I cannot remember a time when I haven’t worked or done something to earn money. As a kid growing up in Michigan gathering refundable bottles was a full time adventure and paying gig. I was always scouring places I went for that random bottle carrying the reward of change. From there it was of course babysitting, working in local shops and waiting tables. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, more than I ever had at least. As I moved out on my own at age 16 I furthered my creative ways of earning money in addition to simply working multiple jobs at times to support myself.
Maybe it was those early experiences with money that made me always look for an opportunity to diversify my income. It always seemed important to me that I have something in my back pocket that could help in times of need; a second job, way to earn extra money, a savings account with extra rent money or car repair funds. This approach has stuck with me all through my adult life. It challenges me to always think about opportunities for that extra way to see what I could do to offset the uncertainty with jobs. I don’t consider it hustling but rather surviving. Even now when we have a comfortable income from my primary job I know how quickly that can all go away with a layoff.
Our money health I think directly impacts our physical and emotional health too. When we are worried about money or where it is going to come from our decisions become more based on what we need for survival. We’re trying to think ahead to minimize that impact. As a result, there is higher stress in our life, we preserve our energy and everything we have to protect against the potential risk we face. Our bodies and minds carry this stress putting it in a constant mode of fight and flight. Everything becomes a risk we scrutinize and try to protect ourselves from.
It doesn’t take much for this mindset to trigger either, at least for me. Rumors of job layoffs, an upset boss taking it out on you, things not going well at work, just a feeling from years of experiencing bad breaks. I have often joked it is like a 6th sense. Take for instance the foresight I had about some changes happening in management over my current department. I knew it wouldn’t be positive so I started applying for new positions in the company, luckily landing one pretty quickly. Three months later over 70% of the team I was working on had left because of the new management they installed. I felt I had escaped a great mess that would have severely stressed me out at work and over money.
As I’ve tried to improve my life to live more naturally though it has been necessary I also look at how I heal my relationship with money. It has become important to me for that level of security so I can loosen the base survival focus and instead focus on longer term safeguarding. For me that has transpired into building Dragonspit Apothecary while I work full time. It has become a labor of love that not only offers the opportunity to meet needs but give me that true hope for longer term prosperity. It has changed the focus of money to one of investment and return rather than scraping by now.
In anything you choose to take on as a way to earn money it can take a while to start to see a return for your time investment and even money investment. It is an estimate for how long that may take. I don’t believe luck has a very big role in it but rather it usually comes down to our own grit, determination and skill. I believe most of us underestimate all of this too. We underestimate ourselves and the opportunity sometimes missing out on things that could truly change our lives. For me I realized I was short changing myself by thinking in a fear way that it wouldn’t pay off and there was something more immediate I could do instead.
For me I have also realized that our own needs play a big role in that way of thinking. When I’ve needed or wanted a more immediate payoff having your own business maybe isn’t the right opportunity for that demand. In my opinion that is where most fail or get frustrated with direct sales too. It is not that these rewards and res