Feb 12, 2009

Lost Job? Something helped me: Getting resized and rightsized...back to basics!

As I was reading my favorite blogs (found at the right side bar) this morning, I came to ¨EpiScope¨ which is a newsy sort of blog produced by The Episcopal Church.
Today they had a story by Terry Pluto, a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper columnist, that I found interesting at the ¨Faith and You¨ section which is entitled: ¨Let laid-off colleagues know they're not forgotten.¨

In the body of the article was this suggestion:

¨...Some experts advise not to compare their situation to yours. But if you really did lose a job and found something that helped, you can share that...¨

Things that have helped me:

I´ve been living in Latin America for over two decades (mostly) and currently I´m retired and living on my U.S. Social Security check at a small town in Central America.

At the village where I live it is populated by very low paid farm workers and their very large families...many Coffee Plantations and Flower Growing enterprises (for domestic and export) are the major employers to the community...in other words, my everyday living circumstances/surroundings have been far scaled back from more opulent living days when I once thought I must have all sorts of ¨extravagant things+¨ in my life...I was wrong, modest living is best (even if I fudge on comfort and decor, afterall, I´m a artist).

Living practical, back to basics+ and sometimes even getting forced to get ¨resized¨ and ¨rightsized¨ has improved the quality of my everyday life (a doctor visit here is around $6.00+ and medicines are a fraction of the cost that one pays in the U.S.).

Many years ago I lived in Puerto Rico and had a small chain of stores in Puerto Rico (and one in Laguna Beach, California). I designed and had made ¨off shore¨ all of the merchandise for my stores. They thrived and I thrived in the creative product development and retail environment...it was my ¨dream¨ after working for major department stores and then later importers in the fashion business.
I was so busy building my colorful retail concept that I of course hired many people to help me. The financial person I hired turned out to be a very clever thief. My life´s dream ended after he fled never again to be seen. I was devastated after spending six intense months trying to discover and ¨fix¨ the depth of the fraud committed that I had to file for the liquidation of my successful, yet ill-managed, stores...I´m getting to the point.

The morning after I filed, turned in the keys to the Bankruptcy Lawer, I returned back to my home. I was a nervous wreck, felt lost, betrayed, exhausted and very sorry for myself. I sat on the sofa in my living room and tried to read a novel. It didn´t work. I was not distracted from my emotional and spiritual upset...I didn´t know what to do as my ¨financial expert¨ had emptied my personal banking accounts too (a whole different never to be resolved matter, forgery).

I decided to get outside of myself and do ¨something/anything¨ about my looming financial problem.

I went out immediately and got a job making $3.35 dollars a hour (after decades of success and prestige in the retail and wholesale industries where I made big money) at a Gift Shop that specialized in souvenirs for tourists. Shortly afterward, and while continuing to work at the ¨souvenir¨ store, I started noticing that there were many things that would sell to tourists easily. Small things I could make easily with readily available materials. There simply was not a great variety of merchandise to sell to tourists so I started making ¨giftwares¨ and some ¨apparel¨ for my new employer. We did a great business and my income rapidly grew and I actually produced the merchandise and sold it (while being paid to be the comissioned salesperson).

Back to my point: If you need a job or extra income try to find the something(s) that you ¨do¨ very well (could be cooking, sewing, cleaning, painting, designing, building, repairing, styling) and there may be a NEED FOR! Become your own marketing/product development person, manufacturer and salesperson. No need to start big. Start small. One customer at a time equals extra income.

It worked for me and often you can help others generate income by becoming a customer of theirs too! Pay people to help you (especially if you see they could use the extra bucks).

Plain Dealer Columnist
Wednesday February 11, 2009

by Terry Pluto

¨Ken called just as I was starting this column about what to say to a friend who has been laid off. He was returning my call from a few days earlier. I mentioned the story I was writing.

He laughed, because it beat crying over his own lost job...¨


¨...Some experts advise not to compare their situation to yours. But if you really did lose a job and found something that helped, you can share that...¨

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, read the whole story, click here:

EpiScope, read it all, click here:

Thanks to The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Thanks to EpiScope (at the right sidebar)
Thanks to The Episcopal Church
Thanks to Flickr Photosharing


Cany said...

Wow, Leonardo! You did come through that it a big way, didn't you!

Your story is wonderful and very motivating!

It is always so interesting to learn things about a person's life you don't know as it lends much to understanding 'where they're coming from'.

Great story! Kudos to you, my friend at the other end of the intertubes!

James said...

Leonardo; I really want you to know how much I like your bog. Thanks you, my friend.