Surviving Today’s Economy–Starting From Scratch

When I started this blog, I promised that we’d discuss all types of ways to survive life. We’ve had a few laughs and learned from each other. But today I have something I want to share that has touched all of us, or our families, in one form or another:
The Economy.
Empty PocketI’ll be clear here…this is not where I want to discuss political ramifications of policies, or economic theories, or try to predict the future.
I want to talk about an interesting perspective on our current economy that I’ve discovered–one that made me rethink my own perceptions.

We all know that the economy is not what it used to be.

It’s easy to blame everything on the economy–that’s why we make less money at our jobs, or lost our job. That’s why our business is failing–and why we can’t afford the life style we once enjoyed.

But my new perception all started with an article I read. It brought up an important point.

The money didn’t just go away–it’s still out there–it’s just in different pockets.

The article was geared toward businesses – telling them that in order to survive they have to figure out who has the money now (their new potential customers) and change, not only how to market in this new economy, but change their message, as well.

The truth is, this economy is here to stay for a long while. And even when it does change again…it won’t be for the better, or for the worse…it will just be different. We have to be able to change and adapt to survive. In other words, we can sit around and blame the economy or we can figure out a way to adapt and create our own success.

When I was laid off from my job, I knew it was due to the downward turn of the commercial printing world. I knew I had done nothing wrong to deserve it. And I accepted that what happened to me was out of my control. Somehow it made it easier to think that–than to have to take responsibility.

But in reality, what it did was make me believe I was helpless in my situation.

I’ve heard it said that… “we’re not facing an economic crisis – we’re facing a lack of work ethic, imagination and action taking–but it’s a lot easier to blame the economy”.

The moment I accepted the fact that my old career was gone…once I accepted the fact that I was the only one who could change my future…once I accepted the fact that I had to make changes to survive…then all sorts of possibilities presented themselves. Did they all work? No. Did I give up? No.

The money is still out there – it’s just changed hands.

So how do you get it back into your hands?

For me, it happened when I began teaching myself how to use social media. With my manuscript out with my agent, I knew I needed to start building a platform, before I get that book deal. I quickly realized what a huge time suck social media could be–and how did writers do it and still find time to write?

That’s when I discovered my niche. There are thousands of writers and authors out there, just like me, who know they need to use social media to market their books, but don’t know where to begin. They feel overwhelmed. They need help.
I simply fill that need.

As I mentioned earlier this didn’t happen right out of the starting gate. It took me a couple of false starts to find the right path. And I won’t lie, it took a lot of hard work and many hours of feeling overwhelmed myself–wondering how I was going to learn everything. But I took it one day at time. My mantra became “Today I will learn something new, and not worry about all that I do not yet know.”

With that I could break down the chores into little tasks that were do-able–one little baby step at a time. In the end I have created a business that allows me to work from home, setting my own hours. The best part is that it brings me a great deal of satisfaction. I’m doing something I’ve always longed to do…help people go after their dreams.

So when I lost my twenty-plus-year career in Corporate America, I did what our ancestors have done for years here in this great country. I started from scratch. I started over. I found a need, and then I found a way I could fill that need.

Basically I created my own job.

This is a different world we live in today– a very dynamic one. We can cry about how we miss the ‘good’ole days’ when things were easier, but it won’t change a damn thing.

Remember that the talking heads on TV have two things to sell to us, Ad Space and Fear. And fear sells more ad space.

No matter what we are told about the economy on the global scale…your personal economy is what you make of it.

I know that sounds harsh. Many of us have been dealt hard blows to the gut. We’ve lost our confidence…our drive. You may end up starting from scratch at any age. Just remember that I’ve just come from where many of you are today, and I’m no spring chick. At first I didn’t want to have to start all over again–at my age. But now I’m here to say that you are not helpless.

You have the power to change your life.

I mean this as encouragement. But the bottom line is: you have to do it.

