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Thread: Unemployed ?? Thinking of self employment?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Unemployed ?? Thinking of self employment?

    For years now i have been extremely concerned about unemployment in the west and specifically the male over 40 demographic group.

    So while i go about my business i am continously thinking about ideas of how I could help enable people in this unpleasant circumstance make ends meet.

    Its all good and well for one to say "Start out on your own" but heck that is easier said than done and how the heck does one do it when you are unemployed and have no money and what little you have left after long a long period of being unemployed, you are extremely afraid to commit to what is statistically a risky process.

    Well one of the things prevelant in business today that you might not be aware of and may give you a different way to look at things is the concept of Barter.

    When we get stressed we often find it very difficult to "Think outside the box" because pressing issues such as survival occupy the mind.

    However i have been fascinated by money or I should say currency and by this i dont mean the paper or coins issues by various governments but the concept of means of payment or reward.

    Essentially currency in a broad sense is having something of value to someone else that you could trade with them in return for something they have that you need.

    If you stop for a moment and consider we have all universally adopted government money only because of its universal applicability in the area we live in ie our various countries.

    However if you stop and think about it, we all engage in barter without the use of legal tender.

    When we use a free website with advertising, we exchange our very presence there for use of the site. That presence is converted into advertising dollars.

    When we use a credit card and recieve airmiles we getting to barter use of that particular card for the airmiles which in turn we barter for a flight.

    In my network there are members that belong to specific barter networks where they exchange services between each other. This can happen between a dentist /lawyer/ and and electrician. The lawyer needs a ceiling fan fixed and calls the electrian, they keep score and next time the electrian needs a letter of demand the lawyer obliges.

    So think about this concept of Bartering because if you aint got the funds to start out down the self employment route this could be a way to ease the pain a little.

    Why? You most likely after 40+ years of working life have many many skills if you do as i have said before and write your life story you will discover them. Some of those skills could be bartered with others in return for all sorts. Dont always think in terms of money. Some people might have recieved a gift card to a local dinner, they dont need the meal out but they have a broken toilet that needs a little tlc. You might be handy in the plumbing area and be able to do a trade. That exchange does a number of things.

    It makes you feel you have a value to the rest of your community.
    It makes you feel wanted.
    It puts something on the table to eat.
    It saves you having to lay out some form of currency for food.
    It exposes you to other possibilities until something else comes along or the economy improves.
    It gets you out of the stress mode and on your feet.

    I could probably go on and on.... but i think you get it.

    So look around you, take note of what is going on in your immediate community. Consider how or what you might barter with others for things you need.

    Its all good and well we say "what should this cost or how should i price this my time is worth more or if i continue this way i might as well be working at XYZ for minimum wage, but sometimes in your area even those jobs are not forthcoming, what then?

    When you start out say in woodworking on your own, one thing you have tons of until you find a customer, is time. So why not make somthing with the wood you have. Make something you can trade/ barter for what you need.

    Take a side step, remember Stu kindly fixing the tray at the Sushi joint near him, or fixing the chairs. Now he did this out of the kindness of his heart. But when last did you look around your community dinner or coffee shop and check out their "whatevers" and say "Ya know mr so an so i could fix that chair for you in exchange for xyz worth of your product or services.

    Dont take this the wrong way, its not meant to be a long term solution but when i look at the huge numbers that we are talking about in terms of unemployment its going to be a heck of a long time before the picture changes so its time to come up with some alternative strategies. This is only one.

    Take shovelling snow for example. You might exchange it for a ride when next the neighbor goes, to the grocery store. That saves you gas and stretches your dollar that you have.

    Its time to be innovative, use that pioneer ingenuity thats dormant in your genes and if you have any of my inherited kind of english pride, throw it out leave it to the queen, cause if you dont start bartering and dealing in some way shape or form your situation could get worse before it gets any better.

    In my view dont go getting rid of your tools. That is the last thing you ever want to sell. Tools are an extension of your hands and can help you barter with someone that say is like my brother in law and dont know which way up to hold a hammer.

    If you mechanically minded just think of something as basic as offering to change the oil on your neighbors car instead of them having it done at the local drive by.

    For those of you that are sitting pretty right now and have a job or steady income, I urge you to think about reaching out to your neighbor thats unemployed. You could prompt this whole idea and get them going.

    No!!!! you say. Well think about it. This is actually in your own interest too. You might be sitting pretty right now, but if a number of people in your area end up in repossession because they could not make the payment on the rent, your home value drops, vacant homes attract crime, crime affects everyone, and hey it makes no sense for criminals to prey on the unemployed so who they going to look to.

