||10-21-14 06:55 PM
A few years ago I lost my job without any warning. My employer filed for bankruptcy in the middle of the night, the day before payday. I learned about the bankruptcy as I was commuting to work. It is quite interesting to find yourself suddenly unemployed, especially when you have a mortgage, car payment, and credit card debts.
In my case, I did not file for unemployment benefits. In all my life, I have never believed in asking for someone else to pay for my misfortunes. It was not my fault that my company went bankrupt, but it was my fault that I didn't have a plan B in place in case such a thing happened. Our financial security is our own responsibility, just like our physical health.
I sold my car at a loss, I sold my house and broke even on my mortgage. For years I had worked very hard to keep my credit perfect. I applied for a new credit card with a balance transfer offer, and transferred all my my other credit card balances to the new card, which had a special rate of 1.9%. This lowered my minimum payments to a reasonable level. I moved into a one room apartment, and got a part-time job as a tutor.
I decided that I didn't trust working for anyone else anymore, and that I didn't want to be a wage slave for the rest of my life. I thought it would be a great idea to go into business for myself. As I had no savings and no net worth, I quickly opened a small line of credit with a bank. I drew a little money to set up a small retail website, and I began to sell things on this site. For more than a year it earned almost no money. I added to my income by painting houses and pressure cleaning driveways. The second year the website did better, and by the third year the income matched what I had earned at my former job.
While doing all of this, I met my future wife, who was a banker at a large financial institution. She helped give me the motivation to work harder, and come up with new ideas. My business continues to grow, though it does have difficult moments from time to time.
I now make several times what I used to at my old job. I have the satisfaction of creating something from just a simple idea, and watching it grow. There are times when business is difficult, and I miss having a regular job with few responsibilities, but on the other hand, I can now live in a home which was once beyond my wildest dreams. I have also been able to travel to places which I once could only read about, or see on tv.
My advice is to think of ways you can work for yourself. If it is landscaping, housepainting, dog training, or whatever. If you work smart, and hard (in that order), there are few limits to what you can do. It is daunting to be fully in charge of your own life, but it can also be very satisfying and rewarding. You simply need to go out and do it.