What type of products of services does your organization offer?
My business offers financial literacy products in the form of blog content, but I’ve recently been branching out and looking into ways to build upon the blog platform I’ve built. The most recent extension of that has been the publication of Hustle Away Debt which is focused on helping people pay off debt faster through side hustles. Additionally I’ve started to give lunch-and-learns and speeches at businesses. These have been really effective because it allows employees to really carve out time for learning about ways they can improve their finances.
How did you get started with Young Adult Money?
In college one of my part-time jobs was doing marketing and SEO for a personal finance blog. It opened my eyes to running a blog as a business. After dabbling in political blogging and starting a group music blog, I eventually started Young Adult Money.
What’s been the hardest part about starting your own business?
The most difficult aspect of starting Young Adult Money has been staying focused on the long-term. With any business you constantly have to choose between (usually) conflicting short- and long-term priorities. For example, how much of the income of my business should I keep versus re-invest? You can always further invest and outsource, but at what point do you stop? Are you comfortable with a break-even business if it gives you potentially higher income down the road? These are the questions business owners have to deal with on a daily basis.
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to unwind and refocus?
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed I find myself doing what many people do when they are looking to destress: Netflix and TV shows. I’m a reality TV junkie and not afraid to admit it!
I also think there is huge value in just sitting alone with your thoughts for a half hour. I’ve been thinking through a new financial literacy concept and what it would look like, and the most valuable thing I’ve done for moving that along has been just sitting and doing a mind dump of my thoughts.
What resources have you found helpful in blazing your own trail?
It’s cliché but I have to mention The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I appreciated the detail he went into about how someone could realistically accomplish a reduced work week. While the world has changed since this book was published, the principles still remain. I would also credit Gary Vaynerchuk’s videos and books with, at minimum, keeping me motivated to “hustle harder.” In particular he’s ingrained in my head that there’s literally millions and millions of business ideas out there, but ideas are worthless without action.
If you could spend one day with any famous person, who would it be and why?
Wow this is a tough one! There are so many interesting people that I would love to spend a day with, but I think at this point in my life it would have to be Gary Vaynerchuk. I cannot overstate the value of having a full day with him and being able to converse about business theory, playing to your strengths, and getting his thoughts on where I would like to take my business.
What’s currently on your radar? Tell us about your latest project.
I have a couple projects in the works. The first one is an audio product in the Christian market, which is a change from the personal finance focus I’ve had the past four-plus years. Throughout this project I’ve greatly drawn from the content marketing and product development skills I’ve learned through building and running Young Adult Money.
The second project builds on Young Adult Money and is a financial literacy service that aims to help employers have a more financially literate and, in turn, financially healthy workforce.
What advice do you have for today’s millennial professional?
My advice for today’s millennial professional is to keep an open mind to opportunities. Most millennials are discontent with their work but don’t have the leverage to change their work setup, compensation, etc. If you are not looking to be a business owner, then really getting into value-added work where you can leverage higher pay or a better work arrangement is ideal.
If you want to become a business owner or at least have the option to leave your job at some point, testing out business ideas or freelancing on the side has become popular recently, and honestly has worked out well for many.
How can our readers connect with you?
David Carlson is the founder of the personal finance blog Young Adult Money which helps millennials make more, save more, and live better. He is the author of the book Hustle Away Debt which is focused on helping people pay off debt faster through side hustles. He speaks on the topic of personal finance and consults with companies on marketing to the millennial demographic, specifically through influencer, content, and social media marketing.
Connect with David online:
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