Today is Cinco de Mayo. The day of celebration for Mexicans of their country’s independence.
In America, where I live, we celebrate our country’s independence on July 4th every year.
I find it strange though that people love to celebrate independence, but accept being tied to a job. A job where they trade independence for ‘security’. We are willing to give the best parts of our lives to someone else if they give us money in exchange.
It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, I was sitting in a restaurant, about to get fired. I had no idea it was going to happen. In fact, I thought I may be getting some type of promotion. In actuality I was not fired outright though. My boss gave me a choice.
I could have stayed on until I found another job or take a severance and leave right away. I took the severance package.
Now I look back on that time as a blessing. It made me go back to my natural instincts.
You see, I grew up poor. My grandmother who raised me, did her best, but we still needed government assistance to make ends meet. But, the one thing I can say about being poor, it never seemed so bad.
Most people fear being poor. Not me. I know how to make a pot of beans, some bread, and hot sauce, turn into a gourmet meal.
Sitting outside with a glass of tea, watching the neighbors fight, is a great substitute for cable television.
Hand me down clothes may be out of fashion for others, but they are new to you, so who cares?
So I had no fear when I was losing the job I had so long coveted. If I was to be poor, I would just go back to what I knew. That is not the case for many others.
There is one more thing that being poor instills in a person. At least in me. It makes you understand how to hustle. How to find the little edges. Edges that make you money.
I got a couple of marketing clients. Sold some excess odds and ends on Craigslist. Bought some diabetic test strips and sold on Ebay (you’d be surprised). Donated plasma (I was surprised). And eventually, land on a product line to a market that no one had ever thought of making. I put that product on Amazon and that was the start of being my own boss.
The point was I never thought of getting fired as devastation. I have too much history and experience to fall into despair. I did look for other similar jobs in my former industry. Nothing worked out though.
I had to make my own way, because, when you are poor, no one is going to do it for you.
I know many people who grew up middle class who fear being poor. Their parents made just enough to have a 3 bedroom home in the suburbs. Take the family on vacation to Florida once a year. And possibly save enough to pay for their kids to go to college (nothing fancy, but a state school).
No one was able to give me any of those. So that meant no one could take those away from me either.
If you ever find yourself looking at a dire situation. Thinking maybe everything you have worked for will be lost forever. Stop.
We have more opportunity than the generations before us. Don’t look at what you don’t have, but what you can create. Create a life that you control. The internet gives us all this chance now.
I have been lower than many people reading these words. Yet, I was able to make it. I know the emotions many feel at each level in life. Poor, middle class, wealthy (somewhat:)…
Never give up our dreams to a boss, a job, a reputation to keep. We will look every day in the eye with excitement. It does not matter what our bank account says, what we drive, or the cool images we post. The one thing that cannot be measured or seen on Instagram, is our ambition.
I don’t care if you are selling a product, coaching, consulting, or selling your own plasma…
Do not fear being poor. Fear being stuck. Stuck in lives and jobs that are controlled by someone else.
If you are ever in need of someone to help you out, feel free to hit me up. Have a great day creating your independence. Perhaps this will be your future day of celebrating just that.