I am sort of getting tired of answering questions about my employment that I get from haters every day. Here is a statement on the matter from another site a while back.
I live off a trust fund, and I also work as a therapist. I make some money writing and I do a few other things like brokering deals between consultants and clients, things like that. The reason I do not work is due to health. I am not in good enough health to work. Otherwise I have been working or in school my whole life. My last job title was Linguist/Cultural Anthropologist.
I do not use any government programs, so I am mystified at people always saying I am on welfare or collect a government check. I have no idea where they came up with that idea.
Here are my income sources in the last year or so:
Trust fund. Had $700,000 at the start, but now it is a lot less. It is a spendthrift trust, so I am locked out of it. They have always given me right around a poverty level wage only because my grandfather wanted me to survive but he also wanted to force me to work, so he made it small enough so I could survive but would not live comfortably. The idea was to force me to work because he did not want me kicking back my whole life as a trust fund kid. It was made spendthrift because he figured that if I had control over it, I would blow through the thing in a few years as I was a bit of a spendthrift, party boy and playboy as a young man.
Counseling. Peer counselor. I focus mostly on one condition, a DSM anxiety disorder, which, frankly, I am an expert on. I work with clients all over the world, mostly in the US but also in Chile, El Salvador, Canada, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. I also work with problems in living, deep stuff (exploring your deep self or childhood issues) and growth stuff (learning how to grow to become a better and more functional human being).
People often break down in tears and start crying right in the middle of sessions. Happens all the time. I deal with suicidal people all the time. In fact, I lost one client to suicide already. I have had clients who were attempting suicide while I was working with them. It can be hard to deal with. I have no degrees, credentials or licenses in this field, but in California, you do not need one. Just hang out your shingle and call yourself “Counselor” and say come talk to me about your problems. I do not get a lot of business, but I do get some. Considering that I lack all of the things you usually need to do this work, I am amazed that I get any work at all.
I read a lot of books on this subject and I have been studying psychology for 40 years. I had decades of therapy. I read up on counseling psychology and mental illness all the time so I am pretty much self-taught. You would be amazed how many jobs you can do simply by teaching yourself how to do them. It’s a myth that you need degrees, credentials,. etc. to do this or that job. Just teach yourself.
The longer I do this, the better I get at it. It is a stressful job though. I do one 1 hour session and I feel like I just ran a mile. I sometimes have to go lie down. The clients are in so much psychic pain that it seems to leak out of them and into my body. If you are empathetic at all this is going to happen.
Brokering deals between graphic artists and clients. I put the clients and artists together, negotiate prices, etc. and then take a cut for myself.
Conflict resolution/arbitration. In cases of graphic artists and clients where they have come to a standstill and nothing is getting done. An example: client has spent $~1,000 and is not satisfied with the product. Artist has stopped speaking to the client or returning his phone calls or emails. Client sent work back for endless revisions, and eventually the artist just had it. I wade in there, talk to both sides, figure out the nature of the dispute and try to settle the matter so that everyone is happy. I am actually quite good at this.
Webpage design/graphics. Mostly graphics. Working with graphics for people who need websites done. Work with graphic artists.
Graphics editor for books. I was recently a graphics editor for a book. I was in charge of maps. I worked with a graphic artist and told him what to label the areas and where to shade in the areas we needed to shade in. We used a lot of sources, all of which were wrong. It was a great big mess, but it was fun to put together the jigsaw puzzle.
Webpage design consulting. Consult with webpage designers who are having problems with their pages to fix their issues.
Selling information. As crazy as it sounds, I have actually made money doing that. I have some pretty much secret information about a few things that a lot of people want but few people have access to. An example would be a geographical location of an unusual place that a lot of people want to get to, but the location is a closely guarded secret. So I ell directions to this location and then work with them afterwards to help them reach the site, etc. Yes, you can actually sell information! Isn’t that crazy?
Medical counseling. Work with heterosexual men who are worried that they have contracted HIV from sexual contact with women. I am an expert on this type of transmission and have been studying it for over 30 years now. I know more about it than most physicians.
They tell me the situation, and I lay out the odds that they may have contracted the disease based on their situation. I also tell them how HIV is acquired from women and tell them about the various surveys that have been done. I also have a lot of percentages, facts and figures about this type of transmission, like say 1% chance after 40 encounters. I tell them about all the different types of testing, the accuracy, etc. Then I follow them through any tests that they need to take in the next few months. And if they have anxiety or obsessive issues about possibly contracting this illness, I work with them on that, as I am very good at calming down or talking down people who are in the midst of anxiety episodes. I do it all the time.
Author. Just published my first book, or chapter in a book I should say. It is an 80 page chapter. I am supposed to be paid for this at some point. Book was published in Turkey in a university press. Took me 500 hours or three months work at part time. I worked with professors from all over the world on this project. I also had to go through two rather brutal peer reviews. I also came up with the name for this book series, but I was not paid for that.
Sell advertisements. I have made a bit of money selling ads on this site, but honestly it has been very little.
That’s it. I am always looking for new ways to get money though. I wake up every morning and think, “How am I going to get some money today?”
I became ill 21 years ago and have not worked at a regular job since. If I did not have the trust, I would try for Disability. Before I got ill, I was always either working or in college or both. There was never a time when I was doing neither.
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