Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Unemployed and Spinning My Wheels

I received this e-mail today after updating my Retirement Quotes Website:

    Subject: Spinning My Wheels

    Dear Ernie,

    Hello from Florida!

    I discovered your great book - The Joy of Not Working - just a few weeks ago. What you have written has been encouragement to my heart.

    I am unemployed. After 18 years with a company, I resigned after enduring a mandated 24x7 on call (no rotation or compensation time provided) during the past two years; I felt like I was being leased out to my family - exploited. I stressed and simply "burned out". I am 51. My father-in-law took my aside and let me know what a "dumb ass" thing I had done - leaving a job without having another one to go to. I let him know - with tears in my eyes - that if I could have hung in there any longer - I would have. I had been looking for other work, but nothing opened up. This was in the corporate IT infrastructure department. Surprisingly, the unemployment office accepted my reason; they did not receive any feedback from my ex-employer. TODAY I received a letter than my employer is appealing - so I have to participate in a telephone hearing on June 16th to try to continue receiving benefits. If not in my favor, they would attempt to recover the benefits received thus far (about $1000). What a mess. I just feel like crying. I am married and two of my sons Paul (16) and Joseph (19) are here with us at home.

    I've been applying for work every day (and night); seriously considering self employment rather than continuing to wait in hopes someone will hire me. Rather make something happen, than wait for someone to maybe, maybe, please, please consider hiring me. I do not want to return to the corporate cube farm. I don't want to react/panic to my present situation and return to the same personal hell I had to leave.

    I have a blog:

    Nothing fancy. I've tried to monetize. No big hits. I love to write (some people have expressed enjoying my writings) and also to be of service to others. (I'm even taking a two week Certified Nursing Assistant prep course to see if something will open up!)

    Please pardon my rambling ... I know you have been there and have received many messages from people just like me. I guess I really needed to reach out to someone who understands.

    I enjoy visiting your site and always learn something there or on your facebook post.

    I really DO want to follow in your footsteps and experience the Joy of NOT Working. I just feel stuck, spinning my wheels.

    God Bless and all the best!

    W. B.
This was my reply:

    Hello W.B.:

    First, I sympathize with your situation as being unemployed can be distressing.

    I realize that there are many Americans and Canadians in your situation today.

    I can't offer any work to you as I work by myself and usually outsource specific projects such as webdesign on

    Regarding self-employment, this is not easy but it can be a great way to make a living for the right people.

    But this takes committment and a willingness to live a simple lifestyle for a year to 5 or 10 years - although some people can start making money fairly quickly, particularly on the Internet.

    You mention that you started a blog on Facebook and tried to monetize it.

    In my opinion, a Facebook blog is not the way to make money.

    According to the experts, Wordpress is the best way to start a blog.

    There is still as much opportunity - probably more - today as there has ever been to make money on the Internet.

    In fact, I am just starting and my goal is to make over one million dollars in the next few years.

    But as John Reese, an Internet millionaire, says, "Your goal should first be to make one dollar, then $100, then $500 and so on." The problem with 98 percent of the people is they want to make a lot of money instantly and are not prepared to put in the required effort.

    I will send you some e-books on Internet Marketing and writing.

    Below is an e-mail that I recently got from a woman and my response to her.

    Some of my advice may be helpful to you if you are considering being a writer and self-publishing.

        Hello Helen:

          First regarding self-publishing, I don't care about the stigma. Most of the people who run down self-publishing are unsuccessful writers who think of themselves as being so cool. But most of them are losers who are broke. I would rather be nerdy and rich than cool and broke.

          Remember that my retirement book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is self-published. This book has already sold over 120,000 copies and has been published in 8 foreign languages since it was released. The book has made over $400,000 in pretax profits for me.

          Conduct a search for "retirement" or "retire" on and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free appears in the number 1 position. Better still, search for "retirement book" in Google and the Amazon page for How to Retire Happy appears in the number 1 spot — out of over 29 million webpages!

          So why does my self-published book beat out all the other retirement books, including retirement books by AARP, the Wall Street Journal, and Ten Speed Press's What Color Is Your Parachute for Retirement? The answer is that my self-published book is better than all the other retirement books done by the major publishers. Results don't lie.

          I intend to sell 500,000 copies of this book and I sure wouldn't be able to do this with the thinking patterns, beliefs, and behaviors of the "cool" writers who run down self-publishing.

          Interestingly, I just read an article by some expert who claimed that in the near future the major publishers may be eliminated from the chain because authors will deal with the online retailers directly, particularly for e-books.

          If you want to pursue self-publishing, check out these articles.

          In the first article, pay particular attention to my comment in the comments section. My comment is the first one.

          You bring up the issue of e-books. At this time, I not a big fan of e-books. If you check out the competition for my How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, most retirement books are on Kindle and in many other e-book formats.

          The only e-book format that you find for my retirement book is a PDF format of half the book that I give away for free.

          I don't think that there are great profit margins in e-books right now.

          I just came across an article the other day saying that the top 14 best-selling books for the Kindle on Amazon were the ones that were for free.

          Having said that, if you want to put any of your books in e-book format, check out Smashwords at

          Smashwords will put your books in all e-book formats including Kindle and you will even get more in Amazon royalties by going through Smashwords than going directly to

          I will forward an e-mail that I just sent to a woman who asked me about the opportunities for writing in this day and age.

        So long for now,

        Ernie J. Zelinski
        The Creativity Guy Too Prosperous to Do Mornings
        Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Content Creator for Retirement Resources
        Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
        (Over 120,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
        and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
        (Over 240,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

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