Marketing and Cleaning the House

Dutch Steak
9 min readFeb 24, 2019


Today I’ve woken up inspired. I have just read another Medium post on someone else who was running their own business. I say read, my eyes grabbed what they felt they needed to, but it’s made a difference to my attitude.

I have to admit, when it comes to running my own business I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m doing. I’ve got a website, I’ve got a company name, and someone’s been helping me with the design aspects. All I need now is possibly a job to stop me freaking out about money and to know where to put my time.

The plan for today is to get happy with the website. I don’t know what I think of it. I think this may happen with any design and me. I’m extremely opinionated when it comes to design. This is possibly a good sign that one day I’ll be able to become a designer for my own customers, but right now I am in the hands of others.

The plan isn’t just to get happy with the website. The biggest achievement of all would be to stay awake. I slept well, but that doesn’t usually mean anything. I’m up by ten o clock today and that’s pretty good after sleeping all night, but usually I’ll crash within an hour or two. I don’t tend to go to the doctor about this any more; could it be diet and lacking exercise alone? I find it impossible to know what I should be eating but I’m assuming cardio is what I need for that.

Regarding other things! The business side. If I am settled on the website that I have for Uncouth Studios then I need to figure out what else it needs. It needs to look fine on phones and tablets and the contact form needs to work. It should also have a blog. My brother has suggested Wordpress for this which I’m not keen on but maybe I should listen. It would be a fast way of getting a blog out there, but my gut is telling me to build something from scratch. Aside from the website I need to finish the business cards. Someone has said that they look too dark, but others have said that they like them as they are so I’m not sure now. I think I’ve decided to just use them as they are because I like them. Also I’ve looked around and found other examples of dark designs so it can’t be that far off from acceptable. What I don’t currently have, though, is the money to pay for them. They will eventually be funded by the organisation that gives me a work coach, which is great, but at the moment I just don’t have the money. I will email over the cost for the logo and the cards to my work coach today as part of all of this.

Then there’s the second website. I think I need to make a suggestion to my designer friend to inspire the kind of design that I like. I have got a site up. It seems to me it comes down to having to be decisive and getting things done because the iOS app business is going to need some tender loving care as well. Today is getting-things-done day. That site will also need a blog.

Flyer design is something else I need. A suggestion by my work coach has been to create flyers. He is confident that I’ll have enough places to put them, I am not so sure, but I’ll go with it.

What else is there to do around this? I want to alter the business cards for Uncouth a little in order to show the actual technologies I use. It might be meaningless to some, but others will know what I mean. I thought I would list them: HTML, CSS, SASS, JavaScript, Swift, PHP and React. I think that should cover it. I actually rather like the current business card. I think that some more text covering technologies would sit quite nicely underneath my name. Then I’ll just want to get them printed.

I think if I just concentrate on Uncouth for today that should simplify things. So here’s a definitive list of actions for me. You don’t have to read this, but I am prone to making micro-tasks and I want them written.

  • Get the text showing technologies onto the above business card. DONE.
  • Figure out how I’m going to get them printed.
  • Design a flyer — I have Gimp for this. I hope it’ll allow me to set a page size.
  • Ensure is being redirected to my main email so I don’t miss anything.
  • Get the contact form on the website working. DONE
  • Update my work coach on the current situation. DONE
  • Attempt to create a business page on LinkedIn. It was failing last night but I think it’s because I deleted my LinkedIn page and then recreated it and I need to have been a member for a little bit and have a few contacts.
  • Attempt to create a business page on Facebook. I don’t use Facebook but I’m told it’s good for business. I don’t have to show my face, right? Hopefully I can create a business page without showing me or my name.
  • Look online for some more jobs to apply for so I stop freaking out about money. When all you have in the world is debt it’s a little hard not to. It is genuinely upsetting when that debt is with a family member who has more faith in me to do this than I have in myself.
  • The blog is going to be documentation on how to use different technologies. A little more accurate than a blog and more like documentation and handy tutorials. This will involve the creation of different JavaScript controls. Namely a splitter bar a mark-down editor, admin mode, etc., etc. Maybe the controls can go on the website. The blog should contain case studies.
  • I have a radio station app. This app does nothing more than play the radio and is to run on both iPads and iPhones but it needs a play/pause button. Actually I’ve always visualised that as two buttons, but it needn’t be. It also needs a loading screen which means I need my Ashios logo sorted. I will send inspiration to my designer friend to see what he thinks. At the moment all I want is a purple swirl that looks like paint with the text Ashios underneath it. Maybe I’ll find a tutorial in Gimp. So play/pause button and logo for ashios.
  • Get up to module 10 with my React learning. I want to use React to build my blog. Actually I also want to build a Web API for the blog as well. A secure-with-OAuth2 blog.
  • Get the icons relevant on my Uncouth site. I’ve just put loads of stuff on there and I may have gone overboard. DONE
  • Remove the mention of eCommerce on my website. I hate WordPress and I hate eCommerce. DONE
  • Get social media icons into the footer of the website.
  • Get an effect and maybe some text to appear on the hover of portfolio items to indicate that clicking on the item will take you to a case study for that item. It’s not very obvious at the moment.
  • Get a link from the case studies to live sites.
  • Get a link from the case studies to their GitHub home.
  • Ensure examples of work are up-to-scratch. They need to look good and they need to be responsive. I wouldn’t worry too much but I’ve rebranded them and this is a possible cause for breakages.
  • If I get the logo for Ashios sorted, then make a business card design for Ashios as well. INVALID.
  • Get happy with the Ashios website or make a new one. Do something about the website. INVALID.

