I was eating dinner at my local Indian joint when a late 20s couple sat at the table right next to me. The guy, a new pharmacy graduate from UCSF was with a female pharmacy student. He was buttering her up with praise about how she’s so popular now that her research report got published in some pharmacy journal. She blushed with pride.
I tuned out their entire conversation for 20 minutes as I stuffed my face with chicken tikka masala until I couldn’t help but overhear one phrase. He awkwardly said, “I think I’ve gotta build myself an emergency fund, you know? I hear it’s a good idea to build this emergency fund so I don’t go into high interest credit card debt.”
Wahoo! Music to my ears and music to his date’s ears as well. As soon as he started talking about securing his financial future, the female pharmacist started leaning into the table all excited. “Tell me more,” she said with a sultry, but incredibly nasally voice. I’m pretty observant – like CIA observant – where I can tell you what color your shoelaces are and point out the stain on the lower side of your shirt 30 minutes after our meeting is over if questioned.
It’s pretty clear to me they’re both getting lucky tonight all thanks to some personal finance dialogue.
So I got to wondering: Are personal finance bloggers (and readers) just abnormal because we talk about money all the time? Or are we simply some of the sexiest people on Earth?
FORGET MOVIE STARS, PRO ATHLETES, AND ENTERTAINERS, PF BLOGGERS ARE THE PRIZE
Every time I hear someone 30 or older talk about personal finance, it’s always about the basics like saving, wondering how much to contribute to a 401k, whether they should start a Roth IRA, and so forth. It feels a little weird to hear them because I’m thinking these folks should know all this by now. They’ve been working for at least five years and we talk about this stuff everyday on Financial Samurai.
But then I got to thinking, America doesn’t teach personal finance in high school or college for whatever reason. Conspiracy theorists say that the government wants to keep the middle class financially dumb in order to better manipulate them through complicated tax policies and entitlements during election time. After all, if you are struggling financially, there’s a much higher chance of voting for a politician who gives you stuff than if you were financially independent. You tend to see through the bullshit if you don’t rely on anybody.
OK, let’s forget about conspiracies. Let’s just say that America’s education system just sucks. PF bloggers are just a weird minority who love writing about money related issues instead of doing other “normal” things like eating lots of cheeseburgers, going to baseball games, binge drinking watery beer, and watching lots and lots of TV.
Now let’s talk about whether PF bloggers are some of the most prized people on the planet. Having money is one thing. We know that having money tends to attract a larger selection of people. But what if you have money and can speak eloquently about money to help others build their own wealth?
The way the female pharmacy student was going, she might have jumped his bones right there if so!
Here are some positive attributes PF bloggers display:
1) Creativity. Interesting conversation is our forté. Personal finance is as boring as a Beefeater standing guard at the Queen’s gate. We’ve got to work hard to always put some type of interesting angle or imagery in our personal finance articles, otherwise, nobody will bother listening. A lot goes into coming up with a name, an avatar, a color scheme, a layout, and more.
2) Endurance. We can go on and on forever! There’s no way the normal person can write and publish 5,000 – 10,000 words a week for an extended period of time. I scientifically estimate that 99.3% of those who try will fail within six months.
3) Good Communication. Learning how to write and get your point across is a very valuable skill to have. You can land multi-billion dollar deals with beautiful prose. Anyone can become a decent writer, you just have to practice. Many relationships end due to poor communication. If you go out with a blogger, he or she will be able to clearly telegraph what the heck he or she is talking about with an intro, some supporting arguments, and a conclusion.
4) Vulnerability. Ever go out with someone who always keeps their guard up? They probably got really hurt at one point and refuse to let themselves love again as a result. PF bloggers are always putting themselves out there. They tell the world about their financial mistakes, their speeding tickets, their fears of being a father. Women love vulnerability, because women are much more in touch with their emotional side than men. But men also love taking care of women who show their humanity.
5) Multi-Talented. It’s one thing to know how to write well. It’s another thing to write and play a sport or a musical instrument at a high level as well. Many PF bloggers are able to straddle the mental and physical elements with ease.
6) Deep Thinkers. PF bloggers tend to be much deeper thinkers than the average person. As a result, we are much more sensitive to people’s needs. You’ll never have a situation where you tell your friend, “He never notices when I change my hair or paint my nails.” We notice everything because we are constantly pontificating. We’re much more open minded than your average potato chip eating slob.
7) On The Right Track. Many women tell me they don’t care if a guy is rich, so long as he knows what he wants and has a plan to get there. Not all PF bloggers are big ballers. Some have tons of debt. But what every PF blogger has is the will and the direction to get better. That’s what matters most. You will not find a PF blogger that is just floundering in the wind. Those are the lifestyle design bloggers who “quit” their jobs during a recession. Zing!
8) Positive Attitude. Given most PF bloggers have gone through difficult times and still write to tell the tale, most PF blogger are optimists. We always believe things will get better with effort. Never fail due to a lack of effort, is my motto for life. We try and see the good in bad situations. Half the battle of building great wealth is believing in ourselves. Confidence is an attractive attribute.
9) Thoughtful. PF bloggers gain an amazing amount of perspective after a while. We are not one-track minded because we host guest posts from different types of folks (this one is about what it feels like being unemployed) and we constantly read and respond to commentary.
