I've now finished the second of the making-millions-working-from-home books that I borrowed from my favourite local library, and have picked up what I'm sure will be useful skills for some kind of home-based business.
I can now throw around such small biz acronyms as 'SOHO' ('small office, home office') with gay working-from-home abandon, and provide anyone with a rundown of just what the Corporation's Act expects of me personally.
[One thing that I haven't so much learnt as once again thoroughly enjoyed is snorting at such embarassing generalisations as the following, which appear with alarming and disappointing regularity in the business world: I haven't seen such flagrant sexism and imperialist dog-ness since The Benny Hill Show and/or The Goodies. All we can hope is that Mr Bossman is kind enough to Mrs Beancounter as to only oppress her on Tuesdays and Thursdays.]
But none the matter, I'm sure Ms Make-it can look after herself (provided she doesn't hook up with Mr Snakeoil), so back to the many things I've learned and the changes I've made that show just what an impact these SOHO books have had.
I no longer meet friends for a beer and a chat but provide refreshments to my chosen focus group (who represent my target market) in order to conduct market research on them. I no longer spend slothful, wasted evenings on the couch quoting lines from Top Gun and The Simpsons but rather enjoy many giddy hours on the computer building spreadsheets and itemising my deductible and non-deductible expenses (non-compulsory uniforms had me stumped for a while there - exciting stuff!).
But perhap the biggest change has been what is my newest and I'm sure most endearing trait of seeing all printed images as possible elements in what will surely be The World's Greatest Logo Ever and lying, stealing and cheating to procure them.
I've been ripping out pages from magazines in paediatricians' waiting rooms if I see borders that I like, and pocketing coasters from pubs if they happen to have even the slightest hint of a pretty, spidery-lined motif.
But my proudest and most enterprising image-collection moment came when I saw a woman walking down a random street in my local area drinking a coffee in a take-away cup that had a quite lovely Arabesque pattern printed on it. Knowing that this cup was in fact my graphic designer's holy grail, from which fount all logo-related inspiration would flow, I decided the right thing to do was to loiter nearby while she finished her coffee, to choke back my "Stop! Litterer!" when she threw her empty Arabesque-patterned cup under a tree, and then to wait until she was out of sight before carefully collecting my cuppy treasure. It was definitely the right thing to do to take it home, wash and dry it, cut out the bottom, flatten it, scan it and send it to my designer.
On reflection I can see the precise moment where I crossed the line.