How Will You Make This Year Different?

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It’s 2021 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, 2020 has been crazy, long gone, and there is no better time to get things done than right now.

I was just going through the motions of working the 9 to 5 a few years ago. Though my work seemed to have exceeded all peer expectations, my career was unfulfilling. Merely showing up provided me a challenge but it really provided me with little more than the biweekly paycheck. As one of my coworkers 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 to change.

When I first started MoneyNing, I didn’t have the slightest idea 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 was exciting, challenging, and most of all, fun. By then, I was in sales and traveling across the 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 could work anywhere, at all hours of the day.

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, 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 if I was crazy. 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 was willing to give advice, and read every online article known to mankind. I learned 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, every time I failed, it made my next attempt easier, and every time 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 venture is thriving. MoneyNing started with a single author with bad English (that’s me.) and is now a multi-author site visited that’s been around for more than a decade. 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 wildest dreams.

2021 is just about 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 them 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 manhours 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 spend 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.


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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Beau W. says:

    Im sure glad you took the leap of faith David. You’ve built a great thing here. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from this blog. I think this year is going to be better than the last. I’m going to set more goals for myself this year.

  • Briana says:

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

    • David @ 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.

  • LAHL says:

    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.

    • David @ says:

      Glad you find the information helpful.

      Believe in yourself, and I look forward to visiting your site for sure.

  • Amanda says:

    Great advice, thanks for being so inspirational.

  • Retired says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • David @ says:

      That’s a noble goal, though remember that however small, you can always affect a small circle of people and grow from there.

  • Twenty Dollars says:

    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.

  • 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.

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