Do you have a back up plan?

We have all gotten comfortable in a financial situation at least one time in our lives. There has either been a job we really liked and the pay was good only to have it end unexpectedly or a major customer that suddenly no longer bought from you. In both cases we unfortunately learn to depend on the narrow income lifeline. When that line of income was taken away what did you do?

Most people either panic or scramble to find another job or quickly expand their customer base. In both cases we either jump at the first opportunity or panic some more. Now the BIG question: How well are you prepared for a lay-off or customer loss? Now before you answer that, here are some of what I have gone through and how I survived it.

Getting laid off.
  • I thought I was prepared. I had a small business that I could fall back on and in fact I did when I eventually did get laid off.
  • The small business never got any bigger and stayed small. The customer base was growing but at too slow a rate. The business turned into a seasonal business where it boomed in the summer and was dead in the winter. I loved the work and it took me 4 years of devotion to finally let go of it. There are times that if you love a job or business too much it blinds you to the fact you are going down the tubes to bankruptcy. Learn when to end such a business.
  • I went back to school to train for another line of work.
Loosing a line of business income
  • I relied on eBay for my main source of income for several years until one eBay user (not even a buyer mind you) decided they would file a erroneous claim that I was bidding on my own auctions. At the time I did not have any auctions listed but they were all eBay store items. This did not matter to eBay and they promptly ended all my listings without a refund. This amounted to 300+ listings. After about 3 weeks of investigation on eBay's part they apologized and told me to re list all the items but still would not give me a refund. So I re listed them. About 2 weeks later the same thing happened again! This time it only took eBay 4 days to fix the problem and again told me to re list the items. At that point I realized I was at the mercy of the whims of eBay and canceled my eBay store and never went back. That episode cost me around $200.00 in eBay fees and an unknown amount in lost customers.
  • I started up a store at and have had a small but growing customer base. I soon found out that many other former eBayers had ended up at eCrater also. It is nowhere as large a store as I had on eBay but there are no fees! It is a nice part time business.
That is just 2 examples of what I have gone through and managed to survive it. I learned not to just sell on the internet but have an off line business as well. I also know when to have a full time job and not to become so devoted to it that I ignore having another line of income coming in. Also never rely on just selling at the retail or wholesale level, diversify you income streams. The first business that I spoke of was a service related business where I provided a service the second business was retail. Now I have combined both types of businesses where I provide a service or a product I have also ventured out into the information field such as this blog and I have done some guest speaking at local clubs and schools.

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