Updated: Jul 2
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Because of this crazy economy, we all start to think about the real possibility of losing our jobs and our way of life. Unfortunately most Americans have searched most of their lives, not for long term financial security, but for comfort! We buy beautiful things for our homes, nice cars, overpriced clothing and jewelry. We wine, dine, and pay for expensive entertainment, all the while not thinking about what we would do if it all came to a sudden stop! It is never too late to start planning, and because I have had to find a way to survive a few financial disasters in my life, I can now look at any adversity in life as a total adventure. It’s all about your attitude and how willing you are to live with less. I call this getting back to basics. What did you do that made you money when you were a very young person? I was 16 years old when I became a silversmith. At first it was just for fun. I took my simple, plain sterling silver bands to school and sold them for a hefty profit to all my friends. After making dozens and dozens of plain bands, I had to really start thinking of new and more interesting bands, so I purchased some silver stamps, stamped my bands to make them look unique, and was able to sell my new designs to the very same friends. I moved on to setting stones on my simple bands, and, before I knew it, I was a full-fledged silversmith. I am sharing this story with you because everyone has a creative base, and even if you think you don’t have one, you can start this very moment. Jewelry is not only a craft, but it is also a passion, an investment, and, if you don’t mind sitting outside all day, it can become the perfect business for anyone with even a small amount of creativity. My favorite memories were the days at outside craft fairs with my 14-year-old brother in the sunshine just hundreds of yards from the beach. Even then I thought, “What a way to live!” When my brother and I returned home at night, we counted our bounty. On a good day, at 16 years old, I pulled in hundreds of dollars, and as I told you in a previous article, on my best day ever, I made $800. So many of us have forgotten the simple times in life, always believing that, if we could get the perfect job and make lots of money, we would be able to relax, but what most of us found out is that we spent the first half of our lives acquiring things and the second half of our lives getting rid of things. Having too much becomes a burden and then you can’t enjoy anything that you have acquired. I guess as we get older we start to appreciate the simple things in life again, and that’s where I am at. Plant a garden, rid yourself of stuff you never use, redecorate your home in things you have made or found and painted, even photos you have taken. Set up a monthly yard sale and even embellish and recycle some of your old junk. I know people who make a huge living doing this, and they are happier than they have ever been, spending days going through thrift stores and yard sales. And, once a month, they have what they call a barn sale, or even something quaint, like a garden sale. These same friends of mine used to make six-figure incomes and are so much happier being creative, treasure hunters. Some of them buy antique jewelry and add new beads and crystal to make unique, beautiful jewelry. Getting back to basics is really about finding your original passions in life. Before you have to, start thinking of what you could do and simply start doing it. Go to craft fairs, flea markets, and farmers markets and even find others who have an online presence and grill them about what is effective. Learn photography; everything I have ever done in life has required some photos, and just like everything else, they represent quality. I buy dozens of magazines, and look for ideas in decorating, colors, and even the way photos are taken. Educate yourself, and don’t be afraid to fail. If you start thinking about the basics before you need to, you will have security and will not find yourself without them.