Four DC-area high-tech companies failed out from under me in 14 months. I went from $90k a year to $0 a year in a little over a year. I qualified for $300/week in unemployment for 6 months. I lost the house I had lived in for 15 years. I got to keep 4 months worth of stored food, my cooking gear, my camping gear, a ‘mostly dead’ Dodge minivan (home) and an old $700 Toyota Corolla, and lived in a $40/week campground (which, by the way, was in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet) for 8 months, before moving into a ‘crack house’ building, owned by friends, who let me slide on the deposit.
It took 4 years to get a ‘real’ job again (not selling overpriced vacuum cleaners on commission, loading trucks, or building kitchen cabinets for minimum wage).
What I learned from the disaster:
- if you are at least somewhat prepared, you can probably survive the first month or so, that will ruin the unprepared quickly.
- if you are around ‘neighbors’, of any sort, (preferably the weekend sort), and you can cook food that makes them drool, 99x out 100, they will pay you for a plate-full.
- if you can create some sort of useful or showy handcraft items that the general population CAN’T create, you will get buyers, even in isolated conditions.
- When you get to the point that you feel like just putting a gun in your mouth, wait until noon the next day. You will most likely have changed your mind.