Hey, what's up. How's it been hanging?
I know, I know... You're frustrated and scared. Right now the Euro Zone is in fiscal paralysis with Greece, Ireland and Portugal struggling with insolvancy, Asian equities markets are in a tailspin over global economic anxieties and the U.S. unemployment figures indicate that all the talk of recovery was nothing but pie-in-the-sky hogwash.
If this is true and we are approaching a period of extended negative growth (the big "double dip"), there is only one thing to do... sit back and chill, for gosh sakes!
Sure, there's a lot of things to worry about right now, but let's look at the bigger picture. At the beginning of summer I was in pretty deep. My mom was complaining that I hadn't been paying rent on time (which is only partially true) and that she was tired of seeing oil drips on the driveway from my 92' Taurus. (I needed a new pan gasket, but whatever...) Yes, money was lean at the time. It had been a rainy spring and my lawnmower wasn't powerful enough to handle real heavy grass... so I was stuck.
I was depressed and basically shut myself in my room and played World of Warcraft for about two weeks straight. One morning I came upstairs and noticed that it was pretty good mowing weather. I made a few calls and bingo!, I was back in the game!
I called the Wilsons, the Everetts, the Boehms and the Allens (my stand-bys), and the next thing you know I'm booked solid for a week. After a few days I had real money in my pocket and I wasn't about let it go to waste on car repairs and rent. I got smart!
Using my mom's printer I printed up about 20 flyers and had my neighbor run around the neighborhood rubber-banding them to different door handles. Elliot is like 13 or 14. Good kid, but a little dim. Anyway, next thing you know I start getting calls - tons of calls! - I get like five more jobs locked in and my worries are basically over. Recession-smession!
Here's the math for an average yard in our neighborhood:
2 Gallons of gas (average amount to run mower per yard) $7.25
8 oz. oil (1/4 a quart Pennzoil) $.75
Elliot's pay (he bags the grass and cleans the mower blade and air filter @ $2.00/hr) $4.50
TOTAL COSTS: $12.50
FEE CHARGED: $35.00
TOTAL EARNED: $22.50
You don't have to be an Einstein to see where this is going, do you. Anyway, I'm sitting pretty good right now, regardless. I almost got my rent paid through August and I started parking my car on the street where it won't drip oil on the driveway.
I guess what I'm saying here, is that with a little hard work anybody can get by, even in this economy. Sometimes you gotta pull yourself up by your bootstraps, as they say. It's all about initiative and drive...
Thanks everybody. My next project, for those who are interested, is starting a gutter cleaning side business. Elliot's really good at it, and all I have to do it direct him from the ground. Thing is, he's back in school in September, so I have to see how much we can get done before he starts soccer practice.