Today’s job market is highly competitive. No longer having a college degree guarantees success in the workplace. With more and more jobs going overseas or becoming specialized finding employment can be difficult for able-bodied people, never mind the thousands of folks with physical limitations. Furthering your education can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive as well. How do those of us already battling labels and physical impediments rise above and meet our needs?
In my experience of living in a chair for 22 years the greatest hindrance I have found to financial success is self-consciousness and self-doubt. Many people who are different let the media or the status quo or even doctors determine what they are worth or capable of, but the real truth is that the only person who can decide that for you is you. These kinds of deep, personal changes don’t come overnight and require a great deal of effort, but while you are working on success from the inside I have a handful of practical steps you can take towards personal financial stability.
- Know your strengths. Are you a good communicator? Are you comfortable on the phone? Maybe you are good with numbers, or you’re more of a “big idea” person? Do you love animals or children? What are you passionate about? Knowing your strong points will build confidence and give you grounding when going through interviews and promoting yourself. Don’t be afraid to make a list!
- Think outside the box. Everybody needs something and you just might be their answer. There is great liberty in being your own boss. With tools like the internet and social media running your own business in a professional and powerful way has never been more easy than it is today. Find your niche and exploit it!
- Know your stuff. We have access to more information than any other generation in history. Books online, college courses, even YouTube! Don’t stop reading and studying. It is said that 1 hour of reading a day will make one an expert in their given field in 7 years. Companies spend millions of dollars each year on consultants to improve their chances of success. Imagine getting paid just to talk! Knowledge is a precious commodity, stock up on it.
- The Government is not your source. Use those special programs and disability benefits as a means to an end. Use the money wisely and work on a strategy over 5-10 years to reduce your dependence on Federal help. You’re not a ward of the state, you’re a valuable, contributing member of society. Start cultivating that view today.
- Clean out your financial closet. Get your money and banking organized. No matter how broke you may be! Keep accurate records and set a budget. If you have bad debt or credit card debt consider consolidation or a doable repayment strategy. Reduce unnecessary expenditures like unhealthy snack foods, cigarettes, alcohol, video games, and other non-productive pastimes. Set aside 5% of your monthly income for savings.
- Volunteer. This is your chance to get out make connections. Strut your stuff. Find something you’re passionate about and donate your time. You never know the connections you will make and the opportunities that will open up to you. If they see what you do for free, they will know what you can do with money.
- Don’t be afraid of “No”. Pick yourself up and move on. If they don’t see your value you don’t want to work there anyway. Plain and simple.
Go forth and prosper and don’t be afraid. You can determine your future, and let nothing stand in your way.
That’s the main advantage of Men’s Liberty: No worry!