September 7th, 2009 11:00 EST
A Victim of the Recession? "You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do"
I know over the past two years the media has pounded the word Recession " in our minds and we have basically seen a very grim picture as we watched millions of people lose their jobs recently and the unemployment rate jump to record numbers. We are all living a part of history that our grandchildren will be studying in school in their History 101 lesson.
I remember my grandmother sitting down with me when I was just a knee-high baby and telling stories about the Great Depression she was a part of. Even back then when I was young, I remember thinking to myself, I am glad I didn`t grow-up during those bad times like my Grandma did " I also thought that nothing in our history could ever happen again like the Great Depression.
Well, I guess I was almost wrong. We came close to another Great Depression recently and are still not out of the woods for relief of the bad recession and are standing on thin ice for another depression to possibly happen once again in our history. We have set record numbers for unemployment and record times that this has lasted.
A great deal of people did not plan for this to happen. Those same people are now in probably the worst situation in their life and have lost their homes, cars, money and just about anything they had going for them. I talked to a few people when I too had to take a retail job to survive in the early stages of this recession until I found something better and those people told me if they had to do it all over again, they would have planned and saved money for anything and everything that could go wrong in life. They learned the hard way because they were the type of people and there are many out there like them that think they will never lose their job, will never have to put money away in the bank for emergencies, and they will float into the land of retirement with ease and no worries. I guess they were wrong.
Because I grew up hard and was out on my own at a very young age and having to fend for myself with no help from anyone, the idea to survive was instilled in me. When I was still a kid, I knew what it is like to have nowhere to go, have to sleep on your friend`s front living room floor to have a roof over my head for the night and then wait until your friend is asleep and sneak food out of his refrigerator because I had not eaten in days. Growing-up like this and learning to survive on my own when I was younger was also a valuable lesson for me. I didn`t have things handed to me, I had to work for them and I learned to work and work hard for anything and everything I have. I rather have it where I have to work hard for everything I have in life and not have anything handed to me. I also learned to do whatever I have to when it comes to work and taking certain jobs.
What I mean is, I have had people tell me in the past when those same people were unemployed and had no money coming in that they are not going to just take any job but they are going to wait for the perfect job to fall in their lap before they go back to work again. Wow! To me that`s stupid to take that kind of attitude. First of all, when you are unemployed; any job is better than no job. When you are unemployed, having any income is better than having no income coming in. People also like to live on unemployment insurance and milk out their full benefits living on unemployment insurance until they lift a finger to look for a job. To me, that`s being a complete loser! I also don`t think that there is such a thing as the perfect job out there anymore. Yes, there are people out there on unemployment insurance working hard to find a job and can`t and I understand that " I am talking about the one`s that can find a job and don`t because they don`t want to work and just live free in life.
I have worked two jobs in the past to make ends meet and at one point in my life; I even worked three jobs to make it. This meant working seven days a week and every evening with basically no time off but a few hours to sleep every night then back to my first job during the day and then my part-time jobs at night.
Doing this seems hard but again I have always taken the you have to do what you gotta do " approach and attitude and because of this, I have been ready for anything and everything. I was laid-off four times when I first moved here where I live now due to the local economy and bad jobs available in this area and then the recession hit. Because I was prepared and planned for this, I was able to keep a roof over my head and food on the table.
I know there are people out there in situations where they can`t save money and it takes two incomes to make it because they have ten thousand kids and a cat name fluffy " to care for. Yea, yea, yea, I know; I have been there too, just not with the cat named fluffy " When I was married and it took both my wife`s and my income to care for our family is when I worked two jobs, did other things on the side like having a small cleaning business, washing windows for businesses and even washing car windows to earn extra money. Again, you gotta do what you gotta do "
I think this recession was basically a wake-up call for all of us. If you have ever heard the term, It`s never too late to start, " then now is the time to start to prepare yourself for anything and everything that could happen in your life. The one thing that bothers me is losing my job and possibly becoming homeless but I prepare for that by working and saving money. You can always put a little in savings every payday. I heard of an old man once say that you have to save money no matter what and he basically saved what he could all his life. He used to pay himself first before paying his creditors. I don`t mean to go without paying your bills so you can shove money in your bank account, but he said to put twenty dollars away if that is all you have to save for that pay period. If you think about that advice, it is a good idea because over time your savings will grow and increase.
Something I learned to is to pray and have faith in God. My life has changed for the better since I have prayed and had faith. This also helps you to have and keep a positive attitude which ultimately reflects in the way you think. And the way you think affects your decisions you make whether good or bad. If you have a positive attitude and a positive outlook on life, you will more than likely make good and positive decisions and keep an upbeat mood.
If you are living on unemployment insurance, get off unemployment insurance and take a job in retail. Retail jobs are a dime a dozen and are more than likely always hiring even in this downed economy. Normally, retail jobs also pay more than you make on unemployment insurance and it gives you something to do with your free time during the day or evening. If there is one thing I cannot stand, that is to have nothing to do all day. If you are like me, I have to be busy and very busy all the time otherwise I feel I am wasting time and I also get bored if I am not busy doing something productive.
