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I just got my second job, washing dishes and it is only 3 hours a day, that will not help me build the emergency fund, also a computer that I sold the lady wants her money back cause the hard drive runs hot with all the little spammy apps she has on her windows vista.

I'm broke and down in the gutters, I am trying to blog and write, and produce something that will get me out of this Hell Hole that I an in.

Any suggestions?

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Hang in there man. Im used to that feeling but keep cool, look at what you do got and not what you havent. You got potential. Keep hope alive and make it through this storm....deliver pizzas.....tip money is better than dish money. Prayers sent your way man.

Keeping cool is the biggest thing I need to work on I get so caught up and freaked out so easily.

Michael,

So sorry to hear things are in a slump right now. When we started our freedom finance journey three years ago, it seemed those first few months were very difficult. One set back after another and it seemed we were constantly dipping into our $1,000 emergency fund and that we were NEVER going to get out of debt. When you are in a heck hole, it is hard to see your options for getting out...I commend you whole heartedly for reaching out to the group for solutions!!!

I know a majority of the group will say find your passion and then work on earning income. I agree totally and would encourage the same, however, I also am a big fan of generating income with side jobs...something that can be done right now. 

So basically two things I would suggest. 

#1 What are you passionate about? Dan's No More Mondays is awesome to read it if you haven't already.

#2 What are some extra side jobs you could do to bring in money? Dan's 48 Ideas is a great  read to get your mind thinking about alternative income methods. I posted the question "what are extra side jobs people do" to Dave Ramsey's TTMO group, here is a link to the blog. Some other easy ideas include:

  • pet sitting and walking (pets are a huge industry right now - crazy how people are trending spending more with the 70% of people living paycheck to paycheck, but oh well)
  • mowing grass
  • adult care 
  • Child care (can be overnight care as there are people that work odd shifts but have a hard time finding child care)
  • janitorial work
  • Ask your current place of work for more hours and/or other positions they may have.
  • Sell things
  • Sell things on a commission for other people
  • Ask people you know if they know of places hiring and/or need side jobs done (in 2010, we had 10 w2 forms...many of these jobs were asking around as well as seeking out where we could be of service and then serving - we didn't wait for "help wanted" signs to be posted)

It sounds like you are doing a lot of things at once...perhaps is your blogging and writing is time consuming, you could put it on hold for a few weeks...just until you get yourself rested and charged. Perhaps this is your outlet for bringing energy into your life...if so, keep going, but don't stress out over it if you aren't doing everything at once. There are periods in our life when we need to put a pause on things and that is okay.

Mainly, I wanted to offer encouragement. Love that you are asking the group for suggestions! If you don't get some great ideas, be sure to keep asking.

Best of luck Michael...you are doing awesome! Starting your freedom finance journey takes courage and resilience. You are a rock star for starting!!!

Jen

Thank you so much, I did sell a computer and the lady wants a refund...she has a bunch of stuff running that keeps her hard drive spinning and she blames the computer...so that did not work, I am also trying to sell my Bronco...but unless I get 4K for it, it is not worth selling since both of our cars have been paid off for awhile now.

Thank you for the encouragement, I really really need it.  I feel bad though cause I started this journey in 2008 then at the end of 2010 lost traction and came to Canada where I thought I would give it a boost, well it just got out credit card deeper and 2011 and so far 2012 have been pretty bad for us.

You can see a mind map of what I am trying on my blog here:

http://hartsoffice.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/i-love-thinking-space/

just click on the picture and scroll around, I love having these mind maps to contain and harness my ideas and keep a track record of what I am doing and have done!

 

Michael,

How are you doing?  I just ran across your post, sorry to hear about the hard times.  Seems like everything's becoming a struggle now a days. If you'd be so kind as to email me at jasonp@teamdivineglobal.com , I'd like to speak with you a little more about an opportunity that I was afforded that has helped my family and it might be something you'd be interested in as well. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully speaking with you soon. Have a blessed day!

Jason Payne
Jasonp@teamdivineglobal.com
Skype: jasonpayne227

Hey Michael,

I've totally been where you are.  It's so hard when you are stuck in the bottom to look up and see the good.  I started out of my debt journey like $18K in credit debt and didn't ever think I'd get out.  I got laid off a few months later and that just sent me for a tailspin.

You are doing the right things--working an extra job, doing Dave Ramsey, blogging (which even if it's not generating income right now I'm sure is a much-needed creative outlet for you).  and trying to create a better life for you.  Also I remember you saying in an earlier post what an unhappy town you live in.  You are so much stronger than you think you are because you are working like no one else so that soon you can live like no one else.  You are reaching out here in a positive online community and I think that counts for a lot.  I hope you can see that!!!

Please keep posting on the board to let us know how you are.  You'll be in my prayers!

Thank you so much, I have been praying hard as well, and a family that was in a worse bind than we are moved in and we have been helping them with their vehicle and food, puts things in perspective! 

