Maybe you're in college, and you read this site because you can't believe how much debt you're going to have once you graduate.
Maybe you're learning how to make money on the side.
Or, you're more established, and you come here because you know Robert is really smart and has great advice.
I know that's how I got here.
But I have a supposition that says that people who read finance blogs are either starting to think about their money, or are worried about money.
What Keeps You Up?
Let me just say this — you have enough. You are enough. There's abundance out there, and you can have your piece of it, I promise.
You can get inundated by experts who tell you 100 different ways to save $5, or the top 29 investment tips, but at the end of the day, it’s your paycheck, and it’s your debts. You don’t need to worry about money.
In fact, studies show that you bring about what you think about – so if you’re constantly worrying about not having enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You will, in fact, not have enough.
My Experience Not Having Enough
It was January 2009. I had recently moved to the Portland area, and stayed with my best friend and her family for about six weeks. I moved into my own place in a very great neighborhood, to be a roommate of a stranger in a 2-bedroom apartment. I was working as a recruiter in the hospitality industry, which was hard, and the absolute wrong time to be involved in a business like that. So, after watching the inauguration on our office TV, I was laid off.
Ten days later, I had to come up with my half of rent. I was a mess. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do, and everyone in my world was also out of a job in February 2009. There was stiff competition. I knew I wanted to get back into sales, and find something I loved. I found a 100% commission sales job that paid $100 for each sale we brought in – it was a tough sell, and before I gave up, I think I made $300. The punch line to this joke was that the thing we sold was an app, so I had to buy a smart phone to be able to demonstrate it. I wasn’t up for renewal, so I had to pay $100 more for the phone than I ever made in that job.
Thank goodness for credit cards in that period of my life. I don’t know what I would have done without them, honestly. I probably would have gone hungry and moved back in with my friend and really overstayed my welcome.
Overcome With Worry
I remember calling a very dear friend in the middle of the night, crying. Overcome with regret. Why did I leave DC, where the job market was really strong? Why didn’t I have money coming in? What was I doing?
“Everything is going to be okay,” he said. If I could have reached through the phone in order to slap him, I would have. When you are down, those are not words you want to hear, because you do not believe them. He continued, “You have to remember you are good at what you do, and though you are in a dark place right now, you have to focus on what you have, and what you can provide, instead of focusing on what you lack.”
I checked my bank account the next day, and that friend had deposited enough for rent and groceries. Yes, we’re still friends. He’s awesome.
Turning a Corner
As anyone who has faced unemployment can attest to, Craigslist became my constant companion. I would cold call local companies to try to sell this app in the mornings, and apply to jobs on Craigslist in the afternoons. I applied to twenty jobs a day. But the one that became my current job was only looking for someone for 15 hours a week.
Well, that’s 15 more guaranteed hours than I’m currently working.
I could sell the app, then go in to this other job. It was a start-up, with a really cool solution to problems in a VERY fun industry.
The hours increased as my sales increased. I was able to leave the app-selling job, which really added to my well-being.
I work for that company in a full time director of sales capacity, and I love it. It doesn’t pay as much as I’d like, so I’m making money on the side. But I don’t worry anymore. I am happy, and I know that I wouldn’t be happier if I made twice as much money. Once you get to a certain point of comfort in your checking account, the nagging worry that pulls at your stomach fades.
So, as trite as it sounds, it does get better. Usually it doesn't get better overnight. The trick is to keep striving, and the worry will fade.
Also, exercise more. That, more than anything, made me sleep heavier.