Ronald Reagan once said, “When your neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession. When you lose yours, it’s a depression.” The Great Communicator hit the nail on the head. It’s not that it was such a huge surprise, or that I wasn’t prepared, both psychologically and financially. But it was still a punch to the gut. Somebody thought I wasn’t worth keeping around any longer. Maybe, from a strictly business perspective, they were right. After 45 years of working at a J.O.B. in the same industry, I was starting to get really burned out. Even though I had enough years of experience to do it blindfolded, I wanted to do other things. So when the time came, my attitude was
“Free at last, free at last… thank God Almighty, I’m FREE AT LAST.”
Yes, the old slave quotation from the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fit the bill. I had money to live on for at least several years without even changing my lifestyle. Unlike most people, I wasn’t “90 days from bankruptcy” without a job. Still, it was a little unnerving to suddenly be without the comfort and security of a monthly paycheck – although I did have my 401-K, my military retirement, and another small retirement check coming in. But I also had a large and sudden loss of income. In Conspiracy of the Rich, Robert Kiyosaki is recalling a conversation with Rich Dad. Rich Dad is telling him that a job with a paycheck makes you weak – because you come to depend on that weekly/monthly infusion of cash. Not enough to make you wealthy, but just enough to pay the bills. It actually encourages you to “settle” for whatever that paycheck will afford. But worse than that, a regular paycheck robs you of the toughness required to survive in what Rich Dad called the “real world.”
What is the “real world”? Consider a homeless person. Yes, I know many if not most are hampered by drug/alcohol addictions and mental health issues, but ignore that for the moment. Every morning, that man or woman has one goal for the day: find enough food to eat for one more day and a place to sleep safely and comfortably for the coming night. Every day is a fight for survival. That’s the “real world” – it’s an environment where you must learn to live and prosper by your wits and your skill at selling and conducting business deals. Very different from a J.O.B. The “real world” requires a level of toughness most of us don’t even realize we have.
The good news is, I’m entering the real world well prepared and with a head start over most people who suddenly find themselves unemployed. I’ve been preparing for an entire year. I’m creating my own empire online. Unlike many $200K earners, I knew a high salary was no guarantee, no security. In fact, the higher your salary, the greater risk you have of a large income reduction. Also, the more difficult you will find it to replace that income with another J.O.B. in today’s turbulent global economy. The time to choose “multiple streams of income” and financial freedom is NOW – before you lose that high paying job. Because the “real world” shows no mercy.
Thank God I was ready. Are you?
P.S. If you’ve lost a job and are still unemployed/underemployed, I’d love to hear your comments about this post. Just remember this is a “family” rated website. No tirades or rants about your former employer or your favorite politician.