Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Show me the money!

I was very busy living the high life with my private trainer and masseuse, gourmet meals delivered to my door, beautiful flawless skin and teeth so white they practically glowed in the dark. The problem was I worked on all these accounts for trade, not money, and I could barely pay my rent and living expenses on the meager amount I had saved. My main worry was having enough money to buy dog food for my pound mutt Blondie. If I didn't get some cash flow going soon, I was terrified I would end up homeless. What did it matter that I was living this fancy lifestyle if I was on the brink of homelessness?
I stood in front of my refrigerator and saw the gourmet meals delivered by one of my clients beautifully packaged. Each day, I received breakfast, lunch and dinner. In return, I wrote press releases and attempted to get editorial coverage of my client in newspapers, magazines and interviews on television and radio. 
There's a saying in the industry that goes like this: advertising you pay for, public relations you pray for.  My prayers for media coverage were answered as my clients received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of second hand endorsements without spending their hard earned cash. I had to look at the fact that it was me who agreed to these trade arrangements without considering the reality that I couldn't without hard earned cash of my own. I didn’t have any milk, there was no bread to make a simple sandwich and forget about cereal, my cupboards were bare. To top it off, rent was due and that would take most of my unemployment.
I called my old friend Mary for help. Reaching out to anyone was difficult but Mary was not judgmental and I felt I could tell her anything. Plus, I desperately needed to talk to someone about my crazy life.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” I cried. She was living pay check to pay check herself but the next morning I woke to find to a care package from her at my front door. She even thought to include tampons for me and of course, food for Blondie. I was too ashamed to tell my new friend Berry Berenson Perkins the truth about my situation. It seemed like everyone she knew asked her for money. I did not want to be in that friendship category with her. 

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