Surviving My First Year of Business (Tough Times & Lessons Learned)

I quit my day job to give full-time blogging a try.

The past year and a half have been pretty shaky.

It’s been tough on Mrs. PT and I as we’ve dealt with the ups and downs of the self-employment journey.

I know many of you are going through similar scenarios and can relate. So today I thought I would take a moment to fill you in on how things have been going for me.

The Decision to Go Full-time

Quitting wasn’t easy.

At the time, my corporate job as an internal auditor and this blog were our only sources of income. A year earlier, Mrs. PT had left her teaching career to pursue her Master’s degree and be home with our little girl, which I really wanted her to do.

When I first started seriously hinting at the idea of leaving my career, it put Mrs. PT into a bit of a panic. She really wanted no part of me leaving the safe confines of a steady paycheck. She knew what kind of revenue my blog was generating at the time (not much), and she knew we would have to go out and buy individual health insurance.

We don’t necessarily have any conditions that would prevent us from getting insurance. It was just a scary unknown.

I had my own reservations. Would I be able to get affordable health insurance? Would my website revenue maintain it’s current trajectory? Would I be able to grow it enough to not have to dip into savings and to continue our financial progress? Would I be able to get another job if things didn’t work out?

In January, just one month before I eventually quit, I set a goal: even though I was tired of my corporate career, I would continue in my current job at least two more years and work harder than ever to bring my blog to a full-time level.

The two years would allow us to have another child, allow Mrs. PT to finish school, and allow for her to potentially get back to teaching.

Entrepreneur Dad and Daughter Baseball GameThis goal lasted a month. At work, I was assigned a three-week project in India that would have me miss our little girl’s first birthday. When it was just Mrs. PT and me, this job was the perfect fit. She would come along with me on these overseas trips and we got to see the world.

But now that we had a little one, the three-week trips were tough on our new family. The thought of this proposed three-week project was enough to help us make a decision. Mrs. PT told me that if I wanted to give blogging full-time a try, then she would support the move. It was on.

My next move was to bust through some of those fears I was having (i.e. health insurance, future job prospects, etc.). I quickly ran some quotes on The monthly premiums on the high-deductible plans weren’t that bad.

Today, instead of using health insurance found on the open market, I use a medical sharing program called Medi-Share. Medi-Share allowed me to reduce my monthly healthcare cost by over $700! Read my review of this life-changing service. Boy, do I wish it had been around when I first wrote this post!

Back to my story…We decided that if we cut back on some expenses, we could handle that.

Next, I took a look at the job market in my area for internal auditors and CPAs. Things weren’t ideal here in Texas, but they weren’t horrible either like in other parts of the Country. I was still getting the occasional call or email from a recruiter, and I felt confident that even if I had to take a much lower paying job, I could find a paycheck again if I needed it.

Additionally, my father runs a public accounting practice. As he has done many times over the years, he generously offered to allow me to do some tax-preparation work for him. So I knew I would have some extra money coming in from March to mid-April if I needed it.

With those two things out of the way, I was ready to quit. I gave my two week’s notice and wrapped up my projects there. Mrs. PT and I decided that we would use this time as an experiment. Let’s see if I can make the blog work as a full-time source of income and if it doesn’t work out by the Summer, I’ll start looking for work back in my old career with an employer that doesn’t require travel.

Lesson #1: Don’t let the supposed “monster under your bed” prevent you from getting up and doing something about it. Chase down your fears – don’t let them hang around – and see what you discover.

The 3 Month Experiment

For the next few months, I poured myself into making this work: I wrote two posts a day on the blog, I developed new revenue streams for the blog, I worked longer hours, I did a tax return a day for my Dad’s business. I loved it. There were no more “Mondays” in my life.

Truthfully though, I was working hard and not very smart when it came to the blog. I was doing some things right, but I wasn’t seeing big gains in revenue. It was a struggle to push things forward. Looking back, March to May is a tough time to grow a personal finance blog. That’s historically when traffic and thus, revenue (with the exception of tax-related stuff) starts taking a natural dip.

