Being Yourself is Sexy

I started blogging way back on January 1st 2013. I didn’t have any expectations. I just knew that I enjoyed writing and thought that holding myself publicly accountable on my journey to financial independence would be fun.

My first big break came about four months later on Budgets are Sexy. My wife wrote about how we bought stock for our children to teach them about investing. The post generated loads of new readers for our site and we wanted to thank J. Money. We knew he’d be at a blogger conference we’d be attending, so we brought a couple six-packs of beer from a local brewery to give him. But there was one problem; I was looking for the wrong person.

I had remembered that J. Money got fired from his job and I assumed he was the guy in the picture from the post:

It turns out that he looks nothing like that:

At the conference, I finally figured out that J. Money was the tall, fit guy in the corner with the dangerous hair. To add to the intimidation, he was surrounded by a group of admirers. At some point, I summoned the courage to talk to him. And it was all good. J. Money was a smart, friendly and outgoing guy. Phew.

Doing What I Love

It took a long time for my blogging career to pick up steam. I didn’t have a 100,000 pageview month until my 39th month of blogging. That was OK though since blogging was always a passion project. And like I said, I had no expectations going into it. But then, good things started happening anyway.

Sometime in the fourth year of blogging, a random guy from the internet (Nate from InvestmentZen) asked me if I wanted to write for his site. I nearly lost it:

Holy crap! Someone actually wants me to write for them?

I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. I love to write and now I had my first official gig. This is equivalent to a normal person (I’m a weirdo) getting paid to watch TV. At a blogger conference in 2016, I picked up another job. Life was good, but it was about to get even better.

A couple of months ago, I received an email from J. Money:

we *may* be looking to bring on a writer too over at budgetsaresexy

This is how I felt inside:


I could hardly believe that the founder of one of the biggest personal finance blogs was asking me if I was interested in writing for his site.

When I pulled my jaw off the floor, I excitedly responded. I told him that I thought writing for him would be incredible.

Being Yourself is Sexy

My career as a blogger has exceeded all of my expectations. I’m thankful each and every day that I get to write. I’m thankful that others enjoy and even sometimes benefit from my words. It’s been great and awesome and remarkable. But there’s one more thing.

I’ve always felt like an awkward human. Sometimes, I have a hard time relating to others. I’ve spent too much of my life pretending to be who I thought others expected.

When I write though, it’s always been real. My writing is me. I’ve always put my silly personality out there for the world to see (this explains the dinosaurs and juvenile humor). My writing career is where it is today because I let who I am shine through.

Being yourself is right. Being yourself is good. Being yourself is sexy.

My first post as a Budgets are Sexy columnist is live now.

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

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51 Responses to Being Yourself is Sexy

  1. J. Money says:

    Haha, love it man. Exactly why I read your stuff and thought of you first for my blog. Being yourself is the core of blogging! And even better when yourself is entertaining!

  2. I’m excited for you buddy. Your writing style is informative and funny, which is obviously in demand. We talked plenty of times about how you’d stay busy in retirement. A blogging job wasn’t quite what I was expecting….but congratulations and you’ll do great. I personally think there is a lot of need in this world for the parent/kid posts. Hope you’re having a great week
    Income Surfer recently posted…Break From TradingMy Profile

    • “A blogging job wasn’t quite what I was expecting…”

      Ha ha, there is a lot more going on, but those Other Things will have to wait until the kids are back in school…

  3. Divnomics says:

    Really nice! I love reading your blog, so hopefully many others will read your columns at Budgets are Sexy with the same interest.

    Although being an anonymous blogger, meeting others in person was the best thing that blogging brought me. Luckily, there are a few excellent writers overseas that you can get to know just by reading their stuff. Keep on going!

  4. I lost my damn mind when J$ said you would be blogging regularly over at Budgets Are Sexy. I can’t WAIT to see what y’all come up with. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…The Picky Pincher June Budget ReportMy Profile

  5. Brian says:

    For about a year I thought the middle finger photo was J$ too. Doh! Looking forward to reading your Wednesday features at BA$! Good stuff.
    Brian recently posted…Debt Discipline FeedbackMy Profile

  6. Congrats on all your success! I always admire bloggers that can “make it big” and retain their blogging soul! 🙂

  7. Wow! I’m a fairly new reader, but congrats!

    I like your strange dinosaur humor because I have a strange sense of humor as well. I just started adding kind-of-silly comics to my posts because of your dinosaur comics.

