Small World

Four months ago, I quit my day job. I had been working full-time at a sign shop, doing graphic design. I spent nearly five years there before I finally threw in the towel.

I had plenty of reasons for leaving. As you might expect, most of them centered around not wanting to be there anymore. But the strongest pull away from that job was a pull toward something. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to make something new. I wanted to stop tailoring my creativity to the desires of my customers, coworkers, and bosses. I wanted only my voice in my head as I worked.

Even at the time, it felt like a pipe dream. It felt silly to walk away from the security of a paying job and plunge into the unknown with no guarantees. Irresponsible, even.

My goal was to make money writing. Four months into this, I don’t feel any closer to that goal. Maybe I haven’t been working hard enough. Maybe I haven’t been working smart enough. Maybe I’ve been too distracted by other tasks, like household chores, and Kijiji sales, and planning our move. Maybe I’ve been inviting these very distractions so I’ll have something to point to when I fail.

I feel like I’ve failed already. Continue reading “Small World”

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#YEG – Introvert Yard Sale

Kate and I are embarking on a cross-country move later this year. In preparation for this dramatic life change, we’ve been sorting through our belongings and deciding what to keep and what to lose.

We have quite a few items that we’re happy to part with, and we could always use a little extra cash. Having a yard sale seems like a no-brainer, but as hardcore introverts, we’ve both always found the notion pretty unappealing. Sitting out in the sun, forcing conversation with strangers as they judge our stuff? No thanks.

Luckily, we’re living in the Internet age. Kijiji to the rescue!

(For our International readers: Kijiji is basically Canadian Craigslist. Not to be confused with Actual Canadian Craigslist.)

Kijiji is built for introverts, for a few reasons. First, the bulk of the communication happens over email and text (as opposed to face-to-face). Second, you create the ads, which means you’re in control of what people see. If you add enough photos and description details up front, you can avoid prolonged Q & A sessions with prospective buyers. Third, if someone wants to haggle over price, you can either make a counter offer or stand firm at your original price, all safely behind the curtain of the computer screen. (This is definitely preferable to collapsing under the stress of interpersonal contact and letting them set whatever price they want just so the awkwardness can be over.)

We live in Edmonton, a city of nearly 900,000 people, so our ads are reaching a large pool of people. Within the month of July, I’ve managed to sell fifteen items.  I have plenty of stuff left to sell, but I’m not worried. With every successful sale, I get better at this process. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way: Continue reading “#YEG – Introvert Yard Sale”