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The Creative World’s Advice Problem

The creative industry has seen a huge popularity with digital info products and advice monetization. It's an advice gold rush and everyone's looking to cash in. Click through to read how this is hurting the creative industry

Is advice still free? Everywhere I turn, advice is monetized. E-courses that talk about ways to increase audience, page views, and 10 tips to do X and X. Ebooks that are a “crazy deal” and promise to give the low down on how to get going on with your business. The creative world has been going through an advice monetization era.

I know that obviously advice is still free. There are super helpful blog posts being written, gracious people give out wisdom on social media, and relevant Facebook mastermind groups full of advice with a variety of perspectives.

However, the monetization of advice has been growing more abundant. Everyone wants to be an authority figure. Cranking out ebooks, e-courses, filling their content with several sponsored posts, and churning out repeated advice.

What happened to starting out and just creating? You know, setting out to do something, experimenting, failing, and experimenting some more.

The creative world’s advice problem is people who are spouting out advice without experience behind it and action in it.

I thought, at first, the issue was solely with bloggers. For the past year or two, the business blogger selling their advice has become a popular thing. Bloggers aren’t the only ones after all. Many of the ebooks, e-courses, and workshops churned out are valuable. Even still, the amount of non-stop selling, vague statements, and courses about mindset rather than actual strategy have been increasing.

A teacher I had back in middle school said a quote that sticks with me to this day: Nothing is ever truly free, everything has a price tag. 

Does everything really have a price tag? There is lots of free good and bad content out on the internet. Aside from paying for an internet connection, you don’t have to pay for the actual content you reading.

Unless it’s a post meant to convert, which consequently happening a lot more. You read an article that promises a free download (checklist, cheatsheet, resources guide,etc) and the only way to get it is to provide your email.

Then, provide your email and then you’re added to a list in which you can start being sold to. There’s nothing bad about this. Everyone has their ways and is trying to make a living. Problems happen when all the emails end up being sales pitches. One after the other. Over and over. People are tired of being sold to. 

The creative world’s advice problem isn’t tied just to bloggers as I thought, it’s going on throughout the industry. Advice is churned out over and over. Now more than ever, people must be intentional with their content consumption.

With seemingly every other person taking their slice of the pie and selling their advice, it’s important for people to be intentional and understand their behavior towards spending before they go and buy another information product.

There is still great advice out there. Even great advice that doesn’t require your email address :). Many times, an online course or ebook isn’t the only way to get the information. Cue the old grandpa voice saying there weren’t many e-courses back in my day (let’s say 2010). I had to look up the information all by myself! 

There’s a good possibility that free alternatives are out there.

Being an authority leader isn’t the be all version of success in the creative world. Advice should be something given without the constant thought of monetization and making an income off it.

Do you think the creative world has an advice problem? 

Naysayers of Personal Finance & What to Do About Them



There are always those people that kill your vibe. The ones where, when you explain some things you’re doing, they instantly retort against it. Sometimes, certain topics get more of an adverse reaction than others. Personal finance is one of them.

Talking about money makes many people nervous. Money management, saving, making more, and investing aren’t talked about much because for some reason it was decided to be a hush hush type of topic.

It’s interesting (and sometimes heartbreaking) when people brush off the discussion of money. When it comes to the naysayers of personal finance and money talk, I’ve experienced and learned of the different kinds of people who are so resistant to talking about money. Let’s take a look at them.

1. The Yolo (You Only Live Once) person

This is a big problem with millennials and people my age (I’m 21). Whenever the topic of saving and budgeting comes up, the YOLO person throws up their arms.

“You only live once! I want to enjoy my life, not have to restrict myself! I could die tomorrow for all I know!”

Yes, you could die tomorrow, but there is a greater possibility of you living much longer. Don’t you want to make sure you have a good financial foundation to enjoy your later years as well?

They make lots of impulse purchases and cover with the guise of “treating themselves” or “buying things that they need”. These are the “treat yo self” people. The type of people who may need to get better at being more intentional with their money and seeing the long-term.

The YOLO person fails to see money management as an opportunity rather than sacrifice [LINK]. They don’t understand it’s possible to live a good life and financially prepare for the future. These two are not mutually exclusive!

2. The “Thanks Obama” person

The title doesn’t have much to actually do with Obama, haha, it’s more discussing a particular mindset. A “thanks Obama” person is someone who complains about their situation and attributes their problems towards other things rather than focusing on actively working to better themselves.

