Happy Tail: A Look At Pugsteady’s Year-End Progress

img_20150603_162044Murray (the Pugsteady COO) is celebrating because we had a great first year!

Pugsteady was officially a legal company in late June of 2014, but I decided that July 1 would be the start of our fiscal year and our formal birthday. Now it’s one year later, and it’s time to take a look back and see how Pugsteady did.

Financially, Murray is very happy with the number of treats he’s been getting since we’ve started. I’m pretty happy as well! I won’t share hard numbers, but my goal was to make a living wage this year. Running the numbers, it looks like this was a complete success, as my gross profits were over 200% of the living wage numbers for Georgia.

My financial stretch goal was for the company to purchase a new, high-quality laptop, since most of the year was spent on old, borrowed, or cheap equipment. Yesterday I was able to place the order for an Origin EON15-S — a nice, portable Windows machine with enough power to run unoptimized graphics as well as intensive software such as Unity.

Professionally, this year had the obvious goal of establishing myself and surviving for a year. Again, that was a huge success! I handled contracts for over a dozen clients, with some regular monthly consulting agreements. Four of those clients are in the area of digital games, two are exclusively fiction, one was with a sales company, and the rest are a blend of fiction and tabletop RPG writing and design. Nearly all of my work was “work for hire,” but all of my clients are amazing and have paid promptly — sometimes with unexpected bonuses!

My professional stretch goal was to have one product that Pugsteady can call its own, which was intended to be the Pugmire tabletop RPG. In that I fell a little short, but there has been excellent progress, and the partnership with Onyx Path Publishing has been amazing. We’re hoping to have a good marketing push at Gen Con and beyond, leading into a crowd-funding campaign.

Personally, I’ve really had a great year. Working from home has been surprisingly satisfying, and it’s been nice to be able to take care of Murray (who is getting on in years) as well as having the flexibility to make some improvements in my life. I’ve been learning how to cook, and I’m starting to take classes to improve my skillset. I’ve dramatically increased my skills as a designer, consultant, producer, and programmer, and I continue to push the boundaries of my writing skill when I can. Also, my family and I have bought a new house, so I have a larger office that I can really customize to my business needs.

Today, after a company retreat with Murray, we’ve settled on three big goals for the upcoming year.

  • Financial: Increase the amount of work in which I own the rights, while still doing projects that are work-for-hire.
  • Professional: Work with at least three new clients, while maintaining relationships with the current ones.
  • Personal: Learn one skill I don’t currently possess.
Overall, things are looking positive, and I hope I’ll have good news to share this time next year!

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