7Wannabe5-Take 4

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3192
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:58 am

Well, 2017 was pretty much a crap year, so I am giving myself a fresh slate for 2018.

My track record for fairly extreme frugality in spending is solid and of long-standing. So, there is little further to be gained by improved functioning in that realm. In fact, I would say at this point, overcoming issues related to physical cowardice which might be entirely rational would be the only way to further reduce my bottom dollar. For instance, I did attempt to live alone in a decrepit camper in a crime-ridden neighborhood in order to further reduce my shelter expenses, but that might not have been entirely wise.

OTOH, my track record for earning money is weak and of long-standing. I think my highest yearly earnings might have been around $29,000, and that tide mark occurred when I still had two dependent children, for whom I was responsible for providing 1/2 support either practically or financially, so did not result in much savings, especially given that I allowed my income to lag in subsequent years, pretty much in lock-step with my spending. IOW, for as long as I have been largely functionally financially independent (approximately age 19, although my father did contribute some support intermittently during my college years, when my bi-polar shopaholic mother wasn't bankrupting him), it has been my habit to exhibit the opposite behavior of the conventional consumer who raises spending to match income. I almost always lower income to match spending. For instance, when I was 21 year old college student, I saved enough money from my part-time job to pay room/board in the co-op where I lived for 3 months, so I took a term off of school, quit my job, and just lounged around doing what I wanted until I ran out of money.

I can't for the life of me remember what book(s) I might have read on the topic of frugality/PF priorto reading "Your Money or Your Life" and "The Tightwad Gazette" in the early 1990s. I did read quite a few back-to-the-woods theme books and magazines throughout my childhood and youth. My father had a masters in tax law, and both his father and his grandfather were in similar fields. So, lacking a son, he gave me government pamphlets on financial topics to read when I was maybe 12, explained the concept of compound interest, and he told me that people who were really rich invested their capital and did not waste money on fancy cars and furniture (like my mother always wanted to do!!!)

Anyways, I think maybe my problem is that since my father wasn't able to figure out how to effectively boundary my mother's bi-polar shopaholic rager(think of somebody who is kind of like a cross between Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump) behavior in order to protect his own capital, the semi-functional strategy I subconscious chose to adopt was to continuously cash-out the difference between my earning potential/spending, and thereby thwart the ability of anybody willing to ride rough-shod over rule-of-law or reason, from raiding my stash.

This dysfunction is further complicated by the fact that I am inherently somewhere midway in temperament between my father and mother. Nobody wants me to be their tax attorney, and the feeling is mutual. I did manage to get a B.S. in mathematics with a focus on Actuarial Science and pass the first two exams, but I felt like a tomb door was going to close down on me when I interviewed for jobs with insurance companies. I have enjoyed myself in a number of undertakings, but the best time I ever had making money was when I first started my internet rare book dealing business on the upswing of the technology/industry. There was a little bit of drudgery with data entry and hauling boxes full of books around, but mostly I felt like I was having great fun doing something I was meant to do.

When the internet market for used books commenced to twilight, I extended the curve for a while by venturing into retail arbitrage, moving mostly home-goods and toys from retail clearance racks to the internet. The next obvious move, which many of my competitors made, would have been to start sourcing new inventory from wholesalers. I didn't choose to do this, in part, because I didn't want to be directly just-in-time responsible for the production and marketing of a bunch of "stuff." However, I didn't doubt my ability to succeed at making money if I did.

So, my fear of "raiders" which inhibits me from wanting to accumulate an obvious-target size stash, is compounded by my distaste for contributing to waste of resources in production in the realm of earnings. So, when I get to Step 7 : Valuing Your Life Energy- Maximizing Earnings in YMOYL:
Step 7 is about increasing your income by valuing the life energy you invest in your job and exchanging it for the highest pay consistent with your health and integrity.
I have difficulty in figuring out where to draw my line consistent with integrity. Actually, health comes into play too, because at the moment I am earning money at a rather low pay rate in a manner that is very consistent with my integrity (makes the world a better place), only partially consistent with fun/flow (would do it even if not paid because enjoyable), but seemingly inconsistent with health because I keep catching terrible viruses from the grubby urchins I teach.

Anyways, what I would like to do would be to start another business that would be as well in alignment with my overall druthers/integrity/health as independent used/rare book scouting/dealing, but due to the difficulty of that task, I am hoping to give myself permission to engage in something similar, more profitable, but not as likely to be in alignment with "making the world a better place." , and in conjunction work through my fears about accumulating target-sized savings as they come up.

