This is a guest post by Keyshia. She runs the blog Aspiring Journey all about blogging and making money online. This is her story and tips about how to chase your dreams if you are struggling financially.
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SIDENOTE! INVESTING DIVA!
In February of 2019, I quit my job to pursue my blog full time.
So, I pulled a Think and Grow Rich move by burning all my ships (reliable income), and cut off all sources of retreat.
I had saved up enough money to last me for 6 months. Not seeing the results I had hoped, I also lived off my high limit credit card for the other 6 months. My 6 months extension of having to pay my student loans back ran out by the end of the year.
So as you see my road of choices ended up leaving me flat out broke with pennies to my name.
I had to become creative with how I spent my time, used my resources, took odd jobs, and picked up side hustles.
There were skills I developed over the past year that have allowed me to grow in ways I couldn’t imagine. My first year of pursuing my passion didn’t grow my income.
However, It did strengthen me to become resourceful.
Here is what I learned trying to create income, save, and pursue my passion while being broke.
Get A Part- Time Job or Several Side Hustles
I recommend getting a part-time job if you want to pursue your passion full time. I now have a part-time job that pays me well working from home.
The realty is that investing in your passion costs money.
With blogging, there were a series of monthly expenses like hosting, tailwind, design programs, and courses.
Dabbling in side hustles also kept me afloat. Desperate times bring out creativity.
I wanted my dreams to happen bad enough that I made it work. I did Doordash delivery, Amazon FBA, and sold my old stuff along with other people’s stuff online.
Create a Budget
A discovery I realized is that I couldn’t keep spending more money than I was making.
I was spending on expenses and things I didn’t need at the same rate I did when I had a job. So I found the budget by paycheck method and started paying cash for everything.
I do not use my credit or debit card for any reason other than to pay my phone bill online.
As a visual person paying strictly in cash works for me and helps me with my goals. This allowed me to strip my expenses down to what I absolutely needed.
Related Article: 7 Smart Ways To Eat Healthy Food On A Budget
Invest In What You Can Afford
I was one of those people who spent all my money on a course or product thinking that it was going to make me a return on my investment.
Due to great marketing and my impulse control issues, I made a lot of hasty buying decisions.
Yet, I found after doing a self-evaluation that if I can’t afford it I do not need it. I had to find the products and services that work for my budget and business needs.
I learned to stop being influenced by other people selling their successes as a product.
I’ve made more money from a $37 course and free resources online then courses that are marketed for $600 to $700.
All you have is all you need. This motto is what’s working for me. If all I have is $50 to invest in my business then that’s all I need to make it work.
Avoid People Who Try To Discourage You
Part of chasing your dreams requires faith. No matter what you do in life you still have to believe in your abilities to get it done.
On my journey of making my own income, I realized that you get to find out who is there for you.
The support started to dwindle in my life. I don’t believe you need to tell every single person your dreams, goals, or aspirations.
Not everyone will have the same faith level as you.
I do recommend telling one or two people your goals to keep you encouraged. Then keep everyone else out.
It would have saved me from a few heartaches. I thought everyone I loved was going to be there for me like I was there for them in their lives.
But, everyone couldn’t understand my dreams. My dreams weren’t meant for everyone to understand.
If I dictated my life on what other people thought I wouldn’t be where I am today. Which is working from home making an income.
Tear Up Your Vision Boards
One thing about chasing your dreams is you can’t wait for a divine miracle to happen. This may mess with some people’s theologies.
I know our culture loves the law of Attraction and vision boards.
I had the same one for three years that I made in 2016. Not a single thing on my vision board came true until I threw it away.
Instead, what has worked for me is writing down my visions, ideas and goals.
I tucked it away and come back to review it every month.
For whatever reason, I have been able to make more progress with my goals then waking up to pictures on my wall.
Chasing your dreams is not passive. In order for it to happen a series of actions have to take place to achieve your goals.
Plan To Get Ahead
What I learned about pursuing my passion is that I had to plan if I wanted to see results. I used to be a chronic procrastinator.
When I was in school I waited until the night before to pump out 5000-word essays.
Although I received A’s on my assignments, stress hits you differently once you get older.
Quite frankly all the different stressors at the time made me physically sick.
Which ended up landing me in the hospital with more bills.
So, planning makes me feel as if I am running on autopilot.
I get what I need to get done without feeling the pressure of all the things I have to do. It makes me feel like I have some sense of control.
I receive better results working on my goals day by day than trying to pull an all-nighter to pump content out.
Blogging requires serious planning. I have to plan blog posts, outreach, guest post, new keywords, content for social media, etc.
If I don’t plan for these things then many times it calls for missed out opportunities.
I can’t try to pump out an article about the 4th of July on July 3rd. It’s already too late. People would have gotten everything they needed for that day.
I would have missed the window for blog promotion. Having things planned out makes it easier in the long run.
Create Small Actionable Goals
Creating goals for myself and side hustles keep me accountable. I create one big goal then I create small actionable goals that are going to progress me towards my big goal.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs want to make tons of money from their business.
Now that’s a great goal to aspire to.
However, I want my small actionable goals to be things that I can achieve in a short span of time.
Let’s say I desired to make $100,000 this year from my side hustles and blogging. I would then start small and say my first goal is to make $100.
The first of anything is always going to be the hardest.
Yet, if I can make that first 100 then I can create a system that will allow me to scale.
Whatever I did allow me to make $100 can make me $1000 then I’ll make my way to $100,000.
Don’t Buy Into Other People’s Success
To save money during this journey I had to stay focused and not covet other people’s successes.
As someone managing several side hustles I am still a consumer. I want to delegate and expand so that I am working on my business instead of doing the groundwork.
Many businesses claim they have products and services that are worth the investment. I suggest going after things based on your business needs at the time.
I no longer get sucked into someone’s success story. Where if I buy their product I can be successful too. I had to lose the lottery mentality.
I’m not saying don’t invest in education, books, and courses. I love learning new things and techniques.
What I am saying is don’t feel impulsed by marketing by buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have.
Reduce Your Spending
I said before I wasn’t good at managing money. So when I hit a serious rough patch I studied people who were amazing at managing money.
I researched everyone who mastered the art of making a living with less.
When you’re broke you become creative.
So I studied couponing, cooking meals at home, how to start a budget, and ate a plant-based diet.
Who knew that buying veggies and spices were much cheaper. I spend no more than $25 on grocery runs. If I’m being fancy for the week I’ll spend $30.
Making asian style cauliflower wings with baked fried rice is my new fave. My meals are healthy and well balanced which allowed me to lose 50 pounds and counting in the process.
When I had a reliable income I ate out almost every day.
You can only imagine how much that cost me and my health in the long run.
I also learned the art of freezing produce and cooked meals so it doesn’t go to waste. Growing up my family was never big on leftovers so I had no idea freezing cooked meals was a thing. Regardless, it’s genius!
It takes Time
Anything worth having is going to take time.
Documenting my progress has been helpful to keep me encouraged while I’m on this journey.
It taught me new skills along the way like budgeting, saving, and how to create different side hustles.
All these skills were non-existent exactly one year ago before I left my job. It took time to see visual results.
It hasn’t been a perfect journey. However, this is a journey I needed to go on to grow.
What has been ironic about my journey is that it has encouraged others. The same people who tried to discourage me are the same ones who have been encouraged by my journey to go after their dreams.