YOU are in charge of your destiny. And you can get what you want out of life if you’re willing to take personal responsibility and take massive action.

When you accept the fact that it’s up to you, and only you, to save yourself, then you’ll be free. No more depending on others to rescue you. Your decisions control your future.

And if you accept this challenge and make the changes, you’ll discover that personal responsibility is the ultimate freedom.

I hope you find some inspiration here…and I would love to hear how you have overcome obstacles, made changes or grown personally because of our new world today…as well as what challenges you may face right now.

Hoping the best for all ~

4 Comments

  1. Andrea Michele

    Love this blog Indy! And I’m so happy for you, as you are pursuing your writing, and focusing your energies on what you want from life! Xo!

    Thought I’d share my story, as it may help your other readers.
    Last Fall, I also lost my job in the printing industry…and I experienced an identity crisis as a result, not knowing where to go next. I tried becoming an alcohol and drug counselor (doing a few internships), but then I realized it just wasn’t for me, so I finished my degree and walked away. I’ve always had a passion for helping animals, and every time I’ve gone out to the wildlife area (where I’ve been working as a volunteer since 2013 as an educator and crew leader), I feel happy and passion driven. So I applied for a seasonal position as a scientific aid, and I almost got hired! (He wanted to offer me the job, but I need to complete a few ecological bio/science courses first). And here I thought, wow! I CAN be successful at doing something I LOVE!!!…So now this is my new goal – to get paid to work as an educator/scientist/writer/restoration worker – associated with wetland wildlife and ecology. I get to create a legacy by helping others connect with these natural habitats, and help make our world a better place through education. It’s my hope that long after I’m gone, these values will get passed on to future generations – which makes this work so important and valuable. And, during this process, I’m asking the universe if I can do this and have other incomes roll in, which support and surround this work! I will make a good living somehow (the universe will figure out how for me!) I’ve even been accepting temp jobs (commitment free!) for extra income, and I’ve adjusted to this new life. No longer do I NEED that full time permanent job with benefits…in fact, I AVOID it. The economy has changed, and since there are only temporary part time jobs available, I am using this to my advantage – as a bridge- to my TRUE life commitments! And this is FREEDOM for the FIRST time in my working life!!! 🙂 Just thought I’d share this, for anyone out there who is frustrated with the job world. In this new economy, we now have a chance to become FREE (no more 9 to 5 grind!)…so take advantage of these economic times to follow your passions! Much Love to all of you on your quest!
    Andrea Michele

    Reply
    • indy

      Andrea, thank you from my heart for sharing your story with us! How brave of you! It’s a true example of what many, many people are experiencing. The job market has evolved and is still changing. It makes it extremely difficult to find our way. But it forces us to get out of the old mode of thinking. I believe the benefit is, that to best succeed, we need to find our calling and pursue it. This opens doors that allow us to follow our passions and be truly happy in our work. Most likely we will have to give up some of the ‘securities’ we thought we had to have – but, as you say, when we are on the right path, doors of opportunity continue to open for us. The key is recognize them when we see them. I’m so excited that you and I can connect here and share thoughts. I’ve missed you! And I’m excited about your future as well – I hope you’ll keep us updated! xo

      Reply
  2. Kathy

    Great post Indy! The Dalai Lama says the purpose of our lives is to be happy – and we can’t do that when we expect outside sources to bring us joy. That is a shaky, ever-changing foundation. Ultimately, our happiness – as well as our income – rests on our own shoulders. I love your theme and the points you’ve made. It will be a good reminder to me as I search for an agent. Also loved Andrea’s point about using temporary jobs to her advantage.

    Reply
    • indy

      Thanks Kathy! So glad you found it helpful. And I love your reminder that we can’t expect outside sources to bring us joy. I also want to say Thank You again for the book recommendation The Big Leap – what a blessing is has been in my life. I’m thinking differently and that is opening new doors of opportunity for me. I don’t take for granted the love and support from friends! Hugs ~

      Reply

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