I don’t usually read these kinds of books – in fact, I don’t usually read business books at all – but for some reason I ordered The $100 Startup a few days ago. It looks really interesting: studies and anecdotes of people who have started their own business with almost nothing, sometimes even stumbling into them accidentally. I’m going to try to write down my thoughts as I read it. I think the catalyst for this interest has been realizing, especially over the last few months, exactly how limited my moneymaking ability is. It really eats at me, to be honest. I feel like the skills I have are worth almost nothing, and yet I know that I’m not some shiftless ne’er-do-well idiot. But I don’t have a degree, I’m neither particularly handy nor good at crafts, and my patience with and desire to write tend to fluctuate severely. I know I wouldn’t be very happy being a freelance writer, and I certainly don’t have the qualifications to be a freelance editor. You know what I’m good at? Data entry. Data-fricken’-entry.
Also, I’ve never actually done anything on the side to make money before. My income has always been very straightforward: work, get paid an hourly wage, and pick up another job if the hours aren’t enough.
But I’m tired of it. I hate knowing that the amount I get paid working at the bank is higher than I could get almost anywhere else in town…but I can’t have full time, and I can’t pick up another job for mornings because I need to be available to cover when other receptionists are gone. Barring yearly raises, which they are admittedly generous about, they’ve (I’ve? Is this my fault?) effectively capped my monthly earnings at about $950 after taxes and my 401K deduction…while also keeping me at part-time and ineligible for employer-subsidized health insurance. So the good parts, the parts that have kept me working here for over a year now, are that I’m in a position to learn a lot about banking, I’ve moved beyond basic reception-ing into compliance, which is definitely a step above, and the hourly wage isn’t terrible. But the bad parts are…everything else listed above. And I feel like the scales are beginning to tip.
I mean, seriously. $950 a month? That’s barely enough to live on, let alone make any kind of dent in my student loan debt or buy any kind of independent insurance plan. The last time I tried to take another job, it had to be a night job, and it was hellish. I have so little patience for food/customer service work right now, and I hate how under-valued those jobs are. So I’ve started brainstorming, but I’m at a loss because while there are plenty of things that I enjoy doing, they don’t have much business potential.
You know what the highlight of my day is? Taking the pups out for playtime and walkies. Now that I would do for money.
So anyway, the book. I’m going to read this it and see if it gives me any ideas. I’m really tired of drifting along just above the poverty level, but it isn’t going to change unless I do something different.