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· 4 min read
Jeremy Brown

Getting into the nitty-gritty#

Hmm. It seems I’ve skipped a few days’ worths of writing. This day–day eight–is many days later than the last post I put out. I missed days five, six, and seven. I intended to write every day for at least the first thirty days. I’ve already broken that goal.

Now that I think about it, however, these days all kind of blur together. I tried to write day five’s post but couldn’t recall anything that was significantly different from this day. Same too about day six. So I guess I can go ahead and write about today, and you, dear reader, can assume the previous three days were very similar.

These are the days when I’m building a lot of routines in my day. There’s a lot to do as I step into the office each day, so I’m finding success in my habit now of filling my calendar with hour blocks of work to do. Between 9 and 10 am, for example, might be “Client 1”. And between 11 and 12 might be “Blog post.” I fill my calendar with reasonable things to do in a given day.

I like this method: there is no check to fill in on a checklist. There’s simply “let’s do this work at this time.” There’s less pressure to complete something; rather, I’m just working towards completion during the time block.

Of course, I don’t have to spend just one hour on a particular client or post; I can easily bump into the next time block by moving the other around. Those little squares in Google Calendar do not intimidate me, as does a check box :)

I’ve started to color code blocks not by client or project but by their upcoming due date. If “Prepare for User Group” has a due date (it does: 12/14), then I color it red. This flag shows me I shouldn’t move it to another time block but work on it as planned.

I’m building routines in my day to keep me busy and to be productive. As I am the business owner and employee, I need to do those business things that are distracting. I’m finding, however, that I enjoy doing those.

Along the business side, this is what I’ve accomplished this week:

  1. I got a bank account (finally) with Wells Fargo. I decided to go old-school for now instead of an online bank.
  2. I set up a Freshbooks account and started tracking all client (and internal, business stuff) time there. This will be useful to send clients an invoice, which I’ve already done.
  3. I settled on various services I’ll be using. Since I’m doing and planning different marketing activities, I need various online services to support that. Some of those will be front-facing (facing you, my hopeful customers), and some are the internal stuff. I’ll share more about plans I have in the future.
  4. I did a lot of client work. Probably 30+ hours so far.
  5. I have gathered all my business expenses so far.
  6. Oh yeah, and I set up my website. I am playing with NextJS and TailwindCSS to build it. This is taking a lot of time, but it is so much fun.

So that’s what’s been going on. I think next week (starting 12/13), I’ll write more about JavaScript in FileMaker and other technologies. If you haven’t yet, please sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’m still working out the overlap (or lack thereof) between that and this blog post. For now, I’ll keep writing whatever where ever. I’m sure it will eventually work itself out.

Magically Yours,


· 3 min read
Jeremy Brown

Always on my mind#

I’m astounded by how much my mind thinks about this business. I consider every tangible and conceptual part of what I’m doing. Not only do I need to so that I survive, but I’m excited about all that I have/get to do to create and run Integrating Magic. My mind goes 100 miles per hour thinking of all that I might want to do under this brand. Day 4 hit home one essential part of what I’m doing.

During this honeymoon phase, people have been wishing me well. And I appreciate that. They all express the sentiment that I’ll be a success.

I started to think about what that meant for me. Indeed, my vision was clear, and I feel a vital purpose in everything I’m doing, but I hadn’t considered a success metric. So, while walking the dogs, I let my mind roll over what that meant.

I’ll probably write this up in more detail in a later post, but I think my measure of success is how much more I’m able to contribute in this Claris FileMaker space. Yes, I would like to have a business that brings in enough to be comfortable, but I want to lead more people to use JS in FileMaker. I want to evangelize the platform in general and bring more magic to apps built in the platform.

With that metric in mind, I am looking at all I’m doing, all I’m setting up and wanting to spend money on, to see if those services or apps or time sinks lead me towards my definition of success.

During the business parts of today, I explored payroll services. I looked at ADP, Gusto, and the accountant yesterday to see which service would work. Since I’m the only employee, I have to pay myself. It seems like using some sort of payroll service is the right way to go.

