Out of the many fears that most women, regardless of their marital status deal with, the money fear is a very major one. While I don’t know how this works for people in paid employment, I know that an average woman is worried about survival, paying the bills, etc. In my own case, I tried as much as possible not to entertain the idea of ever having to fend for myself. It may sound silly, but I am being sincere with you. It was unthinkable! But then, life always happens. By the time my husband moved out and later discontinued the monthly allowance, I was confused, not minding that I had a business. I had no choice than to face the challenge before me squarely and deal with.
One of the things that had to change immediately was my attitude towards the business. I stopped seeing and handling it as a mere passion. I decided to do business as business and not just as a past time. So, if you want to get past where you are with your finances, your attitude has to change. If you do have a business, this is a good time to take a second look at it and ask yourself if it is really what you want to do. If it is, then you have to bickle up and sit with the business if it must grow. You can’t afford to behave like the average business owner who leaves everything to her employees and strolls in at anytime. Do business as business and it will yield. If you are in paid employment, decide if you want to continue working where you are or you want to change jobs. Whatever you decide on, give your job your best shot. Don’t get so overwhelmed with whatever situation you are in that it begins to affect your performances at work. Buckle up and deliver. You can, yes you can!
The other thing I did was to get help. I knew I had come to a point where the only choice I had was for the business to work. But for this to happen, I had to put certain things in place. So I got help from people around. I remember having issue with staffing, so I called a friend who is a Human Resource expert and she helped out. Having her in my life has made a big difference.
Grow to go! Last year, as part of my personal development and means of creating an extra source of income, I enrolled for a certification course. Though the cost involved was steep considering my financial state, I can tell you it was a step in the rignt direction because the certification boosted my professional profile, given me more confidence and now generates income for me.
What I am driving at is if your current level of knowledge cannot attract enough income to sustain you at the basic level, then consider going for further training. The truth is, the more you know and the more exposure you have, the better you become at what you do and can even branch into other businesses thus making you more valuable. This goes for those who are employed too. If possible, go for further education, attend seminars, take certification courses. If this proves financially strenuous, read online about your profession or business. The time of separation is not the time to cry endlessly, asking why life has dealt you a negative blow. It is the time to pick yourself up and reinvent yourself. So, go do it.
Cut back. Because I was trying to regain my footing financially, I had to cut back on some things that I was already used to. I had to make slight adjustments in my lifestyle but I knew it was temporary. For instance, I couldn’t afford to take a holiday outside Nigeria or change my wardrobe for a while. With a whole lot of things to do, I had to get my priorities right by focusing on major issues. You might also need to make adjustments in certain areas so as to give you time to adjust.
Be disciplined: live within your income. Don’t purchase items that paying back becomes a burden. Until your finances ease out, spend only what you make.
Save! No matter how little, have something put aside for emergencies. I usually save 10% of my salary (which by the way may not always be regular)There are times all I can afford to pull out as my salary is N5000.00 (about $30 or £20) and so I save N500.00 which appears insignificant. (I’m sure my colleague at work must think I’m weird each time I ask him to deposit this stipend in my account!!!) But with consistency and discipline, it adds up to something over time. I have had to fall back on this savings once in a while. Life saver if you ask me.
Give! It is so easy to become focused on your needs that you don’t remember others. Avoid this by paying attention to others around you. There are so many ways you help. This doesn’t have to be about giving money alone. Give kind words, give encouragement and you are bound to reap same.
Don’t beg! Hmmm…I have seen people lose their self respect due to begging. Going through separation is tough, but it is not the end of the world. Carry yourself with dignity and be satisfied with what you have per time. I am not saying you shouldn’t ask for help, but don’t become a nuisance so you don’t lose your respect.
Above all, keep going because I know that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!
…helping you find the gains in your pain