    Keep it real. 🙂
    Mr. Freaky Frugal recently posted…Instant savings with discounted Gift CardsMy Profile

    • Thanks Mr. FF! The best part of blogging is you can let your true, crazy-ass self shine through! Since there are billions of people on the internet, your voice is bound to resonate with someone! 🙂

  8. I’m so excited to read more of your writing! I’ve been a fan for a long time! Congrats on the new journey, you’ve earned it!

  9. Awesome! Congrats. J Money is definitely true to himself and what makes your writing so good/entertaining/worth reading is that you let your true self shine through.

  10. BackNColo says:

    Just be careful of the Internet Retirement Police. IRP won’t like it if you start earning cash in early retirement.

    • Ha ha! They are partially right since I monetize. That’s never been the reason I write though. The first 3 years, I earned under $1,000 total.

  11. Nate says:

    “I had remembered that J. Money got fired from his job and I assumed he was the guy in the picture from the post”

    This cracked me up…I had a similar moment except I had seen the other picture before, so my thought was “man, this J guy sure looks different without the hawk and sunglasses!”

  12. Congrats on the new gig! I love your writing style and look forward to reading you on another site. Although I have to admit I’m missing my Thursday rants!

    • Thanks for the kind words. I actually have a rant almost ready to go! They are fun to write, but I’m happier, so my lack of them is a reflection of my state of mind. Life is good, even if the writing isn’t quite as fun! 🙂

  13. Mrs. BITA says:

    So. Very. Awesome.

    I also wanted to point out that you are doing now for other new bloggers (me! me!) what J$ did for you all those years ago. Being invited to guest post for your site was a BIG FUCKING DEAL for me, so nicely done on paying it forward.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…On the path to financial independence: June 2017My Profile

  14. Wade says:…grrr…


  15. Atta boy!

    Being yourself has paid off, just like our Moms always said it would. Persistence plays a role, too. I’m not willing to go so far as to say it makes you sexy.

    That would just be awkward.

    Cheers to the new gig!

  16. That’s exactly why I love you blog, because you are being yourself. All these dinosaurs and fart jokes are great reminder that I am reading a human being. Thanks a lot for that.

    And or course, congratulation on another great milestone in your blogging career.


  17. Mr. Tako says:

    Wow, that’s great Carl! Not everyone can be themselves and find success!

    Congrats on the new role. I hope you got a good enough break before starting work for ‘The Man’ again…. I hear that J$ guy is a real bear to work for! 😉

    Mr. Tako recently posted…June 2017 Dividend Income And ExpensesMy Profile

  18. Congrats. I look forward to reading your stuff now on two blogs. May the ideas flow freely.
    FullTimeFinance recently posted…Millennial Early Retirement Increase is ConcerningMy Profile

  19. Kyle says:

    Big Leagues now. Shine up that Honda, it’s time to ride in Style 😀

  20. Wait a minute. Who’s the middle finger guy? Now I’m on a quest to find him.
    Congrats! You deserve it. I’m excited to see what y’all come up with next on BudgetsAreSexy.
    Just make sure you park your car someplace prominent so everyone knows who the new star blogger is when you drive into the BudgetsAreSexy parking lot. 😉

    Tom @ HIP

    • Middle Finger Guy! We should start a campaign to find him! Or make him into a meme!

      You know, I don’t even get my own parking spot at BAS HQ. I didn’t get invited to the party at the BAS penthouse either. Sigh…

  21. John Pedroza says:

    You definitely have grown in readership. Congrats!

  22. Mr. TYMP says:

    Found him! . Looks like his blog is not up [anymore] but the URL from JM’s post points to his flickr.

    Anyway, sounds like you figured out the formula:
    great writing + fun + persistence = success

    Kudos and congrats
    Mr. TYMP recently posted…High School Personal Finance Lessons You Should Be GettingMy Profile

  23. Jason says:

    Congratulations. You might become busier than when you “working.”

  24. Doppleganger Wayne says:

    I had faith in you from the first blog. Write for yourself! As I make photographs for myself.

  25. Oldster says:

    Congrats! I look forward to reading more of you across the financial blogosphere!

  26. wendy says:

    Congrats on the new blog gig!
    It’s great that you let your ‘real’ self out whilst blogging – we only have one trip on this big blue marble, so you may as well make it an authentic one that you can love & be proud of – dinosaurs, fart jokes, and all!
    This way, when people do meet you IRL, they will come bearing dinosaurs (and beer)

  27. Team CF says:

    You rock mate!
    Team CF recently posted…June 2017 Dividend UpdateMy Profile

  28. Fantastic news Mr 1500!

    You’ll be presenting your own frugality/investing TV show before you know it 🙂

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