Monday, August 27, 2007

Risky Business

The other night, I had a dream that I had some sort of a mental breakdown and moved all of our belongings back into the house we called home for 17 years.
I told the buyers that my mental state made me so confused as to where “home” was, that I simply forgot we sold the house.
I believe in the power of symbolism in dreams and this one most likely was the result of a conversation I had with Karen, a new friend I met here who owns an antique store. Karen is a transplant as well and she was empathizing with my feelings about moving to such a small town.
“I know how you feel,” she said. “You don’t feel like you belong here, yet you don’t feel like you belong at the place you called home either.”
My husband is interviewing with what we’ve been told is the best paying company in this town. However, good pay in one part of the country doesn’t always have the same meaning in another. And while we knew that the wages would be lower here, we just didn’t know how low they could go.
As a result, the outlook for our future changes daily, if not hourly. We know if we stay, we will have to downsize our dreams of building a new home and live with building on to our cabin.
However, if my husband stays at his current job, his dream of being in a happier place in his career will surely be squashed.
Either way, it’s risky business.
My mom always told me life was a risk and now I know what she meant. We take risks in our personal lives and we take risks in our businesses.
I need challenges, I need assignments that burn my passion for my writing, ones that keep me writing until the wee hours – as did my courts and cops beat and writing my book – but we all weigh the ‘fun writing’ vs. the writing that will pay our bills.
One way to increase my income and my fun writing time, says my current business teacher, is to just say ‘no.’ No to low-paying assignments that don’t net me what I need to be making per hour; no to PITA editors who make unreasonable demands – no matter what the pay is. No to any assignment that doesn’t move me forward.
But like my current personal situation where we are weighing just how much to risk, I don’t know how to weed those assignments out. The current need to just meet my income goals each month always outweighs the quest for better paying ones.
I started with a few “small” clients. Ones who didn’t pay enough, as well as being PITA’s, but this still doesn’t leave me the time to find a new higher paying niche and the better paying clients that follow.
This is one of life’s business mysteries, and I guess if we all had the answers, we would all be making the six-figure incomes. And in life’s personal decisions, if we all made the best financial choices, no one would have to worry when they would retire.
The answer is to find the balance between sound decisions and leading a happy life, and if we can have both, it’s icing on the cake.


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