Six months ago I joined the Yakezie challenge which involved posting thrice weekly, getting my Alexa down to 100k and making lots of oober cool new blogging and personal finance friends. It’s been awesome and I’m happy to say that the challenge has been completed and I can sit at the cool kids table! Here is my “Hey, I’m a member now!” post:
I’m not really sure how most people come to blogging- but I came up with the idea while at a bar aptly named the “Rock Bottom” when I was literally crying into my beer after discovering I had made some big mistakes.
At the time, I found myself in downtown Chicago, quickly approaching my first-ever real winter, in a city I’d never even been to before packing up my hatchback Toyota to move to the midwest from sunny California and start graduate school. See, here’s the thing- I was at the Rock Bottom Brewery, crying into a beer- broke and disillusioned with my life as a graduate student.
Some people start a blog as a hobby and others, well- we start blogs because we find ourselves in very odd circumstances in ironically named locations and blogging just seems like the right thing to do. This is exactly how Frugalbeautiful.com was born at a literal Rock Bottom.
Starting FrugalBeautiful.com was simply going to list frugality tips for broke college students and city dwellers like myself. I worked on Michigan Avenue at the time- home to Chanel, Tiffany & Company, Coach & Armani and to convince you how unglamorous my situation was, I would wake up at 4 a.m. in my run-down apartment (rent=$320 a month) and walk past those fancy stores to a job I hated. I was literally eating rice and beans, leftover catering from my day job and working 12 hour shifts to put myself through school. The blog was a way to cope with the constraining circumstances I had plunked myself in and a way to channel out my longings for the glamorous callings of the high-end life of my new city.
So, in starting a blog, my hope was to make the “frugal” more “beautiful,” and it posed to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. The bulk of personal finance & lifestyle blogs were either way over my head or beyond my reach (thinking about stock investing while trying to scrounge up train fare made me dizzy) or seemed geared for people with families who wanted to be frugal and coupon their way to wealth. Most single, young people I know don’t believe that frugality will make them wealth but simply need to save money to survive, and that’s where I was coming from.
The blog was based on frugality but it began to grow- and it challenged me in unanticipated ways. I began to read a bunch of Seth Godin, listening in to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast and questioning my career path- possibiliteis began opening up. In October that same year, I was able to quit the day job I dreaded and work from home full time as a blogger & freelance brand developer.
Since that time, I’ve also created TheFrugalpreneur.com (plus a podcast on iTunes) and BeautifulGiveaways.com to house my other frugal interests. I had no idea when I originally started that blogging would change my life the way it has.
Over a year later, I am far from that rock bottom but still frequent the bar of the same name which has become a favorite. Now though, I actually have money to visit the aforementioned Rock Bottom Bar without having to dilute their beverages with my tears. Life is good, I am surrounded by brilliant people and blogging has opened up a world of possibilities- I’m happier than ever. Cheers to that!
I am totally grateful for all of the friends I’ve made through Yakezie and want to give a special shout out to Andrea at SoOverDebt.com who has been a friend and mentor as I’ve made the transition to full-time blogging. She was the reason I finally signed up for Yakezie and I’m truly thankful for her friendship and her sense of humor- thanks friend!
Yakezie truly is a unique community and you truly get out of it what you put in as cliché as that sounds, it’s true. I attribute much of my success to the support found in the Yakezie community and the many genuine, hardworking and giving people who comprise this network. I am so honored to finally be a real member of this tremendous group of people, and am ready for the next chapter to begin!
Congratulations, Shannyn! I'm just over 2 months into the Yakezie challenge and so far so good. It's funny you mention Andrea, because she's been a huge part of my success as well as her finding my blog early, tweeting me out to her followers and persuading me to get on Twitter literally helped me get on the map. She rocks and I'll second that shout out to her!
On to becoming a real Yakezie member myself, it will be happening right before the financial blogger conference. I'm looking forward to going to that this year and meeting all of you there!