I recently came across the tweets and blog of fellow Tampa twitterer @In11Months, and needless to say I saw a lot of myself someone who’s bio read “see how I will successfully use Social Media to achieve some major life goals.”, last year I went through a bit of a quarter life crisis. I still didn’t have a job, my fiancee and I split up, I was trying to run a consulting business by myself, living somewhere I didn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere without a vehicle, taking care of my very ill father and having my family turn against me while I nearly had a breakdown was one of the roughest times in my life. I vouched then I would pick myself up and never look back… well, it’s still been a bit of a rocky road, it’s like running through mud… it’s tough, tries to pull you down but there’s always dry land on the other side. I feel like I am finally at the light at the end of the tunnel.. business is picking up, i’ve got a packed traveling schedule, a possible book on the way, taking better care of my health and I am slowly learning to build up my confidence and trust people again after a rough few months. Most of all, I am learning to love myself and feel inspired… I found some great inspiration in this recent blog post by @In11Months that really hit home, he stated his frustration with his current state, albeit comfortable is wanting much much more out of life.
“A time flexible job, making decent money doing something I love to do! Is it really that hard??? Why is this so seemingly challenging to create for myself.”
Can we really create a different life for ourselves in less than a year through social media? You bet your bippy you can… here’s what I had to respond. Read more
I think since childhood, i’ve heard the song “Hey Jude” hundreds of times on the radio, in the car, in elevators, crappy cover bands and drunken karaoke. I never really think that song could change my life at such a perfect time, I don’t know if perfect is the right word to use for this time in my life… but it’s certainly a lyrical mirror to my current situation brewing in my head and home.
The last few days i’ve certainly hit a rough point… feeling like a stranger in my own town, helpless to my ill father and wondering if what I am working so hard towards will even work out. I can’t remember the last time i’ve seen a paycheck or a full wine bottle. If there was a hashtag for this it would be #passionFAIL. The other day, I had the radio on and “Hey Jude” was playing once again, almost tuned out like most things entering my brain currently. This time I sat there, listened and sang along. A wonderful celebration of life at one of my darkest hours, the words spoke to me telling me to keep going. To take this sad song and make it better.
“Cause we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why”- INXS
Usually when I get asked what I do, I tell people Social Media Consultant. *blank stare* “Uh, I community manage and create brands online…” *blank stare* “I play with twitter and facebook.” OHHHHHHH….You can get paid for THAT? *faceplant* “Yeah, most of the talented ones make over $100,000 a year”
So, uh… why don’t you get a real job?
Last week I had a conversation with Trey Pennington about Social Media Marketing and the methods that have worked best for me to find that next step in life whether it be a career opportunity, hobby or even personal life goals. I had discussed being yourself and being unique, this week I would like to further explore that topic as I get asked quite a bit by you the Destructo Devations reader “I want to do something new, but I don’t know how to do it.”
1. Look to the past- When ever I feel that pulling sensation of either cabin fever with my life or just the “feeling stuck” syndrome. I spend a day in a huge tupperware box I have, going through old family photos and home movies. Sometimes when I feel that sinking feeling of “going nowhere”, I look back on my life as a child and it really puts things in perspective on how far i’ve come and to not give up. Every time I go back and view a old home movie of myself at three years old, I realize that back then that these things now didn’t matter that much. It’s amazing the feeling you have when you put that mindset that money isn’t what your world revolves around, it’s that carefree childhood spirit that the best entrepreneurs have tapped into.
2. Get rid of negative people- Naysayers, people that gossip about you, those general debbie downers. Cut em off, don’t think that your friends make you. YOU make you. Many people get stuck in situations where their social circles have control over every aspect of their life and people that would stab you in the back to make themselves look better. This is the real world, people are fake, there are tons of snakes and sharks in any circle. Some people thrive off the success and downfall of others. Listen to your instincts and never let anyone use you for their benefit solely. YOU make your world, there’s a lot in this world we can’t control but take the reins over the things you can control.
At Destructo HQ, things can get a little bit nutty like any office. Phones ringing, dogs barking, tweets tweeting and the occasional burp or two from Cpt. Spauldad. Ever since I was a little destructo, I knew that my work would not take place in a conventional office setting, I think I saw the movie Falling Down and I never wanted to have a “9-5 job”, because in my five year old mind… it made you crazy and want to kill people.
Anyways, my younger self would be proud to know that I don’t have to go to a workplace, however being self employed is more like a 5am to 9pm gig. But I am far from the guy in Falling Down, I love the freedom and being able to work remotely since I don’t drive. But before you go, “Wow, I am quitting my job right now!” You have to keep up your own finances, pay your health insurance and job security… you could be making $50 and hour but that may have to feed you for those times you are without work. Well, technically, job security is made upon your own terms to work hard to gain new clients. Your happiness with self employment depends on your goals in life and organizational skills. If you are going to be your own boss, act like it.
