Because I Started…

Because I Started...

Photo courtesy of Vinoth Chandar

For years I wanted to start a blog and didn’t do it.

I wanted to write about money in a way I wasn’t seen it done anywhere else. I wanted to write for people like me, people who were starting families or just starting their lives away from the comforts of home or college. And I wanted to bridge the gap between the fluff pieces you see all over the internet and the confusing, jargon-filled journal articles aimed at professionals.

I wanted to give people enough information that they could actually go out there and do it on their own. I wanted to provide a road map. But I wanted to do it in a way that was understandable and relatable and came from the perspective of someone who was going through all the same things.

I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn’t start. I was scared.

  • I was scared that I would run out of things to say.
  • I was scared that I would be exposed as a fraud.
  • I was scared that I might not actually have anything useful to share beyond what was already out there.

Those things stopped me for a long time, but eventually I got to a point where the pain of not doing it was greater than the pain of doing it.

And so, on January 7, 2013, I wrote and published the very first blog post on Mom and Dad Money.

I started. And my life hasn’t been the same since.

A road unknown

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started blogging.

I had no idea how addicting it would be. How quickly I would become borderline obsessed with the cycle of brainstorming, writing, publishing, interacting, and doing it all over again.

I had no idea how many other bloggers were out there. Maybe they were doing it a little differently, but they had a website and they were publishing articles, just like me.

I had no idea how many different ways there were to go about blogging. All the different strategies for building an audience, writing more effectively, and eventually making some money from it. It was (and still is) fascinating and overwhelming.

I had no idea that there was such a wide range of people supporting themselves by doing awesome things online. Freelance writers, coaches, software developers, magicians. You name it and someone is doing it online and making a decent living. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

I had no idea of the huge opportunities that would open up to me simply by putting my thoughts out there for people to see.

I had no idea that the little blog I started in January of 2013 would eventually serve as the launchpad for my own business.

Because I started…

I never could have guessed where my blogging would take me, but it all happened simply because I started.

Because I started a blog, I met other bloggers who had been doing it longer and picked up some tips for doing it better.

Because I started doing it better, I started getting opportunities like being interviewed on the Huffington Post and writing for Babycenter.

Because I started getting opportunities, I started thinking bigger.

Because I started thinking bigger, I started reaching out to more and more people who were making a living online.

Because I reached out to people making a living online, I eventually found a few who were making a living doing financial planning online.

And THAT blew my mind. Back in 2010 I had started down the path towards becoming a financial planner by taking and passing the CFP® exam, so I knew that’s where I was eventually headed.

But I had always figured that I would have to start out working for a traditional firm and either work my way up or move on to starting my own traditional firm.

Now I was finding out that there was a different way. People my age were running their own financial planning practices, operating entirely online, and they were killing it. Are you kidding me? That’s possible? How quickly can I sign up?

And it wasn’t just a pipe dream or something to shoot for years down the road. Because of my blog I already had a following. I already knew a little bit about how this whole online business thing worked. And I already had the training to do the actual financial planning. What more did I need?

Nothing really, other than a push. That came in November of 2013 when I lost my job, which led to the start of Mom and Dad Money as an official financial planning practice. And because it’s running almost entirely online, I have greater reach than a traditional firm. I can help people all over the country, from all different types of situations.

It’s awesome. It’s my dream job. And honestly, I wouldn’t have even known that the possibility existed if I had never followed my heart and started blogging in the first place.

What do you want to start?

This isn’t a call for you to start a blog. There’s nothing inherently special about blogging, though it can be pretty powerful in the right circumstances.

This is about that thing that you’ve wanted to try for years now but haven’t been able to pull the trigger. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone’s got one. You’re probably putting it off out of the same kinds of fears that kept me from starting for way too long.

What I would say to you is simple: you need to start. Now. Or if you can’t right now, then tonight. After dinner, after the kids are down, whatever. Just get started.

Don’t get caught up in silly questions like whether you have the time or where you’re going with it. You’ll make the time and you have no idea where you’re going with it.

And THAT is the really cool part. You have no idea where you’re going with it because at this point, before you’ve started, you don’t even know what you don’t know. And you won’t know unless you get started walking down the path.

But if you start, you’ll open up a world of possibilities that you otherwise never would have known existed. Some will sound awful. Some will sound great. Some will be a Siren song. Some will be real opportunities. It will be up to you to decide.

But you’ll never find any of them if you don’t start. And if you do, you just might change your life.

Good luck!

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11 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Starting is the hardest part. I know that when I started blogging about money I thought it was some revolutionary concept, I had no idea there were so many people doing it! But no regrets, this has been the best journey!

    • Matt Becker August 18, 2014

      Haha, I had no idea either! It’s kind of crazy how many people there are doing this thing.

  • Andrew August 18, 2014

    I, too often, suffer from analysis paralysis…I think about it, research it to death and then dream about it, failing to act on it. So congrats to you know starting a blog and your own business. Well I did start a blog…so at least there’s that! It would also have been much easier to take risks while I didn’t have a family to support, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take calculated risks…you’re a great example.

    • Matt Becker August 18, 2014

      Thanks for the kind words Andrew! I was lucky to start out when it could just be kind of a hobby on the side without any pressure and let it grow naturally from there. It would have been a lot harder to start from scratch and immediately need it to be successful. And I don’t think everyone needs to have the same goals either. All I hope is that people start whatever it is they want to start and let it take them wherever it makes sense for them.

  • debt debs August 19, 2014

    I jumped right in feet first and it’s been a blast so far. It was all about providing an outlet to manage my stress while managing our debt while also warning others about how easily it can happen. It has become so much more and I’m learning all the time. Thanks for sharing your story, Matt.

    • Matt Becker August 20, 2014

      It’s amazing how quickly it grows, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear you’re getting so much out of it!

  • Shannon August 19, 2014

    I’m so glad you did start – because you’re one of my favorite financial bloggers out there! Keep up the awesome work and I can’t wait to see how things go on your new business :).

  • This is very inspiring! I would love to become a CFP, but would rather not work at a traditional firm. Knowing that many people are running their practice online is like a green light for me!

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