Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaaaaccckkkkk!!!!!

Conquered Avalanche Lake Trail - Glacier National Park

Is anyone out there? Remember me? (It's ok if you say no because I can't hear you)

So I have been on hiatus from my personal finance blog for almost exactly 9 months. When I wrote my last post in December 2011, I had successfully paid off $60,000 in debt and had built up a significant following on my blog. So what happened? Let's just say I am the Michael Jordan of blogging. Well, maybe not exactly like MJ. Ok, maybe just in my head.
  1. Achieved a major goal, now what? After achieving my goal of paying off $60,000 in one year, I found myself floundering and wondering what my next big goal should be. I was also a little exhausted - it was hard work! Also, my Jekyll & Hyde personality has me either putting 110% into my vision or sitting on the couch doing nothing but still stressing about the fact that I don't have a vision. And I was fully enjoying the couch towards the end. After Jordan's 3-peat, he retired abruptly from the Bulls - maybe he wasn't sure of his continuing vision. What else does you strive for after all that? Or are you just plain tired of striving?
  2. Self-induced pressure. Now that I was getting more readers and attending Financial Blogger Conferences, I felt this overwhelming need to monetize and make a huge side business out of my blog. Something that started as a hobby and creative outlet suddenly became a stress-filled burden. I have a habit of doing this to myself and then ending up quitting something I once really enjoyed. I have no one to blame for that but myself. But I'm also the person who can fix it.
  3. Health before all. I was also dealing with some pretty major health issues at the time I quit writing. Sometimes you just have to cut back on your obligations and work on surviving. Financial health never trumps physical or mental health.
There are clearly some lessons learned within these three statements. Maybe I'll write about it one of these days. But I don't particularly think my situation is unique. Most of you might identify with at least one, if not all, of these statements when it comes to dealing with life's struggles. More important than what I've learned is..........
How to become the Michael Jordan of Financial Blogging
  1. Retire from financial blogging after a 3-peat (or paying off a bunch of debt)
  2. Attempt major league career in other "sport". Realize that just because you can pay off a credit card like nobody's business does not mean you can also swing a baseball bat.
  3. Come back to your original team blog
  4. Retire again (after three more successes I might add)
  5. Come back (for Pete's sake) again (maybe move to Washington this time)
  6. Yep,  you guessed it. Realize you're getting too old for this shit stuff and retire again
  7. Despite all this, still be considered the best at what you do (No, LeBron. Just no.)
  8. Never give up
I'm currently on step 3. But if this is what it takes to make it to steps 7 and 8, then I'll take it.

So...what's next? To be honest, I'm not sure yet. I know that I am passionate about helping people realize that they REALLY can pay off their debt, but only if they want to. I've also still got my own personal financial goals to reach and, based on my past success, I think I can better reach them by writing about it and sharing the process.

Thanks to those of you who sent me messages of encouragement while I was on hiatus. Your kind words and belief that I actually have made a difference in your financial lives is the reason I'm back. You know who you are.

So let's get this party started!!!

Stay tuned,

P.S. - Be patient. I've got 9 months of catching up to do!!

Soooo....what did I miss? Any great success stories? Silly blunders? Get me up to speed!!

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