The delicate balance of money in and money out in everyone’s life is always at the back of the mind. Even for those who are “comfortably well off”, the fear lies dormant that at some point the money will run out and a hugely different life will be forced upon you. A life of homelessness, living out of cars, tents, doorways. Maslow is front and center in dealing with these fears of course, a bottom rung primal concern on a par with food, warmth and sex. We all deal with that in our own ways, but in my case the impending forceful reorganization of my life has been a major cause of stress leading to medical issues and inability to really function as I know I can.
A little recap is in order. Earlier in this blog you’ll have noticed i referred to my non vanilla past regarding employment situations. I’ve been unfortunate in having some bosses who were the embodiment of the Dilbert syndrome, some who have been out and out psychos and one (yes ONE) who had the savvy and skills to get the absolute best out of me – and she left for another company mid way through my tenure. The universe can be an unforgiving monster.
It can also be the provider of the strangest sequences of events. I started a skateboard business to supplement my consulting business because it was something I wanted to do at this stage of my life. It’s a tough business to survive and thrive in. The skateboard business is nowadays about 10% product development and 90% sales and marketing. I have the product development part down pat – it’s something I’ve been doing for the last 30 years in some form or other. The sales and marketing part – well that’s another story. I’m naturally good at systems. I can take a set of circumstances, resources and desired outputs and construct the most effective system for achieving them in the most efficient way possible for just about anything. The actual engagement in the sales process one to one though? Well sure – I can do it, but it’s always been somewhat unnatural for me. I have the unfortunate encumbrance of a totally honest subconscious. If I don’t believe 100% in the product or service I am selling I can’t be convincing when selling it. It’s just how I’m wired. I’ve been put in that position many times in my working life, and I hate it. I’ll avoid it at all costs, and when forced to do it – well things can get ugly really fast.
Marketing I’ve always had something of a natural affinity for though. I like dreaming up ways to convey a message that will resonate with people. I like analysis and segmentation of that customer base and the targeting methods used to get the message across. It’s the creative part of running a company that has always been the counterbalance of the analytical parts for me. I’ve had a blast doing this with Half Dead Skateboards. It’s cathartic, and even though it’s not making money yet, I love it like a child.
Problem is – to do sales and marketing right takes massive amounts of energy and skill. If you don’t have that yourself, you have to buy it by hiring people either as employees or consultants. I just didn’t have the funds to do that, and my life is complicated enough that I didn’t have the hours I needed to do it myself, so the sales performance of the company has not been all it could be. Because of that – it has not been the provider of resources I wanted. That is its only downside though. I’m still having a blast.
My consulting business has been somewhat stagnant also. I’m working on TransformU and have put together the structure of operations, but the content is complex and takes time and energy to complete correctly. It’s a long term project of mine and I’m committed to it but it isn’t going to generate cashflow any time soon. I’ve been applying for job after job after job in the hope that something may happen, but I have had spectacular failures in actually landing anything.
These circumstances led to me bleeding my bank accounts dry the last year or so. So badly in fact that the next two months have become critical. By “critical” I mean having to liquidate retirement assets to survive now. (I know this is in some respects a “white persons problem”, but it’s scary as hell. i can’t imagine what it would be like to literally not have a roof over your head and no way of getting one). This has made my anxiety complex significantly worse, which has restricted my capabilities in doing any of the other things. It’s a giant negative spiral of doom, and I have been caught in it.
Despite this. I’ve always tried to keep a positive attitude somewhat, and trust that something would come along. My girlfriend has been instrumental in this – helping me get in touch with my spiritual side a lot and trusting in the universe. So – imagine my surprise when – like busses – two opportunities come along at the same time! One is a contract that I’ve won and can start in August. The other is a potential position that could work very well. I’m somewhat in shock, but am powering ahead in figuring out how to make these all work given the limited funds I have now.
I can’t believe it frankly. Right at the eleventh hour, these came through. The Universe truly shall provide, and I’ve given up (finally) trying to explain how or why. Thank you!