On that note, It occurs to me that I need to start writing down all the services I’m buying or considering to make sure I know my monthly expenses. Details, right? :)

I’m beginning to take meetings about work that I can do for individuals. It’s a fun challenge to refine what I say to allow people to see the value in what I provide. I know I can provide value; I need to make sure that’s clear.

Anyway, it’s now the weekend. I’ll still be working, but it will be sporadic throughout the days.

Magically yours,


· 3 min read
Jeremy Brown

In the thick of it#

There’s quite a forward momentum now in what I’m doing. I see a purpose and a plan; my vision gives weight to everything I’m doing. Though I have to spend lots of time working through the details of having a business, I am not disheartened. Everything I do is in service of how I see myself with this business.

The third day of Integrating Magic LLC was a day of those business things mostly. During the work hours (and beyond), I met with an accountant, researched health insurance, and explored website builders. I met with two clients of my own and a Claris Partner with whom I’ll be doing some work. It was a busy day; it was a meaningful day, and I’m learning a lot.

The day started as it always does: dog care. My spouse and I take turns with the morning dog-walking shift. That morning I got to stay home with Honey (you’ve met her in a previous post) and the foster dog, Eleanor.


While he was out walking Kirby and Zelda, I played with the other two, cuddled with them some, and tried to get some cleaning done around the house. Eleanor is pretty obsessed with me at the moment, so she’s always underfoot.

After everyone returned home and dog tooth brushing treats were dispensed, I gathered up my Kindle and notebook. I ventured to my favorite place for morning contemplation: the local diner.

French toast, bacon, grits (I am in the south, after all), and a Coke Zero eventually arrived at my table. While waiting, with AirPods in my ear playing quiet Christmas music, I wrote down notes and questions for my next appointment: the accountant. I had a lot of questions for them and tried to get them on paper in some coherent order. The truth was, I had almost no idea about this part of a business.

I may not have known a whole lot going in, but when I left the accountant’s office, I had a clearer picture of what she could do for me and how this all works. The conversation was eye-opening; I learned what the IRS considers a “reasonable salary” for LLCs and how to supplement the salary with any profits left over. The topic is fascinating.

The other business-creation things included researching health insurance and website builders–two very different things. One was overwhelming, and one tapped into what I already know how to do. I’ll let you guess which one was overwhelming (even when it shouldn’t be!)

I need a website. Yes, people know me, and I can market my services in person; but I can’t be everywhere (I try, I really do), so my website needs to be a decent proxy. After considering ‘low code’ website builders, I chose Next JS and Vercel to be my project. There’s more overhead in building something–I have to write the code–but all that I’ve learned up to this point has led me to this. I can make a website.

Day three was fun and exciting; I wonder how long this honeymoon will last? I’ve got work coming in and (eventually) the money from that work.

Magically yours,


· 3 min read
Jeremy Brown

What a difference a day makes#

On day one, I woke up nervous with a huge pit in my gut. With the comfort of Honey (my dog), I was able to start the day and found success in the tasks of figuring out what I don’t know.

The beginning of day two couldn’t have been more different. My wake-up followed a restful night's sleep (the first in awhile), and my brain filled with the promise of the new day. Yes I know that’s a cliche but it really was true for me!

That’s not to say the day’s thoughts were all positive and forward-thinking. I drifted back into the ‘what did I do?” category of thoughts, but those were held mostly at bay by the chaos of the 2nd day.

First, dog number two, Zelda, had to go in for dental cleaning. She had to be under anesthesia, which meant she couldn’t eat or drink before the 8:00 am drop-off. Telling a dog she can’t eat is near impossible, so my husband and I did all we could to distract her from plopping herself in the kitchen. The hustle and bustle of feeding three dogs but not the fourth was like one of those keystone cop silent films.


Once I dropped her off at the vet, I began the day. Sticking with a pattern, I continued to fill my calendar with things to do during the day. On today’s schedule was “LinkedIn Company Page”, “Datatables widget practice”, “JS in FM Training outline”, “email list set up”. I got to maybe 2 of those today.

