Today’s post is by Carrie Smith at CarefulCents.com. Carrie’s blog is designed to help thought leaders and driven solopreneurs implement practices and techniques to create more money in less time.
1. Please share a little about your background, your current job and what inspired you to start your “passion project” ClassyCareerGirl.com.
I am a blogger and career coach at ClassyCareerGirl.com. My blog started four years ago when I decided to create an online journal of what I was learning during business school and on the job.
I got the idea from a marketing project I was working on where I had to look for blogs that would sell baby clothes company that I was creating a marketing plan for. When I saw other blogs I was like, “Hey! I can do that!”
So I started a blog on my next break. For the first year I was anonymous but then when other people started reading, I wanted to be true to who I really was so I decided to put my name and face out there.
It was the best decision ever because now I can write about me and who I really am. I am very passionate about helping professional women become happy, successful and balanced. I love helping them nail interviews and find fulfilling jobs they love!
2. Did you always know what you “wanted to be” when you grew up? When did you come to the realization that you wanted to be a career coach for recent grads and young women?
When I graduated college I thought I wanted to get into finance and one day become CEO of some company. It wasn’t until I started blogging and interacting with readers did I realize what my passions were which are training and coaching.
That is why I recommend blogging because it allows you to explore your passions and become more knowledgeable in your field. I knew I wanted to be a career coach when all my friends would come to me for job search advice and I would drop whatever I was doing to help them because I loved it.
3. A year ago, you reached an awesome milestone, you and your husband paid off $80,000 in 18 months and are now debt free. What does having debt have to do with your career?
Everything. Without debt controlling your life, you can make life and career decisions that really make you happy. You have nothing hanging over your head nor do you have student loan, credit card and car loan bills piling up to pay.
You have savings available for emergencies and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck wondering if you will ever have the life and career you dreamed of. You also want to ensure that you have good insurance and that you are saving for retirement.
Not having to worry about debt allows your mind to open up so that you can really think about what makes you happy and what you really want to do with your life. That is exactly what happened to me.
Read more about how I paid off my debt: 15 Ways I Paid Off $80,000 in 18 Months
4. Do your blogging projects bring in additional income? If so, how long did it take before you started seeing a return on your time investment? What was your motivation to keep going?
After four years of blogging, I have income coming in from advertising, courses, and coaching. I think one of the things that has benefited me is that I didn’t start blogging to make money.
I have learned that a blog won’t make you money. Instead, you have to create services or products around your blog to make money which takes a lot of time and work but it is so much fun to use your creativity and knowledge to make a service or product that someone truly needs.
My motivation is that I am helping someone out there with information that she (or he) would not have received before that will help them become successful in their careers. My motivation is the emails I receive from readers who tell me that my blog has helped them and to keep on doing what I do. As long as those keep coming, I won’t stop blogging.
5. As a female who has worked a full-time job and a side hustle, what’s your best tip(s) for other women who are trying to strike the perfect work-life balance?
Prioritize and use your nights and weekends wisely. You may not know the latest American Idol information, but who cares. If you want to balance work with the rest of your life, you have to make choices.
Stay motivated by posting thank you cards or quotes on your walls. Make sure you have a higher purpose and are loving what you do. If you don’t love your side hustle and if the hours don’t fly by, you might want to re-evaluate your career.
6. I’m an avid reader of career, entrepreneurship and personal finance books. What’s one (or several) must-read books you recommend?
Career: 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Entrepreneurship: Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port,
The Art of Non-Comformity by Chris Guillebeau
Personal Finance: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
7. Of all the topics you talk about on your blog – career, office etiquette, professional fashion, and answering questions from readers – what is your favorite topic to write about? Why?
My favorite blog posts are answering reader questions because it challenges me to learn something new. I am also the most passionate about writing about how to find the right career path and the steps you must do BEFORE you start your job search online. That is probably my favorite topic because most people just jump online without doing the necessary self-assessment needed. If you don’t evaluate yourself first, you will just jump back into another job you hate.
It’s like a pattern that I have watched a lot of people do and I want to change that and get professional women into jobs they LOVE early so that they can be happy, perform better and eventually change the world.
Thanks for the great interview, Carrie!!