I’m so excited that my little blog is turning 3 years old today! If I would have known how much goodness documenting our journey towards financial independence would bring to my life I would have started it years before.
2019 on the blog:
This was, by far, my most consistent year of writing.
In 2017 I published about 12 articles.
In 2018 I only added 7 posts to bring my total up to 19.
In 2019 I wrote 21 posts, more than I had written in my first 2 years of blogging.
Participating in the twitter PF community and sharing with fellow bloggers (notably my friend also known as the accountability beast : Purple from A Purple Life) helped me recognize some of the benefits of blogging on a schedule. I tried it out and absolutely loved it!
Now you’ve perhaps noticed that it’s been rather quiet around here since the holidays…
What happened with the schedule?
Well, firstly as mentioned in my last post on Gifting myself a break , around the holiday period my anxiety runs a bit high. Add to this that work was hectic and I just decided it was best to allow myself an even longer break.
Secondly, on a much happier note, we implemented our first mini-sabbatical/slow-travel by spending a lovely 4 weeks in Mexico.
I took the opportunity of that trip to reflect on the future of the blog and what I want to do next with it. Our month away was a wonderful opportunity to see how we feel about mini-sabbaticals. Anyhow, more on that trip in a future post :).
Since my return though, I’ve been very focused on other projects I am exploring, mostly related to around budget & money coaching (more on that at the end of this post) and, honestly, anytime I sat down to write, my thoughts took me elsewhere.
So I did what a lot of bloggers do when needing inspiration… I reached out to the PF twitter community for questions and they did not disappoint!
Questions from my Twitter Family 😉
What’s the full story of how you decided to start your blog in the first place? – Purple
I did a quick research in my Google Drive folder to find my first brainstorming documents about launching this blog. One such document is dated October 2015, so around the time I had just gone back to work after maternity leave.
I wrote in that document the three main reasons I wanted to start a blog documenting our journey to financial independence:
- I am obsessed by our finances and journey towards FI. Yet, obsessively reviewing our plans just doesn’t make time go faster. This time and energy could be better spent by writing about it and perhaps this way help others reach a similar goal.
- An added bonus is that the research might help us better focus our strategies. Besides, there’s no better way to learn than to teach our goals & strategies to others.
- We can help others see that there are other ways to do things. We can show through example that it’s possible to set goals and reach them while keeping things simple in life!
Wow, I must say 2015 Ms.Mod was pretty wise and onto something! This was 1.5 years before we actually launched Modest Millionaires and I was pregnant with our second child. I remember feeling lonely on the path, added to the weird loneliness of being a new mom.
This creative outlet where I felt I might be able to have some impact on someone else’s life and connect with others with a passion for this subject was very attractive. Having another baby, which meant that we had two kids under two for several months, delayed the plan to launch the blog, yet I did start writing a few drafts just for myself over that period.
A few weeks after I was back at work again after my second maternity leave, I bugged Mr.Mod to help me set up the blog, which he then did as a surprise around my birthday! Seems there was something about being back in a cubicle that had gotten me obsessed again about becoming a blogger :).
What have been the most rewarding and most challenging things for you about blogging for 3 years? Jessica from The Fioneers
There’s actually been two most rewarding things about blogging: finding my voice and community. While I still deal with imposter syndrome here and there, I feel a lot more confident about sharing my journey and knowledge with others thanks to being part of this amazing and supportive community.
I initially started finding my community by commenting on other blogs and then eventually interacting with the personal finance community on Twitter. A significant thing that happened this last year is that I got out from behind the computer and into the real world to meet up with some folks in the community.
Well first I did even more of the on-computer-things since I was to be part of an accountability group surrounding the book Designing your Life that met up virtually on a monthly basis. You can read more about this amazing process in Jessica’s post The Power of Accountability When Designing Your Life.
However, then I got out from behind the computer. First to an event held by Le Jeune Retraité in Montreal and then I headed out to FinCon in September. These interactions have been completely life changing.
It’s one thing to write about our objectives for financial independence, our philosophy on spending according to our values and about designing our life to increase our happiness. It’s quite another to talk about this with other people and learn about all the awesome things they have done and these amazing lives they are living based on similar values.
