So, there I was, plodding along in a job i didn’t mind, plotting and planning my escape route for when I’m ready when – you guessed it – the rug goes out from under, REDUNDANCY.

That dreaded word for most people, but especially when you’re the wrong side of 40. I’m far too cute to starve!

Knowing I had some time before the end was nigh, I started to put my plots and plans into action. My idea was to use the redundancy to live on for a few months and establish my own arty/crafty business, with some writing, selling photographs and eBooks thrown in – a real 21st century portfolio career. I had a website in place, I opened several online shops with major online retailers, I created eBooks and added them via Amazon, I found sites willing to sell my images in all types of formats and sizes, I signed up to sell my Instagram images, I wrote for free on online sites – truth be told, I spread myself so thin I couldn’t see what it was I wanted to do and make sure I did it.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was opening my own stall/shop within an existing retailer – totally the wrong thing to do, too much of a financial gamble and no research beforehand. Wrong location, wrong audience, wrong choice!

Did I care? Not a bit – I was off and running, without a clear goal in sight and no map to guide me…

Who needs a solid job with a dependable pension? Does such a thing exist anymore? Who wants to be a wage slave, living for the end of each month and being a weekend millionaire?

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An honest answer? Me! I’ve spent nearly 4 months self-employed and made a grand total of bugger all. My accountant is going to pee himself when he sees my end of year figures. Turns out that writing for free is a hobby, having a shop that costs you 3 times as much to run as it takes is not good business practice and if anyone tells you that you can make a fortune online, pushing your goodies via Twitter and Facebook – you have my permission to stick their smart phone where the sun don’t shine.

I’ve come to a startling revelation over the past few months – whilst I enjoy what I do in terms of being creative (writing, making stuff, drawing things and taking snaps) I enjoy paying my bills more. There is no short cut, it’s a hard slog – but it’ll be worth it eventually. My redundancy is nearly gone, so its back to full time employment I fear, but I won’t give up the dream – I just prefer it with heating, lighting and food on the table…

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About the author: Chris Jones
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