Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Other 104 Days

Personal and economic inertia is difficult to overcome. Sometimes we don't know what to do, how to do it, or what we need to get started. This inertia stands between us and our dreams. It overshadows our goals.

It is only through our own efforts that we can overcome it.

I will give you an example from my own life.

I have family living in the Denver, Colorado area. I have visited them a handful of times in my life and each time I fell in love with the state. I've wanted to live there for at least 10 years but have not moved. Most of that time I couldn't because I was still a minor/in school/living at home. I've been in the "real world" for 2 years now and I found myself falling into this trap where I'd think, "yeah, I can do that, as soon as things settle down and the time is right."

What I finally realized a few months ago is that the "right time" will never come without me dragging it here, kicking and screaming. I have to set a date, kick as much ass as I can until that date, and just go.

I'm moving to Colorado in August 2011.

Now, let me explain why it took so long for me to overcome my own inertia.

I'm 25 years old with a college degree in a life sciences field. I graduated in 2008, just as the job market was crashing and burning. I managed to find employment, just enough to pay the bills, and I accepted two pseudo-promotions without any increase in pay because it meant I wouldn't be laid off like the others. I work harder and get less overtime than when I started there, but I still have a job. I have sent out hundreds of resumes and cover letters in the last two years and I had one interview a year ago that went to someone with more experience. I haven't even heard from an HR person in the last 6 months.

I have almost $70k in student loans that won't pay themselves. The prospect of giving up this job and moving to a place I've only seen a handful of times is daunting. I've sent out a few resumes to businesses in the area, but no self-respecting business would hire me for an entry-level position and wait for me to move when they have local candidates to choose from.

I also had to buy a car last year when my 10 year-old Cavalier failed the state safety inspection due to a rusty frame. I still owe about $15k on the new car and I'd like to sell it after I move, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. This is the first (and probably last) new car I have owned.

 I don't have much money saved up (less than $2k), and my cash flow doesn't allow me to save much at all - sometimes I need overtime just to cover my expenses.

I have other reasons as well, but I think I'll save them for another time. The point is that I can't let fear of the unknown stop me, and you can't either.

Now, the important part. How do you make something like this work?

If you work a "normal" 9-5 like I do (actually, 8-? for me), you have at least 102 days per year that you don't spend at work. These are the days you have to HUSTLE. You work Monday through Friday to live now, but you bust your ass on Saturday and Sunday so you can live better tomorrow.

Get creative with your hustle. Find a way to make a hobby pay. Moonlight at a restaurant. Do odd jobs. Deliver pizzas. Freelance. Sell your crap on eBay. Tutor. Give music lessons. Pet sit. You can make money doing almost anything if you're good at it - especially if it's something other people don't want to do.

 The point is to take action to get you out of your rut. A change of scenery can inspire creativity and help you financially at the same time. Meeting people outside of the corporate world is refreshing.

I'll tell you about my hustles later. What have you tried? What worked? What didn't?

No comments:

Post a Comment