You may consider yourself a traveler, who knows where to go and how to live his life to the fullest, but there’s something you don’t always realize.
And it concerns many of us.
You’re walking around with a huge backpack on your back. And that ruins your experience.
It’s exhausting. It prevents you from breathing deeply the fresh air of the beautiful nature around you, of buying new things from the place you’re at right now and that’s only because you have no space in it.
So why don’t you put it down for a while and see how it feels?
Then you’ll be free as a bird to run and jump, to look around with interest and enjoy the view, to visit places and speak with strangers.
You don’t need most of the things in the backpack anyways.
You get too many things you’re never going to use. You bring with you too much ‘just in case’ stuff , because you don’t know what’s going to happen and want to be prepared.
But guess what? Even if you bring all your belongings, you still won’t know what the future has in store for you. And that’s the beauty of life. It’s a never-ending journey full of surprises.
You also bring more pairs of clothes than you need because you think they’re not going to be enough.
You bring stuff from home that is not meant to leave your place or made for travelling. But it makes you feel comfortable.
All this ruins your journey and that of the ones you’re travelling with.
It feels so good when you don’t need to carry the backpack all the time. So imagine what it will be like if you leave it somewhere and never go back to it again.
The solution, again – as for many other things in life, lies in simplicity. In the beautiful act of letting go, eliminating what’s not needed so that the essential can shine.
It’s the same even if you’re not going to see another place of the world.
Think about your days.
Day after day you carry with you bad memories from the past, fears, worries about the future, doubts and uncertainties, many desires, expectations, needs, etc.
And all that makes your life a dreading experience. You can never take a break and empty your mind even if you’re not doing anything.
You keep carrying this huge backpack with you wherever you go. And other people in your life have to put up with it as well, they suffer because of your excess baggage.
This is often a reason for bad relationships.
Why don’t you throw it away then and see what happens?
The truth is that nothing bad is going to happen, things will be alright even if you stop worrying about what others think of you and whether what you do is right.
The past will still be there but this time it won’t prevent you from living your life; you’ll still communicate with people but this time you won’t be afraid that they won’t approve you or that they won’t answer your expectations.
You’ll be free. Free to enjoy this moment, to focus on what is now, to appreciate what you have and live life to the fullest.
Life is a big adventure, a beautiful journey that is meant to be travelled light.
The only way to make the best of it and enjoy each second is to put down that backpack and let things be.
Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.
During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.
How did you start your career in finance?
I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.
What made you start blogging?
The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.
The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.
The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.
I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.
I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.
How was The Ways to Wealth born?
I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.
1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.
2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.
3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.
One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.
What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?
The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.
Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.
I then went to Upwork and posted a job for agraphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.
I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.
I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.
What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?
My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.
When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?
My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.
What happened then in January?
First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.
Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.
Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.
How do you balance work and family life?
I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.
When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.
This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)
What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?
Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.
What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?
I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.