While the site was struggling to take off, I lucked up and landed a freelancing gig in late March. The folks at PerkStreet wanted to put their blog on the map and asked me for a bit of advice on working with personal finance bloggers.

I took the opportunity to pitch to them the idea of me being hired on as their blog manager. The gig would only require about 15 hours a week and I had the connections to make it work. The pitch worked. They generously hired me on to help manage their blog.

This would prove to play a pivotal role in us “making it” over through the Summer. While the PerkStreet gig provided a solid, baseline of income, I knew there were no guarantees (month-to-month contract). PerkStreet was a start-up company and I was an unproven blog manager.

I made another pivotal move in late April. After seeing slow progress with my site during the first two months of a full-time effort, I decided to bring in some help. I hired a consultant (you know him as Michael). I hired him to help to give my site some direction and to help manage one of my undeveloped revenue streams: affiliate marketing.

Like the freelancing gig, I had high hopes for this, but there we no guarantees when we started up in May.

Lesson #2: Do whatever it takes, including taking on additional side-hustles and looking for help when you’re progress slows.

Here’s my video with Matt Jabs of Debt Free Adventure covering some of this material. Sorry about the quality.

A Summer of Interviews and Baby News

Another month went by and not much progress with the site. Over Memorial Day weekend Mrs. PT and I had some talks and I made the decision to start looking for work. If things were going to continue on their current path, my revenue would not be enough to allow us to continue meeting our financial goals: retirement savings, another house down payment, etc.

I saw us having to possibly dip into our emergency savings towards the end of the year, or even quicker if the freelancing gig went away.

Additionally, Mrs. PT was ready to have another baby and move into a bigger house. Both things (“wants”, truly) would require a full-time job with group health insurance and a W-2, I thought. The “experiment” had seen some successes, but it had initially failed.

So I started looking for work. I figured I could get a corporate gig and still maintain the PerkStreet thing on a part-time basis. Since I now had the consultant helping with the site, PT Money would be able to get by, and even possibly still grow, on a part-time effort.

Over the next few months I sent out several resumes and went on several job interviews. I didn’t have much luck. I didn’t land that many second interviews and I struggled to explain the gap in my recent work history.

If I quit on my last employer, what confidence did they have that I would stick around for them? It’s a fair concern.

The next few months were bizarro world. The site traffic and revenue started to take off. I did the TV piece with Fox Business. The PerkStreet gig was hanging in there.

Things were looking up, but I was still this poor sap who couldn’t land a job. It was tough on me. I worried a lot during these months.

Then, we found out we were going to have another baby. I had to get a job now. Individual health insurance in Texas doesn’t cover maternity. I was nine months away from a $25,000 payout if I wasn’t on group health insurance by then. The news was shocking, but it was also freeing in a way. I had nine months. I decided to give the job search a rest, focus 100% on PT Money, and try to land a job later in the year, just in time for baby.

Lesson #3: Life comes at you fast and it’s hard to say where things, even your wants, will take you.

Self-Employment Success Isn’t Enough

August through December were some of the best months of my life. PT Money had become a financial success. Traffic and revenue saw huge increases each month. The strategy put in place by the consultant, along with the endless hours of work on my part was finally starting to pay off.

My revenue surpassed my old corporate career income. And for the first time in my life, I felt like a real entrepreneurial success. I loved my work and it was finally paying off.

But it wasn’t paying off to the tune of $25,000, the amount we would pay out-of-pocket for baby #2. So, as crazy as it sounds, I went back to sending out resumes in hopes of landing a job. I even entertained the idea of taking on a part-time job with benefits.

I still faced the same uphill battle with employers: the weird gap in my employment history. By late January of the next year, I still didn’t have a job.

Long story short, my parents once again came to the rescue. My father offered to bring me on with his practice and provide the group health insurance that we would need to help cover the maternity costs. I started with him in February, and on March 4th our second daughter was born.

Through April I continued doing “full-time” work for my father’s practice while maintaining PT Money, which continued solid growth.

After tax season, I returned to full-time blogging. Since that time, the site has seen some more ups and downs.

Google’s Panda Updates 1.0 and 2.0 (which I’m still struggling to recover from) have pushed the site back to last year’s levels.