The time was well spent, however, when I did get to focus on the work. I learned a lot about services that provide email listserv services. I also researched banks good for small businesses. I think I have settled on Novo, for now anyway.

I realized midway through the day that a day not spent in FileMaker or JS was a day I wasn’t bringing in income. That thought bothered me a bit. After considering it a bit, I settled on the idea that I need a business and all the appropriate pieces in place to be able to focus on FileMaker and JS. So I kept picking away at my list.

I did get to talk with a few potential clients. I hope those workout and I can build an API for one and a JS widget for another.

I don’t yet have a way to keep track of the tasks I do. I’m considering ClickUp to use myself to manage tasks and due dates. It worked very well at my previous job, so I think I'll continue. I don't have to learn something new or build something.

One success of the day: I did set up an email listServe. I’d invite you to sign up and support my confidence in knowing these things I explore will work.

At the close of today, I am feeling good. I’ve got a strong sense of what to do next and how to get there. And I can’t wait to pick up the next day. The frustrations and roadblocks of the day were all overcome in one of two ways: I either solved it or I know the path to take to solve it.

Magically yours, Jeremy

· 4 min read
Jeremy Brown

What did I just do?#

Today was my first day really on my own as a new company. The transition from employed elsewhere to here happened so fast. But I’ve survived day one. Let me tell you about it.

I really didn’t sleep much the previous night, and I woke up with rambling thoughts in my head. I really hoped I hadn’t made any sort of mistake. I was feeling quite worried. However, I got dressed and began the day.

Before starting the morning routine, I laid down on the freshly made bed. My third dog (I have three dogs and one foster), the quietest, gentlest, and most sensitive one, hopped up on the bed and came near me. As I closed my eyes and pondered life’s biggest choices and possible mistakes, I felt a touch on my chest. She had settled next to me and laid her face on me. I think she knew I needed that. She was correct.


After that brief meditation, I got up and walked the other two dogs in the cold Florida morning. The walk too was mind-clearing and uplifting.

While listening to a podcast and dealing with dogs sniffing, I heard a commercial for BetterHelp. The commercial mentioned “life changes”. While walking the last stretch with the pups, I had the sudden desire to sign up. I might just give it a try. Talk with someone. We’ll see.

Work time began. I started with some trepidation: what would today hold? Would I stay busy? I didn’t know the answer to either question but dove in anyway.

A trick I from Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life was to put things on the calendar. I wasn't making a to-do list, but a “do-this-then” list. So I scheduled things like “Update LinkedIn Business Page” (updates coming very soon), and “Post to LinkedIn”. I had a meeting with a sales guy at to see if I could build a community there. Filing up the calendar, and doing the tasks at the appointed time–even if those tasks weren’t finished at the end–gave me purpose and kept my mind busy and warded off other thoughts.

The day passed quickly. I met with people with whom I’ll be working in a contractor role with a Claris partner. I also got to produce my first sales pitch of widget-building to a client. And I had a few other meetings throughout the day–welcome meetings that encouraged me on this path.

I have to admit that, during the workday, I’d peer over at the LinkedIn Post (see below) and see how many people responded and/or commented. That was heartening.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I actually had a lot of questions and things I didn’t know. But, and this is a big one, I have a direction and a way forward with all of them. Yes, I need to fully understand how LLCs work and how I pay myself and insurance and contracts work. Yep. I have a lot to learn. And I made plans for the remainder of the week to explore some of these.

A lot of questions, for sure, but a plan to solve them, energy to overcome them. I’m really looking forward to executing that plan and expanding that energy.

I finished my day feeling exhilarated and excited. I’m so energized to make the vision I have for Integrating Magic come true that I can’t wait to start tomorrow. The self-doubts, I assume, will pop up here and there. But I’ll simply turn to the next thing to learn/type/fill out and get energy out of those.

Tomorrow is day two. I’ll let you know how it goes. I imagine some of it will be spent at Disney World. Come back here to this blog to see what I ended up doing.

Magically Yours,


PS. Here's the post I wrote: