How do I begin? How about this? For the last few years I have been wanting to change several things about my life. First, I wanted to change careers. I have been working in the same type of job for over 28 years, and was getting very tired of the rat race. I wanted a simpler life without all the “stuff”. I wanted a better relationship with my wife, but wasn’t sure how I was going to get there because of my own personal issues. In all of it, I wanted to get in touch with my heart, which had been AWOL for too many years to even count.
I really thought 2008 was going to be the year when it all happened. I had been working with a life coach who helped me make some major progress toward finding my heart again. My wife and I purchased a business that I was sure would help me make my exit from the high tech meat grinder. Morgan and I renewed our vows that August on what was surely one of the happiest days of my life. The stage was set, right? Surely everything I had wanted was about to come to pass. Well, not quite.
I was still working in high tech on a contract job I really needed to finish. I was also working weekends at our new business. Morgan was handling all the day to day duties for that business plus the other business she already owned. We were working ourselves to death. I could see as the year wound down that we were headed for some kind of trouble. You can’t be that overworked and tired all the time and escape the consequences. I just didn’t know how it would all play out.
Then, in February, I was given notice that my contract job would be ending on March 1st. I was concerned, but also somewhat freed by this. I was confident that I would now have time to devote to our new family business and we would somehow make it into the income source we needed to keep the finances healthy. I was also planning to get my life coaching business up and running as another source of income. It all looked good on paper. The problem is, it didn’t work out that way.
The life coaching business was pretty much DOA. In a bad economy no one has the disposable income to pay a life coach to help them with their problems. I tried all kinds of tricks and changes to my web site to get people interested, and many people told me how great it was that I was doing all that. No one wanted to lay the money down, though, so there was no income from coaching. That was a major disappointment and somewhat of a shock to my expectations.
The family business, a unique wedding venue, was doing a little better but not much. It was supporting itself most of the time, but not paying us anything. Morgan, the kids, and I all worked our butts off repainting rooms, landscaping, and generally improving the place in hopes of bringing in more clients. I think it helped, but not nearly as much as I had hoped and not nearly enough from a financial point of view.
I believe that’s when the wheels really started to fall off, and I was right there loosening the lug nuts. The real trouble was just about to begin. More later…