I think had I not gone through such a volatile year last year, these last few months would have been really tough.

Lesson #4: Running a business never gets easy for long. You have to learn to love weathering the ups and downs that come with moving something forward.

When I look ahead, I feel confident about the long-term future of my business and about our ability to weather the storms.

I still love what I’m doing and wake up every day excited to take on new projects. It certainly helps that Mrs. PT and I are blessed to not have too much debt or too many monthly expenses to deal with.

So that’s where we’re at and that’s what it’s been like for us this past year.

Surviving My First Year of Business (Tough Times & Lessons Learned)

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  1. Avatar Brian Satterlee says:

    I have been on my own for 10 years now. It’s not always been easy. Good luck to you!

  2. Avatar WhatMommyDoes says:

    Wow, you really had some guts to take the initial plunge…I am sooo glad it worked out for you. Again, I really enjoyed reading your recounting.  Turns out we have a lot in common.  I’m a CPA and worked for a Big 4 public accounting firm and then the corporate tax department of a Fortune 500 company in my area before quitting just after the birth of my first child.  I can relate to your justifications of there being plenty of accounting jobs available if you were to ever change your mind AND I can relate to having a one-income household.  Luckily for me, however, I’m not the breadwinner, so I don’t have that added pressure while trying to build my blogs. Also, I can easily blame resume gaps on my kids. 🙂
    I can also relate to hating Pandas!!!!  While you were building your blog, I was writing like crazy for the online magazine,  I have over 400 articles over there.  Everything was going swimmingly until Panda #1 hit, and my income went from nearly $3,000 some months to a fraction of that, as I explained on my personal site here: and here:  I should have known that roller coaster ride wouldn’t last forever, but I was loving the extra income so much that I didn’t have time to care.
    I don’t regret the time I spent there because I learned invaluable lessons about SEO and have been using that knowledge on my own sites.  But I really wish I had been working for myself all along the way.  I suppose I didn’t because I didn’t know how to make a website. LOL  Just after my second child was born, I buckled down and taught myself how to use WordPress in a few days time…the absolute best time investment I ever made!  Now I feel in control of my destiny, but I still need to diversify my revenue streams so I’m not so reliant on Google…you never know when you’ll get the dreaded deactivation email because they think your sites result in fraudulent clicks!  
    I have so many plans…now I just need to find the time…with three kids under the age of 5, I think my only option right now is to forgo some sleep.  hahaha

  3. Avatar Analytical Planner says:

    I just went through the roller coaster of having a baby and staying home from my professional job.  I’m currently on the 7th month of my one year leave of absence and I’m beginning my search for new employment.  I wish I could find work I could do at home, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.  I dread interviewing where they are going to ask about my one year of no professional work. 
    I’m glad things are working out!  I can’t wait to hear more.

    1. Avatar WhatMommyDoes says:

       @Analytical Planner Hi Mrs. PMC – I just popped on over to your blog and saw that you have a Master’s degree…you might want to look into online teaching.  I teach for Axia College (part of the University of Phoenix).  It only requires an MS whereas UoP requires a PhD of all faculty.  
      Here’s some info about the gig:
      And here is a direct link to the current openings:
      Even if you don’t see something in your area right now,  this list is updated at least quarterly, so I would recommend checking back every so often.  
      The equivalent hourly pay isn’t probably anywhere near what you made at your full time job, but I think it pays well for the time you put into it.  And if you’re into teaching others (which I presume most bloggers are), you will reap other intrinsic benefits from teaching.  
      Capella University also hires online instructors, although I don’t have any experience with them.

  4. Avatar eemusings says:

    Thanks for the honesty! And congrats on the new arrival.

  5. Avatar retirebyforty says:

    Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a crazy, but exhilarating time for you.

    The health insurance thing is a huge problem. Fortunately, my wife will continue with her full time job when I pull the trigger so it shouldn’t be that bad for us.

    I really need to work on my affiliate marketing as well and will probably need to hire someone to help me with it.

  6. Hey PT,

    Just re-read your post. Do you mind sharing how many months of living expenses you saved up before you took the leap into full-time blogging? At the time you jumped as well, what percentage of your day job income was your online endeavors generating?

