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I Almost Ended Up Living in My Car

How I Learned to Thrive

I almost ended up living in my car. Or a van down by the river. It was during the recession of 2008, and I was living in California. It was already hard on my small income and my husband’s. I had one son living with me at the time, and a dog and two cats

I remember Friday afternoon I was called into the HR office at the end of the day. Never a good thing. I found out my hours were cut drastically. I wouldn’t be earning enough for my share of HALF of the rent. There were no other jobs, so I was lucky to have just my hours cut. I didn’t trust that this situation would be temporary. I knew I was one paycheck away from living in my car.

I didn’t know at the time that my husband was not in our relationship as a partner.

He was in the marriage, just like life, to take whatever he could. He took money, time, joy whatever he wanted. He made a big deal out of how he paid half the bills like he was doing me a favor.

At the time, he went through money — which I found out later was because he was gambling. He was slick, and his lies were so well crafted he fooled everyone.

My determination, survival skills and the momma bear instincts kicked in, I did whatever I could do to earn money — legally. There was one thing I loved to do and had already been doing on the side. Pet sitting.

I took that love for pet sitting and started a business. It cost me NOTHING to start. I leaned HTML and created fabulous Craigslist ads. I had a free website.

I began to get clients.

They loved how I took great care of their pets and started to refer me to friends.

I fed chickens, gave medication to sick animals, cleaned up messes, walked dogs, and had a lot of overnight stays. Somedays, I never saw another human.

As I was building this business, it became clear to me that I was stronger than I thought.

I had skills and could learn new ones.

I knew how to create a business from nothing and get so many customers — I had to build a team. I had to do all this with a son in high school, a husband who basically checked out, and pets of my own. Did I mention have ADD and Dyslexia?

I learned that I am a forced to be reckoned with. Badass.

These are the things I teach my clients - be resilient, be consistent, be focused on what you want.

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