First thing… go out and buy this book.
If you are unemployed, you may be making the same face right now. I get asked all the time, “Miss Destructo, you’ve technically been unemployed for almost a year now… how do you do it?”.. okay, maybe that wasn’t so much the people I know rather than the voice in my head going… “What the heck are you doing?”. Bascially, I can honestly say I have embraced my unemployment as a time to grow and explore those things i’ve always wanted to do such as blogging. Honestly, it hasn’t been all glitter and fun times, living off of sardines and yams for three months while living in Greenville, SC. I never was on unemployment or food stamps, I couldn’t qualify since technically I never moved to the state and there was other factors that rendered me unelligible. This should have sent me into a panic, but instead it just drove me further to learn how to beat the unemployment monster. Working odd jobs such as band promoting for Livenation and I started focusing previous band promotion (I worked for record companies since I was 13) talents into social media and started promoting myself.. getting me a few paying social media freelance jobs.. leading me to where I am today. Don’t depend on others, if you work hard to survive you will.
Thus began my life into being self-employment, I made a huge leap and moved back to Tampa, FL… in with my eccentric father and one eyed camera guy Mr. D. This way, we could all save tons of money and have a place to finally set up a DestructoHQ for all our future deviations. So if you are struggling with rent and debating “I don’t want to be that guy that lives with his parents” You need to kick that stigma in the ass right now… if it’s what you have to do…do it. Plus my father makes a mean spaghetti, which is much better than yam-ghetti anyday.
The point of liberation. In my first month back home, sitting in my empty room with just a suitcase. All of material items I had sold or given to charity… That moment was probably one of the most liberating things ever, I was starting over… I knew this was the beginning of something big, something great and I was not going to look back at all the jobs I could of had or those items that were weighing me down. If you want to move forward, get rid of everything that is weighing you down (this includes negative people as well).
David Bowie. Steven Spielberg. Abraham Lincoln. Richard Branson.
Would you guess that none of these people had a college education?
During college, it’s pretty much drilled into your head that if you get this degree it’s a golden ticket to job paradise. Oh boy, have I found out since graduating in 2008 that you can have a piece of paper saying you are the destroyer of boredom and get further than having a degree, especially in these very tough economic times. A year later and still unemployed with a very expensive piece of paper in a frame and still paying off student loans. However, what I did learn in college with a BA in Communications is the technical skills necessary to creating my own brand. I’ve accomplished more than I would ever expect in college guidance councilor’s wildest dreams. By learning photoshop, how to do my own video and press releases has saved me tons of money in having to hire others. But did I need to spend the money to learn this in an institution or could I have self educated myself?
Be Memorable. Be Sticky. Be A Grit.
I got a great comment from a reader awhile back…
“I really enjoy the blogs, although I look at them more like a newsletter. Have you ever considered writing for a magazine or editorial? I think you would do great, and then you could make money for your awesome writing skills. Which would then allow you to buy all the gummy bears and Nivea cream you ever wanted. Anyways, great job, I’m only going to leave a comment on this one for now, but they are ALL amazing so far. Great job, and keep it up.”
Aw shucks… *blushes*… it’s comments like this one that keep me fueled.
Ah, but it is a lonesome dream of mine to work for a local ultra hip small creative company where brainstorming meetings are half about the philosophy of the Venture Brothers and caffeinated wonderlands of productivity and color.. A place where I can work from home in my underwear eating grits and tweeting all day. But that all it is in this economy now, is a caffeine fueled wonderland.
At least I still have my grits.
The Miss Destructo Press Kit
One of the most important things you can do as a creative or freelancer is to CREATE your identity and MAKE a press kit. When I became unemployed many months ago this is one of the first things I did.. Now, it isn’t a golden ticket to a job. I am currently still unemployed, but my press kit has allowed me to gain a few amazing supplemental freelancing gigs and helped me create more of a solid brand for myself. The color scheme for example, I use on my website and social media accounts… make all of these things scream YOU!
My dear photographer friend mentioned in my last post JacenK was just today given the boot from his job in Chicago. This was really hard news to hear knowing the living costs in that city and that he was already currently struggling just to eat there with a job. Things like this can seem like you will need to start looking for a cardboard box, but no worries for Jacen and all the other newly unemployed. It seems the world is on a transitionary path right now, lots of things turned upside down but you can turn your world right side up if you just follow these steps.
1. File for unemployment
It’s really not hard, you may be able to do it online and you can get about $300 or more a week depending on location and income. Read more
Sometimes life takes us through a long dark tunnel
and there seems no light at the end.
Why? Because the tunnel has a bend in it.
Faith takes us past that awful bend, and lack of faith is what gives us faith.