In 2007, starting a blog literally changed my life.
No, I’m not joking. It all started in the Fall of 2006 … but let me give you a little background first. Now bear with me, as this is a bit of a long story – But I will do my best to make it as concise as possible.
My Dream Life
I knew at 11 years old that I wanted to be a software developer. I grew up in a family, where I was strongly encouraged to get a college degree and go to work for a large company. Large companies met financial security, and long term success.
In 1991, I graduated with a BS Degree in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I immediately went to work for a large company in the Charlotte, NC area and began my career. Just a few months later, I married the girl of my dreams, and began to live the life I had always dreamed about.
Fifteen years later, I was working for a top 10 bank as an IT Manager earning a salary most people dream of. We had six wonderful children, lived in a suburban neighborhood complete with front porch and everything but the white picket fence (we never really liked those). Life was great for the most part. I hated my job, but it paid the bills, so I just dealt with it.
An unexpected phone call
Then one day the phone rang, and I received news that put everything we had worked so hard for in complete jeopardy. My apologies, but I cannot go into the details, but rest assured, it was something that would rock any family. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t sleep, and I could barely think. My family was at risk, my job nearly gone – how would we keep our home? How would I support my kids, put food on the table. My mind rushed with endless negative possibilities.
The beginnings of a plan
I did the only thing I knew to do, I turned to my faith. I began reading my Bible far more than normal, I prayed constantly asking God for wisdom and a direction.
One of the first items placed on my todo list was to get our finances in order. My income might stop at any minute, I needed to start saving as much as possible, paying off as much debt as we could, and eliminating our expenditures … just in case. I began searching the web and found various personal finance websites, full of advice.
The two sites that helped me the most were Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar. I also found Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover book and read it front to back in a day. Dave’s book gave me hope that with a great deal of hard work, we could change my financial life. The two sites that I found I would later learn weren’t just websites, but blogs run my normal everyday people like myself. People looking to share their journey with others.
Sharing my journey with others seemed like it would be fun. Helping others seemed like it would be rewarding – I always enjoyed teaching and writing. So I decided to start a blog of my own – I mean what the heck right? At the very least it would make me accountable to myself, and my family.
But what to call it? That night I was reading my Bible, and came across Proverbs 13:11 – “He who gathers money little by little, makes it grow”. That was it, that would be the name for my blog: Gather Little by Little. I ran straight to the computer to create my own blog. I reserved the domain name, installed WordPress and wrote my very first article.
I was a blogger! Which sounded pretty cool at the time, I mean blogger were the new big thing in 2007. Of course I never thought anyone but maybe my wife would read my site … boy was I wrong.
My life changed
Thanks to God, everything all worked out. It was a difficult time, but I learned so much about myself, my career, my family, blogging, personal finance … the list goes on. I realized I never want to be at the mercy of a corporation to control my life and income. I decided then I would never rely solely on my employer to put food on my table or a roof over my head.
About that same time, I realized I could not only blog, but earn money doing it too. Gather Little by Little grew into one of the top 10 Personal Finance Blogs on the internet, and I was earning about $2,000.00 a month from that site in 2009, only 2 years later.
You can read a more thorough version of this story and the rest of it on Side Income Blogging.
Today, I earn on average about $2,500 – $3,000 a month from my online efforts, and am aggressively working to increase that by the end of 2016.
My online efforts include Blogging, Web Development Services and Consulting, Speaking, writing eBooks, building eCourses, and building out Authority Niche Sites for profit. I also run the Income Bloggers Club – a Facebook group for bloggers and niche site builders working to earn money online.
My goal is to be able to retire from my full-time job early, and continue to pursue my online work full-time as my wife and I travel around the world.