    I’ve been thinking about this stuff as well recently.



    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      @Yakezie We had roughly 6 months saved. So, if my blog literally never made a penny I could have lasted 6 months before incurring debt.

      I recall I was making around 20% to 30%. It’s probably important to note that this was enough to cover 75% of our expenses. We run lean.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. I knew there were real people that could make it blogging full time. I blog part time right now. I am not sure it is a full time career for me, but I do believe it is an additional income stream that will help my family. It seems as though you have a great support system that was able to help you when you really needed it. Sometimes those moments are key to allowing you to go after your dream. You seem to have made it. Congratulations.

  8. Avatar Money Reasons says:

    Sounds exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

    It’s good to hear things are working out nicely! I’m looking forwards to hearing more about your adventures in full-time blogging!

  9. Avatar Paula @ says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Its so good to hear how other bloggers are faring in their quest to make blogging a full-time source of income. I can’t imagine having the added pressure of having to support a spouse, child, and another baby on the way. You are brave for making the choices that you did, and — as the famous quote says — fortune favors the brave! I’m so happy you’ve been able to make a success out of PT Money and that you’re able to blog for a living.

    One other note — you wrote TWO blog posts a day?! Do you think that kind of frequency was helpful? Would you recommend it?

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks, Paula. Yes, last March and April I did around 2 posts each week day (and I was writing them all). Before the Google Panda update I’d say it was helpful. My monetization strategy relies on Google traffic. The more pages you have in your site, the more chance there is for Google to send you traffic, and that equals more income. With the Panda rollout though, the game has changed a bit. I think there may be more value in letting posts “mature” on the home page without bumping them down. This gives each post more attention, more socializing, more comments, etc. There are probably a lot of posts on my blog that didn’t get the attention they deserved, and there are probably some that I rushed to print vs going the extra mile with the content. I’m correcting this now by taking some of those old posts, polishing them up, and re-posting them. I’m still pumping out 2 posts a day here though, but it comes from me and 4 other writers throughout the month. So it’s not me writing twice a day anymore.

    2. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      “Would you recommend it?” …I would still recommend a lot of content for your site. But make sure you have time to market the content and make sure you’ve spent a ton of time building it.

  10. I wish you had shared this real time, why didn’t you? People don’t come here just for the info a large part of it has to do with your story and the essence of PT lol

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Lot’s of reasons: embarrassment, shame, insecurity, ignorance. I’m glad I shared it though and will bring more of the PT essence in the future.

      1. Shame? Embarrassment?

        You followed a dream and it partially worked out!

  11. Avatar Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey says:

    Quite a cool story PT! Thanks for sharing! I actually didn’t know you were doing the full time blogging gig!

  12. Avatar Untemplater says:

    I loved reading your story PT. Many congrats on getting through all of those ups and downs and on the birth of your 2nd little one. That’s so great you were able to help out your dad’s business and get the coverage you needed for the birth. I can’t believe how expensive it is for people without maternity coverage – W-O-W.

    I’m blogging part time right now and hope to switch to do it full time in a few years. I’m not in a rush right now b/c I actually enjoy my day job, get great benefits, have enough energy to spend the majority of my free time blogging, and still have a lot I want to learn.

    So glad to hear that it is possible to blog full time while raising a family. Way to go!!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks, Sydney. I’m glad that you enjoy doing both. For a time I had both, and I loved many aspects of the double-dipping.

  13. Philip, in a way what you went through describes what I am going through now and it was great to read about your struggles and how you overcame them. Still, this is only a start and there are great things to come for the blog in the future 🙂

  14. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

    Oh btw, how does one know whether one has been positively or negatively affected by the Panda update? Is it just through Google Analytics? thx

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Look in Google Analytics at your Google search traffic. If you saw a large, immediate percentage decreases on 2/24 and 4/12 then you’ve been slapped by the Panda. You’d know it if it happened.

      1. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

        K, I checked. Looks like normal. I guess I need to check GA more than once every couple months or so. Maybe once a week yeah?

