Category Archives: The Art of Letting Go

The Business of Managing a Business

Hey there everybody, long time no see.

Do you know that feeling happens when you wake up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, excited to get some solid work done?

So you get up, take your meds, and decide to start your day by wrapping up some small projects. Get a nice clean slate. Clear your desk so you can focus on getting the really important stuff done.

But when you open up your e-mail, you realize that first you need to catch up on e-mail. Because when you look up from the bottom of your inbox it’s such a deep hole that all you can see is a faint a circle of light like they talk about in The Ring.

So you’re doing e-mail, clearing out the chaff, making progress, apologizing to the folks you’ve meant to reply to for months. Then someone texts you with a quick question looking for clarification about a contract, and then someone *else* pings you on Signal asking if you want to be on a panel at a convention. Then you have a skype call so you can do some art direction about the illustrations for the upcoming French edition of your book…

(Yes. Seriously. Art by the Amazing Marc Simonetti.)

So you get that about 73% finished before you have to jump into a meeting about who is going to be your literary executor just in case you get hit by a bus the next time you go out for coffee, and it’s an important meeting, but it’s really complicated, and you don’t *quite* get it finished before you have to have a conference call about copyrighting certain parts of your IP…

Then, eventually, you realize it’s 11:00 at night, and despite spending your whole day doing things, you feel like you haven’t gotten anything done.

If you *don’t* know what that’s like. I’m delighted for you. But that pattern has been my default for… like… a really long time.

None of you will be shocked to hear that I am not a natural organizer. Sure I make lists. I make lots of lists. Then eventually I have to find and organize the lists that were meant to keep me organized in the first place. So I make a list of the lists I need to organize.

As a friend of mine very correctly said recently: I am a chaos generator.

So. We here at Rothco are finally biting the bullet and hiring a business manager. Or rather, we’ve been going through the laborious process of figuring out what exactly we want/need from a business manager. In order to do this, we’ve been creating some sort of arcane document called a… Jorb Listing?

Surprising no-one, even this step of the process has been a bit… chaotic. As shown by this screencap of an early draft of the google doc:

(Please help me.)

In a nutshell, I need someone to help manage my… everything. Someone with experience and training to help my team handle the day-to-day business of things so I can focus on doing the things that only *I* can do. Like write books and spend time with my kids.

I’ve been deliberating for a long time as to whether or not to mention this job on the blog.

On one hand, I want to get the word out. I want as many applicants as possible, because I want to find someone *amazing* for this job. (Also because I don’t want to have to go through the time-consuming and excruciating process of doing a second job search later.)

And, truth be told, y’all are pretty amazing, so it only makes sense that I’d like to open the door for you to apply. What’s more, I’m guessing a lot of you know some amazing people that you might want to mention this job to. Being a fan isn’t a requirement for this job, so if y’all know any great organizers/managers with experience who are either looking for a job, or looking to change jobs…

(My expectations are super reasonable.)

But here’s the problem, posting the job here might lead to some real hassle. It takes a long time to go through applications, and if we get 300 people applying just for shits and giggles, it’s going to waste a *ton* of time. And time is in short supply here.

So here’s the thing. I vouched for you. I told my team that y’all are cool. I’ve reassured them that even though some of you might be tempted to throw in a joke application, you wouldn’t actually do that. Because yeah, sure, one joke application might be funny. But 200 of them will waste a week of my team’s time, and make it *harder* for me to actually find the person I’m looking for.

So here it goes:

*****

  • Elodin Enterprises Seeks Full-Time Business Manager:

Elodin Enterprises is a Stevens Point-based company that works with the intellectual property, licensing, and merchandising for the author Patrick Rothfuss. In addition to this, we collaborate closely with Worldbuilders, the non-profit founded by Pat. We are looking for a business manager who will be able to plan and lead varied projects, manage employees, act as liaison and coordinator, and generally ensure everything Elodin Enterprises works consistently, efficiently and smoothly. 

