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My Jobless Life

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FREELANCING

And life keeps moving on

So at the beginning of 2016 the resolution I made was to never be broke ever again in my whole life, ever. So I started a home-baking business which has been going very well. I also took up jogging because life is far more fun when you’re fit.

I have been supported in my business by my community in a way I really didn’t expect and I truly appreciate it, and for me this carries through one of my prior posts about the future of business. I really think business is going smaller and everything that is happening in my life right now is showing that it’s true. But then again, we make our thoughts our experience, so it is because of my belief that my life reflects my opinions as reality.

My objective of never being broke again might seem shallow and insignificant to the rest of the world, but I was heartily sick of wondering where the next buck would come from, so I decided to make a buck instead on wondering about it. It might be a self-serving goal, but it’s ensuring that many people enjoy some damn good baking at a very reasonable price.

Next time we meet I’ll tell you more about the jogging and how that’s going for me.

To all my blog friends out there, I hope 2016  is treating you as kindly is it’s treating me.

Love, Netta

 

 

 

 

Planned Procrastination

Having recently written between 3 and 4 thousand words per day doing product descriptions I definitely think that hovering between writing and running away from it both helps and hurts creativity.

I wanted to write those words because at the end of it all I could say, as I already did, I’d been writing thousands of words for weeks. I wanted the badge. I wanted to have a go at it. I wanted to rush to my laptop and start banging away like a professional. But I didn’t. It didn’t turn out that way.

I also felt overwhelmed when thinking how writing 200 words would leave a minimum of 2800 to go. I didn’t know whether my writing was good enough. Would they smile and say thank you, then edit with a heavy-duty chainsaw? Would I repeat myself and make my writing stale to the reader? Would my descriptions sell anything? I avoided my laptop because I didn’t want to be confronted by all the words I wasn’t writing. I was never going to get anything done, I just knew it. I would miss the deadline and mess up everything for everyone attached to the project. But I didn’t. It didn’t turn out that way.

In the end I made the deadline and got great feedback. I made it by loafing and working hard alternately. I walk a fine line between doing and thinking about doing. The doing would be pointless without time away. The thinking would be pointless without the act.

I have decided that I have a limit of 2000 words in me per day.  Two days spent writing 3000 deserves a day of writing nothing. Days of writing nothing at all should never follow each other. Planned procrastination works.

To create is great. To prepare to create, equally so.

How I Created The Life of My Dreams

There are some areas of my life that remain a work in progress, but for the most part I’m living my dream. Through trail and error and a lot of reading and experimenting I have come to learn a few things that have made my journey much easier. Here is what I have learnt during my journey

Know what you want.

I know that one seems too obvious and everyone has heard that before, but it took me almost 40 years to finally admit that writing is where I belong. As soon as I did doors were flung open that I could not have entered otherwise. Knowing what you want is so powerful that I think the +- 40 years I spent fumbling about was not a waste of time but a huge boost in the right direction.

Commit to yourself first.

As a woman and a mother it is accepted that I would always put others ahead of myself, but I have learnt that the best thing I can do for those I love is to love myself first. In this context it means not shelving my dreams, plans and desires for my own life in order to make room for someone else’s. I’m a far more pleasant person to deal with when I prioritise all the things that keep me happy.

Dreams are built one brick at a time.

What has tripped me up in the past has been the idea that success should come quickly or else it might never arrive. I now realise that there is something big or small (but mostly small) that I can do every day to build my dream. Failure to do the little that is required right now is tantamount to self-sabotage.

Dream as big as you want, and then LET GO.

This is the single biggest lesson I have ever learnt. As a driven, determined, self-reliant woman I always wanted to control every step of making my life as I envision it to be. I am learning now that knowing what you want and being steadfast in that while doing what you can is all the effort you need. The quicker you can set a dream free the quicker it will materialise.

Every opportunity to doubt is an opportunity to increase in belief.

Nothing in life is all sun-shine and roses, but your private world – the world as you experience it –  is shaped by the spirit in which you act. There inevitably will be things that don’t work out and days where all efforts seem futile (yesterday was such a day for me) and doubting seems the only logical response. I have learnt that doubt is a habit like any other. It’s a habit that we cling to because we believe fear and worry are sensible. To be doubtful but take no action is just plain dumb. Yes! If you truly are concerned about something just take action instead of sitting around worrying. Acting will already remove most doubt and worry. And any successful outcome that flows from your action will increase your belief in your ability to deal with your life.

All battles are lost or won in the Mind first.

