Swooping In

The last few weeks have seen a considerable improvement in my mother's mental state of health.

The medications they have given her are making her sleep through the night and she is no longer on the roller coaster of acute anxiety ridden deliriums.

This along with all the community services has meant that she is still at home being looked after by Dad, my sister and a whole lot of different people that come in at various times of the day and week.

Whilst she no longer needs acute dementia care right this very moment, the time will come and we still have to move forward and find somewhere for her.

It's a damn tough call really, she could go downhill incredibly quickly again and this time the ride down could be even worse.

My preference is to find her a place now rather than later, but my sister doesn't want to do that until there is no way at all she can cope at home.

I understand her point of view, mum seems OK (well as OK as someone with dementia can be) an things seem to be controlled at the moment.

But looks can be deceiving and I am not convinced that dad is coping at all, nor do I think my sister is coping either.

On the work front we released the major new software upgrade and have started the task of upgrading or install base.

So far we have done about 5% of clients and so far we have found about 15 minor bugs and 4 major bugs in the code. It's a bugger but no matter how much you test applications on a dev environment you will always find bugs and issues when it's being used by the great unwashed masses out there in user land (IE the clients).

The initial feedback to the new version has been very positive though and is making our work lives a lot easier.

We have been having a few issues with a couple of clients in the last few weeks. I really struggle with wanting to make all my clients happy. But sometimes you just have to take a long walk and look at the real situation in a cold and rather clinical way.

Do they make you money?
Are you losing money with them?
Will giving them something for nothing will you get something back?

Remember in my business we charge for our time, experience and skills alongside charging for our software. Software is a funny thing though, you spend thousands of hours building applications on the promise that people want it and will buy it.

Then you sell it and recoup the investment you made and make a return on that time you put in to building it.

Clients often don't get this fact, many of them simply think that because the software exists already they shouldn't have to pay for it, nor should they have to pay for enhancements that only they want.

Two issues that I face with many clients is with the speed of technological change.

They don't want to pay to upgrade their sites or systems to reflect new technology changes and they threaten and try to bully into getting these changes for nothing.

I had a really awkward heated argument with a client last week on just one of these issues and in the end I lost my cool. It was cringe worthy on my behalf but at the end of the day I had to stop being nice and think carefully about my business.

I am a very fair person to my client's - probably more so than I really need to be.

But in this case I looked critically at the situation and realized I am not getting anything out of this relationship. To continue to support them is actually costing me time, and my time is definitely money. They have been told they have to pay but they refuse to pay for valid work.

On the up side of the last few weeks I have just made a formal offer to a new sales person and I am waiting for their acceptance of the offer.

They are totally unlike my other staff hires. This one is significantly older with what I hope will be a strong work ethic.

I am pretty emotionally work out right now and need an emotional break to regroup and visualize my goals and strategize where I am going and what I want.

I am not great at taking time out, but in the coming weeks I am going to do just that and re do my personal and professional action plan.