I'm actually building a project online to teach people how to get out and make money fast.  I've had to do it a few times in my life, and I know what has worked for me.  Since I don't have everything put together and built yet (just started working on it this week), I'll tell you some things that worked for me and hope it inspires you.

Here are the steps that I would take:

1.  Find things that you can do that fits who you are.  Your personality, your skills, your interests.  It doesn't have to be something that you are passionate about.  You can be passionate about being master of your own destiny even if it isn't the one thing you want to do most in life.  You can be passionate about providing a good living for your family.  So, make a list of those things that you can do, whether they are your life's dream or not.  If you can do provide that service, write it down.

2.  Find an idea that you can implement quickly.  Blogging is nice, but you won't make money at it quickly.  So find something that you have the tools for, the supplies for, and the ability to do.  For example, if you have a mower and a trimmer, you can cut grass tomorrow.  If you have a pressure washer, you can clean someone's deck.  If you have a few rollers and brushes, you can paint.  If you don't have (most people don't) but can afford to spend a few bucks at Lowe's on a squeegee, wand, bucket, and extension pole, you can wash windows tomorrow.  If you are breathing and have some measure of responsibility, you can house-sit.  If you like kids, you can babysit.  Go around the neighborhood offering to wash people's cars when they get home from work.  If you want quick work in bulk, find where people or businesses are in bulk.  Go to shopping centers or apartment communities and tell them that you're offering painting/window washing/cleaning/etc. services and see if you can hook a big one.  And on and on and on.

3.  Now comes the big deal.  Can you market yourself?  In the end, it doesn't matter what you can do if you have nobody to do it for.  You don't need a fancy website, or really even business cards (though those wouldn't hurt, and you could print them on your computer or buy them locally for expediency).  Just go talk to people.  Go knock on doors with a purpose and tell people in your neighborhood that you're starting a lawn care business and that you'd love to have the chance to earn their business.  Post on craigslist locally that you're available to sit for their pets while they're out of town.  Go hit some fast food restaurants and tell them that you are a window washer and would love to give them a bid on their windows.  Get your foot in the door somewhere.  

So, start with the least viable business.  Whatever you can do the fastest with what you have instead of something that you have to research and buy the tools and equipment for, and maybe learn how to do.  If you hustle and are willing to do what it takes, you can have something started by the end of this next week.  The key is talking to people and putting yourself out there.  It is hard to do for some people, but once you get one customer and do great work in whatever you do, they will tell others.  Once you get into cutting lawns for those 10 customers, you can add in other services like some small handyman type work or gutter cleaning or whatever, and then those 10 customers become not only bigger income producers for you but they have even more things to refer you to their friends about.  The next thing you know you've become indispensable to those families and they will love you and want to keep you around because you do so much for them.

Get out and start something tomorrow.  You can make more money doing something on your own and find more confidence and satisfaction than by working for someone else.  You can also get started very fast.  Take fast action, and you'll get fast results.

Best wishes,

Mike

Thank you and everyone that replied, I was having an anxiety attack and just being whiny, I did not expect people tp come to my aid!

I made a blog post that night as well:

http://hartsoffice.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/started-washing-dishes-...

I think my biggest problem is that I have Cognitive distortions really bad, if you dunno what these are about, I have a blog post for that as well:

http://hartsoffice.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/cognitive-distortions/

Michael, I have raided my fathers painting supplies and am ready to go on that, I have given business cards to the local paint supply shop...but no call, I have called other painters to see if I could attach myself to them.  But it appears that I will have to do that work of getting myself out there...which is a little hard for me.

Also I am the sales rep for a computer shop and very unhappy with my boss who did not know what phones we sell and got after me for an hour for what he thought was a fact but it was not (I found out after talking to my co-workers), my cognitive distortions have me freaking out cause I can't lose that blessed $12/hr, and I am in a small rural town so I fear that he could make my name mud in no time if and when I break away from him.  

I can replace the income I get from him with 4 computer coaching appointment but I only get about one or two a week, I am volunteering at the public library once a week to hopefully get more exposure, no one showed this last Wednesday but the marketing that the library was suppose to do did not happen, hoping for better results this week.

I have an android app that is suppose to market me, but I dunno how good of an idea it was and it does not get many downloads, and not in this area anyhow...

I will try some more ideas, and I heard there was a place that I could wash farm equipment for $15/hr which will be a big jump from $12/hr.

Thanks again for the advice and if you or anyone else here on the forums have any more advice or guidance please keep it coming, this forum has been so incredible to me! 

Also Michael I am a web programmer and a Android mobile apps programmer if I can be of assistance since you were so kind to help me, please let me know!

Michael, I know all about cognitive distortions.  I have ADHD and as a kid I developed perfectionsm as a coping skill to get me through school.  I know all about all or nothing thinking.  That is very much how I am wired.  I know all about anxiety too, and the paralysis by analysis that you speak of on your blog.  

