Work While You Wait

working while you wait

I wake up in the morning to notifications of my account being overdrawn on top of a $34 fee being added as if I have the actual money in my account to pay them + the amount of what was overdrawn. ( @ Banks, specifically @ChaseBank, why do ya’ll do that dumb ass shit?)

I shake my head in disgust, because I’m not sure what the fuck my life has come to. Over the past year, I’ve been underemployed and at the current moment of writing this, I am unemployed. While it has not been this way for long, I will say this: it is expensive as hell to be broke. Although Twitter has said that we shouldn’t call ourselves broke, it is simply what I am.

Broke as in not having it.

As in can’t afford to pay my rent on time cuz ain’t no income coming in.

As in having to spend money I don’t have on transportation.

As in can’t afford to go on trips with my friends because ain’t no extra money.

As in when I do get money, it has to go to bills, rent, and other important miscellaneous items. (Which reminds me, why is it that when you’re in a financial struggle, the wildest, most random shit goes wrong?)

This constant cycle has been draining to say the least.

Job app after the job app. Interview after interview…. and thus far, nothing.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been wondering how my usually positive ass is supposed to stay positive in a time like this? This shit is HARD as FUCK! My anxiety has been through the roof every other week and I’m starting to think it’s unhealthy for me to go through as many emotions as I do in a day. The crazy part about it is that this isn’t my first go-round with not having a stable paycheck. I’ve been unemployed a few times before, but this time just feels different. Being broke in college is normal because even if you don’t have a stable job you at least get a refund check every semester which can pay your rent up for 6 months and then you receive another one for the next 6 months.

But being financially unstable as an adult? Without the safety net of college?

Yeah, this shit feels different. And not a good different. Different as in post-grad depression creeps back in, different as in feeling like you haven’t mastered being an adult yet, different like you’re the odd one out when most of your friends make more money than you.

As I said, staying my positive self has been hard as hell these last few weeks… some days I didn’t want to get out the bed but if I stayed in the house, I would let my anxious thoughts take over and find myself in a crying fit, stressed as hell about my situation. When I was working at the school last year, I was forced to learn how to budget, start a little savings, etc. But I don’t care what the financial experts say, it’s hard as hell to keep that going when you don’t have a lot to begin with in the first place. Every day since I have been back on the job hunt, I’ve asked myself what is a girl supposed to do?

Then the message came loud and clear: WORK WHILE YOU WAIT.

So as we all know, my optimistic and pessimistic side are constantly at war with each other, so at first I’m like… well how the hell am I supposed to do that?  

Then I thought about the very thing that has kept me going…. this blog! This blog that I have had the pleasure of refining, rebranding, pouring my heart into for the last 6 years, is MY WORK.

My self-love workshop that I recently got paid to host, IS MY WORK.

Becoming the best version of myself each day, IS MY WORK.

The work I do for Culture, IS MY WORK.

The work I do for Live Young, IS MY WORK.

I have been working all this time, but have been too fixated on the negativity that I couldn’t see that everything I need is already in front of me.

You have to work while you wait.

Even if that means not having a stable place to clock in yet.

I have always said that I want to be able to be a full time blogger one day. Imagine me realizing that this unemployed period is merely just practice for me. I’m not a full time entrepreneur yet, but I have observed enough in my life to know that every day is not going to be a day where you make money. Entrepreneurship is up and down and that’s okay. It’s what you do during the waiting period that matters. For me this looks like:

Waking up early (I’m up at least by 6AM everyday)

Checking my emails.

Working on my marketing plan for #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge (cuz look, if I can get paid for it once then that means I can get paid for it again and again) 

Running errands.

Write, write, write.

Scheduling social media posts and designing campaign strategies. 

Promoting my work.

Resting, (I don’t have to be on go mode all the time.)

Filling out job apps. 

Reaching out to mentors. 

The list really goes on.

Maybe you’re in the same predicament as me: underemployed or unemployed and waiting on something stable to come through. You may find yourself feeling down and out about this, and you know what? That’s okay. This is normal. But don’t DWELL there.

I want you to think about what you’re good at… What projects have you been putting off? What self-work have you been neglecting? What are ways that you can get this money outside of a job? (legally, lol) What updates need to be made to your resume?

