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Why I’m Broke but kind of Loving It
Let’s not beat around the bush. Ya girl is broke. No, seriously. Well sure, I’m typing this on a MacBook Pro…but it’s a 2015 MacBook Pro!
Okay, fine..to clarify, ya girl is “millennial broke” not to be confused with the terrifying “real world broke.” There are a few key differences.
Some months the choice is between food or lights. Some months there is no choice. My millennial broke self has a roof over my head, a fridge filled with non-organic produce and a subscription to Amazon Prime that’s been used to the point of abuse.
Let me explain.
I’m a 34-year-old (yay or nah?) single gal and as a by-product of the “everyone gets a trophy” generation, my potential for greatness was impressed upon me at a young age. Like super impressed upon me.
“I was told I could BE ANYTHING. DO ANYTHING. I was special, different and maybe just a little better than my peers. Achievement was practically my birthright.”
Needless to say, I graduated from high school with an over-inflated ego and visions of grandeur. I’ll delve into college some other time because frankly, that ridiculousness needs a blog of its own. To make a long story short…I dropped out of undergrad my junior year…ya know, because I’m so darn “special.”
Let’s skip 15 years ahead, shall we?
After ten ‘degree-less’ years of asking if plastic was okay, followed by five more ‘degree-less’ years of selling overpriced cell phones and unnecessary cable packages, I finally did it.
I threw in the proverbial towel.
In a fit of
desperation inspiration, I told the working world to kiss my grits. After fifteen years of retail hell, I was finally ready to live up to my potential.
I was ready to become the next Stephen King. Or, since I’m a lady, the next Danielle Steel. You know what? Screw it, I’m just gonna say it.
JK ‘flippin’ Rowling!
That’s right. I quit my job to write the next Harry Potter. Well, except with ladies. That kiss each other. And do other stuff. But I digress…
HA! The writing world wouldn’t know what hit it. And I had a plan. Sort of.
I’d pop out five books a year, give or take. I mean, how hard could spitting out a novel every two months be?
Spoiler Alert: Hard. Very Very Hard.
Pssht, it was totally doable. I expected to net around thirty grand a year – just to begin with, of course. Sure, I’d be taking a pay cut but hey, I had to start somewhere right?
You’re laughing, aren’t you? If not, you should be.
To my credit, I did have more of a “plan” than that. At least, I thought it was a plan.
After all, I had slapped some numbers on a sheet of paper after googling ‘how to make a yearly budget.’
Sidenote: Y’all have to read “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin. It is hands down the BEST budgeting book out there. No, seriously even Oprah recommends it. You’ll thank me later.
In actuality, I had nothing but a vague idea of how I was going to survive the upcoming year with ZERO INCOME.
And even more
stupid alarming than that – I had no books to sell!
Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
There were no completed, perfectly edited, secret novels stashed on my hard drive waiting for me to hit the magical publish button on Amazon, then sit back and watch the dough roll in.
What I had were three half-assed attempts at novel-writing that never should have seen the light of day. Two of them had been abandoned ten pages in. The third was a little over a hundred pages of terrible-ness that eventually became my first published novel, How Sweet the Sound.
Y’all, if I could somehow bottle my blind, unwavering optimism in the face of…you know, cold hard facts, I’d be a very wealthy lady. I don’t know what made me so damn sure of myself when I should have been on my hands and knees begging my sales manager to take me back.
I’m sure it had nothing to do with the sixty-seven participation trophies sitting in my parent’s garage.
Sidenote: I can make fun of millennials because I am one. It’s not funny when you do it after your third margarita, Karen.
Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale?
So what the heck gives? Should you to quit your job and follow your passion? Stay in a career you hate for the money and security? Start a blog? Podcast? Write a book? Sell your paintings on street corners? Go back to school?
Although like Tyrion, I do drink and know things, I don’t have the answer. I don’t know what you should do because I’m still figuring this thing out for myself.
A year ago I desperately scoured the Internet searching for tales about people who had actually done it and lived to fight another day. I wanted all the nitty, gritty details.
How much money did they make?
Does the fear and anxiety ever go away?
Is this lifestyle truly sustainable?
Did they fail hard or succeed beyond their wildest dreams?
What I found was a lot of folks that were big on talk but small on details.
They were happily floating down the river of successful entrepreneurship because they had already jumped. And they wanted me to jump, but they wouldn’t reveal what happened to them after that first, courageous leap off the edge.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to know.
“The good stuff. The bad stuff. The stupid stuff.”
- I wanted to know about the money they had to borrow from their parents.
- The reviews of their product or service that compared them to garbage.
- I wanted graphs and yearly budgets written on notebook paper.
- I wanted to know about the girlfriend that left them because she refused to eat ramen ‘one more damn time.’
I needed to see what was coming if I was going to stand a chance of surviving in the Wild Wild West of Entrepreneurship.
Instead, they skirted around the edges when I wanted them to dive in. They threw a few numbers out to appease me and told a couple sad stories about turning down mojitos at happy hour because “hashtag struggle” and “hashtag grind.”
And that my friends, is the purpose of this blog.
“To provide an honest, completely transparent, eagle-eye view of what happens when you listen to the YouTube gurus and bet on yourself.”
I’m still broke.
Spoiler alert: I made less than $30,000 last year. Waaay less. Laughably less.
But I’m still here. And hope springs eternal.
I’ll give you the nitty, gritty details of the best and worst year of my life. You can trudge alongside me in real-time and I’ll be as transparent as I can. And if you’re on the edge, I’ll climb up, sit beside you and clear away as much of the fog as I can.
So howdy. My name’s Evelyn and it’s nice to meet you.
Leave a comment and let me know
Have you already jumped?
Did you die?
If you did, how in the hell are you commenting on my blog post?
And if you haven’t jumped, why not?