We are looking for a business manager to plan and lead varied projects, streamline workflow, and facilitate a workspace where Pat is able to pursue his creative work productively. Our long-term goal is to separate the creative elements of Elodin Enterprises from day-to-day operations. 

We’re looking for a leader who can manage initiatives on time, oversee employees to ensure that they are functioning at optimum levels, and provide an efficient, flexible structure around which our ideas and people can continue to grow. 

Our ideal candidate is a talented individual who is self-motivated and committed to making the world a better place. This position will involve a high level of communication, organization, planning, and problem-solving. As someone in a high-level position in the organization, you would also be responsible for supporting a positive work environment. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Project oversight and management 
  • Oversight and management of employees
  • Setting and completing productive business goals
  • Ensure long term financial stability 
  • Understand, develop, and operate within our brand

Required Skills

  • Very skilled with Google Apps (Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Groups, etc)
  • Meticulous and detail oriented
  • Critical thinker who makes good, informed, and ethical decisions
  • Extremely good at writing and email communication
  • Task driven and able to work independently
  • Extraordinarily organized
  • Fast learner at new programs and processes
  • Maintaining complete and accurate files
  • Working with company accountants
  • Managing a small team of full-time employees
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation

Helpful, but not required experience:

  • Familiarity with Android phones
  • OBS and other streaming software
  • Discord, Slack, Skype, and other communications software
  • Contract reading and negotiation
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office
  • Property/Facilities Management
  • Product development

The position will require the ability to oversee many projects simultaneously, maintaining timelines and deadlines for all of them, while ensuring that the rest of the team is doing the same. As a small organization, we may ask that you pitch in as odds-and-ends tasks come up.

This position is full-time and is based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Pay will be commensurate with experience. Position includes health care benefits, vacation and holiday time off.

Elodin Enterprises is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to jobs(@)patrothfuss.com.

Deadline for application is July 25th.

*****

Okay folks. I’m trusting you. Please share this around with anyone you think might be legitimately interested and qualified.

I’m also trusting you *not* to apply just because you hate your current job and were totally an assistant manager at a Pizza Hut that one summer.

On the other hand, if you’d like to apply for OTHER jobs in the comments below, I’d love to see what you have to offer Rothco. Think you’d be a great minion? List your unique skills below. Want to be my Dolphin wrangler? Food taster? Court Jester? Lovely. I’m eager to see what qualifications you bring to the table.

Just make sure to do it in the comments below, not in the e-mail above.

Share and enjoy,

pat

Also posted in a ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms, calling on the legions, I am completely fucking serious, social networking, the business of writing | By Pat192 Responses

Deadlines, Prizes, Auctions, D&D, and… um… Poop

As I write this, the Worldbuilders fundraiser has raised over $665,000 dollars for Heifer international.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty great….

A lot of times when I talk about what Heifer International I focus on things like… well… heifers. Or goats. Or Chickens.

Part of the reason is that it’s easy for people to understand how giving a family a flock of chickens what you’re *really* giving them is a long-term supply of fresh food, and an income stream, and the ability to produce more chickens.

But Heifer international does more than just give animals to people, they also provide near-miraculous technologies that people in the developing world can use to make their lives better every day.

For example, Heifer International can help a family turn shit into money, time, food, and improved health for a family.

Here’s how:

A donation of $50 is enough to set a family up with a biogas digester. And if you donate before the end of the fundraiser, you have a chance to win amazing stuff.

 

Even more than that, if you donate on a specific team page, you have the chance of being included in *additional* prize draws that are unique to each page.

For example, if you donate on the D&D team page, you can win things that will give you a little help when you most need it at during your own tabletop games. Things like this:

Or these:

We’re giving away hundreds of these cards. Even full sets of them. That team just passed their $50K stretch goal, so we’re about to add even more cards to the prize draw AND show off the newly finished cards for those good good boys on the Adventure Zone….