        I donno, for some reaosn, it doesn’t interest me.

        1. If you have no reason to check it, then don’t waste your time.

  15. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

    Very inspiring PT! It is great to hear your story and even more awesome that you have great family to help you out in times of need. That’s what it’s all about!

    You’ve helped give me and probably many other folks the belief that even in the worst of times, when we get canned or whatnot, we can still survive and do other things such as be a blog manager, do freelance, and work on our own sites.

    Keep it up mate!

    Best, Sam

  16. Avatar Morgan McKay says:

    I would say you have met incredible success. I am officially at my own one year mark from quitting my corporate banking job and setting out for myself. I do have my own self-named blog, it is about frugal living and fitness, but it is not a revenue stream for me and I am not sure if it ever will be since my consulting business is just now finding traction.

    I set out in a related field as a freelance consultant and that is just now taking off after 6 months of studying for certifications (and another 6 months of really great travel and scuba diving).

    My biggest tips:
    1. Get licenses and certifications in your field so you can do freelance work.
    2. Save money.
    3. Learn to spend it frugally.

  17. DUDE – this is great!!!! Wow… probably my favorite post of yours ever. So “real” ya know? Really really awesome you’re sharing this with everyone – just goes to show full-time blogging isn’t always rainbows and sunshine…. though it is sexy 😉

    Plus, w/out you doing full-time, there’d be no FINCON11! And that would be crazy talk.

    1. I know you’re right there with me, J. Having buddies in the trenches helps. You are exactly right. The conference idea was kicked off once the blog was full steam and I had the insurance situation worked out. It’s like I could finally think strategy and beyond my current circumstances. The conference is what came out of that moment of clarity. Now hopefully it will become an asset to help me to continue doing all of this for years to come.

  18. I really LOVE that you’re sharing your story and have passed it on to the young entrepreneurs in my family who seem to think that it’s paycheck or venture and nothing else. You’re a role model for pursuing a dream, and balancing that with doing what it takes to care for your family without giving up on the dream. I wish you much luck and many more successes!

    1. Thanks, RJ. Passing the post to someone else is the best compliment you can give. I’m honored.

  19. Phil,
    As a fellow entrepreneur (online memorabilia & collector’s sales) and personal-finance enthusiast who has also left the realm of “real work” in December for the risque satisfaction of entrepreneurialism, I would like to sincerely thank you for having the courage to share your journey with your fellow readers with such honesty and transparency.

    It can honestly be frightening when it comes to revealing our personal “naked truth” to the world, as it often unfortunately plays into our own innate fear of being negatively criticized.

    That being said, it takes a HUGE amount of healthy self-esteem (which you most certainly seem to possess) to even take the leap you and Mrs. PT have — nevermind to simply reveal it — as well as to be able to comfort yourself during those truly financially “slow” moments.

    In closing, I would like to thank you once again and propose a toast to the health & well-being of yourself, your blog, and your lovely family.


    1. Thanks, Adrian. I appreciate the kind remarks and the toast.

  20. Wow PT! Its been a wild roller coaster ride for you. I am glad you came out stronger and successful. It is sad that an entrepreneur has to give up his dream (at least temporarily) to get health insurance.

    Lot of beginner bloggers (like me) think blogging is easy. Thanks for sharing all of this. Wishing you and your family all the best and hoping the lag due to panda update goes away soon.

    Looking forward to meeting you at the conference!

  21. Thanks for the great behind the scenes look at the life of a web entrepreneur. I think that this will give people the sense that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, and that you need to be aware of that when you get in.

    I think a lot of people have an idea in their head that they’re going to sit home all day, write a couple of posts and rake in the big bucks, but it just isn’t that easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of planning and even then things don’t always go how you planned.

    I’ve thought about going full time with my sites as well, but things like health insurance, fears of relying on a majority of my income from one source (my PF blog) and other things have kept me back thus far. Also, with hopes of moving to a different house at some point and having another child – all that has kept me from moving forward. Thankfully I have a job i still enjoy and i don’t have a ton of travel or anything, so for now i’ll stay put and continue working on growing it. And hopefully we’ll all see some improvements after the evil Panda!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Yeah, you have an ideal situation where you are at. I still don’t see how you manage to do all you do though, Pete. For me, when it’s been good, it’s really been good. The down times were mainly self-imposed with the pregnancy and the “needs” of security and financial flexibility. But during those times I still worked a ton because I love this stuff.

