Learn with me about business, productivity, leadership, marketing and life as I transition from freelance writer to full-time founder.

In May 2022, I set an audacious goal: Set myself up financially to spend one whole year working full-time on building my business, Healthy Rich.

This is a ridiculous goal. At least, that’s how I should feel.

For me, a year-long sabbatical means $50,000 in savings to keep paying myself a salary. Until very recently, I never dreamed of socking away that kind of money for anything — let alone to support a creative dream.

I grew up in a working class family in a Midwestern town. I don’t come from a stock of dreamers.

But I’ve followed various larks over the years and found myself in a place where a business-building sabbatical feels like just another goal, not an over-reaching pipe dream.

I don’t want to do it. I am doing it.

I’ve found myself in a place where this ridiculous goal is just a good plan and a series of steps away from being my reality — which leaves me no choice but to take each of those steps toward it.

I write Notes to keep focus, share what I learn and document how possible this dream is. For you; for every time I want to give up; and for my future self, who will most certainly forget to look back and remember how hard I worked to get her to wherever she is.

What I’m about

I’m a Certified Educator in Personal Finance with a background in personal finance journalism and content marketing for fintech. I’ve written about work and money for publications including Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, NextAdvisor and a column for Inc. Magazine.

I’ve been working since January 2020 as a freelance writer and editor for finance and personal development brands. Before that, I spent four years as a staffer at the media startup The Penny Hoarder, where I helped build the company’s branded content team and newsletter strategy. I started my career as a starving freelance writer and barista for five years, earning about $12,000 a year and living on the road with my partner, who worked as a stand-up comedian at the time.

In 2021, I launched Healthy Rich as a passion project to diversify voices in personal finance. For the first year, we focused on content, creating a blog and podcast as a platform for conversations that illuminate the complexity of our relationships with work and money. In our second year, we monetized the site by selling inclusive, budget-free personal finance classes online.

At Healthy Rich, we’re building a platform to make financial education more inclusive of real-world experiences and accessible to the people everyone else leaves out of the conversation about money.

The challenge

Yellow line graph depicting savings from $0 to $50,000 between May 2022 and December 2023. Two bars are filled in, showing savings of $22,800 in June 2022.

Progress is updated monthly.

In May 2022, I set out to save $50,000 by end of year 2023, so I can go full-time on Healthy Rich in January 2024.

December 2023 is the deadline. But I pride myself on working well ahead of deadlines. And now that I’ve decided to do it, every day I spend not building Healthy Rich gets harder and harder. So the real, real goal is ASAP.

In addition to saving money, my other challenge in the meantime is learning how to be a founder. Until flipping the mindset switch by setting this challenge, I was a freelance writer with a passion project — now, I’m building a business.

When you sign up for this newsletter, you’ll learn alongside me all about business, productivity, leadership, marketing and entrepreneurial life as I make this transition. I share all the ideas and resources helping me along the way, and the lessons I learn as I inevitably stumble (and… succeed??).

Want to support the sabbatical fund? Become a paying subscriber to Notes to help me fill the pot faster 🙏 As a thank you, you’ll get a bonus newsletter each month with a full financial breakdown and progress update, plus access to comments on posts where you can share your insights and connect with other subscribers.

P.S. I started this Substack originally in 2019 as a newsletter of writing tips. The archive is still there, so you can dig back and read about some of my editorial pet peeves and musings on the freelance life!

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Read the archive here