Wasting Time With A Purpose

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When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, I was advised by my doctor to quit my job and just start my own business. I’ve been wanting to quit my job anyway, so I did what he told me to do. I resigned, and I started my own business.

Well, it really didn’t happen that fast. I mean, I immediately resigned, but it took me several months before I got to where I am now.

Right after quitting my job, I stayed home for months thinking what I was gonna do with my life (since I couldn’t go through with killing myself, that is). Listening to people telling me to move on; to just get over whatever it was I was going through; all those pressure made me feel NOT okay. It was mentally and emotionally draining! It felt like I was running a marathon when I was actually just lying there, on my bed.

I hated that feeling. So I stopped thinking and decided to watch movies and read novels to keep my head on something else. It seemed like I was just wasting my life away. Everybody thought so. But the truth is, NO, I wasn’t wasting time. I was actually BUSY making myself feel better.

I felt like it wasn’t the right time for me to pressure myself. I still had some money in my bank account. I could still live for a few more weeks just slumped on my bed (or sometimes, my couch) watching or reading.

(If you are currently in this state, too weak with zero motivation; just sleeping and eating and whatever, not earning any money? Quit thinking that you are wasting time, coz the more you pressure yourself, the more you’ll lose motivation. Accept it! That’s how our minds work. We just hate pressure!)

One day, while I was “wasting my time”, browsing through Facebook, I came across a tutorial video about DIY drawstring bags. While watching the video, something inside my head clicked! “This looks fun!” Finally, something I thought would be fun to do. So I started watching more videos and I began buying different kinds of fabric. I was a bit clueless but I just went with it anyway. Then I bought a sewing machine! Actually, my sister bought it for me ‘coz I was running out of funds. (Having generous sisters is a bonus in the life of a depressed. LOL)

Tip: If something (as long as it’s not illegal) caught your interest, act on it at once! Don’t wait too long ‘coz the feeling might fade. That’s how we are. We get demotivated almost instantly. But if you already started doing it and if it is, indeed, fun to do, then you have something to do to keep your ass off that couch! Congratulations!

“The doctor told me to start my own business. Sewing seems fun and easy!” Then I found a friend who was willing to start the business with me (I’m a very convincing person. *wink). I was so excited! But, the once fun-to-do and easy-money activity turned out to be a failed business idea. I can sew but I couldn’t sew fast and perfect enough to make it into a business. I failed… =(

The sewing machine was placed inside a box, at the corner of my room. What a waste of money.

I went back to watching movies and reading books… Then, suddenly, a light bulb went on in my head. Baking!

I watched tutorial videos, and I bought baking materials and ingredients. I didn’t want to disappoint another friend, so I decided to do this one on my own. It was fun! (except the part where I clean up and wash the dishes. LOL). However, I realized that no one’s gonna buy my products coz it would be too expensive, coz the ingredients were expensive; and living in a small town limits my market. So it became another failed business attempt. (For what it’s worth, my baked goodies actually tasted pretty good! At least, that’s what my “unbiased” friends and family told me.)

So, my baking tools were put in a box, and placed on a corner shelf. Again, what a waste of money.

Then my partner started his own business and asked for my help. I was the manager. I did almost everything! I drafted the system, made employee contracts, gave them their salary, made some ads and posted them on social media, designed flyers, kept the books; I was even the one who covered for the cashier when she got ill. I was good at it and I was having fun!

Then a training opportunity came up, and it being a fact that I was the one doing almost everything (management, admin and accounting) for his business, my partner signed me up for the training rather than himself. I enjoyed it! I learned a lot and I loved what I learned!

So when I went back to managing his business, I taught him what I learned and the things that needed to be done to get his business running more smoothly. But, I got hungry! I wanted my own business and I thought it was time for him to manage his own.

Wait! Before you get mad and call me an ungrateful bitch, you need to know that I wasn’t getting paid for managing my partner’s business. I agreed to that arrangement before coz I wasn’t doing anything anyway. It kept me busy and I enjoyed it. But a girl’s gotta eat! I need to start earning my own money!

Since, it wasn’t wise for us to be focusing all our assets into one thing (it was emphasized in various investment articles to “not put all your eggs in one basket”), and his field of business wasn’t really my area of expertise (it was his passion, not mine), we agreed on me starting my own.

So here I am, typing this blog entry in my laptop, at my own souvenirs shop.
You might think, “what is so special about opening a souvenirs shop?”.

Well, it’s not just an ordinary retail shop. We actually get to HELP the micro entrepreneurs in our province.

“Do something good.” This was included in my first blog entry “Coping with Depression: How I Make It Through the Day” (click on this link to read this entry: https://thepressforthedepressed.blog/2019/01/16/coping-with-depression-how-i-make-it-through-the-day/). This is the reason why I opened a store that exclusively sold locally made goods. These people needed a place to sell them.

I always said that opening this business was like “shooting two birds with one stone”. I am doing something good and earning money at the same time.

You might say, “it couldn’t be called helping if you’re making money out of it”. I say, it is, coz I gave the local manufacturers a place where they can market their products and I sell them for reasonable prices. So this is mainly, helping them than making money. I just needed to make enough to keep the shop open and to live decently. My motivation was about helping them; about making a difference. That’s what kept me going during the lean months when the business was so weak and I wanted to just quit.

No, I couldn’t call this a success. We just opened 7 months ago.
So, this is not the typical success story that you wanted to hear.

If I bored you to death, I’m sorry. I just wanted to share with you the things that I learned from this experience; that:

  1. Lying in bed trying to make yourself feel better while figuring out your next step is NOT a waste of time;
  2. You wouldn’t figure out what you want if you don’t try new things; and
  3. Depressed individuals are deep thinkers who refuse to “simply” live life; we want to LIVE WITH A PURPOSE.

This is not the happy ending of my story yet. I’m still alive. Anything can happen! Who knows? I might fail again. But, at least, I can say that this one’s NOT A WASTE OF MONEY, coz I actually did something good for other people. =)

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