In hindsight, it makes sense that all of these experiences led to my comfort increasing about talking openly about my financial independence plan. There’s just something so powerful about finding your tribe and surrounding yourself with inspirational people. This leads to an increase of confidence in your own plans, then on to realizing that you can also inspire others and have an impact on their lives.
As for the most challenging part of blogging for 3 years, while I was first inclined to point at the technical aspects of running a blog, I believe this comes in second place in terms of challenges (probably thanks to the help and knowledge of Mr. Mod). I’d rather say that it’s been hard to have this part of my life kind of hidden because of the anonymity aspect of our blog.
How is your life different now than it was 3 years ago? Jessica from The Fioneers
There are a few significant differences in my life compared to 3 years ago. Firstly, I don’t have two toddlers running around anymore, they are now big kiddoes who demand a different type of patience, so I have a bit more energy and time to focus on my projects.
I’m much MUCH happier at work than I was when I had launched the blog. As mentioned above, in 2017 when I started writing on Modest Millionaires, I had just returned from my second maternity leave. My motivation at work was very low and I was deeply unsatisfied with our work-life balance. Thanks to focusing on increasing our happiness at work which led to negotiating a remote working arrangement with my employer, I feel much happier with how work fits into my life.
Finally, we’ve surpassed a lot of our goals and even moved ahead on some of our plans to take more time off from work. We had originally intended to start taking parts of the summers off with our kids once they would start school, so starting summer 2021. Now we just went away for an entire month AND I’m looking at taking more time off without pay over the summer.
What were some of the “peak learning experiences” throughout these three years? Jessica from The Fioneers & What lessons have you learned from blogging? From the Financial Mechanic
As mentioned above, one of the most rewarding parts of blogging is that it allowed me to find a community I deeply connect with. Realizing the power of the support and the accountability this community brings to my own life, has been a peak learning experience from blogging these last three years.
Through my writing schedule, I also learned how deliberate consistency can allow you to create something amazing that can have a long lasting impact those around me and on myself. I’ve always had a passion around habit creation and studying this further to apply it through my blogging has truly changed how I tackle any challenge now.
I’ve specifically used these principles in my approach to fitness and have only had a couple of weeks of missing workouts in the last 10 months which feels like quite the accomplishment for me!
What keeps you motivated to keep going? RadicalFIRE
What keeps me motivated is pretty much the same reasons as to why I started this blog: I want to teach what I learn, help others and hold myself accountable. This continues to be as true as ever!
It sure helps when I get enthusiastic reader comments or email, or when something I wrote is shared on social media :). It’s those simple recognitions that make me feel like my words resonated with someone else which bring a warm feeling to my heart and a sense of purpose.
What is one thing that has been completely unexpected as a result of blogging? From Financial Pilgrimage
One of the most unexpected results of blogging is that I became less focused on the numbers. I thought that writing about our journey would have me zooming in on numbers and where I might be able to increase that gap between our income and expenses (which I admittedly did with my grocery challenge).
However, as time went on I realized I was actually moving away from the numbers. Writing about what truly challenges me along the journey towards financial independence has moved my focus towards creating a life that I love.
While our savings rate has remained pretty much similar as to when I started blogging, I spend a lot less time thinking about the money since that part is now more automatic. My energy and time is more valuable when it’s allocated to living with more clarity, balance and intention.
Conclusion and new project
There you have it folks! I didn’t get around to some other great questions, yet there is always the possibility to answer them in future posts since, after 3 years, I can happily say I won’t be stopping this fun hobby anytime soon!
And to all our readers from the last 3 years : Thank you for following along our journey!
Finally, I’ve mentioned above that I’ve been spending some time on another project that is near and dear to my heart: budget & money coaching. I’ve been doing some coaching with friends and have started to coach others locally. Now I’ve been thinking about offering this through the blog.
If you have any interest or questions related to my coaching services, you can sign up here to be on the list where I will share more information about future coaching plans and available spots:
Or you can also send me general questions on which you would love to get help on by email at modmil [at] modmillionaires dot com