Having a strong mind just makes life so much easier. I have learnt that my Mind can only produce fruits based on what I feed it. In general I think we are much to nonchalant about what we expose our awareness to. Whether it is the right entertainment, the right people, constructive thoughts or even the right food, the mind is too precious to be negligent with. I refuse to let any random thing sully the mind I have been working on to strengthen for all these years. A strong mind allows one to choose your actions consciously, to observe yourself objectively, to experience your feelings authentically to make your decisions with certainty and conviction.

I can’t say that I have the keys to a wonderful life for everyone, but these things surely have made my life much more peaceful, satisfying and purposeful. All those I believe are core requirements for the life of one’s dreams

I’ve Given Up On Life As A Non-Writer

non writerAt this point I’ve completely given up on live as a non-writer because I am finally ready to admit that I’m anything but a non-writer.

I’m a semi-recluse who needs the whole world to leave me the hell alone, so I can think and listen to the voice inside my head telling me things I’d be better off not knowing.

I can’t feel my experiences unless I write them down. I don’t know what I know until it’s shaped into words. I can’t make sense of life unless I my eyes can tell it to my mind. I don’t know how other people know their lives while it remains unshaped and unarticulated. If I don’t write I’ll end up having conversations with myself in the mirror all day. That’ll bring the crazy-police knocking at my door. Can’t have that.

I wish it didn’t hurt so much to write. I wish that I was confident enough not to want to snatch back every word I’ve ever written and return it to that place deep inside of myself where it came from.

I say fuck, shit and hell, and take the lords name in vain when I write. I know that unless I do, I won’t be writing me. So I count on those who read what I write to not be too precious about politeness and instead be more interested in feeling what I try to convey.

I don’t know if I post too often or not, use too few words, use too many words, choose the right topic or get my point across. I don’t know whether I’m too shallow, too deep, too personal or too detached. I don’t know much I just know that I cannot stop writing. I want to go back to writing in my journal and hiding everything away from the world, but it’s too late. Writing is an illness.

I’ve given up on life as a non-writer because writing leaves me no choice. I’m learning to tone down expectation and I’m learning to throw hundreds of words at unresponsive audiences.

Unresponsive is so much better than non-existent.

MY FIGHT TO GO BACK HOME

When I entered the job market at 19 I didn’t realise it would prove so difficult to shape my working life in a way that suits me. The most difficult struggle thus far has been getting back home.

Work is considered noble and everyone is expected to at least make an attempt at carrying their own weight. Salaried work tops that and when you decide to busy yourself with activities that fall beyond the scope of a job (paid work), something strange happens.

Even before I entered the commercial environment I had been indoctrinated with the idea that having a career is the only way to create a meaningful life. Everything else that life consists of would have to be squeezed and shaped to fit around my career. The minute I decided that I prefer to prioritise my private life over my career, it seemed the whole world turned its back on me.

People started doubting my intelligence and my integrity, my drive was called in question and yes, even my sanity. All this because I want to use my life to pursue my own interests and not to materialise the objectives of my boss or the company that hires me.

Just like that I became a free-loading, simpleton not someone who chose her independence. Not the dedicated bookkeeper who took care of millions on behalf of the companies I worked for. No. Just an unambitious, lazy-ass breeder who wanted to vegetate at home.

Following my decision I couldn’t get a half-day or part-time job because I was bluntly told that those don’t exist any longer. So instead of finding permanent employment I signed up with an agency specialising in temp placements. Immediately I had more money and much more free time than ever before. Most of the holidays I’ve taken in my life was during that 3-4 year period.

I did get a permanent placement subsequent to that, but negotiated to keep my Fridays to myself without a pay-cut, provided I could keep my work up to date. That I did. So much for part-time jobs that don’t exist. Soon after starting the job I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. It was the most crucial point in making a decision about how my life would work in the future. Three children are expensive to maintain financially and 3 children are difficult to properly nurture while being caught in the rat race.

The last company I worked for was about 6 minutes from my home, had a moderate to light work-load (something new for me), with a very accommodating manager, but I just wanted my freedom already. They could have paid me 100-thousand bucks a day and I would not have stayed, because I felt I did not own my time or my life. I wanted my home and my children. I wanted to focus all the energy and time that I had been spending minding my boss’ business rather minding my own.

So finally I made the leap to self-employment which would ultimately take me back where I wanted to be. Home with my children.

I feel I was taken out of my home before I even knew that it was happening and not given a choice to decide whether I wanted to prioritise career or family. And no, it is not a no-brainer that I would chose a career. Someone has to raise the children of this world, someone has to create a home, someone has to prioritise nurturing, it’s essential to life. I would have preferred to construct a life where I formulate the mixture between home and work.