I think my first step will be to reflect on how I am being much harder on myself than I am on other people. A similar line of thought helped me get over my fear of driving. I told myself that I had just as much right to operate an extremely dangerous piece of machinery as any other idiot on the highway.

Jason
Posts: 737
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by Jason » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:15 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:58 am
I am hoping to give myself permission to engage in something similar, more profitable, but not as likely to be in alignment with "making the world a better place." , and in conjunction work through my fears about accumulating target-sized savings as they come up.
In the last six months, the batteries in both our cars died. One was in a tenuous circumstance. Putting aside ERE and my inability to change a car battery issue, the same AAA service technician replaced the batteries, the second time in sub-zero weather. Each time he was polite, helpful, professional, courteous. I tipped him accordingly.

Also in the last six months, I attacked the most anxiety laden area of my life: my teeth/gums. My last dentist was a complete douchebag so I avoided the work. My new dentist, sat down with me, addressed my concerns, held my fragile little hand through the process, and now as long as I do the maintenance they will still be there when they wheel out my skeleton in a medical school room.

In my mind, these type of people make the world a better place. It has nothing to do with vocation. The person/work dichotomy is obviously a huge issue these days. I dealt with this many years ago when my childhood idol, Woody Allen pulled his four-eyed, half nebbish half Greek tragedy schtick in real life. That was it for me and him. His great works of art are spoiled. I'd rather have a cup of coffee with the AAA guy. My point - the "who" eclipses the "what." The heart eclipses the task. Most missionaries I have ever met are self-righteous, angry assholes and the fact that they build wells, swaddle orphans, or hand out clean needles doesn't make up for that fact. You are obviously a person who gives a shit so that in and of itself, at least IMHO, makes the world a better place.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3192
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:44 pm

@Jason: Thanks for the kind words and broadening perspective. Possibly the best recommendation for "virtue of selfishness" philosophy is that at least it steers you clear of realm of self-righteousness.

Now that I've granted myself permission to sell consumers what they want, I am in a brain-storming frenzy. Execution will be my next challenge. I will have to give myself some strict deadlines. I am trying to remember what pushed me over the edge to DO IT! the first time I did it. At least I won't have as much difficulty with imposter syndrome doing it again, and I have mastered all the "keeping the books" type stuff that is the same for any small business.

I actually re-read Chapter 7 in YMOYL in entirety this morning with as "fresh eyes" as possible, and that also proved quite helpful, because I realized that I had already thoroughly internalized 80% of it. There is just this margin of something that likely most resembles an aspect of self-respect I need to get a grip on.

I should also note for the record that one thing that spurred me to do this is that somebody made me an offer to buy my now empty internet storefront. I am not even sure whether legal and/or a scam, but it made me realize that my near 5 star rating, maintained over almost 15 years of being in business, with thousands of customers, was representative of something of value I still have to offer.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3192
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:50 am

Babbling on...

The reason why 2017 was such a crap year was in good part due to the fact that 2016 was a great year. There was a moment in time, approximately 18 months ago when I was within spitting distance of my ideal lifestyle, and then it all went to pieces. My rare book business was churning out a small steady income in semi-passive mode, my permaculture-project on my newly acquired property/domain was doing very well, my part-time semi-volunteer employment as substitute teacher offered fulfillment, my relationships with family and friends were functional, and I was enjoying interacting with 3 very attractive poly-amours.

Since I prefer to inhabit the perspective that I have a good deal of control over my destiny, or in modern parlance, a high ability to engage in active intelligent cognition with my environment, I feel the need to reflect on what went wrong. My first error in judgment was my impulsive decision to enter into and maximize polyamourous practice prior to allotting adequate time/energy resources to other projects/goals towards ideal lifestyle attainment. My second error in judgment was resting on my laurels and allowing my business to go a bit too passive, and therefore missing the signs that might have alerted me to the possibility of aggressive price increase in warehouse/distribution rates. My third error in judgment was too readily dismissing the first major incident of severe mental health crisis exhibited by my sister/housemate/former business partner as a one-off, not likely to be repeated. My fourth error in judgment was investing my time/energy/funds too heavily in my perma-culture project prior to developing some clear, practical plan for associated cash-yield and/or expense reduction.

On a more positive note, it is clear that focusing on resilience in my system did work as it should. Even though I suffered 4 major unexpected, or at least not entirely expected, setbacks, I continually retained at least one income stream and one relationship partner. Also, most of my prior options remain open or have resumed availability on some level at this juncture, so it is just up to me to decide where to invest my life-energy moving forward.

Hanging threads...

1) Forgive my sister for threatening me with violence while she was suffering from mental illness. Do not agree to resume housemate or business partner relationship with her until mental health is clearly re-established.

