Monday, April 13, 2020

Social Distancing While Self Employed

It's not new information that social distancing is affecting us all. So many people are out of work (for the time being, at least). That includes many self-employed persons, such as myself. While I can still write from my home like nothing has changed, I am still affected in the capacity that with PR firms and business and manufacturing centers being shut down, there are no products to send or no one there to send them.

I am trying to work on other things when I can, but things are hard all around. Of course, there are other self employed people who are even more severely impacted. There are individuals that have had to shut down completely, in some cases leaving them without any income at all. Not only that, but some still have expenses to pay for the business that they cannot even use at the moment. Things like rent, utilities, maintenance, security systems, ect.

For some, this loss of income is could be crippling. It's always hard to stay afloat when you fall on hard times, but when, as a country, and a nation, we are all on hard times, it can be nearly impossible. Some of the support systems we could otherwise rely on have also been shut down. We can just have a garage sale, or babysit or be a handyman for hire.

Not being able to be close to people affects us more than just socially, that's for sure. And as much as it's disheartening to have usual safety nets go by the wayside, I feel a slight cause for hope in the fact that there are still some ways to stay afloat.

While taking out a loan can maybe seem like a cold, impersonal way to keep your head above water during this turbulent time, it is obviously way better than the alternative. And, really, it's not so bad. I've looked into self employed loans pretty thoroughly. There are many options available, and interest rates are not terrible at the moment.

The most important thing is to not give up mentally. Don't let your drive or your spirit be hindered by these hardships. From the ashes we will rise. We will overcome, we will be wiser and stronger. We will skip "normal" and move on to bigger and better and more beautiful things. And for now, all we have to do is make it. Get through. Have hope. Be hope.

Another thing you can do, if you have the means, is support self employed people and small businesses. If you have local restaurants open and you're buying takeout anyway, choose local. If you're buying/sending gifts for anything, check out Etsy or other small businesses online. Even if you can't help financially, you can always support small business by sharing links or recommending them in (social distanced phone/text/email) conversations.

Support is priceless right now. It costs nothing to care about others and to life people up. We are all in this together (but at least 6 feet apart.) Be kind, stay safe.

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