Look at starting a small business. I`m not saying head to your bank and demand a large business loan to give you millions of dollars in working capital but look at starting a small business that does not cost much to start and has little to no overhead costs to get started. A good example is a small cleaning business. You first establish your customer base and then you go to Wal-Mart and buy thirty-dollars in cleaning supplies to start cleaning your first account. With this low of start-up costs and virtually no overhead, your (ROI) Return on Investment will come the same day since you should make more than you spent on your cleaning supplies on your first account you clean. You also need to first get a business license and register your business before you start to run your business and bring in revenue but a lot of business licenses are very inexpensive and sometimes the cost of the business license only goes on what you project you may make your first year in business.
Another thing I learned to do is shop at Wal-Mart and Target. I have basically become the best friend of Wal-Mart and Target. I don`t need to buy the best groceries from the most expensive grocery stores or have the top of the line clothes; Wal-Mart and Target have quality groceries and clothes among other items and will help you save money especially if you live on a budget.
Look at writing a book. You don`t have to have a PhD Degree to be able to write a book. If you have a creative mind and a good imagination then you have two good ingredients for writing a fiction book. There are lots of fiction genres out there, so that gives you a variety of stories you can come up with and write about.
Being able to write a book takes a great deal of patience and persistence but it is some of the most fun you will ever have and you will feel a great feeling of accomplishment once you finish writing your book. After you finish your book, you then shop your manuscript around for a publisher and Literary Agent. If your manuscript gets published into a book, then hopefully you can sell many copies of your book and make money. It`s not that simple to get a book published, especially in a bad economy since editors and publishers are like any other business and trying to save money and it is also a very subjective business to be in but what do you have to lose to write a book? Maybe, a little of your free time everyday when you write? Take it from me, it is worth your free time, I have written four books with many more to come and I have loved writing each and every one of them.
Also, I suggest to take a job for now at lower pay if you have to and get rid of the I am not going to do that job, it is below my means " attitude. I have worked retail jobs recently and I have Bachelor`s Degree! Again, it all goes back to the you gotta do what you gotta do " attitude and having this type of attitude gets you through the hard times of not having a job if you may be unemployed at the present time.
A good example of the you gotta do what you gotta do " attitude is when I was a Warehouse Manager in my past position. I was hiring for another warehouse worker. The position was very simple, just pulling orders and shipping them with a little computer work to do which only consisted of doing inventory transfer transactions. I must have received hundreds of resumes. Most of the candidates that were applying for the open position were asking for a six figure income. That to me is another thing that is unbelievable; when you post a warehouse position and the starting salary of the position which is not a lot of money for working in a warehouse and people apply to the job asking to make one-hundred thousand dollars to start, is really funny to me. I don`t think there are too many companies out there that are going to pay someone one-hundred thousand dollars for pulling, picking and shipping orders in a warehouse.
So, I had this one candidate that applied that had the experience I was looking for and was willing to start out at the lower pay the position offered. I had to start interviewing candidates since I needed someone in the position as soon as possible, so I had lots of candidates asking too much money and were over qualified; I had to take the candidates that had the closely resembled experience for what I was hiring in the position for.
The one candidate was an ex-Distribution Manager and at that time had recently lost his job. He had the chance to go on unemployment insurance but wanted to work for his money instead. Even though he was over qualified, I saw growth potential in him and growth potential hiring him on for an asset to the company.
After I hired him, he told me in his last position, he was making $48K plus bonus. He came onboard and worked hard and took a caring attitude towards his job despite making probably over forty-thousand or more less than he made in his last position and what he was normally used to making in his job.
He worked for me for about a year and during the time he worked for me, he went to Real Estate school at night and did other creditable things on the side to make money like getting notary public certified, looking and finding out what he needed to do to start his own business, working another job in retail part-time and so on.
As most companies do and go through, there were many internal changes that happened in that company and as a result I decided to move onto a more secure and better position. When I left the company, so did he and all my direct reports. I guess they all liked me as their Manager.
The guy that worked for me for a year now owns his own non-profit organization that helps communities and bad neighborhoods rebuild homes and neighborhoods in the inner-city and clean them up. He also has four other small businesses he runs on top of the non-profit organization.
He had no money when he started his business and little to no resources but he took the you got to do what you got to do " attitude and kept driving on until he accomplished his objective of owning his own business. He wasn`t going to just settle for living on unemployment insurance but took the I am going to work for it " approach and has a result he succeeded. He too was used to making the big bucks in his past positions but took the lower paying one with me to give him a job and use the lower paying job as a stepping stone and buy time to get to where he wanted to be and also to work and not sit at home.
You can do whatever you put your mind to. If you chose to slide through life and just accept the minimum life offers then that is your choice, if you choose to live life in the fast lane and kick butt and do what you gotta to do " then you will more than likely accomplish more. Life`s short, live life to the fullest and do what you gotta do "