The Cockroach Mindset

Wednesday May 1st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   New month, new motivation. I just finished slugging out a pleasurable productive month doing ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows, regular standup comedy shows and teaching comedy classes, but the money I made from all of it is gone like Madonna’s virginity. It was fun to do, but I need money.

   It’s SO disheartening when every penny one works so hard for has to go to non sexy things like speeding ticket fines or credit card bills, but that’s life – at least for most of us. I don’t know who has money to burn these days, but nobody in my immediate circle. Everyone I know is struggling just to stay afloat, and that has a way of cranking up the stress level and sapping fun out of life.

   Sometimes I feel like I’m almost there, but then I look at my bills and know I’m not even close to where I need to be. I focus on the journey and enjoying the moment and all that claptrap that’s splattered all over greeting cards and motivational posters, but at the end of the day I’m BROKE.

   Life can be so cruel and unforgiving, and mistakes from one’s past have a way of coming back like a cosmic boomerang. I know it’s worked that way for me. I’ve been trying to wisely handle my finances, but every time I start to get ahead a little a tornado comes along to wipe it all out.

   It’s not like I’m spending every spare dollar I make on “Hershey bars and Archie comics” like my grandpa used to say. I’ve been making a practice of saving 10% off the top of all I make like I’ve read in several financial books, but then a crisis comes along or a gig falls out or something else falls off my car and I have to use that money in a pinch to bail myself out one more time.

   A major problem with the entertainment business or being self employed in general is the lack of a consistent income. Some weeks or months or even years are flowing with cash, but then the pendulum eventually swings the other way and it’s all over. It never lasts forever, but during the slow times it seems that way. I feel myself headed into a slow time, and it’s getting my attention.

   I’ve been here before, so I’m not afraid. I’ve had to piece together a living my whole life, but it does concern me I haven’t figured out a way to reach a higher financial level by now. I know I’m better than this, so now it’s time to prove it. I’m backed into a corner, and I don’t have a choice.

   What I’ve been doing obviously hasn’t worked to my satisfaction, so what are my choices? I’m either going to change my tactics and make something significantly better happen, or I’ll stay the same and continue to produce the mediocre to poor results I have been cranking out for so long.

   I understand what the options are, and I’m choosing change. This is not where I want to be one, five or twenty years from now. Whatever I’ve done in the past to lead me here I intend to change dramatically and not keep ending up with empty pockets for all my hard work. This is a mistake, but one I think I can change if I make the correct choices. I don’t want to keep living like a bug.

   I reached out to a few bookers today to obtain some work for the immediate future, and I hit on a couple of random dates. That’s a good thing and much appreciated, but not something for long term. I won’t crawl out of my financial hole doing one nighters in sports bars, and that’s the rub.

   I need to take my business sense to a completely new and much higher level, and that’s hard to do after a lifetime of squeaking by. It’s easy to get into the cockroach mindset, but that’s not how I want to live anymore. I never wanted to, but I thought it would lead to a payoff. Was I wrong.

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