Struggling with the Logistics

Weight: 58.3 Kg – as least it’s not dropping
Feeling: Quite depressed and hopeless

I think it’s time for me to dig up the raw stuff about this journey. How it’s really affecting me and my everyday life.

I work as a freelancer slash self-employed person and that means I do a lot of cold-calling and self-advertising activity in order to get business up. I don’t run a business, but I am an intermediary who sells services and financial products with a reputable name in the industry.

My job and profession doesn’t get a good repute. We generally are shunned by strangers and friends alike when they hear what we’re doing.

People still work in my profession, because it DOES pay well when you can get your momentum up and find that niche and market that has that click with your persona and status – meaning the way you were brought up and the way you carry yourself – whether you’re more comfortable with the low-income/middle-class/high-net worth sectors of the market.

I used to be in a bank. Earn a pretty good stable salary, have benefits – medical, dental, etc… That was the period of time my husband started working after graduation and we saved for our wedding in those prosperous days of yore. We could easily save $10,000 in half a year and still afford trips and dinners out majority of the time.

I’ve always wanted to work in a job that I love. And make good money. But like the below Venn Diagram depicts – that’s all just wishful thinking.

dowhatyoulove

A few years ago, I decided to leave it all to move into this business which I felt God was calling me to try out. To explore my true sales potential, and open up the door to unlimited earnings and all that.. I had the luxury of leaving my cushy bank job to explore this opportunity because of my loving husband. He took it upon himself – the responsibility and burden – to be the fallback; the anchor and the foundation of our household.

It will be 3 years come this September, I have some great clients who continue to support me whatever I may call them up for and I do okay. I’ve had my good months where I’ll pull in a big haul of recurring income and be set for a while. But for some reasons, I seem to be lagging this year.

It could be the regulations that are implemented this year garnering all the sales people in Singapore, not only in my industry but any others that are involved with cold-calling and marketing communications.

But besides that, there is something about being in a sales-based job that drains and tires you out. One of my clients was saying that when I first started out, there was a light and mad-enthusiasm that just doesn’t seem to shine through as much now that I’m into the business for a number of years. I told her, that it’s tough – you can’t keep up the hype 24/7 and expect to be able to maintain it indefinitely.

It’s tiring to hold up a smile when you don’t know whether a person is going to reject you for your product or lead you around asking questions and making you work for the sale. And then dropping you like a rock to go “think about it”, or worse still, buy from a competitor because of the neutral and honest advice that you’ve given.

why!

This job has given me so many ups and downs and roller coaster rides that they are innumerable. You could say that all the pain and suffering is making me grow into a more knowledgeable person in terms of life experiences; but I say to you man, that when it boils down to it at the end of the day, if having a job is just a means to an end, then you’re doing it wrong. Earning a living shouldn’t have to be this painful right?

Like I was saying, a lot of income in my job depends on hardwork and effort. Something which I’ve been very conflicted about recently. It’s not that I don’t want to work hard, because I know the extra money comes in when I do, but it’s more like I’m comfortable where I am, I know I can earn more doing something somewhere else, and I choose to embrace my free time and live more frugally than I know I should have to.

I generally do alright. I survive. I’m pretty good at establishing rapport and being friends with strangers. I sell enough things to get by and contribute to my pocket money. To be fair, I don’t work VERY hard now that I’m self-employed and I’m definitely not the stable breadwinner of the family that I used to be. Hell, I probably put more effort into this blog than I do on my business right now.

It’s so bourgeois and #firstworldproblems to be so reliant on money, but in truth it DOES make the world go round. You know all the sayings. Money can’t make you happy, but it can buy you the things than can. Or, at the very least, it makes unhappiness a little easier to bear doesn’t it.

throw money

My husband and I are not doing TOO badly. He’s an engineer so he draws a decent salary. But given when he was starting out and my past where I was in a bank, I was contributing the bulk of our monthly income and now, I’m just not. I feel responsible too. If not to the income of the family, then to at least contribute enough to pull my own weight.

Now that I’m pregnant, a lot of these issues are really resurfacing and making it very difficult for me to be happy about the pregnancy. Finances is one of the big To-Dos on the list when you start planning for a baby, much less have already conceived one and are growing a human bean (pun intended – yes I know it’s spelt “human being”) inside your tummy.

The cost of raising a child is not something that’s easy to swallow if you’re not prepared. It’s not just a one-time payment for the delivery. It’s the education, the upbringing, the household expenses – diapers, milk powder, toys, the medicine and healthcare…. I’m sad to say it, but I feel that I”m barely surviving paying for my own all of those, much less having to look after another mouth to feed.

I want to make sure that my kid grows up not having to want for anything. Not that I would spoil my unborn or be exorbitant and buy EVERYTHING, but I’d like to have at least the choice to decide rather than letting my wallet be the decision-maker.

So I’m at  the crossroads of making a major decision right now. Do I want to risk it and look for something more stable to last me through this pregnancy and then some or should I hold fast to where I am and ride the wave out to see if things get smoother?

Whatever the decision I make, it’s got to be done quickly. I highly doubt there would be any employer willing to see a very pregnant woman for an interview given the new costs to a company in footing a maternity bill and the paid maternity leave.

Over the last few years, there’ve been horrible reportings in the news from disgruntled pregnant  employees being unjustly let go because (supposedly) the company didn’t want to have to pay for maternity leave seeing as the employee wouldn’t actually be doing work. The government has already put that protection in place for now, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for me to get a job when I already know I’m pregnant.

When I was in the bank, there was someone who WAS hired even though the recruiter knew she was pregnant, and not to sound bitter with this, but why don’t good things like that ever happen to me? I really do wish that once in my life, I can experience a once in a lifetime kind of fortunate event. Win the lottery or a lucky draw prize or really have some massive windfall of sorts.. Doesn’t everybody?

rubes-the-lottery

Just re-reading that paragraph makes me realise how gross and disgusting selfishness, jealousy and envy can be. And it’s a good thing I”m writing this blog that lets the true feelings come out, because if I’m really going to be a mummy, these are some of the things that are bigger than the money issues that I’m going to have to tackle.

More important than a parents’ money and financial ability to bring up a child, is the ability to instill a good sense of Moral value, a fear and love for God and a kind and cheerful nature. All the wishful thinking and “What If”s will never really set a good atmosphere for a happy child.

One of my cousins or aunties, someone said to me once, “If you’re going to think about the money, you’ll NEVER have children. Money is never enough. But somehow we make do.” and “If your parents could do it, then so can you.”

So I’ll push on, and vent my frustration on this blog as an outlet, but put on that happy face and make my decisions and take my steps one at a time.

With me luck,
Jess

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