Every $10 bucks you kick in over on that team page gets you a chance to win those cards as well as all the other prizes in the main lottery, too.

*      *      *

Lastly, I’m going to mention a few things on the blog you need to know about sooner rather than later. Strap in, because there’s kind of a lot….

There are over 80 auctions running: games and books and art and jewelry. Rare and Unique items. Strange and Wonderful things that you’ll never see anything else. If you haven’t headed over to look at them, now’s the time.

If you’re looking to do any Christmas shopping for that hard-to-buy-for geek in your life, you should really head over to the store and have a lookie-loo. We’ve to a bunch of new merchandise from all manner of folks over there. Including the fabulous owlbear backpack.

Amazing items such as this await your eager eyes over in the store. But if you want it shipped to you in time for the holidays, you better order soon…

  • Third, be aware that I’m streaming every day until the end of the fundraiser.

What’s more, every one of those streams will have something special going on. Games. Prizes for donors. Today (Thursday) I’ll be playing D&D for charity. Other days I’ll be having discussions like this:

(You can share this graphic around to spread the word, if you’re interested.)

*     *     *

Everything said, the fundraiser is going pretty amazingly. As I mentioned a while back, I was really nervous about a lot of the format changes we were making this year. But at this point, I feel like I can start to relax a little.

Most of all, I’m still hoping that if we push hard over the next 5 days, we can sail over the top of a million dollars.

I’d really like that.

I’ll see y’all soon.

pat

Also posted in panels, Warm Fuzzies, Worldbuilders, Worldbuilders 2018 | By Pat11 Responses

Something Like a Star

Tonight, Oot brought me a penny he’d found on the floor.

“Look,” he said. “It’s burned.”

Say something to us we can learn By heart and when alone repeat. Say something! And it says, 'I burn.'

It wasn’t a bad guess, everything said. A good guess, but wrong. It’s corroded.

For half a moment I thought about correcting him on this, but I didn’t.

Looking back, I could come up with some excuse for *why* I didn’t correct him. I could claim that corrosion is sort of like a slow chemical burning. But that would be bullshittery. The truth was, at that moment, it didn’t feel right to correct my boy. So I didn’t. I went with my gut.

“Maybe it got too close to the sun,” Oot said.

This was another good guess. Though it was probably wrong as well.

What pleased me is that my decision to keep my mouth shut paid such an immediate dividend.

If I’d told my boy the truth right away, he would have nodded and said, “Oh of course!” Or “Oh, I see!” And he would have gained a tiny fact. Namely, that a coin that looks like this is corroded. (Something he could have parroted back to me. But that he wouldn’t have understood in any meaningful way.)

But that’s not what happened. Instead, left to himself. His curiosity was engaged. He asked a question of himself, “How could this have gotten burned?”

Then he came up with an answer: It might have gotten to close to the sun.

This isn’t a bad guess. He knows fire would have to be pretty hot to burn metal. A match isn’t going to do it. What’s hotter than that? The sun.

And here’s the thing. He’s wrong. But the process he’s going though is good. What he’s actually doing, asking questions and attempting to figure out the answers, it’s the roots of rationality. The process he’s undertaking is the core of all true philosophy and science.

He looked at the penny again. “Actually,” He says. “It looks like moss.”

It’s called “verdigris,” I thought. It’s like rust, but it happens on copper instead of iron. Also, interesting fact, it’s mildly poisonous.

I thought that, but I kept my mouth shut.

Why? Because I am occasionally wise.

Because this is not the internet.

(Comic loveliness from the brilliant XKCD, of course.)

Because when a child comes to you in the full flush of discovery, brimming with excitement, correcting them is not the proper thing to do.

Because the truth is, facts can be small, sad things.

But learning to ask questions and guess at answers? That is the beginning of true understanding. Those are the bones of the world.

*     *     *

I have news. I’ll be posting about it as soon as I have internet in my house again. Stay tuned.

Also posted in Oot, Warning: Mild Literary Faffery | By Pat90 Responses
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