Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Wife Needs Advice

OK, serious question here guys....

I am ALL for Optimism. My glass is always half full. I am forever reading self-help, and motivational books like "Think & Grow Rich" (one of my faves).

But this recession is KILLING my business. We're talking samurai sword-fight! (...sorry, had to add a link to one of my favorite movie scenes here...)

I'm a self-employed recruiter, working 100% on commission, and when there are bazillions of people who are unemployed, 1) companies aren't hiring and 2) tcompanies who are hiring sure aren't using recruiters (there's no need!)

I feel like I'm on the Titanic.... a few months ago, I felt almost invincible.... things were going GREAT. Now, things ain't lookin' so rosey (and I feel a bit queasy!).

So, those of you who are self-employed (and your family COUNTS on your income, and it's not just a "hobby" income).... what the heck do you DO when times like this come around? How have you 'ridden them out' in the past?

I am really struggling with what to do.
I'm praying about it, daily, but I also want wisdom from those who are self-employed ... and those who just have Words of Wisdom to share with little old me. :-)

PS: If you want to send me some "off-blog" wisdom, privately, my email address is on my profile. Thanks, guys!


Jason, as himself said...

This is tough. Giancarlo is also 100% commission--real estate. So, needless to say, we're subsiding on a teacher's salary. And California is talking about teacher layoffs due to a gigantic budget crisis.

I wish I had some good advice. But right now it seems that nobody is safe!

74WIXYgrad said...

Being one who works for "the man," I cannot identify much. But you being my sister in Christ, I do hurt for you and I will continue to pray.

Boquinha said...

It's tricky. I don't know that I have any practical answer other than live by your priorities and it falls into place. Go after what you want and make it happen. Easier said than done, I know. Ugh.

Boquinha said...

P.S. I also think that stuff like this makes us really get creative and stretch ourselves to make our dreams work. And sometimes we learn such great things about ourselves and what we really like/want to do and what we do, how we do it (going back to school, taking some courses, coming up with a new marketing strategy, etc.). It makes us really think. I KNOW you'll be fine--you're just good that way. :)

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Hi HWHL. I don't know you personally, but I feel like I've learned a little about you reading your comments on D'Arcy's blog.

The economy is frightening, isn't it? Right now my husband is a surgical resident at a hospital, so we have not been affected by it. But right after 9/11, we were living in Vegas, we had two young kids and my husband was struggling to decide which career path to take. (We married and started having kids when we were really young.) At the time he was a dental assistant, and we figured if he worked 40 hours a week, we could pay for our rent, our car, food, and all the rest of our bills. And then 9/11 hit. And Las Vegas took a HUGE hit because no one wanted to travel for a long time, so hotels began laying off half of their employees, and people stopped going to see the endodontist in quite as large numbers. My husband's work hours were cut in half for nearly a year. So we had half the money we needed to live for a year. It was really scary--for a little bit. And then we learned something empowering: we could really simplify and cut corners and somehow make it. We cut our cable, our landline, any other non-essential bills, we ate whatever was on sale at the grocery store (I think we had Stove-top stuffing and frozen vegetables for dinner for a month once. Pancakes ranked way up there, too.) We didn't drive anywhere so we could save gas. We didn't go to the mall. EVER. Anyway, we made it through the year, and the truth is, I have the BEST memories of that year. I am still so proud of us for learning how to simplify. And we spent a lot of real time together as a family, going on walks, going to the library, going to church, going to the park--all free! Now...I know this was a short term problem for us (yours may not be so short-lived), but at the time, we didn't know it would be short-lived. For all we knew, it could have lasted forever. Since then, I've raised four kids while my husband attended dental school (zero income, except for my piano teaching salary), and now is doing an oral surgery residency. So we've always had to simplify and cut corners. But it feels good to not even have the option of "trying to keep up with the Jones'", ya know? We're freaking poor and proud of it! Anyway, feel free not to approve this long winded comment, but I really heard you on this post, and wanted to comment.

I am a big believer in the power of prayer. Keep praying. God will never give you a trial you are not strong enough to handle...and the trials we must endure always teach us something vital about ourselves in the process. So don't fear! Have faith and you'll get through it!

I hope you have a peaceful, lovely day. JF

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Sounds like you and Giancarlo are in a very similar situation to Hubster and I. Right now we're living on his pay (he's a UPS man), supplemented by savings. Eventually something will have to change. My "emergency fun" can't get much lower before my inner EMERGENCY SIREN begins to alarm.

I thank you for you friendship and your prayers, my brother. :-)

I know you and your husband have walked the walk this past year, and it is definitely tricky. I am VERY proud of you guys... I frequently go read your blog on days when I need INSPIRATION!!!
And, of course, I do remind myself that life is made of "seasons"... and the one I'm in currently is just that.... ONE season. NOT forever.

I really appreciate your thoughts and your candor, and esp your sharing your story. You and your husband should be (and I'm sure are!) very proud of yourselves for getting through that tough time. God doesn't issue us crystal balls, does he? That's where faith comes in... and that is, of course, how the relationship between us and our Father grows...
(And as far as keeping up with the Joneses... we gave that up LONG ago... because the Jones, well, they're BROKE!) :-)

Anyway, thanks for the advice guys. I do appreciate it!

Boquinha said...

LOL @ Joneses are BROKE! :P HAHAHA!

Thanks, HWHL. :) That's very sweet of you to say. We're in the "fledgling business" stage and everyone tells us it takes 2-5 years to really get going . . . so strange in an economy like ours . . .

Deron Arnold said...

Tough times and more to come. I doubt we'll start seeing much in the way of improvement for at least a year. We're daily finding new ways to scrimp and save both at home and at work.

The only advice I would have is hang in there. And also consider all your options: Anything from maintaining the status quo to something radical like adding a 2nd job or a career change can be on the table.

Anonymous said...

Late to this but my favorite saying, posted over our thresehold is "Faith makes things possible, not easy"

hang in there Trace! love ya.

- Anne