I love working, I love the sense of accomplishment and of course I love the money. I will have my children to raise, to nurture and shape for only a short time in their lives and I never explicitly agreed to make them secondary to my career.

No matter how hard I might be working, how I generate an income or what my intentions might be, there is a stigma that clings to those who don’t follow the norm.  Routine hours at designated locations in registered organisations with recognised titles and specified remuneration receivable at particular times gives your life a perceived purpose. You are productive and industrious and that is good. Telling people that you want to live life on your own terms is considered risky at best, irresponsible at worst.

I don’t regret working in my 20’s or 30’s but making a career at the time must have created the impression that I never wanted to work in my own home. I never agreed to that, and afterward had to fight my way back home. I might be financially worse off for it, but what I gain no job can give me. My life, my time, my children and my home.

The way I see it, I can run a business from home and make it fit my life instead of the other way around. If that fails I can always find a good job, I’ve always managed to talk myself into the job I wanted under terms that suit me and I think I can do that again if I have to. Yet, that aspect of my life will have to take a back seat for now.

With the boom of the work-from-home industry (and scams) it would appear that many other women are taking up the journey back home. It might appear that I have given up on the battle by going back home, but reaching home in one piece is much harder than you might imagine. All the evasive manoeuvres I’ve had to pull and battles I’ve had to withstand have taught me skills that stand me in good stead in my independent life.

As an intelligent, skilled and determined woman I retain the option to make my life exactly how I wish it to be. Women were inserted into the working world in a way that did nothing for the homes and children they left behind. There is nothing that I can do about the past but the future is uncharted territory. Meaningful work and a purposeful life does not have to equal JOB.

WHERE I THINK THE BUSINESS WORLD IS HEADING TO

Since things went awry in 2008, the economy has never gone back to where it was before and I don’t think that it ever will. I am no economist and I don’t have a crystal ball that gives macro-economic predictions, but I do consider myself a very perceptive person and this is what I perceive. Business as usual will never be business as usual again.

The economy didn’t just slump for a few years, drive us to panic and eventually rebound, it seems to stubbornly resist being what we knew it to be before the change. I think the era of the office job, the big conglomerate and the career path is drawing to a close. It`s anyone’s guess how long it’s going to take to fade away. I would not advise my children to gear themselves toward a kind of working life that, as far as I am concerned, is not going to be a feature in the future.

Changes in technology and in the way people communicate and how our lifestyles have changed surely has to have an impact on our working lives. Yet, everyone acts as if for some strange reason the traditional JOB will remain impervious.

I see business being much more focused on its connection to the people it serves rather than just the bottom line. There are more options in every field of enterprise than ever before and the little guy sometimes knocks the Goliaths of the business world for a loop. Because people can have contact and do business with practically anyone who they can contact via the net, I believe business will be done between people who LIKE ONE ANOTHER. It will only be limited by how many people you can build a meaningful economic relationship with. Bam! That’s my prediction.

Do you know why that is true? The answer is: Women.

work from home black

More women are going into business for themselves and we women prefer working with people we like.

Add to that the fact that women spend most of the money in this world. We are the shoppers.

Another thing is that we want to have our careers and have our children and home-life and technology gives us the option to mix all these in a way that works for us. I bet that if you tell the average working woman that she can decide her own hours, only come into an office if she NEEDS to and just ensure that her work gets done, she would jump at the option. Women work hard, but the current economic routine does very little for the other job that waits for us once we get home. Give a woman more freedom and I promise that the productivity rates of this world will soar. And no, I am not going to quote any statistics, ever.

My advice to anyone is be self-employed, work for yourself from day one. Never teach yourself to rely on big business to employ and give you the means to survive. Create it yourself. Find those people who you like working with and build something valuable with them to earn a living from. Weaning yourself of the teat of a job and set salary is a fear that keeps most miserable job-slaves tied to their owner/masters.

I am not pointing fingers at those who have jobs or want jobs. I was employed as a bookkeeper for 16 years, so I’m no better. It’s just that nobody honestly modelled what an independent life looks like and that is what I want to do for those who are not suited to the job-life.

In the late 90s I told my husband that I think that permanent employment will become a thing of the past soon. He just looked at me in disbelief and shook his head. Fast forward to 2015 and many jobs that used to be permanent are now contract or performance based. It took about 20 years for this to really become really entrenched, but my prediction was correct. This prediction I feel even more strongly than in the 90s.

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