    2. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

      Peter, if anybody can do it, it’s you man! Keep it up!

  22. Avatar SB (One Cent At A Time) says:

    You gave me courage. Blogging is my first entrepreunerial venture as well, and I too am looking to write full time one day. I just started, miles to go..posts like this kicks our passion, thanks for sharing!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Glad I could help. It certainly requires staying power. Sometimes I think I’m crazy for sticking with it for so many low profit years.

  23. Thanks for sharing all of this, PT! It’s been a wild ride for you, and my path has been somewhat similar. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person at the conference!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Flexo. Same here. It will be feel like I’ve come full circle when I shake your hand.

  24. Avatar Matt Jabs says:

    Wow, thanks for writing all this out Phil, as you suspected it is helpful for those of us going through similar circumstances. I was “laid off” November of 2010, looked for another job or new career until February 2011, then decided to take the leap to full-time blogging. The hardest part is that my wife is also leaving her school job. This August we’ll see her last paycheck then it’s full-time entrepreneurship. We’re excited, though a bit scared. If we could sell our upside down house things would definitely be easier, but we can’t so that is our biggest hurdle right now – along with getting revenue up. We have faith and think we’re doing the right thing so we are confident it will work out, even though we’re stepping into the unknown. God bless you & the fam!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Glad you got some use from it, Matt. Wow, your story is very similar. One thing I wish I did early on is diversify the things I owned online. I have some diversity now, but last year I was staring at my one asset (PT Money) and putting all my hopes there. Now with the conference and some other blogs, I feel like pretty soon I’ll be able to have some confidence in other areas. You have DIYNatural, which is taking off, so that’s got to feel great. My advice is to do everything you can with that house while your wife has the paycheck. Things are harder to do when you don’t have that from a credit perspective. Also, go see your doctor and dentist prior to leaving. 🙂

      1. Avatar Matt Jabs says:

        Great free advice Phil. I’ll take all of it and do my best!

      2. Avatar Matt Jabs says:

        Forgot to mention that the diversification strategy is crucial. You’re right, DIYNatural is growing like crazy now with more than twice the traffic of DFA, so that is where the majority of my focus is going.

  25. That was one difficult ride, and I’m glad you came out okay. Congratulations on the success, and wish you all the best for the future.

  26. Avatar Glen Craig says:

    For sure, your going full-time and the gains you made with your site are an inspiration. I’ve always looked up to your work and content. Thanks for sharing your story.

    As much as we may like the idea of going out on our own it’s important to understand what is actually involved. Your own business is a scary place at times. Great to hear you had some support to get you over a few humps. Your story also shows why, perhaps, we don’t have enough innovation in the country – costs like health care keep many people in their “corporate” jobs.

    Thanks again for telling your story and being brave enough to go through what you did.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks, Glen.

  27. Thanks for sharing this update Phil.

    I find that it helps to alleviate a lot of the stress of self-employment by holding down a part-time job. I always see myself holding down a part-time job of some sorts.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      It adds some structure to your life as well. Otherwise, self-employment can feel like there is no beginning and end to your day. It’s fun for a while, but you can’t live your life without boundaries. I use my workout class for this reason. I can see how a part-time gig would provide a similar benefit.

      1. Avatar Jeff Weber says:

        PT, you nailed the no beginning and no end. I feel like there are always an infinite number of things that can be done and, unlike with a regular job, there is no natural break from responsibilities. I was working way too much recently and found that scheduling time to spend with my son every night was a good way of getting myself to stop working.

      2. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

        Coldstone Creamery (Ice Cream) in Hawaii and Starbucks provides FULL healthcare in Hawaii if one works 20 hours a week. I’m there!

  28. It’s often said that working 24 hours for yourself is better than 1 hour for somebody else. That isn’t always the case if the paychecks aren’t coming in. If you’re using Facebook to drive traffic back to your blog or gather email leads, you may want to consider a custom business Fan Page.

