Looking Back at the First Two Years of Pocket Changed
Pocket Changed turns two years old in just a couple weeks. Time certainly does fly. It seems like just yesterday I was trying to figure out what to name this site. (Yes, I almost went with LogicWithWojcik.com. And yes, my wife pushed me toward Pocket Changed.)
When big milestones like the start of a new year, a birthday, or an anniversary come around it is human nature to be retrospective. We look back at what has come to pass and then look forward to plan the next chapter of our lives.
I'll save the "next chapter" part of the story for another time, but in this post I'll discuss the goals I had when I started Pocket Changed, how you have both inspired and helped me acheive these goals, and give you an opportunity to share what Pocket Changed has meant to you.
(And if you're newer to Pocket Changed, this is a perfect way to learn a little bit more about what this site is all about and the entrepreneurial journey I've been on over the past two years to get to today.)
The 4 Reasons Why I Started Pocket Changed
When I originally started Pocket Changed in December 2010 I had just four main goals.
- Inspire and guide people to improve their personal finances.
- Earn enough money through work online to quit my desk job.
- Share my financial and entrepreneurial journey.
- Showcase people doing interesting and meaningful things with their life's passions.
Let's dive into what we've done here over the past two years in each of those four areas.
1. Improving People's Personal Finances
Before I even had a blog, one of my big pasttimes was learning about personal finance and living frugally to enable me to pay off all the debt I had after college. (Man, everything about that sentence is just so sexy, right?)
That is why I initially wanted to start a blog in the "personal finance" niche (instead of one about video games, sports, or movies). Despite having to fight my way out of the pigeon hole that I put myself in, we've done a lot here at Pocket Changed in the realm of money.
First off, when you download the Get Paid Manifesto it also includes the free 10 part Financial Freedom email series that over 1,000 people have been through.
Next, Make It Rain, our very own 10-week personal finance course launched this September.
And lastly, out of the nearly 200 posts currently live on Pocket Changed, 98 of them have at least something to do with money or personal finance. (Of which, this post about financial advice from Jack Sparrow was probably the most fun to write.)
Goal #1 Status: Accomplished.
2. Quit My Desk Job
Measuring this goal was either all or nothing. I would either leave my job at Boeing or I wouldn't.
This leap into entrepreneurship was the biggest risk I've ever taken. I am typically one of the biggest "play-it-safers" there is.
And while I may not be making as much money or have as cushy of benefits as I did at my day job, this new career and lifestyle has allowed me the freedom to do so much over the past 15 months.
- My wife and I have been traveling on and off for 7 of those 15 months.
- We road-tripped for 3 months and 10,000 miles all over the U.S.A.
- We moved from rainy Seattle to sunny San Diego (closer to her family).
- My wife is now self-employed as a San Diego wedding photographer.
All of which would not have been possible without saving up enough money to take the leap and embracing some big risks.
Goal #2 Status: Accomplished.
3. Share My Financial & Entreprenuerial Journey
When I was looking to quit my cushy day job and become a cubicle renegade I felt encouraged and capable when I read the open and honest stories that Jenny Blake and the writers on Revolution.is have shared about leaving their jobs behind and taking the entrepreneur's path.
Because the people above shared their journey I felt more confident and less alone in my own journey. That's why I:
- Used to share my personal finances down to the penny.
- Shared my biggest lessons from the first year of blogging.
- Debunked the most common "location independent" myths.
This may sound cheesy, but I share because I care. I want you to see what is possible and know that you are not alone.
Goal #3 Status: Accomplished, but will never be finished.
4. Showcase Real Entrepreneurs
There is a lot of garbage on the Internet and the make money online/quit your job niche is full of awful advice and people just trying to scam you to make a quick buck.
I started Pocket Changed to help you tune out all of that noise, find authentic people to follow online, and hear real stories from fellow entreprenuers.
That's why we:
- Feature successful cubicle renegades like Chris Guillebeau on our podcast.
- Posted cubicle escape stories from readers all over the world.
- Gave you 35 cubicle renegades to watch in 2012.
- Asked the tough questions like whether or not you should "follow your passion".
I hope Pocket Changed has shown you that being an entrepreneur is not all rainbows and unicorns. You have to take some risks, get your hands dirty, and roll with the punches.
Goal #4 Status: Accomplished, but will never be finished.
So, Now What?
All that to say that I set out to accomplish four things when I started Pocket Changed and I feel confident in the fact that we could now "check all the boxes".
But that doesn't mean that this is the end of Pocket Changed or that I am quite ready to declare victory and move on.
Going into 2013 I'll still be spending the majority of my time on my next big project with Corbett Barr and Chase Reeves: Fizzle: Honest Video Training for Online Business Builders (which launches publicly in January). BUT, there is still a lot in store for what Pocket Changed is and will become.
This is all about getting more focused, which as entrepreneurs is something I think we could all use a little bit more of.
I'll leave what I have in store for Pocket Changed to a future post though. ;)