Thursday, October 23, 2008

Musing rant

I've had an ongoing problem with payment from one of my mystery shopping companies--they're consistently late (and by late, I mean they don't pay me until I nag them HARD) and the amounts I'm expected to front are pretty high (this round, in the $200-300 range). But I like the shops (Peanut's favorite restaurant) so I keep doing them.

But when I was composing my latest nagging email to them this morning, quoting from their payment policy and copying over my meticulous records to prove my point, I got really stressed out. Sometimes, this is not worth it.

By that I mean, I keep doing things on the side--focus groups, mystery shopping, dance jobs--to bring in money. I'm afraid that my day job income isn't enough--that I'll never make enough money to not need these side gigs. I'm making almost $10,000 more per year than I was two years ago, and I managed to get by then. So when will it be enough?

I also sometimes wonder if I focused the energy I currently spend answering surveys and doing focus groups, maintaining the paperwork and doing the mystery shops, clipping coupons and comparing prices and reading personal finance blogs and adjusting budget categories--if I put all that energy towards my career, what would I achieve? How much could I start bringing in? How high could I get promoted? What awesome projects could I be working on?

The truth is, I'm afraid to put all my eggs in one basket. What if I got fired or laid off? What if I just got stuck moving up the ladder inch by inch, getting cost-of-living raises and the occasional bonus until I switch companies, which I really don't want to do? What if I couldn't do it?

Which is ridiculous. That's much less likely than that I would excel by focusing my energy on goals and things at work.

I need to work this out in my head.


  1. I think if you're having these questions, you might as well stick with what you're doing now. If you come up with a specific way in which you can shift your energy from the side stuff to your job, that should be your springboard for focusing more on your job. Until then, why get rid of options and opportunities you've been poking around in?

  2. i agree. its difficult to keep all your eggs in one basket especially since we're in such a volatile market. you never know when things could be pulled from underneath you. so far, it seems like you're on a fabulous financial track so don't try to overthink too much... :-)

  3. I'll tell you kiddo - life is short & if you calculate how much time you put into some of the surveys/mystery shopping/etc. -- is it really worth that much of your lifetime?
    I'm not talking about giving it all up ... but maybe you could be a bit choosy when doing your surveys, mystery shopping, etc.
    I think you know you should be focusing a bit more on your day gig.
    Go for it - if you put all that energy that you scatter all over the place towards your day gig ... you could smoke that ladder at least 3 or 4 rungs!!!
    Listen to your heart - you'll figure it out!!!
    God Bless you kiddo!!!


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