My name is Josh, and in a minute I’m going to start telling you a story about how my life was saved from financial ruin by one smart decision that I made. Before I tell it, however, I want you to know a bit about me.
I’ve an average guy, and I have spent most of my life working in a restaurant. I am a very good waiter, and my tips have always been the highest in the restaurant that I worked at. It was not uncommon for me to make $500 or $600 in a weekend working only Friday and Saturday nights. However, my tax-free income would eventually lead me to a financial crossroads, where I was left with few decisions.
My decision to start a home business was the smartest thing that I’ve ever done – let me tell you why.
Last September I lost my job. I had become so accustomed to my job that I guess I had become too comfortable; I was starting to lose respect for the managers, and my attitude was starting to show in my work. I was a good waiter, and I knew it. I knew that I could demand just about anything that I wanted, including a car allowance (which I was given), and they would probably give in to my demands.
I guess that the restaurant had finally had enough, and I found myself unemployed as of September 2. I immediately got another job in a different restaurant as my resume was nothing short of stellar. Two days later I was fired again, for what I imagine are pretty similar reasons.
I wasn’t worried, however, as I had saved a couple of thousand dollars for an event just like this. I continued to live, and spend, as if nothing had changed. As far as my family and friends were concerned, I was doing fine and I certainly didn’t need anyone’s help.
The decision to spend as if I was gainfully employed was a poor one, and within three weeks I had no savings, no job, and thanks to my poor attitude, no money to pay rent either. I was getting desperate, and I wound up selling my home theater to pay for rent on October 1. I can recall feeling quite pathetic, as I had never had to sell any of my possessions to get by before.
However, I remained optimistic and confident that I would find a job soon.
Time went by, and still I had no job. No one wanted to hire me – I guess my reputation had preceded me, and no one wants to work with a self-righteous waiter with a god complex and one heck of an attitude problem.
I was getting nervous, as time continued to pass by and I was still without an income. I had started to eat low-budget food, and within a few weeks my main staple became Ramen noodles that I purchased from a dollar store at $0.25 a package. I would eat two or three packages a day, and by the end of October I was eating less than $1.50 of food per day.
It had been nearly two months since I was fired, and still I was unemployed. November’s rent looked in the distance, and I began to wonder how I was going to pay it. I decided to sell my car.
The day I planned to list my car I was struck with a catastrophe: I came outside to find the entire front end of my car destroyed in what appeared to be a hit and run. Someone had hit my car in front of my house and sped off, leaving me with a vehicle to repair.
I can still remember my stomach sinking, that sickly feeling swelling up in the back of my throat. The only thought that went through my mind was “Oh my god – I’m screwed.”
Still reeling from the damage done to my car, I decided to speak with my landlord and let him know what was up. He was sympathetic, and he told me that I could be a couple of weeks late if it was easier for me. I remember shaking his hand as if he was my best friend.
I became very depressed, as just two months prior I had been making more money than I knew what to do with. Of course, I didn’t have the sense to save any of it.
This story will be continued in the next article.
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