  29. Avatar Jeff Weber says:

    I hadn’t had a chance to stop by and read any of your posts lately, but I saw this on Twitter and was actually excited to read someone else’s blog for the first time in a while.

    I was not disappointed. This is great writing, plain and simple. Wishing you and your family all the best and hoping the Panda gets off your back very, very soon.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks, Jeff. I’ll try to do more of these types of posts in the future.

  30. WOW. What a roller coaster! I’m glad it is working out.

    $25k for maternity coverage is just plain robbery. Birth doesn’t have to be such a medical, expensive event, sheesh!

    If you’re in a similar situation for baby #3, maybe your wife would be open to a birth center where OOP costs are substantially less. Or an unmedicated hospital birth perhaps. My last birth was $6k before insurance, as a comparison point, and I did have complications that required me to have certain meds and stick around longer, so it would have been less if not for that.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Yep, a roller coaster is a good way to describe it. Truth be told, I’m not sure how much it would have actually been had we went in and negotiated a cash price with the hospital. I’m sure it would have been much less. Still, it seemed like a waste of money. But, that’s how insurance works. I understand.

      We are a special case pregnancy if you know what I mean, so hospital time and lengthy after-care is a necessity. It’s costly. No getting around it.

      $6K is what we ended up paying with the group health insurance.

  31. Avatar Jon -- Free Money Wisdom says:

    Thanks for sharing this. You have really had some rough times–but things seem to be looking up for you guys! Keep at it and don’t give up! Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!

  32. I’m in the spot where I want to do something for myself, as an entrepreneur, but I can’t seem to figure out WHAT to do.
    Hang in there, Philip

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks! You know, it took me a while before I felt this way about blogging. It was a real evolution. But like you, I felt the desire to own my own thing one day.

  33. Avatar Mike Holman says:

    Thanks for the update Phil.

    I’m thinking of making a similar move in a couple of years and it’s great to hear an honest portrayal of what it’s like.

    I don’t think a three month test period (to increase income) is enough. From my (admittedly limited) experience, blog income seems to at least somewhat cumulative. A lot of the income comes from past efforts. I believe that increasing the amount of effort on a blog will increase the rate of growth, but it might take quite a while to make a significant increase.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Good point about the cumulative effort. To a certain degree, because of the want for a baby and new house, the cards were stacked against me. That was a high bar I set for myself. So I don’t even think doubling my income would have changed the result: look for work. I’m just glad no one wanted to hire me. Who knows where I would be now.

  34. Avatar 20 and Engaged says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this Philip! It’s been hard trying to go full time with being an Internet entrepreneur, and now I know there will be hard times (the past 6 months have been hard really) but I have high hopes.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Anyone who cares about it as much as you do will see some success. Keep it up!

  35. Avatar cashflowmantra says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I am just getting started with blogging and can’t imagine anyone making a full time living out of it. I know there are several who do. It just amazes me, though. The amount of work and effort is incredible. You are to be commended for the effort expended.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks. If I didn’t enjoy it so much I’m sure I would have quit a long time ago. It’s a hard way to make a living.

    2. Avatar Blogging Banks says:

      I run a few blogs, and I did go at it full time throughout 2009 when I left my job. The good thing was that I had enough in interest and dividend income to support me if my online income decreased substantially.

      However, since my blogs took very little time to maintain ( 15-20 hours/week), I decided I could do blogging and corporate work at the same time. One issue with being self-employed is that most of your contacts are sweating at the corporate mill throughout the day. So it could get a little lonely out there for the internet entrepreneur.

  36. Thanks for the update. I have wondered after you mentioned looking for a full-time job again. I’m glad things are going well!

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Thanks, Sheila. I’m so glad to be out of the job hunt. It’s tough. I’m not one to say never usually, but I know I never want to go back to that career. I think I’d rather work full-time blogging for someone else before I went back to that career. I was selling my life for a pay check and other perks. But, it was a great career to have till I found what I wanted to do with my life. I’m thankful for it.

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