Quick post: The $100 Startup

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.

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Screw it.

Following the news? Summarizing, discussing, and linking? 

Screw it. I’m too tired and too busy. I don’t care enough to commit to this right now. I already failed the Blogathon challenge – failed it within like, four days, actually – and every time I think about coming over here to write, I get overwhelmed by the restrictions I put on this site about what and how I was supposed to be writing. Which led to almost no writing at all.

So I’m done with the formal blogging shit. It’s not for me right now. I need a place to rant about personal crap, and for now, this is going to be it.

SO! MOVING ON.

We found out today that the house we were looking at buying is a no-go unless we can put down 10% plus closing costs, which is way more cash than we have on-hand. That means that it’s just not the right time for us to be thinking about purchasing. That simple. We’re trying to save for a wedding right now; we don’t need to stress ourselves out unduly about one missed house opportunity. There will be others. I’m not exactly relieved, but also not quite as disappointed as I thought I would be.

Also, it needs to be said that this place was quite the fixer-upper. Like, mildew in the basement, nasty carpets, a bathroom that needed to be redone, and horrible, horrible apple tiling in the kitchen. I know we could have done the work on it and dramatically increased its value, and yeah, it sucks to basically be throwing our rent money away each month, but it was also an insanely small house with an insanely small yard, and I was (legitimately, I think) worried about the logistics of fitting 150+ pounds of very active dog in it. I mean, the thing had like, ten freaking square feet of yard space. And I would hate – no, loathe – myself if we got in there, were committed to the property, and couldn’t stand living with the dogs. They’re family. In fact, they’re pretty much our childrens. Especially for me, because hello there, biological clock, and also, fuck you. I am not giving them up for one crap little house.

This means that now I can focus on more regular expenses: getting Nate’s ring, buying the new Sonata Arctica album when it comes out next Tuesday (YAY), squirreling away money for the wedding and honeymoon, investing, and…oh yeah, paying the normal bills.

Whew. Cranky post is cranky. Sorry about that.

Oh, one more random thing. Do you ever get cravings for certain foods that don’t go away for like, days on end? I’ve been craving tuna subs for the last three days, and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve even indulged it, but it’s still there! And it’s so specific: a cold tuna sub on Italian bread with cheddar cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, pickles, green peppers, onions, and just a little bit more mayonnaise on top. *swoon*

Dammit. 

Blogathon Day 2: Bad Exes and Other Ailments

A quick note – yesterday’s post was so pathetic because I worked a nine-hour day and then spent four hours at the clinic waiting to be seen. It was incredibly draining and left me with basically nothing to say. Today, however, I need to rant.

“How did I become so obnoxious? What is about you that makes me act like this? I’ve never been this nasty.”

– Pink, “Please Don’t Leave Me”

I’ve tried writing the first sentence of this post about seven different ways, but since nothing seems to be working, I’m just going to say it:

If you have been broken up with and have found yourself acting irrationally, irresponsibly, or abusively towards your ex, and if you feel like the above lyrics apply to you, LISTEN UP.

THE WAY YOU ACT IS YOUR OWN GODDAMN RESPONSIBILITY.

Yeah, you may feel like your life is over. You may be unable to understand where things went wrong. You may feel like your ex is a super villain who conspired to ruin your life, and as such deserves every ounce of venom and vitriol you can send their way. You may feel like you don’t have control over yourself, and that you’re such a nice person, usually, it’s not your fault you’ve turned into the Ex from Hell, because they made you do it! It’s their fault for being so mean! And if they would just listen to your ranting voicemails and respond to your Facebook messages and read your maudlin poetry, they would understand your pain and you could get back together and everything would be rainbows and roses!

Well, guess what? It doesn’t work like that.

And the only fault for that kind of behavior lies with you.

Relationships end for many reasons and in many ways. Sometimes they’re mutual, sometimes there’s a clean break, and sometimes one person is left gathering the shattered pieces of their heart from the floor even though the other person spend three hours gently explaining why things weren’t working. And yes, sometimes people are total asswads who don’t care how their actions affect their partner. I hate to sound cruel, but that’s just the way it is.

However, whether you’re the break-upper or the breakee, you can’t control how the other person reacts. The only thing – I repeat, the only fucking thing – you can control is how you react. Blaming the other person like they’re some kind of puppet-master pulling your strings is just a convenient form of self-indulgence that lets you convince yourself that they hold all the power. They don’t! And thinking like that  doesn’t allow you the agency to pick yourself back up and move on, it prolongs the healing period for both of you, and it’s manipulative as hell.

So don’t do it. After a breakup is, in my opinion, one of the best times to be totally self-absorbed…in a good way. Focus on yourself. Take care of yourself.

Do what you need to in order to heal – as long as it doesn’t involve the other person.

And for god’s sake, don’t write them poetry.