That's part of why I'm creating the program I am, "The Fast Action Project", which I'm currently working on putting together as quickly as I can around my current business endeavors.  Sometimes when the cognitive distortions get you all twisted up, you just have to "close your eyes and jump".  I've been forced to do that a few times in my life due to circumstances out of my control.  When my wife and I worked together and subcontracted cleaning work from some friends and they lost all of their contracts, we were instantly without work.  By the end of the week I had started our own cleaning business and away we went.  When our own cleaning business in the rental industry crashed because one of the largest property management companies in America sold all of their local properties from under us, I was forced to look in a new direction.  I just jumped in and started a mobile auto detailing service after a week of research, gathering a few items to perform the services, and doing fast marketing to some large concentrations of businesses.  I offered employee discounts on our services to realtors, manufacturers, and other large local businesses.  I landed a few deals and away we went.  I could go on, but I'm tell you that what I'm starting to preach works.  

So you know how to paint, but so far you've tried to attach yourself to others rather than truly striking out on your own, which is reflective of your anxiety.  It is tough to go out on your own that first time, but once you've done it, you'll see that it isn't as hard as we often make it out to be in our own heads.  You are doing a great job of freaking out over the worst possible scenarios, like if your boss drags your name through the mud.  But why don't you also look at the best possible scenarios, like you start a painting business on the side that grows and gives you freedom and more money.

Do this.  Since you obviously don't have a problem doing a little cold calling (you called local painters), do you have apartment communities near you?  I like apartments as a starting point because they are a chance to get a bulk of work quickly.  That builds confidence and gets money coming in.  Just know that when you get bulk work, you will have to price it at wholesale.  That's the tradeoff, but there is always a tradeoff.  You can go get residential (retail) work and charge more, but that work is harder to get.

So, call all of the apartment communities locally or in the next big town and just be up front.  My name is Michael with Michael's Painting Services, and I'd like a chance to earn your business painting apartments when your tenants move out.  I take pride in my work, and would love a chance to speak with you in person about your painting needs.  Then set something up and go talk to them.

If you want to paint residentially, put some ads up on Craigslist.  Tell people that you are a painter and that you love what you do and take pride in your work, and keep posting those ads.  Then print up some flyers that look decent and go door to door in some neighborhoods.  Maybe find some older homes that are likely in more need of paint inside or out than the newer homes.  You can knock on doors and hand deliver your flyer and you might get a better response if you're personable, but if you are too uncomfortable to do that, then just hang those flyers.  Maybe put a call to action on there and give a little discount if people act soon. 20% off for the month of May!  Something like that.  You don't have to do some ridiculously deep discount and sell yourself short like people on Groupon do, just give a little something to get noticed.  Maybe even offer a free room up to certain square footage with purchase of the whole interior, and have them supply the paint.

Anyway, those are just some ideas.  

I recently had an idea for an app, to be honest.  I might shoot you a private message about it.  Not sure I have time for it right now, but it could be of interest if marketed right.  But for today, I don't want to get in the way of your new painting business.  Take "FAST ACTION" and don't worry about rejection.  The fact of the matter is that all marketing is a numbers game.  The more effective your marketing, the more numbers you'll pull in, but even terrible marketers will typically bring something home if they hustle.  You talk to or put yourself in front of x number of people, and you will get y number of results.  The percentage just depends on your effectiveness, but I've seen horrible telemarketers lead a room in production on a given day.  Anything can happen when you apply yourself.

Have a great day!

Mike

Hey Michael, 

First, I want to say there have been some fantastic ideas given of how you can bring in some extra income with low start up costs and perhaps the coolest part is that you could realistically start doing them tomorrow, however I strongly suggest you not only make outward external changes, but focus on making positive inner changes as well.  

I write this because recently I was in a very similar situation as you, I was scared, depressed, tired, indecisive, and worried.  I just couldn't seem to figure out a solution.  But, I had a bit of an "awakening" and realized that in order to see clearer I needed to make some major inward changes.  Trying to find your calling when you are anxious, scared, or worried is like trying to find your way in the woods with mud splattered glasses, you may be able to see bits and pieces, but the majority of your vision is cut off.  Sometimes instead of focusing on your path, you need to take a moment and wipe off your glasses in order to see more fully.  

I strongly suggest you take time to pray, meditate, practice deep breathing, study God's word, exercise, eat healthier, have fun with family, do service, write in a gratitude journal, focus on developing a more positive attitude etc. etc.  I found that as I put more focus into these activities I felt happier, less worried, and I was able to receive inspiration and direction in a much clearer way.  Seriously, the difference was night and day.  Within three days I had a plan that I felt excited about, happy with, but most of all; I was at peace with my present and future.  

I wish you the very best, hang in there, you can make it.  

P.S. I saw on your blog that you went to Utah Valley University.  That just happens to be where I am currently enrolled in. Woot.  Woot.  

 

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