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Bob Collier
May 2, 2007, 12:02 PM
I have an unusual situation that needs to be resolved and I'm hoping somebody here might be able to help me with it. Especially if you know people in Australia.

Okay, this is it.

I'm a stay-at-home dad. That's been my primary occupation for 18 of the past 21 years.

I haven't had an earned income since I quit my last 'real job' in 1998. I've never earned more than $14,000 in any one year ever. I've never owned a car. I've never had a credit card.

For all my adult life, I've been either broke or in low paying jobs. I have money 'issues'. In my head. From the 'proud to be poor' culture I grew up in. I had it trained into me when I was a child that I would never have any money and the training is still there. I'm working on it. But that's not really what I want to talk about right now.

The thing is, I'm doing creative stuff that I could turn into something commercial, but I'm totally clueless about business. Since I was never going to have any money, what was the point of learning any of that stuff? I have a big lump of cotton wool in my mind as far as business is concerned. It's an alien culture. I have a whole library of business and marketing information, etc, on my hard drive and it just goes over my head.

My major problem right now, though, as far as that's concerned, is my reference group.

My wife of more than 30 years has, I think, given up on me ever getting my head around anything that makes money. Everybody I know knows that I never have any money. Nobody expects me to change.

I'm finding it really hard to make changes in that atmosphere.

What I need is a more supportive reference group to help me out. Not that I want to trade in any of the people currently in my life, of course, but what I would love is to have some means of socialising with like minds when I need to. Not something formal like a business club - I'd just be in amongst people talking about things I don't understand and feeling like a dill. Not really a group of high powered entrepreneurs, either. I'm not a high powered person. Something informal. But the kind of people who are interested in the kinds of things the people here are interested in.

That's why I'm fishing here for ideas. I'm not sure what it is I'm looking for and I'm hoping somebody with a wider knowledge of these things might have a suggestion. I have had a scout around locally and online but didn't find anything that looked the part. I guess what I mean is some way of connecting with people here in Australia who are on my wavelength as far as my interests are concerned but I won't be uncomfortable with them because I know nothing about business. Doesn't have to be actually here in Canberra, face to face, although that would be excellent.

Anyway, I'm not sure I've explained my predicament that well, but if anybody has an idea or suggestion, I'll be glad of it.



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