2) Have a meeting with Perma-culture Partner to further iron-out plans and details of partnership or co-op moving forward. Make decision about whether I will re-establish primary or secondary residence in location near site or permanently let him take over as more active partner. Focus on near term yield/cash-flow. Do not accede to his requests to resume sexual relationship until/unless he openly communicates such an intention to his current primary partner.

3) Reboot book business, start new business, or sell/shutdown virtual storefront. Rebooting the business under current circumstances will also require purchase of car/truck and rental or construction of fairly large storage unit.

4) Renegotiate terms of relationship contract with BF (primary partner.) Decide whether I will establish primary or secondary residence in rural northern lake/woods location with or without him. Decide whether I will purchase property in this location.

5) Come up with alternative to teaching young children as means to contribute and engage with community and earn additional income stream. Accept fact that given my tendency towards asthma, elementary school environment level of virus exposure is not healthy, especially due to compounding effect that it limits my ability to engage in physical exercise.

6) Reboot and maintain physical exercise regime to maximize the function of my asthmatic lungs and minimize very possible decline from "woman with a big ass" to "big ass woman" status. Focus on swimming, yoga, gardening and hiking outdoors. Maximize intake of garden production throughout the year.

7) Wrap up tasks necessary to allow my mother to function independently in her residence without me for, hopefully, at least a few more years. Communicate with my two functional sisters about plans going forward. Resign myself to the fact that I will likely have to be at least primary sister on call for this duty/responsibility for the time being.

8) Continue in friendship only with 3rd former polyamour.

9) Consider enrolling in data science boot camp if I can get old lady affirmative action scholarship.

10) Put aside funds for potential upcoming wedding celebration for DD26.

11) Learn new stuff. Have fun!!!

classical_Liberal
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:38 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:44 pm
I am trying to remember what pushed me over the edge to DO IT!
Probably had something to do with the maternal need to provide for two dependents?

Unlike many on this forum I tend to be more heavily influenced by external motivators. Sure "I" have things "I" want to do, but it's external forces that often push/pull me to actually doing them. I truly believe it's a form of hormesis. Those little stressors (in your case kids?), push me to do things I know should/want to do.

In my case full on financial independence (ie total comfort level spending< 3% of liquid financial assets) would probably be a deleterious situation for my overall well being. At that level I wouldn't need/want for anything and wouldn't really care for others opinions regarding use of my resources; they would be extraneous to the system.

This is why I look to your experiences so often. A mishmash of 7WB5 social and sustainability skill based ERE, plus a little more financial security for my tastes would probably produce a good result in my life. Of course, I often get side tracked by trying to change myself under the auspice of self-improvement. I think, "maybe if I'm more X and less Y I'd be better at ERE". more likely the best solution is simply to find an ERE that works for who I am now; then modify it if me changes.

My point being, it may simply be easier to find an external motivator than to change what motivates you. Accomplish your goals in that fashion. Accept the fact you may never amass six figures of financial capital, because 7WB5 just doesn't want or need it. Also because attaining that level of financial capital may have unintended consequences on life satisfaction...It'll just make things too easy.

In any event, I look forward to reading take 4

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 2847
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by BRUTE » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:44 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:50 am
9) Consider enrolling in data science boot camp if I can get old lady affirmative action scholarship.
6 figure income incoming

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3192
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5-Take 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:43 pm

@classical_Liberal:

Highly unlikely that my model, when (if?!) successfully completed at Harvest-time 2022 will include 6 figures of capital invested in equities publicly traded on a major market. However, due to the fact that variety of zoning codes prohibited the possibility of inhabiting my camper on the land that I own, and the fact that I no longer own the camper or the land on which it is now parked, I require a quick fast high (slightly dirty?)burst of income to complete the shelter solution set of my model to my satisfaction.

In the highly unlikely eventuality that I end up earning a high income from an activity I find very enjoyable, I will simply up the challenge by adding more acreage and people to my model. For instance, I could mail-order a young husband from some place worse than the U.S. under current administration, and put him to work digging swales and constructing stone walls.

@BRUTE:

The time intersection of your encouraging note and the fact that I finally went and fetched a prescription for prednisone this morning, resulted in my completion of part 1 of the application process! I've always enjoyed any kind of camp, so I applied for the in-person intensive immersion version.
My barbell will consist of acquisition of fairly high hourly wage which will not be scale-able due to requiring my presence, combined with new business which will be completely scale-able depending on popularity of my product(s.) There will be no known dependencies, excepting possibility of profound collapse of global economic system, between the two ends of my barbell.

Post Reply