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The Truth About Fear

Over the weekend I had a good discussion with a good friend of mine. We had a real heart to heart. We discussed the uncomfortable truth about progress. I will share somethings that are an everyday reality for many individuals in Los Angeles. Particularly those who work in entertainment spaces. I know many people will post and share the glamour, the VIP events, they will share their latest threads and interesting social media posts. There is a reality to the curated content.

One of the conclusions of that conversation is that often times we CHOOSE not to grow, because there is a much easier route opposite of progress. The easy route is always accessible. During the conversation, we were both honest about why at times we did not progress and we were honest about what it took to improve.

Common denominators for lack of progress fear of being laughed at. Fear of being isolated. Fear of being embarrassed. Fear. Common denominators of progress. Hard work, sacrifice and humility. As I reflected on that conversation, I thought back to the beginning of 2019. I was renting a room and extremely unhappy with my living situations. I wanted to move out of that situation and still maintain financial security. So I started getting more diligent and focused about budgeting. I decided to start my own agency while freelancing. If you know anything about integrated communications and marketing you know it is time-consuming. I did not have much time for much else. I was not making as much money as I wanted initially, so I started to deliver for Postmates. My truth is I was extremely insecure about delivering for Postmates. I thought, “What if someone I know were to see me?” I thought, “What if I deliver to someone I work with?” At the end of the day, I had to be clear on the importance of my goals. If I was going to progress I had to do a few things that made me uncomfortable until things started to shift. I began attending therapy to unpack and rewire how I processed a lot of things that no longer served me.

I knew that moving would also be expensive. At the time I was spending a third of what I spend on bills now. I saved up as much as possible. I paid down as much debt as possible and started being proactive about handling my credit. I focused on career progression a lot in that first half of the year. Missing out on a lot of things just to get to the place I wanted and needed to get to.  

I said all of this to say the last half of the year sped up and put me in places of unimaginable joy. My agency did well. I received a call out of the blue for an apartment and was able to move within weeks of finding it. I landed great freelance opportunities and healed a lot of past trauma.

I know fear is gripping. I know fear can make you afraid to get out of bed. I know fear can have you stuck. Just remember that the fear that is holding you will always be there; however, those opportunities you want will not. They will continue to move on to people showing up and showing out for them. That love you desire will not be prepared for you if you are not preparing for it. Do not let fear hold you tightly. Just do it, as Nike says. If you want to start saving go research budgets and look at how you can realistically live and still save. If you want to get in better shape get up each morning and start doing something to be a better version of yourself. If you want to find a new career,  start researching the steps it takes to get there and start applying yourself to get better and get to that point.

The Truth About Fear is it will always exist, the sooner you start training yourself to push through it the better you become and slowly, but surely fear will not guide you it will only be a small consideration. A consideration that will not necessarily make you sway your aim, but informs how you arrive at your destination.

 

 

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My Biggest Fear Came True…

I’ve struggled with whether or not I should share this story, but ultimately I know it may be meaningful to someone else. Our testimonies are not our own, but rather for others to know there is another side of through.

2017 was one of the most challenging years of my adult life. In 2016 I moved to Los Angeles without a car, a job and a stable home. I know that sounds crazy right! The good news was I landed on my feet. I secured a job within the first few months and I worked at Nickelodeon in publicity for about 6 months until my contract ended.

From there I was lucky I had several different really good interviews and decided on a small PR agency that provided a good learning lesson, but it wasn’t the most stable. Several months into the role one day after working and successfully pitching several clients I was told I was being let go after one of our clients filed for bankruptcy. I won’t go into too much detail about the company, but I had known spiritually for a while that something was off.

After passing on 3 of the biggest companies in PR and Entertainment for the role I was left searching for a job. This is an LA and creative thing, but that also meant I did not have much of a safety net. For about two months I was left with little or no money. The bad timing of the incident was compounded by the fact that I had agreed to move out of the apartment I was sharing.

*Deep Sigh* so on June 21st I moved out as promised and had to live on friend’s couches and in hotel rooms for the next few months. I was literally homeless. I moved 6 times in about 2.5 months. It was honestly one of the most difficult spiritual experiences of my life. I have never cried so much and I have never been so disappointed in God like I was during those times. If you know anything about LA you know that the housing market and situations are extremely tricky. It is extremely tedious and difficult and you are not moving in without several thousand dollars and employment for at least 3 months so my then current issues were a serious road block. Sure I could have called my family and asked for help and easily had the problem solved, but that would only be a temporary fix.

I contemplated packing up and moving home and leaving LA. By the time June 21st hit I had secured a new job, but that also meant that I had to pay off a lot of debt from not working. Things were extremely difficult. I applied to literally every job possible. I received no offers or received offers that would exacerbate things more than help. I really did not share my story at the time, because I was ashamed and I had not fully processed the experience.

