5/17/2012 DAY 39
Let’s tackle the economy, business and finances, shall we? Time is running out for me and I want to leave this Earth knowing that I’ve helped you all in some way. And when I’m escaping my assisted living facility and wandering the streets of some anonymous mall-burb of Chicago I’ll be able to shout, “Don’t you know me?” to the drivers of the cars honing at me in my bathrobe. “I’m the man who saved the world!”
Oh, I know what you are thinking: What can a hairdresser possibly know about money and business? After all, on paper, I’m pretty broke and my profession is one of the most unprofessional professions in the United States of America. Hairdressers have no real working union. We don’t conform to any type of business acumen or standard, from stylist to stylist or salon to salon. Our attire would never be called business anything, let alone business-casual. Most salons or beauty schools do not teach their employees things such as marketing, saving, buying or spending. And 90% of most salon businesses do not even provide benefits of any kind. (This is why I have begun to break into the lucrative and secure business of writing.)
But I’ve been a hairdresser who had many clients who were business-minded, smart with their money, and it is they who have taught me the many tips about business and money that I’ve applied for my own industry. And since all of my business experts have told me it was their mistakes that taught them the most, I’ll share mine: All of my business savvy clients (and my parents) told me to save.
I had a nice growing nest egg a few years back. And then I got engaged and moved to Canada where I wrote two weeks, and then flew back to Chicago to work a week and I planned to keep this schedule up until the wedding. Unfortunately the relationship did not work out and I had spent some of my saved money on the wedding that never happened which meant that I had to build up that next egg again once I fled back to Chicago permanently. (I lost thousands on deposits for locations, equipment, ABBA impersonators and fog machines.)
Due to the stress of that failed move, a broken and tumultuous relationship, and much sadness and mental self-reproach, I got very sick. It wasn’t anything I had to stop working for, but I was miserable for many years.
If you must know, I was diagnosed with IBS, which was just a catch-all syndrome that, I believe, my doctors gave to my condition which just meant “you’ve stressed yourself out so much that you can’t digest food properly.” It was just as painful to experience the “IBS” as it was to realize that I probably inflicted it upon myself.
While I was trying to remove the pain in my body, my nest egg began to evaporate completely because, foolishly, I kept up my lifestyle in my new downtown Chicago apartment and travel, and I began to use my credit cards to pay some of my doctor bills which accumulated and was not covered by my shitty insurance (which is the only kind most hairdressers can afford).
I’m a hairdresser, and even I can look at the balance sheet of my country’s finances and know that it ain’t going to get any better any time soon so we all better stop spending and start saving–individually and as a country. (As citizens we should, at the very least, start rioting more to make the CEO’s, corporations and churches start paying their fair share of taxes.) I’ll be finished paying off those credit cards very soon but I wish I had used my head instead of my pain to help me make better spending and economic decisions and I should have never touched my savings and I should have continued to save.
So start a saving plan today, if you haven’t already. I think answers all your business and economy and money questions that you might have had for me. And keep voting, and voicing your opinion about business and spending in these United States. March if you feel moved to do so. Learn stuff. See? It’s pretty simple. And you thought we couldn’t solve all of this in one chapter.
And, if you do get sick, do go for the more Eastern or holistic approach to your healing. I would have saved so much money if I had just given up on the medical specialists. My own doctor, Dr. Michael Close was the best and even he advised me to investigate more “healers” than Western specialists. It ended up working for me.
You are more than welcome to help me pay off my credit cards by downloading my two novels. Mafia Hairdresser, which is based on my experience of being hairdresser to a mob couple in the 80s. The sequel, The Glow Stick Gods, is about a hairdresser in the 90s who believes that his party-life will never end and he seemingly finds true love–in Canada… It’s also based on stories about my friends whom I’ve lost in one way or another in the “A-list” party scene and people like the “Chicago taxi-cab murderer:” just one of the many characters I’ve been quite acquainted with.
Click on Book Covers below to read more. These will be your favorite summer reads.
Thank you. And, You’re Welcome.