How Will You Make This Year Different?

by David Ning · 21 comments

Hello,

You successfully stepped into 2011 and the new year is staring at you right in the face. You probably have a few unfulfilled new year resolutions from the past year but no matter, 2010 is long gone and there is no better time to get things done than right now.

A few short years ago, I was just going through the motions of working the 9 to 5. Though my work seemed to have exceeded all peer expectations, my career was unchallenging, and merely showing up provided me with little more than the biweekly paycheck. As one of my coworker told me at the time – “You are just wasting your time”. Coming out of graduate school, I didn’t quite know what it meant, but I knew I wanted change.

In 2007, I started MoneyNing without the slightest idea of what I was going to write about, let alone the fact that it could turn into a business. It didn’t matter though, because learning about building a website and connecting with readers were exciting, challenging, and most of all, fun. By then, I was in sales and traveling cross country every week, but the lack of time (or sleep) didn’t seem to hurt my productivity. Because I was motivated to get things done, I actually got more accomplished with less time.

As time passed, I refined the site’s focus to be about money matters. It wasn’t because I always planned it that way, but because it was something I was passionate to write about. Eventually in 2008, companies started contacting me asking for advertising opportunities and with the site making about 30% of my salary, I decided to quit my day job and work on my site full time. Whenever I mention this, there’s bound to be someone who asks “Are you crazy?.?” But all I can say is that frugal living enabled me to live my dream.

There was of course no guarantee that I will ever make even close to my previous salary. But I knew it was possible, and I was going to do everything I can to make it happen. With no roadmap to follow, I went to trade shows, spoke with everyone who were willing to give advice and read every online article known to mankind. I learnt probably 100 different online business models, tried 99 and failed at 98 of them. And let me tell you – Failing SUCKS. But every time I failed, I learned something new, everytime I failed, it made my next attempt easier, and everytime I failed, I was closer to success. Without knowing it at the time, the site you see today is the accumulation of what I learned during my failures. If you only take away one thing from my story, it’s not to be afraid of failure.

Fast forward to today, and my online ventures are thriving. MoneyNing started with a single author with bad English (that’s me.), and is now a multi-author site visited by more than half a million visitors every month. Survival is no longer a concern, or even a question anymore. I never planned for any of this, but through persistence and a relentless pursuit to improve on the status quo, everything progressed beyond my widest dreams.

2011 is here and you no doubt have goals you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Some people seem to be incredibly good at creating achievable, yet challenging goals, planning the steps to make it happen in a timely manner but if that’s not you, let me offer an alternative. Do you want to make money online? Start a website and see what happens. Do you want to have a better relationship with your family and friends? Start calling and connect as much as you can. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the key isn’t knowing what to do, it’s where your heart ultimately is.

  • Maps are great, but Christopher Columbus didn’t have one when he discovered the American continents in the western hemisphere.
  • Guides are awesome, but the people who wrote them are raking in the cash whenever everybody else wants to follow a roadmap.
  • Having a plan is great, but how do you know if you are being too conservative?

Almost all businesses spend countless time making projections and creating goals. On the other hand, I have no clue how much my sites and business will grow this year, and that’s completely okay. In fact, I prefer it this way. By the time a business finishes making its plans, I already finished several improvements. When businesses spend resources coming up with excuses on why they failed to meet their goals, I’m using the same resources to improve my sites. When other businesses spends time talking about their success, I already grew because I just failed again on something new.

I know I will continue to challenge every aspect of the site and improve them continuously. As long as my heart is in it, things will work out.

Shooting for the moon may seem ridiculously difficult but if you keep shooting up while making an effort to obtain higher highs, you will find that one day, the moon is way below you.

Start failing and have a great year.

Sincerely,
David (MoneyNing)

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • CreditShout says:

    Great advice, thanks for being so inspirational.

  • LAHL says:

    David,
    I have recently started visiting your website and find many helpful tips. I have visited hundreds of sites over the years, and have probably read the same “tips” over and over. It is refreshing to find new ideas (not that the old ones are worthless) that are presented in a more user-engaging manner. For many years I have been a single mom with seven children; I have recently become engaged and have two more children. Money is not as tight, but we have our own divorce-created financial baggage to dig out of, so I will not be losing my frugal habits anytime soon (nor do I ever plan on losing them). Your story is inspirational, as I am sure there is much from my life’s lessons I could share with others. Thank you. Maybe someday, you will be visiting a site I have created. Best of luck, and Godspeed.

  • KDB says:

    I’d love to have my business make the some kind of impact. Of course, I’d like to feel the benefits financially, but above that I would really like it to take off and help people. How many people can truly say that they impact others? And how many can do that outside their own personal circle?

  • Thanks for sharing your journey so far David. The themes I picked out were never give up, learn from your failures and improve based upon then, and pursue something that you love. That combination is hard to beat as you have showed with your success. Keep it up and good luck in 2011.
    -Dave

  • marci357 says:

    Just put earnest money down on another house…. a foreclosure – too good a deal to pass up – I hope. 🙂
    Actually, I plan to move into this one – if I get it – and rent out the other one.
    Very small house, but 2/3’s acre – yay room for garden and even the fruit trees that won’t fit on my city lot…. and in the country, yet close in also.

    • MoneyNing says:

      I’m sure the cash flow is great when you fix up these foreclosures and rent them out. Good luck with your purchase and your eventually “mega-garden”. 🙂

      • marci357 says:

        I GOT the house.. 🙂
        Ok – so that’s one more foreclosure off the market….. If everyone would buy one of these bargains, then the value of the for sale by owner homes would eventually creep back up. LOL……. I did my part. 🙂

  • Briana @ GBR says:

    Thanks for the inspiration David. I hope that one day I can take a huge risk and it pays off like yours did.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Most people think it’s a huge risk but if you aren’t putting up a ton of capital to start a business, is the need to find another job that big of a deal?

      I wish you all the success in whatever path you choose.

  • Liju Philip says:

    Happy New Year David. Used to read your website earlier, then lost the link.

    Got it back now. Here’s wishing you more success and happiness in the new year. Cheers.

  • I just recently started my own personal finance blog, with the dream of it becoming ‘big’. Its always great to hear stories like this, that it can be done with hard work, and a leap of faith. Congratulations.

  • marci357 says:

    This year I strive to work (for pay) even less,
    and to enjoy my time with family and friends to the utmost.

    Last month I tendered my resignation, it was refused 🙂
    We negotiated an 18 hr workweek – 3-6’s, with fully paid health insurance.
    While I am enjoying this, I truly see this as the year I quit working for others altogether. Probably about the time spring fever hits and I want to be out in the garden. lol. or clamming, fishing, walking the beach, etc..

    Happy New Year all.

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