Reality Check!: If Celebrities Are Taking Smaller Checks, Don’t Think You Won’t Have To Either!


I have to be honest. I think I have amazing foresight on many things. I pay strong attention to detail and really try my best to look at everything before making decisions and/or giving my opinions. For example, when I used to work for one of the world’s largest apparel companies, I was one of the first to realize that it was going to be sold. Even my managers appeared naive enough to believe that they would never be sold. I believe one of their comments were, “Oh don’t be ridiculous! They’d never sell their parent company! It’s what the corporation was founded on.”

Fast forward a few years, and that parent company was indeed sold. Why did I know this already. Well when your company is one of multiple coalitions and the only one to not make a profit…well, you know that shareholders aren’t going to take too kind to the idea that there’s deadweight at the back of the cart.

Then I predicted we were going to see another depression and things were going to be detrimental for the small town that I grew up in. I even warned friends that if they had an opportunity to move to another city, where the opportunities were more plentiful, to take it. Many of the people of that small town said things like…”I think we’re fine. We’ve got timber and manufacturing”. Fast forward a couple of years, some of those top executives decided to “finally retire” or take long-term contracts to foreign countries. And so, our town was left at a 22% unemployment rate, as a result of housing crisis (for which we depended on the timber business) and manufacturing was sold to another company and they decided to close nearly all aspects of the business done in Alabama and Georgia.

So, my last piece of foresight comes in the present. It’s the whole notion that we will be able to live as we once did a few years ago. Our high expectations are such that people are still in denial about the salaries and pay increases they can expect to make over the next few years.  The fact is that if you don’t have a job, you will have to get creative to find one. Starting a small business is probably going to be the only way to get an opportunity. Or many who were in the private sector, will most likely have to consider non-profit organizations, which are known to pay substantially smaller salaries.

Well, why should you have to pay for a smaller salary, when my lifestyle is used to a certain amount. Let’s look at this for a moment…it’s a given that the entertainment business is one of the most lucrative businesses at them moment. And yet, if you pay attention, you will notice some of the largest big screen actors, succumbing to opportunities where they will work longer hours and work weeks for less pay. Don’t believe it. CSI now has Laurence Fishbourne, known for his work in famous motion pictures like, Akeelah and the Bee, The Color Purple, and The Matrix Sagas.

Chris O’Donnell known for doing a couple of The Batman movies and The Proposal is now a regular on NCIS: Los Angeles. Even actors who I’m sure thought they’d shed their daytime soap opera roots are returning to daytime television, as a way to make money. I even see formerly Hardcore rappers popping up on soap operas. And more and more known actors are seeking other opportunities that they would have otherwise passed over, had the economy not been so depressed right now.

What I will say is this, the days of sitting and waiting on that golden opportunity to come along have long passed. So are the days of living above your means. B/c if and when you do, you realize that your life isn’t really worth living. I am amazed at the number of people I know who were living well above their means and are requesting for raises when they know they barely have enough money to pay their lowest paid employee. People are going to have to really take a hard look at what’s a need v/s a want. Buying houses with both formal dining and living rooms are going to be a thing of the past too. Especially, since energy bills are increasing overwhelmingly every month.

The bottom line is this. Be willing to entertain all offers. Adjust your lifestyle to fit your means. Try to reduce the amount of debt you’re incurring, by ridding yourself of unnecessary things. I actually reduced our cable to the lowest possible plan they had available. And I scaled back my internet to the lowest broadband width possible without having to return to dial-up. You’d be surprised at how much less stress you’ll have. Find alternative solutions to keep entertainment in check. Can’t quit eating out cold turkey? Find a less expensive alternative to what you’re used to. Or consider entertaining in your home, by getting your friends together for a weekly potluck gathering, alternating homes. It will provide a source of entertainment, as well as keep you from having to eat at home everyday. And lastly look for free events or deeply discounted events.

It’s not a difficult thing to do, once you realize it’s necessary. It will do wonders for your life, as many things in this world we think we need. But honestly, without them we are more fulfilled. I felt that way about pork once. And after a few weeks without it, I rarely think about it. And it’s been a big save on my grocery bill too!

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