I started this blog for one main reason:
I love to write
I even contemplated studied journalism in college. I ended up going with biology and chemistry, but never lost my love for writing.
I found a way to write 20 years after I took my first college class. A bad day at work back in late 2012 gave birth to 1500 Days. I was 38 at the time and the thought of working for another 25 years was incredibly horrible. Mr. Money Mustache and JD Roth showed me it was OK to retire early, so I decided to document my journey to financial independence. This blog was born.
1500 Days has exceeded all of my expectations. Even with 2,000,000+ page views, I am still a very small fish in a very large ocean, but numbers weren’t my goal. Writing, learning and connecting with like minded people was what I set out to do and it’s been wonderful. My life has been enriched from the blog and I’m so thankful.
The blog has always been about money, but not about making money. I added Google ads and affiliate links to help pay for the hosting and my new computer, but had no expectations or goals. Then, a funny thing happened. The blog started to make money.
It wasn’t huge money. I don’t make $10,000 or even $5,000 per month, but more than I need to run this little site and buy me tacos every week. Great! I don’t believe in inherited wealth (sorry kids), so I’ll use the surplus to make the world a better place before and after I die.
Earlier this year, another unexpected thing happened. Some anonymous internet person, Nate, asked me if I wanted a side hustle publishing posts on his site. While I was thrilled about it, I was nervous too. I won’t compromise my principles, so I was worried about what kind of articles he would want me to write. I decided to try it out and see how it went.
Some of the articles on InvestmentZen are purely my ideas and others are not. The most recent one, How Much Should I Have Saved For Retirement At My Age, was one suggested by Nate.
Having someone give me a title and ask me to make a post out of it is something new. Most of my posts come from random ideas that pop into my head. I come up with a story and the title comes later. I wasn’t sure how if I could write anything worthwhile starting with a title.
It turned out that the article was a lot of fun to put together. It wasn’t something I would have come up with on my own, but I enjoyed the challenge of putting my own spin on an old idea. Fortunately, Nate is a good guy who gives me freedom. I’d have it no other way. Whether the article is decent, pure trash* or something in between isn’t for me to decide, but I hope that as a writer, I can always be flexible.
I’m glad the little freelance assignment has turned out well. Because…
Confession: I was completely clueless when I started the blog.
The underlying current of the blog is financial independence, but I had not even considered this question when I started:
What the hell are you going to do after you quit?
Somewhere along the way, I learned that retiring without a solid plan is a horrible idea. I need meaningful activity to feel content and fulfilled. I admit that it distressed me for at least a year. Then, I realized that the answer was right in front of me; the keyboard. I love writing, so why not keep going with bigger and better projects?
- I had an interview last week to write posts for another site. This gig has the potential to almost completely replace my software developer income while consuming less than 10 hours per week.
- I have another blog in the works. I expect it to launch later this year.
- I have a book that is mostly written. The words are in my head, so I have to put them into the computer, but that is the easy part.
Follow your Passion
Like 1500 Days, I have no monetary expectations for the new blog or book. I’m developing them them because the work makes me feel better at the end of the day.
I encourage you to find your passions in life and chase them down. If you love what you do, it will show. You do your best work when deep down, you truly care. Your spouse will notice your improved demeanor and you’ll sleep better at night. You’ll rise above and life will be better. If money follows, that’s great too. Be warned though; focusing on dollars may take you off course. Focus on what you love first.
Everything else will fall into place when you work hard at what you’re meant to do.
*Do you enjoy writing? Stephen King’s, On Writing is by far, the best thing I have read about becoming a better writer. King is mostly known for his horror novels, but don’t let that deter you. He breaks writing down into the basic building blocks and builds up from there. King is far more interesting than your 3rd grade English teacher. Check it out from your local library or click on my wonderful affiliate link to purchase.
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