Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Setbacks Continue

The setbacks continue. Just when things seemed to be starting to turn in my favor, the rug got yanked out from under me again. Last post I mentioned the clinical trial I applied for. After I was sent packing, the clinical trial research company called me back and offered to put me into a different study. After they explained the study, I agreed to participate.  They signed me up and told me when to check-in.  Three days ago they called me back and were desperate for volunteers for a different study. They asked if I would switch studies. I was told that in consideration for switching they would either, give me a guaranteed spot in the new study which was paying less than the original study, or if I didn’t want the guaranty I could risk being a backup for the new study and if not used in that study be placed back into the study for which I had originally signed up. Backups get paid, so I could potentially make an additional few hundred dollars. To make a long story short, it was an opportunity to take a sure thing for less pay, or gamble and potentially make twenty percent more, or make only a third of “sure things” pay. My gambling/risk taking skills haven’t been very good lately. I went with the sure thing. But nothing in life is ever a "sure thing" is it.

Yesterday morning I got a call from the pharmaceutical research company. They informed me that the “sure thing” study had been canceled.  I was reassured not to worry. I was going to be placed back into the original study, which checked in later that week. No problem. I know with these types of things one has to stay flexible. I agreed to the switches.  However, four hours later I received another call telling me that the other study had been cancelled. So, from starting the day with some promise of income, I ended the day  with no scheduled income.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Temporary Setback

Well…I’ve had a bit of a set back in earning income. As you know, I am aiming for financial success in a career that I love, but in the near term I have ensure my families survival. As part of the effort to earn short term income, I traveled three hours to take part in a pharmaceutical clinical trial. I went through the screening process.  Later, I was contacted and was told that I was accepted into the “study”.  Then the following week, I checked in to the facility and everything looked fine. It seemed as if it would work out well. They had the group of us stay overnight to start taking the medication the next day.  Early that next morning, one of the research associates approached me and told me that one measurement on my ECG was too elongated.  Apparently, the resting time between heart beats was barely too long.  I was told it was nothing “abnormal”, nothing I should worry about. However, it was long enough for the study’s lead doctor to drop me from the study.  I was sent packing. Not only I am I not getting paid, I am out the gas money to attend the screening appointment, and to check into the facility. This clinical trial would have paid nearly one thousand dollars.  Certainly it would not solve my financial woes, but it would have greatly contributed to surviving for the short term. It was truly a bitter pill to swallow. No pun intended. The search for short term income and survival continues.

As part of my search for a fulfilling career, I have been considering the types of things or attributes my idea job would have. It makes sense that before I can determine what I want to pursue as a career, I need to understand what exactly it is that I want that career to do for me. I have added a page to my blog that details these “Dream Job” attributes. I will be updating that list as the search continues.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Serene Image

Dear Reader, I wish I could have shared an image with you.  Unfortunately, my camera is completely incapable of taking timed exposure, low light photos.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to capture the scene, I decided I would have to content myself with just describing it to you.  I live on the shore of a sizeable lake (in a house I don’t own).  My deck looks out through the evergreens, across the water.  Last night was the second night of a full moon. When I went out on the deck to complete a thoroughly noxious daily task, cleaning the cat’s litter box, I was struck by the incredible beauty of the scene.  The moon was riding high in the sky, hanging directly over the lake.  The moonlight rippled over the water making it shimmer like the shining, silver scales of some enormous tropical fish. The air was warm and still, without too much humidity, and heavy with the scent of honeysuckle, cedar, and warm lake water. In the background the chorus of tree frogs and crickets fought to drown out the rhythmic lapping of the waves on the shore. The moonlight wrapped the entire world in its pallet of blacks and grays.  The only exceptions were the bright, yellow-green, dayglow flashes of the fireflies as they hovered in their slow erratic patterns, and the lights of the distant docks and houses across the lake. It truly was magical.

 More importantly, it served to remind me of the importance of finding beauty and enjoyment in small things.  Especially when faced with enormous and stressful situations.  Focusing too closely on, and being totally absorbed by my current disastrous financial woes could blind me to wonderful opportunities that might be staring me right in the face, but might not be the traditional solutions to which my brain would normally gravitate. Desperately obsessing doesn’t lend its self to “thinking outside the box”. Lesson learned.

Since the goal is to make the right life change, the first step is to determine what my “passion” is. In the mean time, I need to keep trying to find sources of temporary income. I must balance the need to keep money flowing in, finding what I want to do with my life, and not becoming side tracked on my ultimate search with the overpowering demands of surviving day to day.  I have seen that happen to me before. Actually, I think that has something to do with why I am where I am today. I know this pattern. I need income. I find a job, not a job that I really want, but a source of income. I throw myself into it during the “learning curve” phase and become good at it. And soon find myself totally lost in the monotonous work-a-day world of the job’s routine and the demands of a busy family. Now, I will be the first to admit…I suffered from ADD as a child. My wife swears that I have never really grown out of it, which is truer than I care to admit. I do easily get distracted. SQUIRREL!  Ha ha!  Not this time. I am determined to make the right choice. So…where to begin?

