29 May Unemployed? Drop in income? No problem!

Wow, my last post was on April 29th! Sorry for the long delay, I will try and make time to get at least 1 post a week done from now on. The reason for the layoff in posts is due to my employment situation. My wife lost her job right before Claire was born and we have decided to do all we can do to allow her to stay at home with her. This means I have to increase my income in any and every way possible. I have been searching for a new full time position with no luck; however I have yet to put my plans into action that I have learned from “48 days until the work you love”. So, and this leads me to my advice for anyone in a similar situation, I have taken a different route to increase our income.

A few weeks after advertising my tiling business I received a call from a local builder and he hired me to finish a tiling job at one of his houses, and then informed me that there were 3 more houses which need the same tiling work done. These are huge jobs, 3 bathrooms, an entryway, and a kitchen backsplash. They pay pretty well and it will give us a cushion to allow me to decide what it is I’m going to do going forward.

Work in Progress

There’s a good place to go when you’re broke, TO WORK!

So if you’re currently unemployed or just need some additional income, don’t just sit there and apply online for jobs, it doesn’t work. Get out there and start working. Mow lawns, anyone can do it and you can’t beat the hourly rate you earn. In your spare time read the book by Dan Miller that I mentioned above, it has great tips for determining what it is you’re called to do, not just what you think you should be doing, and how to start that career.

Garage Sales

I’m currently working about 75 hours a week, so I have not had time to organize our annual garage sale. Somehow we manage to hold onto enough stuff or accumulate enough to have a garage sale every year it seems like. If you need some extra cash I recommend putting your big ticket items on eBay, Amazon, or craigslist first. If they don’t sell there, you can throw them in the garage sale, but don’t give stuff away you know is worth something. Anyway, even our smaller sales are usually good for a few hundred bucks, although we did have the disaster of 2007, where we spend $35 on a newspaper ad (now you just list it on craigslist), and made about $50 for the entire day. The year before we made $700, so it tends to even out. On the flip side, if you really have some spare time, you can go to garage sales and get deals on things to resell, I have done this sparingly and always made double to triple on things I purchased. Just make sure you have a pretty good idea it will resell, or it will end up in your garage sale later.

Pursue your Ideas

I am currently in the planning process of developing my own ipad/iphone app. I encourage people to pursue their ideas, but not to the point where it puts your family in jeopardy. Don’t go opening a Smoothie King franchise for $250,000 on an SBA loan, way too risky. But if you want to spend $500 cash to start something up, go for it. I’m hoping my app sells but if it doesn’t it won’t hurt us financially; it’s a risk but a small one.

Overall my message is don’t give up, and don’t whine, your attitude affects your life more than you think. Employers can tell in an interview if you’re sulking and depressed. Just because you can’t get your 60k job back doesn’t mean you’re too good to take a lower position. Do what’s necessary for yourself and your family; if that means working 3 jobs then do it. If that means going from a desk to construction, do it. None of this will be permanent; things will turn around, especially if you remain positive and focused.

Message to Claire: Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes someone who complains all the time. Read the book QBQ, and follow it. The basic premise is don’t ask what someone else can do to fix your problem, ask what you can do to fix your problem. Take responsibility for your actions and make things happen for yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t accept help from friends and family, but don’t be a drain. Don’t be the person who has to do everything themselves to a fault, and don’t be so dependent on others. A lot of this is on your mother and I to raise you right, this blog will hold me accountable.