That experience taught me several things:

1. Shift your focus.

From the situation I shifted my focus to the positive things and acknowledged the bad. I just CHOSE not to sit in the bad.

2. Always say thank you!

I began saying thank you every day despite how those days looked. Thanks when it was bad and thanks when it was good. When it was bad I was renting a weekly room in North Hollywood with no a/c during the summer where it’s 100 plus daily. When it was good were my days at work and with my friends at the beach or at game nights. That spiritual shift and choosing to remain positive has stuck and I can tell you that by focusing on the end zone and not the play I have seen how my life keeps manifesting.

3. Good people exist.

On the day I was going to give up and move back home a buddy Geo reached out mid-ugly cry. We talked and he shared his story it definitely gave me hope. Geo and his roommates were kind enough to house me for a few weeks as I recharged and found a permanent place.

4. Strong People ask For Help.

Prior to this experience I rarely if ever asked for help. I thought I was not strong if I asked for help. What I learned through my old room mate Hal, Benecia (my prayer warrior and spiritual homie), Merling & Mike, Marco, Rodney and Geoffery is that help comes when we ask for it. My goal is to one day repay the many kind individuals that opened their homes, wallets and their hearts.

My point in sharing this story is to help someone else going through a tough time. Your tough time may not be mine, but it is still a valid journey as mine may not be representative of your tough time(s). Shift your focus, say thank you,

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Mo Money! Mo Money! Mo Money!

If you are like so many of us on social media, you see hashtags of various travel groups and posts of so many cool items. We are literally inundated with more and more opportunities to travel more, buy more and eat out at concept restaurants than ever before.

The enticing images that we see are great, but then reality hits I am going to afford spending a lot of money to experience these things. How do we add to our budgets and increase our streams of income?

There are two points to consider when pondering the issue. The first point is it will take a little extra (or a lot depending on your goals) to generate new income. The second point is social media, the web and apps making generating revenue easier than ever.

Here are some opportunities for generating income around the holidays and after, separated by commitment level.

Low Commitment Level –

THE FACTS:

Opportunities like Postmates, Door Dash,  and Lyft require a few hours of your time and can yield $15-$25/ hour in return. The good news is you do not even need a car to participate in many of the digital part time jobs. DoorDash and Postmates allow for you to walk depending on the city you are in or ride your bike. If you participate in uber or lyft you have to have a vehicle that fits their guidelines and carry  special rideshare insurance, be sure to calculate costs associated with participating based on your area of residence.

Door Dash and Postmates differ in two areas, payment and scheduling. Door Dash utilized analytics in a way that allows you to see how much you will make prior to accepting the run. You can also schedule yourself for availability in particular areas. This ensures if you do drive you are not just idle.

Postmates essentially lets you see a heat map, but does not tell you how much you make and does not let you schedule.

EXTRA INFORMATION:

You have to pass a background check. I would assume any violent felonies or driving felonies could result in you not being bale to drive for uber or lyft to be aware of that.

If you sign up with Postmates you can get even more EXTRA by using the following referral code “josephcwilliams@att.net

Complete 10 deliveries IN 21 DAYS and you earn $50 extra or dive right in completing 60 deliveries IN 28 DAYS and you earn $250 EXTRA!

Mild Commitment Level –

THE FACTS:

Companies like BDS Marketing provide weekend opportunities for professionals. You can make anywhere from $15-$20/ hour working in your local Best Buy and big box retailers. You simply answer questions and demonstrate products to shoppers like yourself. There is remote online training that takes place. The employers will ship you all the materials you need like shirts, display items to test out and you are off to work. You will need access to your own computer and smartphone to complete reports, be sure to factor that in if you do not have those items already. These roles are great for experienced sales and marketing professionals.

EXTRA INFORMATION:

There is a lot of talk, standing and walking required in these roles. The good news is there are additional incentives if your demonstrations and discussions lead to additional sales in your stores you work in Be sure you are ready!

High Commitment Level –

THE FACTS:

The truth is there are a ton of opportunities to freelance depending on your expertise and your location. The freelance opportunities may require a little more effort depending on your niche. There are tons of freelance websites (craigslist; don’t laugh it works!)  where you can submit an Ad for your services.

Are you a teacher? Freelance as a tutor in our area outside of work and YOU can develop curriculum as opposed to teaching a curriculum that may not fit every student.

Are you an accountant? Help a business or individual manage their books and earn substantial income outside of your 9-5 job/ career.

EXTRA INFORMATION:

Cushion your pricing to account for taxes you will be charged on your additional income on freelance gigs. Be sure to prepare invoice templates, download free customizable contracts and be prepared to provide status updates and benchmarking depending on what you do.

Hopefully this helps someone reading it. We all wish we could be paid more at our respective jobs. Though you may not directly control your pay you can control the additional income you earn and with the holidays gearing up there are some great opportunities to add to your savings or to your budget.