2011 was a crazy year for me. We were jobless and broke for most of it but it was also the year I published a book through Wright Books, spoke at the Financial Blogger Conference and a whole lot of other things. It was so fantastic and scary in so many ways. Having such a wide variety of things happening in 1 year from opportunities to devastation makes it hard to really categorise 2011.
So what did I learn in 2011?
1.) Opportunities can come from anywhere
I was so blessed in 2011 to sign a contract for my book 365 Ways To Make Money, speak at Financial Blogger Conference about going from blog to book, get booked to speak at Digital Parents 2012, launch my freelance writing career and more. All of these opportunities came from my blog, which is not at all what I expected when I started blogging. Not just that, but the opportunities that came as a result of those different things astound me. I just had to put myself out there and the rewards have been amazing.
2.) You can achieve great things
This year, despite many problems on the job front and issues with our house has ben a year of great achievements for me. I always wanted to publish book and become an international speaker. This year, I put myself out there more and did it. So many people say they can't do things, but that's just not true.
3.) Job loss is hard, but not the end of the world
This year my husband got told there was no more work. We both searched hard for other forms of employment, but only casual was available, which we took, but it was scarce and hard. We relied a lot on government benefits, help from friends and family and our ingenuity to get through. It was hard and we were so grateful when my husband finally landed a full time job again. As hard as it was, it was not the end of the world.
4.) There are free things all around
Having virtually no income meant we got really good at finding free things. That meant everything from food to entertainment. I know we could have done better than we did, but considering our circumstances we did really well.
5.) Owning a house is not that great
We bought back in 2006 and while on many levels the stability of owning (well, with a mortgage) vs renting have been good, it really ties you to one area and with repairs and things houses can cost A LOT! I am sure if we lived where I wanted to instead of where I don't want to live I would like my house more.
6.) Plans change, you just have to adapt
We started the year with big plans such as going to Tasmania and Hawaii, but none of that eventuated since our income changes drastically. While I did have opportunities throughout the year, much of these things will not provide any income until 2012.
7.) If you want something, you are the key to making it happen
I wanted a lot of things this year and while I did not get them all, had I not put myself out there, applied for things or made it known what I wanted to do, they would not have happened. If you want something don't be afraid to go for it and let others know you want it too.
8.) If you focus on being broke, you will probably stay broke
As broke as we were much of this year (and I mean we almost lost our house and everything type of broke) we focused on ways we could make money, how this was a temporary situation and looked at everything we could do to improve it instead of wallowing in the "woe is me, we're broke" attitude.
9.) Balance is important
With so much of our lives seemingly out of our control, we had to find balance where possible. Such as a balance between frugality and looking to increase our income, cutting back on groceries but still eating as healthy as possible etc. If you go too much one way or the other in anything in your life, other areas of your life will suffer.
10.) Never take health for granted
We had a couple of hiccups this year with health. fortunately not as bad as many others we know. We know quite a few people diagnosed with cancer and things recently which has made us appreciate our health and the things we can do because we are healthy even more.
11.) Life is what you make it
Life might throw you curveballs but it is up to you how you deal with them and what you make out of what you are given. It is up to you to rise above things, create opportunities for yourself and live the life you want. No one else is going to do it for you.
What did you learn this year?