astrid : Ugh....
I tried to work that damn PayPal... so many "do this, do that , do this now, then do this..." I could have sworn I did it all right, gave my CC nr and all, but I have NOT received cofirmation from them yet.... I have to ask Dave tonight... I guess I end up re-doing it.
Heidi, I think it came in English because I think Ming got on with it right away to get in English! : ) OR you might right that it came up English because you already are member . We've been members too for many years, but rebuked it a month or two ago... because Paypal clerks ( when you get them on the phone ) do have some bugs up their ... Anywaaayyy, I'll fix it and I am so happy that you Ming actually did it!
Besides: you should have NO difficulites in letting Marceilles or Touloise know that you're a Computer Consultant (Entrepreneur/The Name of your Business) and a list of what you do/ and your hourly charge -$125 -175/hour is reasonabl-) and any (Big/ger) Business who knows anything about (Comp) Consulting will consider that price MODERATE! I know; Dave is a C.Consultant...
Ten Hours /week consulting and your set!  

30 Dec 2004 @ 13:18 by ming : paypal
Yeah, that would be nice. Isn't quite as easy around here. Anyway, no notice about a payment from you, Astrid, so I guess you didn't give it the right answers.

And, yes, I'll keep track of it in the member database, also so I can avoid showing you a big annoying demand for donations whenever you log in.  

30 Dec 2004 @ 18:50 by astrid : Hey
what happened to the PayPal Page??? How do I re-do this procedure with access to yesterday's PayPal???????
Ming, I don't want to be trouble for you,( but I guess there's always some growing pains involved in any good idea!...) but THIS is what Heidi was asking you: "ONCE SOMEONE HAS MADE THEIR CONTRIBUTION AS REQUESTED, IS THERE A WAY for that big display regarding donations to be removed?" But since mine didn't go through I still need it....I hate being a Pain in the ..., but... heheh... HELP! HELP!

Thanks Ming, You're the Best! : )  

31 Dec 2004 @ 17:12 by ming : Bigger Picture
See, I prefer to concentrate on the bigger picture. But if I only do that, I easily discover that nothing that looks like business comes together. A few things come my way by luck or synchronicity. Seem like business arrangements require a certain focus on the business aspect of them. Of course. It is of course best if it connects up with a bigger picture too. But maybe it sometimes works better the other way: to start by finding viable businesses, and then seeing how one can do them in ways that match with one's higher ideas. Anyway, yes, maybe we have some things that can be hooked together.  

2 Jan 2005 @ 17:47 by vaxen : Marcab...
wins again. Good luck in your implanting, Ming san, you'll need it.  

4 Jan 2005 @ 08:18 by ashanti : Vaxen
I don't see anything wrong with this at all. There is the concept of Fair Exchange, after all. Money is currently the currency of this world, like it or not. No-one has yet come up with a feasible, sustainable, internationally applicable alternative. Peoples' physical, and thus mental and spiritual survival are linked to it. It is a trap, yes, and we are all stuck in it, in the present time. Those who manage to live without working, or running their own business, invariably got their money from somewhere - be it an inheritance, a state-funded social welfare system, a divorce settlement, living off someone else (which I consider to be parasitic) - whatever. I have not yet met a human being who can live without some form of access to money. And yes, it sucks, but until we manage to come up with a realistic alternative, we're stuck in it, and that's the reality. NCN is a good community, flaws and all - much better than many out there. My connection to it has helped me personally grow and work through things in ways unseen, but I know what they are. Meeting you was one of the real prizes. :) And several others. Access to alternative ideas, in a relatively safe net environment. I'm more than happy to fund that, and the creator and facilitator of that environment - even on a retrospective basis, because I have gained so much from being connected to this community already. Ashanti.  

5 Jan 2005 @ 09:57 by vaxen : Oh...
I don't believe that I mentioned money anywhere. After all Marcab is not about 'money!' Also we were all Marcabians once...

Money is only a symbol for 'exchange.' The 'exchange' is what 'matters.' The 'flow' seems to have been enturbulated somewhere along the 'timetrack.' Gee, I wonder where? heh heh Perhaps it's all those 'gloaters?' Just be careful of mucking about with their 'bonnes.'

"But the most valued point is admiration, and admiration is so strong its' absence alone permits persistence." R

"Certainty in all three universes must be regained for certainty, not data, is knowledge." R

Connected, disconnected, unconnected?

It's the 16's that get ya every time!
Start, change, stop...
Tone 40 that.  

6 Jan 2005 @ 06:16 by ashanti : Ah..
OK. Then I M/U'd you. I thought it was about Money.  

7 Jan 2005 @ 23:31 by astrid : How many times does it have to be
stated? It is the SYSTEM = The RULES that govern the Monetary System (still of ) this day that are WRONG ones, of which just the bottomline alone tells you where the makers of this system are coming from.... DEBT!!! to whom? to those who print the pieces of paper we then call money!.... WHO are these guys??? and why do they do it???

Who feels called to answer this Question for us? Any volunteers?....

Ashanti, I M/U'd it -just like you did. I too, thought it was about Money. And cuite frankly, I still do!...

Is there OTHER Monetary systems avaiable -as in thought up, or even practised??? Hell, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The difference between them and the OFFICIAL = the "establishemnts" (= the CONTROLLERS of our Social Overall Life): NONE OTHER is based on the concept of DEPT = SLAVERY!!!

Ashanti, you are absolutely right. WE are still trapped in this idiotic Cat and Mouse Game, but not for long!.... By the time 2005 will be over (358 days from now) you would think there's been like 3.58 years in between!...by the amount of Social changes.
I will implement the Change on Monday by calling Itacha to buy their Local Money Kit....I will be in Good Company though, knowing that China, Japan, France and other BigTime Nations are working -secretly- on implementing the Itacha Money system. Not that I really believe I/we/Mankind as a whole, ever will use that as an Intermediate Stage on our collective journey towards a Higher consciousness. Within this year, I think, Time is RIPE to plunge into a consciousness where Things will be done simply because they need to be done... and for no other reason. Any person who choose a lower consciousness will have to go where that consciousness goes/takes them. (Ohhh BTW, I just heard from Eu that the drug- dealers refuse to accept $$ as payment for drugs anymore!.... now, THAT is Bad News for the US!...)

9 Jan 2005 @ 12:00 by ming : XPertWeb
Jon, yes, I suppose what happened is that Britt moved his attention over to the election, and I'm not sure if it has come back. I'm still very interested in doing something like that. Maybe not exactly like it, but some mechanism for easily trading, exchanging, buying, and keeping ratings of who does good stuff. I might go back to my previous plan on how to address it. But Britt's idea of the data all being distributed is very good.  

9 Jan 2006 @ 18:55 by bryan @ : all a bout you
i will do all of that and you are my hearo  

28 Dec 2016 @ 10:31 by Carol @ : Freelancing
If you want to continue freelancing you could also try some other job boards, not only rentacoder. For example, XPlace - it has a lot of interesting freelance jobs to apply for, higher rates than other freelance marketplaces, and no commission fee.  

Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic] [PermaLink]? 

Link to this article as: http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001445.htm
Main Page: ming.tv