All of my life I have wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I was a kid I remember going to a thrift shop where I would buy books for a nickle and then sell them to a book store in the same plaza for fifty cents. I have always been fascinated with buying products at a discount and then being able to resell them for a profit. In 2009, I opened an Ebay store and sold about $40,000 worth of items. It was a lot of work and I didn’t enjoy it as much, there was something missing…passion.
I wasn’t passionate about selling small electronics on Ebay. I knew that if I wanted to be truly successful, I needed to create a business doing something that I loved. In 2010 I started to realize that I had a knack for personal finance and started the Well Kept Wallet blog. The goal wasn’t to make a business out of it, but to just help people with their finances. I began to share stories of what we did to get out of debt and helpful tips related to managing money well. A few months after starting the blog, I also started a career as a Financial Planner for one of the best firms around. I knew that if I didn’t go the entrepreneur route that I wanted to work for a place where I could use my talents and abilities in a field that I enjoyed. The firm was great and the people were like family, however, there was still something missing. What was it?
Have you ever been torn between two really good things? Where you want one almost as much as the other? Well, that is how I felt when it came to my career. I wanted to continue to work for that company and potentially work my way up the ranks in management but I also wanted to be an entrepreneur. In May of 2012, I had asked my employer if it would be OK to monetize my blog to cover the costs of maintaining it and they approved my request. You see, I worked for a firm that was regulated by the SEC and everything that I did that could be a risk to the company I had to get approved through their compliance department.
Well, I didn’t make much money at first, however, I was motivated to start writing more content so that I would attract more readers. I also joined a community called Yakezie, which is a group of personal finance bloggers who help each other become successful by promoting each others blogs. I started to learn from other successful bloggers and implemented their strategies to make mine better. I also came across a blogger named Pat Flynn who I refer to as my Roger Bannister. Some of you may be wondering, who is Roger Bannister? In the 1952 Olympics, Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. What is even more interesting than that is that within one year 30 people broke Roger Bannister’s record. It is as though people had been instilled with belief, if Bannister could run a 4 minute mile why couldn’t they as well.
Why is Pat Flynn my Roger Bannister?
Because in late 2012 I came across his income reports page on his Smart Passive Income blog. I noticed that he had been blogging for a while so I decided to scroll down to his first report to see how much he made from his online business. For the month of October in 2008, he made $7,906.55! Now, when I saw that it was like watching Roger Bannister cross the finish line under 4 minutes. Something clicked in my head that this is possible.
I came to a crossroads where I had to make a decision, do I keep working or do I take the leap to work on Well Kept Wallet full-time? I had been working as a Financial Planner for almost 3 years. However, I had also been growing my website on the side at the same time. I would come home at nights and respond to emails, reply to questions, fix errors on the site . Then I would wake up and write posts, communicate with readers on social media, then get ready to go to work. I found it difficult to balance both.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from a producer in New York City who asked if Kim and I would be interested in flying out to do an interview on Fox and Friends, the morning show on Fox News. Up to this point I had been interviewed by the US News & World Report, Fox 10 News, and AZ Family Channel 3. It dawned on me, that if this many news outlets thought that our story was worthwhile, then perhaps the time had come for me to pursue my dream of helping others have the financial success that we did.
On Friday 2/15/2013 my dream of becoming an entrepreneur became a reality. I took the leap to grow my business full time and so far, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.