They’re the ones who would rather hope for getting on a loan forgiveness program rather than look for ways to pay off their loans. They’re the ones who don’t know how to take the meaning of something and and shift it to fit their needs and goals.

How often have you read articles on income reports, people paying off big amounts of debt, working lucrative side jobs and so forth? On those articles, there is usually always someone in the comments who says how the situation won’t work for them.

I have three kids and a mortgage, there is no time for a second job! 

I only make $12 an hour, there is no way I can pay off my debt faster!

This person paid off 8,000 of debt in three months? That’s not possible for me!

This type of person focuses on the exact details of the above example stories, rather than focusing on the overall lesson: having a reason behind doing what you’re doing and making a plan that works for your situation.

3. The “On a better day” person

Most often known as a person who always says “I’ll do it tomorrow”, a “on a better day” person waits to get started. They believe things in their life aren’t in order at the moment and they will focus on their financial goals “on a better day”.

They constantly talk about how they don’t have this or that to get started or are too busy right now. Often times, they cast this mindset on others and try to guilt them.

“You run your own online business? Well I could run one too if I had a fancy laptop like yours.”

“You maxed out your Roth IRA this year? Well I have too many bills, I couldn’t possibly do that. Maybe when I start making more money…” 

4. The Overly Optimist

There is no need to build a good size emergency fund, right? Things will work themselves out. That debt will eventually be paid off. A big experience I had with this was when I was in college and talked with other people about their student loan debt.

“Oh, I’m not focused on it. I’ll worry about it when I graduate”

Besides rolling my eyes at the statement, my college self thought maybe it was just people not being exposed to the real world as the reason for this overly optimistic attitude. Nope! Being out of university now, I realize even lots of people in the real world do it.

They don’t pay their credit cards in full every month, they don’t make bigger payments towards their student loans, and they don’t focus on building up a bigger emergency fund. I mean, having $1,400 in a savings account is a good enough emergency fund, right? Right…

These types of people can bad for your finances. They may be great people, wonderful friends, and so forth, but they’re bad with money. How can you do about them?

Explain your ‘why’ and provide an example. 

The types of people above don’t have a definite ‘why’ behind their personal finance, so that’s why they see things like saving, investing, and making more money as not something worthwhile to focus on.

You could tell them your reasoning in dealing with personal finance and what you hope to get out of what you’re doing.

“I’m practicing frugality in terms of cutting my cable bill and limiting dining out. Nothing too extreme. I want to use the money I save to take that vacation to France I’ve always wanted to do.” 

“I’m working a second job as an Uber driver. I’m using the extra money to pay off my student loan debt. I want to pay it off faster so I can focus more on my passion project of painting, without having to worry about debt.”

“I made a budget for myself. I want to see where my money goes every month so I can see where to save. I want to use the saved money to put towards a down payment on a house.”

A lot of times, people just need to be explained why something might be beneficial to them. They may see personal finance as some daunting, big task. It doesn’t it have to be.

Everyone starts somewhere. It all starts with one thing. Doing one thing every day and working towards building a more solid foundation.


Have you encountered naysayers of personal finance and money management? What did you do about it? 

Photo credit

Beginner Frustrations


It’s 12:38am and I’m still staring at the computer screen. My eyesight filled with a cloudy outlook from being in front of the computer too long.

I’ve been trying to “get things off the ground” as they say and as expected, it hasn’t been easy (hardest part is getting started, amiright? Ha.) I’m doing the the whole laughing thing to keep from getting more nervous 🙂

Lately I’ve been trying to get back into freelance writing. I did a bit while in university and now I’m ready to get back to doing it. Back in the ring and things are fierce! The majority of the job listings I’ve seen could be divided into two types:

  1. We are looking for article writers for a well-recognized website. The articles need to be well-researched and adhere to strict deadlines. Unpaid but great opportunity for exposure! 
  2. Need well-experienced writers who write well researched, in-depth compelling content. RPW: 0.05/ $25 per post.

Why, why, why? It can be frustrating, frustrating to see how people are okay with paying writers so little for work they want to be top-notch. Scrolling through many of these types of posts has been a downer. The struggles of the beginning stages.

So, why exactly am I doing all of this? I’m sure you can already guess it: debt. Debt in question? Student loans. Da-dung… (just imagine a big bell ringing).

Student loans are like that clingy significant other you just can’t seem to get rid of. I’m going to get rid of it though. Freelance writing and some other endeavors are going to be the avenues to help supercharge it and pay down the debt faster.