This is more than I can reasonably do in one day. In fact I might be out of my mind to try or to feel like I should try but I am going to do as much as I can. I must remember to take breaks, make sure I don’t fall asleep and play some Red Dead Redemption. I may attempt streaming that to my PC for later. And an hour on my guitar.

There! How is that for positivity! Of course this will never work but I have to try because I am less than poor…

Progress itself…

Having settled on the above business card design I’ve added the technologies so that’s one thing I can mark off the list. I like it. If anybody reading this has any suggestions on how to tweak it, perhaps it needs more colour, then let me know on the email address on the card. I expect only one person is potentially reading this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask:

The only thing I don’t like is that I couldn’t find a way to add padding to the text on the bottom of the back of the card so to get it properly centred it had to span the full width, but I think it’s alright!

The next thing on my list is to figure out how I’m going to get these printed…

Update at 17:36:

I’ve not yet got the cards printed since the money I borrowed will only just get me out of debt. However! HowEVER! The website now has a working contact form on it complete with animation on the button during the AJAX request. That’s an achievement.

Also the logo is now on the website and I believe the icons more relevant. I’m told most people want Wordpress sites, but it can’t be all, right? I’ll just have to shoot that cat when it appears.

Ashios tasks on here can be ignored. I think it’ll be too much to take on. Not only that I’m so picky when it comes to design I’ll be there all week trying to work out what I love and hate about yet more business cards that I don’t see the point.

Next up is looking at ensuring any emails sent to get sent to my own email address. On doing this I discovered loads of emails supposedly sent from my account which isn’t good. About eighty five thousand of them. How?! Why!? I’m going to email Godaddy about that because it’s bad.

Just tried to ring Godaddy and ended up talking to a lovely woman who didn’t know who Godaddy were. I wish my life were as simple. Still, I think I’ve got the email forwarding set up. Still waiting for the test email, of course, but it’s a step. Will try again with that tomorrow.

I am just too tired now…

Kind regards…a very successful and kind man…

Update 23:09

Is it odd that I make notes like this in Medium or even at all? I can’t tell. Either way: There are now social media icons on the website, the PHP icon in the header is now white. Am I actually any good at PHP? I don’t know. I can dish data out of a database and send emails with it and I’ve not really needed a lot else out of it besides back-end validation. Still, it looks prettier in white. There’s also a working mobile menu.

Tomorrow: I think the case study need some care. I’d like some way of just doing case studies of my own crazy HTML rather than the yuk template I’ve put together but I suppose that’s not going to be hard. Would just be nice to be able to integrate that somehow with the template I suppose.

Also would be good to get the new social media icons hooked up to something. Easy for Twitter as I have an account. I can’t recall if I’ve said anything Uncouth in there, but I can fish that out. Then it’s just Facebook and LinkedIn…must I? Really? Facebook? Idiotic platform.

Besides the above and adding something to the hover effect of the portfolio items I’m practically there layout-wise. Then the content can get some more care.

The plan after the website? Cards, obviously…but after that? After the flyers? The iOS app! Then back to React learning. I’ll be excited if I can create a web API using React alone. There’s a workshop in Tuesday for business running and I had a call from a recruiter tonight about a role in Bath, and another recruiter ringing for a role in Bristol. I think I’d be happier with the one in Bristol. I need to get out of this joint! And then there’s that fucking walking I’m supposed to be doing on Wednesday. I’ve never known a human to live as much like an indoor cat as me, I think it has to be all the rural living done as I grew up, right? Not that anybody else there turned out like me. Thank heavens for digital contacts!

I think I’ll have a curry…



Dutch Steak

A coder, a rambler...and now wondering if maybe design and actual art, very different, should form my future...