A Story About Post-COVID Economic Reactivation | Eje Cafetero Region of Colombia
My dreams crumbled on March 13th, 2020 when we went into the first lockdown here in Colombia, where a euphemistic can was kicked down the road until the end of August 2020, when the "Economic Reactivation" phase began.
Paragliding in Apia, Risaralda, said to be the most beautiful flight in Colombia. Apia is located in the heart of the Coffee Axis near Pereira.
As Christmas looms the canny entrepreneur community has been hard at work within the political paradigm of "Biosecurity Protocols" for an unseen enemy where the only reminder of its existence is a mask across our faces blotting out our emotional responses and sense of familiarity with others.
New businesses are opening, old ones are finishing their remodels, and everywhere people have been broken into two segments.
One is staying home, working from home, wearing double masks, LIVE chat friend meet-ups, keeping an obedient social distance and waiting patiently for the government to save them. Some of these are retirees or people who are fortunate enough to be able to simply withdraw from life.
In Manizales, during September, there was an antifa style protest that culminated in a police station being attacked and burned out. In a show of solidarity and pushing for reactivation, the bar and nightclub owners of the area pitched in and rebuilt it the following week.
The other, is out with or without masks, living their lives in a desperate attempt to make up for time lost in quarantine, bending every rule in the book to stay afloat, making new plans for their lives, and working night and day whether it sees profits now or later.
Falling into the second segment, I have been working really hard to rebuild something I can be proud of from the ashes of my Pre-Covid dreams. Part of me is still screaming no, and asking why we are all living this alternate reality. Cognitive Dissonance is a real thing, and we ALL are suffering from it. Which is where my story of economic reactivation begins.
Finding my Focus
By May after the Covid thing started, I was hustling up "travel letters" for the Papers Please types, and doing my best to work and earn any way I could. Literally, the only thing that sustained me in Colombia during the lockdown, was teaching English, and The Diary Game on @Steemitblog. Unfortunately, the massive drop in Steemit value also cost me almost half of the $400 USD I had accumulated. Diversify, diversify, diversify. It will be awhile before I leave too much value on the platform.
It has taken me a lot of time and effort to really find my focus. Only recently am I starting to feel a little more "on track." Hopefully my sense of urgency will help keep me from procrastinating as I begin to write goals and run marketing. The focus I landed on, is to focus a bit more into my English teaching and really keep it high quality, exclusive and only for people who are really serious about their studies.
Living Between The Lines
Since I am more of a guerrilla marketer and independent informal type of entrepreneur, also called the "economia naranja" and given a certain measure of rights and liberty here in Colombia, I do avoid government carrot-sticks. The plan has always been to go "on the books," if/when my entrepreneur activities succeed or the incentive is high enough. Since that hasn't happened yet, it also means I really didn't lose too much when the COVID thing did start, nothing like the brick-and-mortar businesses which have suffered severe cutbacks and profit losses.
Yet, it has been fascinating to see the new ideas and innovations that HAVE come out the other end. Humanity as a whole is fighting for survival and it is driving creativity here in Colombia. If we are allowed to continue, I think recovery is imminent. Even if they do try to do another lockdown, word on the street is that they don't have the economic strength to fund the jackbooted thuggery required to suppress civil unrest.
My perspective is that life was meant to be lived completely or not at all. But, I think it is the same sensation of being diagnosed with cancer and choosing between Chemotherapy, and just letting it run its course. On the other hand, thousands of people who have changed their lifestyles and eating habits survived cancer after choosing not to do chemo. This is the choice we all face. Chemo and facemarks aren't for me, but healthy lifestyles and hard work ARE.
Balancing My Life Between Cryptos and Local Currency
Teaching English is going well. With a few more students I could be paying bills and replacing a few things. New clients in the other city are also coming online for projects related to my journalism/websites. The point isn't to go into a great amount of detail about my career and services, but to shine the light on the fact that economic reactivation has been successful yet, we can't forget about cryptocurrency income and investments either.
Now, I have hit the point where I need to balance my life between cryptos and local currency. Many of us are working in our normal lives now, but we are forgetting that big problems still loom on the horizon. There is no question in our minds that this will be a weak Christmas shopping season. On the other hand, it might be stronger than ever, as people begin to worry about the next lockdown and the breaking down of supply chains due to the COVIDs.
Did I mention that the Coffee Region of Colombia is crazy beautiful? All the more reason to keep my earnings as digital as possible, I have places I need to visit, pronto!
Our struggles are just beginning, and cryptocurrencies are more important to be in now more than ever. I fully plan to maintain a balance between fiat/regular currency and crypto investments. To see Bitcoin at $15,000 USD is a tremendous gain, and some are saying it is only the beginning. Which also means I will be trying to interact more with @project.hope members so I can begin to sink my teeth into investing and begin to educate myself.
I'm not gonna lie and say that STEEM is perfect, or really recommend it too much. This is a difficult platform to understand, but I AM seeing some really interesting conversations - like this one: https://steemit.com/hive-139293/@steemingcurators/change-curation-reward-system-on-steem-blockchain-discussion
But, the crux of the matter came by way of a comment from @crypto.piotr on the same post:
To sum it all up, Steemit does have value, but there are still issues that keep it low. Bidbots run by people who game the system will always exist, but it impacts overall STEEM value.
Yet, on a positive note, participation is up worldwide, and there are a LOT of people creating really good content on this platform like never before. In some places people are paying their bills, using it as a vehicle for survival. Will they call us visionaries one day? But, don't store all your eggs in one basket.
For those who invest the time in groups like this one, and treat the platform like a long term investment model, not an instant payout, believe me, you will eventually see fruits for your labor. Steemit is a great way to generate new audiences in different places that what you might normally come in contact with. I have noticed that steem articles also tend to rank well on Google, and can might even help to increase your own domain authority when you link to your personal websites/blogs.
Going forward, the time is now, cryptocurrency is thriving - and if all you have to run on is hot air, get on STEEMIT.com so you can at the very least create something that may come in handy one day.
To learn the entire story about how I began to create capital on Steemit, read the following post: https://steemit.com/hive-175254/@openmindedtravel/my-experience-creating-capital-on-steemit-or-cryptocurrency-lifestyle
Considering a life abroad? Have you heard about Colombia? Learn more about my experiences as a foreign resident in Colombia for what will be 8 years in February of 2021. Read my personal blog here: https://openmindedtraveler.com