    Dont turn this thread political. I have posted this in the interests of us as a woodworking community getting creative about helping our felllow woodworker that might just get some inspiration that would help him/her have a better day, one day at a time. The problem is huge and way larger than we think and it aint going away quickly so in my mind its time for some creative thinking and problem solving ideas rather than dreamy suggestions.

    i will try from time to time to add some other ideas as i come up with them in the event they might help just one person get over this crisis.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    THANKS for the concern and the thoughts on this Rob,, if it can get just one of us to look outside of our box its worth it!!!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    5,167
    Good thinking, Rob.

    It's not just to help out the shortage of coin in one's pocket, it is also good for the human soul - and don't anyone turn this into a religious post! Feeling good about yourself isn't just for the faithful folks.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Tokyo, Japan
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    Hi Rob,

    While I have not been a member of FW for long I feel a great affinity for the people who post here. I really feel apart of this family even if I am not very sophisticated around wood. I do share the same love of wood and its beauty.

    In my business I do not work with my hands. My grandfather was a rough carpenter/village painter and my relatives farmers, so, I have always had a high respect for those who could work with their hands. The results of the work are immediate. Not so in my business. So, where is this taking this email? Well, I have always wondered what I would do if my business world fell flat on its face?

    I have always thought that I would get a small truck and go around neighborhoods and sharpen knives, hoes etc. I am not sure if that would support my family but I have always thought I could learn to do this well.

    I truly respect the members of FW because all seem to have skills that I only dream about. The ability to work with your hands is, in my mind, something special.

    Rob has it right. When all has seemingly fallen apart it is time to "think out of the box." Sometimes, it is more important to do something, anything, than to do nothing. Barter. selling services, it really does not matter. It is much important to be doing something so you can have pride about yourself. This leads to other things.

    Many years ago, my family and I were friends with a family whose father was a professional photographer. Unfortunately, he was a photographer who only wanted to do what he wanted and would not lower himself to do what the market demanded. Slowly, he lost everything. One evening he and his family came to our house. During the evening I started to challenge him. Being a former Marine, I must admit it was not pretty. There is an expression, "I tore him a new oriface." I told him that he had a duty to take care of his family and he was letting pride and shame get in the way. I told him to get any job. Make a contribution to supporting his family. He slowly sunk into the chair. I actually thought I had lost him.

    However, he went out and started to work as a day laborer. He worked for a Japanese equilivant of Fedex. He started to earn money, get in physical shape. More importantly, he got into mental shape. From there he got in touch with his old school mates and got into a new industry.

    No longer have touch with him and the last time he made it clear he did not want to meet me ever again. It embarrassed him. I lost a friend but I think I helped save a family. It was all about thinking out of the box. Do something and this will set in motion something else--- who knows what!

    Sorry, I should not ramble on like this but it may help someone somewhere.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2009
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    Thanks Rob good post. While I do barter , mostly for hunting property and legal matters it doesn't pay the bills. Bartering works good to get your feet in the door when your out canvasing the community for work. Keep in mind that when you speak to a perspective customer they are to know that your initial investment is for long range and they should know that your building a business.
    Just my 2 cents.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  6. #6
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    Dec 2008
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    Santa Claus, In
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    Neighbor #1 mows the grass at the beauty shop = free hair cuts & gas for his mower. Neighbor #2 does the snow removal, (lots this year) = free hair cuts.

    There is a lot of labor trade off around these parts. We all do what we can for each other. After all, I ain't growing this Amish beard for nothing
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    so yur saving money so yu can have yur snow plowed right
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Nah, I just let it melt. (sorry Rob, I am hi-jacking this thread)
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  9. #9
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    I should add. Money is nothing anymore. When was the last time you really had it? You might have numbers moved from one account to another, but money, I don't think so. When we buy something, we see what is left in the account. How many numbers do I have and how many can I use. Go someplace and pay cash, you get looked at like a Space Creature.

    You trade your labor for someone else's, now that is something people can see and respect.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Steve it great to hear you guys are doing this and probably have been for many years. That to me is th power of country community .
    The issue I see is in city burbs especially in an area similar to my local neighborhood many buy and stay only for a few years looking to roll their house and move on trying to increment their capital. Trouble is they don't become community that way. They live in the area but don't take a interest in what is happening around them. This does not em when they fall on hard times. With Ontario and in particular the gta receiving about 16 to 20% of Canadas total immigration numbers this put quite a lot of new comers in new unknown subdivisions and without much local knowledge. I think with all the amount of population movement in the USA this could be prevalent in the USA except the people may not be immigrants but born Americans.
    Many are so status and pride contious so I can see them not wanting to get out the box.
    cheers

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