Welcome to my new blog called “Time For a Fresh Start.”
I wish I could say this was a happy time in my life. But, I can’t…it’s the opposite…probably the lowest point in my life (at least so far).
Without going into details, let me just say that I have had a tiring and stressful career for the last 9 or so years. It has been draining in so many ways. And, this last month has been an absolute nightmare. I’m exhausted and feel beat up.
I have basically lost almost everything financially. I lost my business (long story) that I’ve spent 9 years growing (probably working 100+ hrs/week on). I’m bound by a non-compete clause, so I’m not allowed to operate it or anything similar for 2 years. I’ve lost almost all my savings – I have enough to pay to the mortgage for January and most of February’s expenses. After that, who knows?
Yes, I lost my job once before and had to reinvent myself. But, when that happened, I had savings. I had a cushion. That’s all gone now. And, now, I have a very large mortgage and a business loan that needs to be paid off. Yes, I’m about to go into debt…it’s just a matter of how much, and how quickly I can get out of this hole.
This all happened the day before Thanksgiving. Yes, it was a wonderful way to spend my favorite holiday and a wonderful holiday season. NOT!
I’ve evaluated all sorts of options (including filing bankruptcy, short selling my house, renting my place, etc.), but all have significant issues. Regardless of what happens (if it’s bankruptcy, going into credit card debt, losing my place, etc.), it all boils down to one thing…I need to figure out how to reinvent myself again and make money quickly.
It would be easier if I was younger and had more energy. It would be easier if I didn’t have a huge mortgage and could just move back in with parents (and erase my mortgage). But, I have to deal with the cards I’ve been dealt and figure out a new plan. I had a plan (and a timeline), but due to circumstances outside my control, that plan won’t work and I need a new one.
On the positive side, my life’s journey has taught me many things and lessons, and I intend to learn from this for the next leg of the journey. I intend to search and reapply my learning in my new business.
So, I need to start something fresh. Something new. And, I can’t miss a beat. This blog is going to help me chronicle my journey and my progress. It’s going to be part of the cure.
Today, it’s the day after Christmas. December was spent closing down the business (and I have some loose ends that will continue on through end of January). I’m taking this last week of the year to get my head on straight and refocus for the coming year and next phase of my life. I know this is going to be a long and tough journey. I want to be in a good place by the summer and have a super Thanksgiving in 2017 – the 1 year anniversary of all of this.
I have a budget…what I need to earn to earn each month to make it by (i.e. to pay the bills and make sure I stabilize the debt) . It’s very stretching, and I have to do it I have no other choice. Once I get to those numbers on a steady basis, then I will put together a plan for growth with the first goal to be eliminating the debt and then continued growth so I can have a normal life once again.
Ultimately, I’m trying to move to reducing stress in my life and enjoying life more. I do not want stress in my job, nor do I want to be stressed about income. It’s hard, because stress is now at an all-time high. And, while I’m moving out of a stressful career, I have financial stress of making the new one work quickly. But, nonetheless, my dream is to reduce stress and enjoy life more. It will be a journey.
Here’s what I’m doing (job wise)
1. I’m starting a new marketing business. This will be the bread and butter for my income (at least for now) and hopefully, it will blossom into a large business. It may be sporadic at the beginning, but eventually, it will be steady and growing.
2. I’m trying to grow passive income via a couple of blogs I already own. This will be supplemental income to steady things out for now, and I will will spend “downtime” here to continue to grow this because ultimately, this will be a big piece of my income. It will eventually enable me to both make more money and work fewer hours on my active income.
3. In the meantime, I will likely supplement my income w/ some other part-time income streams related to home improvement. Unfortunately #1 and #2 will probably not bring in enough income short term to meet my costs. This is something I may do part-time for 6-12 months (or maybe I’ll find a temp part-time job in corporate America) to help make ends meet, while I’m building #1 and #2. I’m restricted on some of the things I’m allowed to do, but there are certainly areas that don’t conflict with my non-compete.
Progress on #1 – My new marketing company
- I have a name and business cards
- I’ve established an LLC
- I have a new website set up
- I have someone who wants to hire me mid Jan starting at 10 hrs/week and then gradually moving up to 20 hrs/week. This should last for at least 3 months.
- I have several friends and business colleagues who are interested in me doing a project or two for them. These a piece meal projects, but can add up. I’m planning to do at least 1 of them this week.
Goals and progress on #2 – Passive online income streams
My goal is to earn $1,000/month from passive income by the end of this year and $5,000/month by the end of December 2017.
I’ve been earning a bit of passive income from affiliate marketing (around $300-$400/month for the last 6 months. It’s not a lot, but it’s a start. On December 1st, I finally took the plunge and added some ads to my main site, and they’ve done pretty well.
Due to the ads, I’m happy to report that it now looks like I’m on track to earn $1,000 for the month of December. Woohoo. (Now, I won’t get paid for this until Feb/Mar), but at least I think I will make it.
Now December has higher rates for ads and more purchases on Amazon (holiday shopping), so the numbers will be lower in January. I would guess that translates to around $600-$650 for January.
To stay on track towards $5,000/month by end of Dec 2017, that means I need to earn $875 for January, $1,250 for February and $1,625 in March, so I have my work cut out for me.
As I am now writing more content and learning how to use Pinterest better, this should help me, but I’m still going to need to figure out how to build on what I’ve already built.
I hope to share monthly passive income reports on here and share my learning as I go, so stay tuned.
Progress on #3 – Additional part-time income streams
I’m going to be meeting with a general contractor (one of my boyfriend’s friends/acquaintances) later this week. I also thought of a few others I could contact if this doesn’t work out.
As I mentioned, I really want to reclaim my life. It’s gotten out of whack in many many ways. It’s challenging to quantify some of goals (e.g. happiness, more time with friends/family, more time to myself, etc.) but in the meantime, I want to outline some goals:
1. Lose 20 pounds by end of 2017.
My weight has gotten a bit out of control (for many reasons including poor eating, not enough exercise, too much stress, not enough sleep and some steriods. I don’t like the way I look, nor the way I feel. And, it’s not good for my health. When I went to the doctor in the end of June, I was shocked by my weight – an all time high and borderline dangerous (in my opinion). My blood pressure was also high (partly due to the weight.
So I figured that I need to lose the weight. It will make me feel better and look better, and that in turn will make me feel better. When I feel better, I have more energy and I’m more productive, so it’s a win win.
I’m happy to report that I lost 9 pounds in 6 months, and I can definitely feel it and a few people have noticed it, too. Yay. So, I need to continue this journey and lose another 20 pounds.
I will write more about this soon, and I’ll be keeping track. I’m hoping to do this through a combo of eating better, sleeping more/better and more exercise. Stay tuned.
2. Clean up my apartment by end of January/February
Yes, I’ve let my place go. I need to fix that. It’s such a huge mess. It will take a long time to do (especially because I have a lot of other things to do now, too). I want to get the main decluttering done by end of January and full clean/decluttering by end of February.
This will make me feel better and be more productive.
After I have #2 complete (and #1 underway), I’m going to move on to some other personal goals and habits.
So there you have it. This is first post of many to come. I’m hoping that in a year from now, this blog will capture many successes and I will be in a strong and happy place by next Thanksgiving. I’m hoping that 2 years from now I will be in a great place and 5 years from now, I will really look back at this difficult time and say that this was the best thing that could have happened.