Is a blog a good investment? This may be a question you’ve asked yourself. So here’s a story that may help you understand why your blog is a good investment and how the struggle with imposter syndrome can affect your mindset.
In the past couple of months, I have spent over $1,000 on myself. Actually, not on myself but on this blog. I enrolled in a blogging course, registered for FinCon 2019 (a financial media conference), I paid for lodging and transportation to said conference and purchased business cards through Etsy. That financial investment doesn’t include the many hours spent this week on podcasts, YouTube videos, and webinars on starting a business.
I had a mind-shift about this blog and about my identity. I enjoy my normal w-2 job. It’s challenging yet rewarding. I have been working in the same field for close to 15 years and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Like many things one can enjoy, there are aspects that are less gratifying and days when things get difficult, despite that, I love my job.
In 2015, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of personal finance. It was intriguing and I was curious. I was captivated by this whole new way of looking at my finances. It helped me identify cracks in my financial foundation.
I am so lucky to have never carried credit card debt. Despite having student loans and a car note, the interest rates were at 2% and 3% respectively.
A well-paying job helped me keep my living expenses low, pay off my car note and my student loans. Yet, my discretionary spending was high. I had the financial means to travel cross-country to see family several times a year and take at least one international trip. But the fact is, I made plenty of mistakes. I spent way too much money on clothes and shoes.
Earlier this week I began listening to a podcast by Taylor Bradford from Boss Girl Creative and had an epiphany. I had a website and was doing nothing with it.
You see, I wrote my first blog post in early 2017 but it wasn’t until that October that I made the post public. It’s now been two years and I’ve published less than a dozen times. What happened? There was still a message to be spread and a lesson to be taught, yet I have been doing nothing about it. My desire was to expose people to another way of managing their finances and having a strong financial foundation. Yet I was silent. I wasn’t sharing what I had learned or teaching anyone how to get their financial lives on track.
Boss Girl Creative is an amazing podcast that rejuvenated my passion to help others with their financial goals. It reignited my desire to start blogging again and encouraged me to treat my blog as a business. Taylor, the host of the BGC podcast, gave me permission to invest in myself by investing in this blog. That meant giving it my energy, attention, time and also as important, permission to invest financially in my blog. One of the takeaways, after listening to several episodes of the podcasts, was that it was okay, and if fact necessary, to invest financially. If I planned to be blogging 10 years from now, then I needed to invest the money. This was the push I needed to take the leap to invest to get myself to FinCon. (FinCon is a conference for financial bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and others in financial media.)
Attending FinCon was something I wanted to do for over a year. In fact, I made arrangements to be at the 2018 FinCon conference in Orlando. Although I didn’t register for FinCon immediately, I booked my hotel right away. I scheduled my vacation around the FinCon conference and a family event and booked my travel. I was going to do it!
But then I didn’t.
Every day I had some excuse for not registering for FinCon. “I’m too tired, I’ll do it this weekend, I still have time to do it next week”…. excuse after excuse. Finally, it was FinCon week. Mr. Miller and I flew into Florida the weekend before FinCon for a family reunion. Yet, I still had not registered for the conference. It was two days before the start of FinCon 2018 and I had not registered for the conference.
Why in the world would I go to a conference with some of the biggest personalities in the personal finance space? I had one blog, with seven posts, and only my close group of friends even knew the blog existed? I was having the biggest episode of imposter syndrome. FinCon wasn’t for me. I had a case of bad self-talk and convinced myself that I didn’t deserve to be there.
It was settled. It was time to face the reality that I was not an entrepreneur, or a blogger, or someone who should go to FinCon. I called the hotel where the conference was being held to cancel my reservation.
Little did I know that I was going to be in for one heck of a surprise. I waited too long to cancel the reservation and now it was too late to cancel completely. I had already been charged for the first night but they would allow me to cancel for the remaining nights. So off to Rosen Shingle Creek we went were FinCon 2018 was being held.
I was so disappointed in myself. We arrived at the hotel and I noticed everything. I saw the out of state license plates of all the frugally wise people who must have driven down. I saw the campers of folks who were RV living, and of course, how could I forget seeing all of the dozens of folks wearing their FinCon badges.
Yes, sad, pathetic, and so disappointing. I tried my hardest to convince myself it was the right thing to do. But it wasn’t. I let fear get the best of me. I missed out on an amazing opportunity to network, learn, grow and show up for my blog.
The view from the hotel room was absolutely beautiful. Looking at these photos is bittersweet.
This year I have pushed fear and my insecurities aside because I am going to FinCon 2019! With just 15 days left, I registered for the conference. I paid for it and called the hotel for a room which had already sold out. Despite that, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I wanted to blog. I wanted to learn. And I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded folks.
After the excitement and the realization of what I had done a few days prior, I realized I should have business cards for the conference. I can’t rely upon folks remembering my name or the blog’s name so handing out a card with all the information would be vital.
Although I could use a site like Moo.com or Zazzle, I knew that if I was going to have a business card it had to be one that I felt 100%confident in and one that I loved. It would be yet another expense and its less than two weeks before the conference! I went to bed that night thinking that I had to be okay with just going to the conference. “You have invested enough. You took a big step.”
When I woke up the next day, I had yet another euphony: Investing yourself, if you don’t need the money in the next 5 years you have time to see the investment grow!
“What if the money you spent on the conference and the business cards, made you a profit of 10%, would you make the investment?”
It was difficult to call this a business. Today, it’s not a business. As a result, it was hard for me to invest in this blog. I am not an entrepreneur or a blogger and I’m certainly not creative.
What I was not, was so ingrained in me, that I had to have a complete paradigm shift. It felt like it was my duty to do educate people and teach them how to build wealth. I have asked myself so many times, why hadn’t anyone ever explained compound interest to me? This information would impact not only their lives but the generations to come. There are many who will hear this message and do nothing with the information but at least they have the option and knowledge to make that decision.
Encouraging people to live a full life brings me joy. I am a woman who believes that she can do anything she puts her mind to and become who she wants to be including… an entrepreneur. Wow, I said it. I Can Be an Entrepreneur.
These were some of the things I journaled about when considering investing in the blog vs additional money into a taxable brokerage account:
Anyone else talk to themselves? I don’t know how our story will end or where we will be at the end of our journey. Nevertheless, I hope this has encouraged you to think about the bigger picture. Sometimes, we get stuck on all the details that we miss the forest for the trees.
This blog may never generate income, but I am okay with that. It doesn’t have to be in order for it to be worth my time and energy. This blog is not a business, yet. However, if I want it to be, I have to treat it like one starting now.
There are so many ways to make money, spend money and invest money. The same can be said about our headspace, energy and time. Like with all things in life, balance is what is needed the most.