10) Adventurous. Most people work at a job they dislike for a living. A 2013 Gallup survey discovered that about 70% of workers are “disengaged” or “not interested.” But PF bloggers are risk takers. Many of us are also quite adventurous thanks to the internet. How many regular office workers do you know travel the world for months or engineer their layoffs in order to work on their sites full-time? That takes guts and lots of adventure.
11) Open To Criticism. In order to be a PF blogger, you’ve got to not only open yourself up to criticism, you’ve got to develop elephant butt skin. We get hated on, criticized, yelled at, threatened, called racial slurs, and so forth. We all have times when we just want to give up, but we carry on. And through all the criticism, we look for nuggets of truth so that we can keep on getting better.
12) Good Listeners. In order to really dig deep into a story, we’ve got to listen carefully. PF bloggers are fantastic listeners who are able to dissect situations and come up with effective solutions. Active listening takes true skill. Listeners will always trump motormouth speakers who are overcompensating for the insecurities.
13) Critical Thinkers. Public writing is a very tricky thing to do. A good writer is able to see both sides of an argument and still eloquently argue his or her side without supremely upsetting the other side. Critical thinkers are problem solvers. Instead of complaining all day about why the world is not fair, why there’s a widening wage gap, and why they can’t get ahead, bloggers come up with solutions such as the 1/10th rule for car buying or the Jeans Strategy to save more money or new engagement ring shopping tips to prevent bitterness.
14) Solid Collaborators. Even though the barriers to entry are low online and PF bloggers are all jockeying for very similar audiences, we have a great way of collaborating to help each other grow. The Yakezie Network is a PF blogging network open to anybody who wants to join the Challenge. Through the network, many bloggers have been able to get highlighted in major media publications, earn thousands of dollars a month, provide educational scholarships, and quit their jobs. If 70% of the people dislike their jobs, we could literally be helping 70+ million people get out of doing something they don’t like.
15) Good Leaders. Every single blogger is the CEO of their own site. Some are small, while others may get a million pageviews a month and earn multiple six figures a year. Whatever the case may be, PF bloggers must manage their community, decide on an editorial calendar, come up with a brand, market their sites, and negotiate with potential partners and customers every single day.
16) Doers. You know the people who always say “some day” but that day never comes? Bloggers take matters into their own hands and give things a go. “Perfect is the enemy of good” as they say. We have our fears, but we try anyway. If we fail, we learn from our mistakes and try again until we get things right.
17) We’ll Make You Laugh. Given most people hate their jobs and surf the internet all day to kill time, bloggers are often not only a great resource for learning, but we also distract you from the pain, even for just a couple minutes a day. I mean, how else are you going to get girls (or boys) if you live at home with mom and dad? How else are stay at home men going to deal with the stigma of being bread-eaters? We try and bring humor to delicate, but real life concerns.
18) More Faithful. Because we put ourselves out there so much, we’ve got to be more careful with our actions because lots of people are watching. You can go for that NFL running back, but chances are high that as soon as he flies to Miami for a game, he’ll be hooking up with some other woman. Everybody has their indiscretions, but if you’re worried about financial infidelity at least, personal finance bloggers do a much better job staying on course.
19) Charitable. Can you imagine working for 30-50 hours a week for years and never asking for any compensation in return? Well, that’s what bloggers do. We put ourselves out there, work before going to work or into the wee hours of the night, figure out how to add value to the world, and never ask for any money. All of us pay our taxes (some say is one form of charity), give money to causes we believe in, and donate our time with our sites.
20) Good-Natured. At the end of the day, all we really want to do is have a lot of fun and be happy. It doesn’t matter how much money we have in the world if we are miserable. Creating something fun for ourselves and other people to enjoy is what it’s all about. We may get kicked and picked on by random folks online, but that’s nothing compared to the immeasurable pleasure we get from doing what we love.
PF BLOGGERS AND READERS RISE UP!
Yes, some of us might be a little out of shape, socially awkward, absurdly arrogant, and posses the eyes of a psycho-killer, but so do a lot of other folks in the world.
The golden age of 1,000 years for bloggers is now. Who knows, you might even meet a “world famous financial expert” according to a August 2014 Forbes article that profiles 19 folks on how they manage and asset allocate their money. See if you can recognize any of these sexy folks in the infograph (hint: look for the dashing mug on the top right corner)
After writing this post, I’ve convinced myself that I want my daughter to marry a personal finance blogger. I’ll rest easier knowing that when it comes to financial planning, investing for their children’s college education, setting up a multi-generational trust, communicating in a thoughtful manner, figuring out ways to give back to society, and having a great overall life, she’ll be in good hands!
And if your ego is now super massive after reading this post as a blogger, be careful! A fist in the face is still more powerful than a finger in the eye…… or is it? Write on.
Passive Income X Factor – Starting Your Own Site
It’s been around six years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good passive income stream online. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic. The average age of the top 1% posts is 2.3 years old. In other words, after putting in the hours to write some very meaty content over two years ago, 10 posts consistently generate a monthly recurring income stream that’s completely passive. The posts probably won’t continuously rank high in search for years due to tremendous competition, but that’s partly why I continue to write 3-4X a week.
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. It’s cheap and easy to start.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Pat Loika, 2015.