JOURNAL ENTRY: Thursday 18 July 2019

Today’s medication: 25mg Sertraline

Today has been another one of those days where I’ve been all over the place. I woke up in pretty decent spirits, feeling calm and level headed. This stated to change after I received a text alert from Barclaycard, saying that I was reaching my credit limit. I immediately though this must have been sent in error, as I knew I had at least £3,000 credit left on this particular card. However, after logging in to check, I notice that the buggers had reduced my credit limit. I think this slowly sent me into shock, as the realisation that I am running out of money becomes an ever clearer REALiTY. I immediately transferred part of the balance to other credit card, which then gave me another shock as I realised I’d completely forgotten that I had another £5,000 already on that card. I thought I owed about £18,000 on unsecured credit cards, but it turns out that’s probably half of what I owe.

SH!T

I didn’t panic, but the sensation and the realisation that I need to start earning money soon did hit me pretty hard. As the days gone on, my mood has slowly worsened. What’s still apparent and becoming more so, is that I’m through with my old IT LiFE. I’m not going back into that world. My skills are no longer relevant and my desire to update them and re-enter that profession has gone completely. My challenge is, what do I do to earn a crust?

I think I’m secretly banking on my book writing to bring in a substantial pay day at some point, but the realistic chances of that being a major success are very slim. The average annual earning of an author is £12,000, which is probably enough to keep me above water, but wouldn’t clear my debts, so I’m going to have to do something to generate additional income. I have absolutely no idea what that is at this point.

By the end of the day my self-esteem had hit rock bottom and I felt like I was in a pretty foul mood. This all coincided with the writing that I had done yesterday and the day before. I’ve been writing about my time spent running Blu-Bench, which was a limited company I owned between 2008 and 2016. What was really apparent from my reflective writing was how clueless I was back then. I was like the proverbial headless chicken that kept jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

My delusions of grandeur had begun around 2005-2006, when I decided to gut my house and become a part time DIY property developer. I’d been watching Sarah Beeny’s Property Ladder a lot, and thought I could make some extra money this way. The only blocker to achieving this was my problem drinking, as most to all of my free time was spent consuming alcohol. The free time that remained, I spent nursing my hangovers, so very little work ever got done.

In 2007 I gave up on that dream and moved jobs. At the time I was working in education, at Godalming College as their Assistant Director for IT Systems. I was earning a good salary of about £42,000, but I wanted more. I wanted to experience the private sector, so I left and joined a Microsoft Consultancy called Silversands. The irony was that I would actually take something of a real term pay cut in order to move from education to the private sector, but for the first 6 months, they paid for all my fuel, so I was just about breaking even.

Then in the beginning of 2008 I met an old friend whilst taking one of my many Microsoft Certification Exams and the idea of starting my own SharePoint business was formed. Shortly after I formed the company and was now on a mission to become my own boss. The blocker this time was that small matter of the global financial crisis, so rather than jump in with both feet and do Blu-Bench, I set the company up and then left it dormant for a couple of years, whilst I rowed out the storm, working for another Microsoft Consultant called Ultima Business Solutions.

I was now earning £76,000 a year as a SharePoint Architect/Business Manager and I felt completely out of my depth. I had almost zero commercial experience and was no where close to being a SharePoint Architect, but you know what they say, in the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

As soon as the credit crunch began to abate I jumped ship and resigned from Ultima at the beginning of 2010 and went full time with Blu-Bench.

My perception of things back then was that I was progressing my career, pushing myself each time to remain out of my comfort zone. In REALiTY, I was afraid to sit still, because at some point someone might work out that I hadn’t got a scooby and realise that I was faking it. So I just kept jumping, each time upping the ante. Each time jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

I didn’t have a business plan for Blu-Bench and my co-dependency meant that I was whatever anybody wanted me to be. I’d look for any opportunity and then try to make it work. It was like stuffing round pegs into square holes the whole time. Rather than come up with my own proposition and then market it, I was chasing anything and everything that presented itself. This is not a good way to run a business, as I ended up having to reinvent myself each time, in order to look credible. This takes a huge amount of effort.

It wasn’t long before the focus shifted from work to my relationship, which ended shortly thereafter. After a brief period of mania I hit the wall. I was now severely depressed and my LiFE was unmanageable. I’m still in recovery.

Today I’m trying to make it, rather than fake it, but BEiNG authentic all the time is challenging, especially when it comes to the world of work because everyone expects you to have you game face on all the time. I don’t have a game face anymore. I try not to wear a mask. I live CONSCiOUSLY, rather than EGOiCALLY, but this is a challenge and one I’m still learning to master.

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