One random Wednesday morning, I was checking my spam email folder and came across an interesting message. It was from a guy saying he worked at “Soapbox, a Motley Fool company.” He said that he checked out some of my writing, liked my positive vibe, and wanted to talk about an “opportunity to become the new face/voice of a blog they recently purchased.”
This didn’t seem like a typical spammy email, so I hit reply to see if it was legit. It turns out that one of my heroes, the legendary J. Money, had decided to start working on another project and recommended me as a candidate for taking over this blog.
Whoa! I was shocked. A million thoughts rushed to my head …
- Why me? There are a thousand other people out there with more finance knowledge and better writing skills.
- Who could ever replace J. Money? And what kind of idiot would even try?
- Isn’t the Motley Fool a website that gives stock advice to already rich people?
- *Note to self* I should check my spam folder more often … I wonder what other messages I’ve missed there over the years?!
I set up a call with J$ to chat about it more, and that’s when I stumbled down the rabbit hole. This was an opportunity I never saw coming.
The Budgets team, and my new “boss” at work
The guys who own this blog are hilarious. I can see why J. Money stuck around so long and is continuing to build new projects with them. They are a small team of smart, funny, and laid-back people. And the decision to bring me on as a new writer was long and well thought out.
I had a bunch of video calls with them before committing to this gig. And the more I learned about the people and their vision, the more excited I got.
Here are a few reasons I’m excited to be joining the Budgets team:
Reaching more people: This blog isn’t a “business” for them, it’s a community. Their mission is to help everyone become smarter, happier and richer. I’m 100% on board with this.
Drinking on the job is encouraged: My new “boss” recommended that I drink beer while writing blog posts. True story — he even sent me a care package of local craft beers and a Soapbox-branded pint glass to use! (photo below)
Freedom to be myself: I assumed the Budgets team would have a rule guide for what I write about, when to post, topics to avoid, etc. … Nope! They’ve given me complete freedom to figure it all out myself. I get to be me every day, and I’ve never had a job like that before.
J. Money is a phone call away: J$ may not be blogging here daily anymore, but he is lurking in the background of every post, making sure that I don’t screw up. He is (and forever will be) emotionally connected to this blog … Which means I get to use him as a free mentor and pick his brain any time I want!
Fun culture: I learned that the Motley Fool company has an average employee tenure of ~9 years! That’s how fun and happy the people are who work there, and I get to be a team member. (Even the most fun companies, like Google, only keep employees for an average of 3-4 years.)
Long-term approach: I’m impressed with the way everyone on the Budgets team solves problems. They approach projects and decisions with a long-term outlook, kind of like a mature investment strategy :)
Blog schedule going forward
I know you’re used to getting a post every weekday, but it’s gonna take a while for me to ramp up to that crazy level!
For now, new posts from me will come a few times a week … Mondays and Fridays to start with, and we’ll share a bunch of guest posts and other announcements when we have them. Also, J might be popping in later this month to talk about his withdrawal symptoms after leaving the blog and update us on his new projects.
If you’re a personal finance blogger or have a cool money story that you think will help others, please send it our way. Don’t be shy — everyone benefits when we share our stories! My new “work email” is joel (at) budgetsaresexy (dot) com. I’d love to hear from you!
Happy Monday, and have a kickass week!
Joel is a 35 y/o Aussie living in Los Angeles and the guy behind 5amjoel.com. He loves waking up early, finding ways to be more efficient with time and money, and sharing what he learns with others. Rise Early | Retire Early!