I will begin with making some lists. List one, things I love to do and do well. List two things my “perfect” job would entail or allow me to do. Finally, list three jobs and industries that use these skills and have the attribute from the first two lists. I will keep these lists as separate pages and add to and amend as I progress through this search. The  initial plan is to use the information I glean from constructing these lists to focus in on a particular type of work, then find a unique way to use my skills in that “line of work” to create something new and innovative that will produce significant amounts of income while fulfilling my economic goals.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Some Ground Rules

As with any journey, there are times when you make a lot of progress, and times when you make painfully little progress. Lately, unfortunately, it has been the latter. It is driving me crazy! I always start out with the best of intentions. Then, inevitably, life happens. My wife has “projects” for me, the kids have immediate needs, something breaks down that I have to fix or replace, or some family member has a major melt down over some minor occurrence. Before long the distractions run one into another, and then the momentum is lost. Not this time. I am dedicated to making this happen. So, please bear with me as I work through the nasty little gremlins of starting this new project.

One thing I do need to point out, so you understand certain aspects of my writing this blog.  I realize that many bloggers maintain extensive online profiles, and post very personally identifiable information in their daily writings. I won’t be doing that.  Why you may ask?  Well. I am married to a very beautiful, intelligent, and capable woman.  She also happens to be a very, very private person. In addition, I have six wonderful children.  Some of them are actually step-children, but I have always viewed them as all “my children”. But they deserve their privacy. Besides, there would be no end to the devastating teenage tragedy if their friends “found out”. So out of love and respect for the privacy of my family members, I will be keeping our personally identifiable information just that…private. However, that doesn’t change the validity, and relatability of my situation. I know that there must million of you out there that can relate to my horribly desperate financial situation, and would like someone with which to commiserate. I won’t hold back on the honesty and forthrightness of my situation and struggles. I will let you get to know the real me in that regard. You just won’t get to know me in the greater context of the human race or the citizenry of the United States.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Past, Present, and the American Dream

I used to have a lucrative job at which I was rather good.  Then the economy changed, but my debt didn’t.  Now I am in the unenviable position of being deeply in debt and under-employed.  The last several years has seen my financial situation deteriorate. I am now to the point where enough is enough, its time to make a life change. But, I’m too old to make the wrong change. The challenge is to find the right change to make.  Wasn’t it Confucius that said, “Do something that you love and you will never work a day in your life”?  That, in a nutshell is my ultimate goal: to find my “passion” and turn it into a financially rewarding career.

I am a believer in the American Dream. Okay, so I guess I need to clarify. I believe in the more traditional view of the American Dream.  Unfortunately, that concept has been corrupted and watered down to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. What I’m talking about is the idea that through your own efforts and merit, you can accomplish what ever you dream, or become who ever you want. That no matter where you were born or who your parents were or weren’t, success, influence, and fulfillment are no further way than your own determination and commitment. So often now, the “Dream” is just the idea of becoming as wealthy as possible. I believe that wealth is a by product of the American Dream.  Do what you do well.  Do it with integrity.  Do it with commitment.   When you do that...the wealth will follow.

I have set myself the goal of finding a career that I love, and the arbitrary goal of using it to generate one million dollars in earnings.  The reason for these goals is several fold. The first goal is obvious.  The second goal will accomplish three things. One, that level of earning will prove that my “passion” will provide, and that I am, in fact, committed to it. Two, one million dollars of income will allow me to pay off my considerable debt. I hate to say it, but between my wife and me, we owe around one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. One hundred and fifty thousand may not sound like that much debt.  However, considering that we have few remaining assets, the absolute difference between where we are, and where we need to be to have a reasonably comfortable life without financial stress is well over a quarter million dollars.  Figure in taxes, and using some of the income to financially help our six children and aging parents, add a nest egg......suddenly the amount is quickly pushing one million dollars. In addition, one million dollars is a nice round number, and it has a “ring” of success to it, (it also helps make a great blog title).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Dear Reader, as you have no doubt surmised from the title of this blog, my financial situation is a complete disaster. I have about forty dollars to my name, a host of bills coming due, and people I care very much for depending on me. How am I going to make it you ask? Honestly, I have no idea. But I refuse to accept defeat. There is just too much at stake. I don’t think I have ever been under so much stress in my entire life. So, in an effort to avoid spontaneous human combustion and going completely postal, I have decided to share my struggles with you.  Come with me on this journey from ruin to success!

This blog is about a personal journey towards financial success. In the near future I hope to have advertiser support of my blog. In the mean time, if you feel so inclined, you may donate directly. Donation will ensure that this blog can continue.