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Fingers In Pies

First published on Mouthy Money.

When I was made redundant back in 2012 I wondered how we were going to survive. We had a mortgage, we had bills to pay, we had no real safety net aside from the money I handed as I left the building. How do you go from a job which covers everything you pay out every month, to zero?

What I have discovered over the last few years, is that a job is just that. A job. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s just simply a job. A role which we go to in order to meet the needs that we are accustomed to. When you change what you’re used to, that’s when you can break out of the job (if you want to!) to do something you’re really interested in – of course there are a handful of people in this world who can honestly say they are doing what their dream job. Then there’s the rest of us.

The idea that everything you have built up and worked for over a career can suddenly be taken away from you in the form of redundancy is quite scary. How would you cope tomorrow if you lost you job today? This is when I decided that I wanted to have my fingers in many pies. Well, not many, just a few pies. To keep life interesting, every day different and also, whilst there s no real security in being self employed, enhance my security a little bit.

I changed my mindset on redundancy and turned it into an opportunity.

If you have one job, if you lose that job, you have no jobs. That’s fairly obvious.

However, if like me, you have a job where you work for a few different clients, even if you lose a client, you still have others. Whilst it certainly would be a terrible day if all my clients decided to show up at their businesses one and day send me an email saying they no longer needed me, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. Yes, I’ve lost clients but then I’ve gained others.

Aside from that, I have a couple of side projects which keep me occupied too. I’m in the process of closing one of these down which I’ve had open for the last 5 years as the demand for it isn’t there any more so the price of insurance and couriers and gear outweighs what I’d be making. As that closes, it frees me up to try something else. I have an e-commerce website which sits there and brings in a little bit of capital now and then, that being mainly around Christmas time. I have written a book which is available on Amazon. I have a monetised YouTube channel. I have plenty of other business ideas I’d like to put into action.

Whilst these aren’t going to make me millions of pounds, I don’t want that. The lifestyle of being able to do one thing one day, something else the next is exciting, it’s creative. That lifestyle also allows me to spend time with my kids whilst they’re young (when they actually want to spend time with me!), instead of being out the house from 7am-7pm and missing the time when they’re awake.

What I’m trying to get across is that whilst the money might not be as good or stable as a ‘real’ full time job, if you turn things around, there is actually security that comes with having you ‘fingers in many pies’ that a solo job doesn’t offer. I have volunteered my time at Foodbanks where I have seen people from high paid roles need help as they’ve lost their jobs through redundancy. It really can happen to anyone and we shouldn’t shy away from that, nor be afraid of it.

It’s not for everyone, but I wouldn’t think twice about setting up a ‘side hustle’ in my spare time to put money away as a safety net if the worst should happen. It could be making soap & selling it online. Knitting could be your craft or you might be a fantastic cupcake creator. You never know what it might turn into. If you have a talent and passion for something, turn to it, it might just keep your head above water one day, or even become a genuine source of income.

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