Just over a week ago I was sitting in a room at Rydges Southbank in Brisbane with a brilliant bunch of bloggers at the ProBlogger conference.
I am a big believer in investing in yourself, so saw this as a great way for me to hear from people who have created a name for themselves in the blogging world. I wanted to learn all I could about serving my community and helping to get my money management message out to a wider audience.
As I sat in a room with over 150 other bloggers on day one of the two day event, Darren Rowse, the face behind the Problogger website, delivered his opening address.
He has been blogging for over 15 years and over this time he has learnt a thing or two about what is needed to remain a blogger over the long term.
The two core traits he identified were – Persist and Evolve.
As he was talking I could not help but jot down a note that these are also the two core traits you need on your journey to financial independence.
Let’s look at each of the traits in terms of how they relate to both blogging and money management.
Darren showed us a graph of the traffic to his website when he was first starting out. Like most of us, his page views started off quite low and he did not start to see decent traffic to his site for about 18 months.
He very well could have given up at this stage. But with persistence he has now been able to create two very successful businesses.
Simply because he stuck at it. He did the hard yards and is now reaping the rewards.
One comment in particular he said that really resonates with me was “Success is usually more about doing the things you know you should do rather than learning the secrets that you don’t yet know.”
I wrote the comment down and thought to myself that also applies perfectly to seeking financial independence.
Whilst it might be a nice idea to thing that there is a get rich quick idea or some secret to help us reach our financial goals sooner. The reality is most of the time we already know what we need to do, it is just a matter of being patient enough to get there.
It is actually quite a boring process to pay off debt, save a percentage of your income, invest it and build a nest egg for retirement.
And because it can be a long term process to get there, we can often rationalise why we might give up along the way. Have you ever found yourself saying “it’s taking too long”, “we will never save enough”. I think we all have these thoughts at times.
I am no exception.
I have set my early retirement date at 2025 but already I am impatient and want the date to come sooner. The reality is it is unlikely too.
So what I need to do is to continue to persist. Stay true to the course I am on and not give up.
The next trait Darren spoke about at ProBlogger, and the theme for the whole event was Evolve.
He spoke of and shared images of his original blogs. Which where tiny text only blogs. He then showed us the progressions his sites have had over the years, as well as moving into podcasting and videos.
He has been able to stay relevant in an increasingly crowded market by continuing to evolve and change focus when needed.
The same goes for managing finances.
Our investment strategy started out purely with a focus on investing in property. From 2009 to 2013 we added a new property to our portfolio each year.
However in 2014 instead of buying another house we had a baby instead. Our investment plan needed to evolve to account for the change to a one income family.
Since then we have had another baby and for the past three years or so, our active investing has taken a back seat. We have seen good capital growth though over this period.
We are now in a position where we are looking to evolve our strategy once again. Having two kids in child care our cost of living has increased making cash flow a little tighter than it used to be.
As a result we are starting to see the benefits of balancing our portfolio more by diversifying into index funds for dividend income.
We know what our overall goal is, but we are comfortably evolving how we get there as time progresses.