My eyes have been gravitating more towards Melanie’s Dear Debt website lately. On the site, she posts submissions from people and their different variations of hatred towards debt. I’m loving it! Awesome motivation.

When it get rocky, you just have to adapt and make things work

Back in March, I bought and went through the highly praised 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success e-course by Gina from Horkey Handbook. The course was amazing and well worth the affordable price tag.

In addition to that, I purchased a better theme for this website and bought a one month membership to Contena Pro. Making those investments!

Doing all of this, I started to gear up to pitch again. Then…my life went in a whirlwind of changes. I attended South by Southwest festival for eight days, then spent a week in Oregon, then hopped on a plane to Bangkok, Thailand, leaving the USA for six months.

All of this meant I didn’t have my beloved workspace anymore. It got traded in for working on couches and dealing with crappy WiFi. Hostel life was awesoooome, but still. Adding to the pile.


A year from now, you will wish you had started today 

This thought rings around my mind every night before I go to bed. While things may not be in the place I want them to be, I’m glad I have gotten started instead of making excuses.

Now I’m in the beginning trenches. I know it won’t be forever. I like to think of this period as the skin-thickening period. Also the sponge soaking period considering how I’ve been reading any and every freelance writing strategy article I can find.

Things are tedious and frustrating right now but I’m glad I got started. That’s what’s important.

  • Everyone has to start somewhere
  • Do what you can, with what you have, where you are (love me a good Teddy Rosevelt quote)
  • Be proactive about telling people what you do, opportunity sometimes strikes at the most random of times

What has been something you have had a rough time getting started with? How did you get through the beginning stages? Let me know. I love hearing different perspectives! 

How $240 Brought Me Happiness


You ever have that hankering to buy something you aren’t even sure how to justify? The day gets slow and your thoughts immediately goes to that thing on your mind. The one sitting in your Amazon cart that you keep putting in and taking back out. Or maybe it’s at a store. You make up excuses about needing to do an impromptu grocery run just so you can stop by the store and marvel at the product because it’s so amazing. 

Someone asks “Why do you even want it? Just save your money!”

You’re not dissuaded by what they say. Eyes are still on the prize. The thought of buying it and seeming materialist lingers in the back of your mind. The thing is just an ah so amazing kind of way.

Back when I was in college, working a low-paying crappy food service job and having scant savings, I went through feeling. It was my first semester of college and I wanted to save as much as possible. Despite the mindset of spending only on necessities, something caught my eye. A particular point and shoot camera. Brand: Cannon, higher-end (translation: more pricey) point and shoot camera with several features I liked.

I wasn’t set out on becoming a professional photographer or anything, I just wanted to get a camera and see where it would take me. It wasn’t some fancy DSLR  that would require a month’s rent and part of my soul. However it did require a bit of money: $240 for the camera, bag, memory card, tripod, and extra battery.

Now $240 might not feel like a lot to most but at the time, to my broke college self, it was a lot. With a crappy living situation, an equally crappy job, and a full load of classes, I wanted an outlet to spend time on.

Keep in mind this was the year 2012 when smartphones had already taken over and people’s phones became the default camera option. Point and shoots were a dying breed. For some odd reason, I still wanted one.

This longing had been from a childhood obsession with taking pictures. I would use my allowance to buy a Kodak disposable camera once a month. Using those 27 exposures, I would take pictures of anything and everything. It was so fun.

So on a Sunday night after work, I clicked the purchase button. After putting in and taking it out of my Amazon cart for months, I had finally bought it.

Adrenaline was running high. 

Throughout college and for the next several years I used every bit of that camera. Since carrying a backpack everywhere was looked at as normal for a college student (even when I wasn’t on campus), I was able to take my point and shoot with me almost everywhere. With one of those Eye-fi memory cards, I was able to wirelessly send the photos to my smartphone.

The camera went with me to South by Southwest festival, New Orleans, NYC, Chicago, California, and a bunch of other places. The little piece of machinery, I loved it so much. The camera is still with me to this day (three years of ownership so far). Looking back, even though I was broke and barely getting by, I’m glad I dropped the $240 on the camera.

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Investing in yourself. Investing in your hobbies. That’s what the camera represents to me. (If you’re curious, it was a Canon SX260 HS I bought, the updated model is the Canon SX 610 HS).

Question: What has been something you decided to splurge on? Did you consider it an investment in yourself? Something to fulfill a curiosity or hobby? 

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