One day last week for two days straight I found myself in a crying fit, stressed about my situation. The next day I got my ass up and went back to work. Allow yourself to feel what you feel but I beg you not to stay there. Find you some positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself until you start to believe them.

Most importantly, don’t forget to work while you wait. Something will come through and understand that the work you do now sets up the alignment for that. Sending love and light to  all those who are going through a tough financial time right now.

Love,

Kia giphy

P.S. If you liked this post and felt inspired by it… click these ads on my page lol or send a love offering to my Cash App $KiaSmithWrites.

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So You Wanna Raise Money, Huh?

A snap shot of my own campaign
A snap shot of my own campaign

 

Over the past month or so, I’ve received many questions about my campaign to get back into school, which I’ve written extensively about here and here. Also within the last month, I’ve seen plenty of other people create their own campaigns. Some people have did it the right way, and others… not so much, LOL.

But have no fear, I’ve got some tips for you.

First of all, I want you all to understand what exactly crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually via the internet. There are plenty of sites to pick for your crowdfunding needs, but the one I used was Go Fund Me. The good thing about Go Fund Me is that it’s super simple to use, you can connect it to your Facebook or Twitter account, and you have options of printing out flyers and adding offline donations (donations that are given to you in cash or by check). The only thing I didn’t like about Go Fund Me was that they take 7.9% of whatever you earn, so I advise people to adjust their goals accordingly.

Whether you choose to use Go Fund Me or another crowdfunding platform, here are 4 tips before you even start:

1. Make sure your story is clear and concise:

No one wants to read a long, fancy word filled book about why you’re trying to raise money. At the same time, no one wants to read something that comes off as brief and evasive. Be honest, but don’t give away too much unnecessary information. For example, if you’re trying to raise money to get your college degree, then leave out the part about your cat going blind in one eye… no one cares, unless your campaign is about raising money for the cat’s surgery. If you aren’t that good with words, I suggest enlisting the help of someone who is. Add pictures to your story if necessary, but above all else make sure your story is clear and easy to read. No one wants to click on a link and feel confused after reading it.

2. Tap into your network(s)

Without people, crowdfunding wouldn’t be where it is today. Everyone thinks that the key to crowdfunding is getting someone’s money, but I beg to differ. Sure, that’s a huge part of it, but it’s also important to reach out to the ones you know so that they in turn can reach out to people they know. For my own campaign, I sent out emails, told all my friends and family, and even printed out flyers to post around campus. Everyone won’t be able to donate money, but as long as you have good rapport with the ones you’re asking to donate, they will hopefully spread the word to someone who can.

3. Research the right platform to use

Everyone I’ve seen create a Go Fund Me simply did it just because they saw someone else do it. That’s fine, but make sure the platform you choose to crowd fund on is even the right one for you. For example, if you are looking to raise money for a film, then you may want to try Indiegogo or Kickstarter. If you’re looking to raise funds to create an after school program, then you may want to learn how to write a grant instead, or hire one. Always do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each site. Different sites have different fees and you want to make sure you’re not getting cheated out your money with limited options.

4. Be relentless in your promotion

As I said before, crowd funding is not for the faint hearted. Therefore, consistency is KEY. Use every medium you can to get your campaign noticed, even if you aren’t heavy on social media like that. I posted about my campaign on everything from my Facebook to my LinkedIn and I don’t regret one bit of it. People helped me promote every single day of my campaign, whether it was online or offline. A common mistake I’ve seen people make when it comes to crowd funding is that they think if they post about it once or twice that it’s supposed to catch on like wildfire and people are supposed to empty out their pockets.

How about NO!

Ask yourself how bad do you want to meet this goal and let that be the motivation to continuously promote. If people don’t know about it, they won’t be willing to help you, simply because you aren’t willing to help yourself.

Bonus Tip: Be Patient

Listen. Just because my own campaign took only 24 days to meet its goal doesn’t mean that the same will happen for you. You have to be patient when it comes to raising money and STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE. I’m about to get spiritual and tell you that what God has in store for you, is strictly for you. Too often, I’ve seen people give up on or delete their campaigns because they aren’t raising money quick enough or they feel discouraged that their campaign hasn’t gone viral. Just keep the faith that your goal will be met and put that extra work in to make sure you accomplish what you’ve set out for. Remember, faith without work is dead.

Have any more questions about crowdfunding? Leave them in the comments below!