Millennials love to spend money on experiences rather than things. Who needs stuff when we can use our dollars and cents to see and do?
Almost three years ago I made a small investment that has afforded me an experience and something tangible.
In August 2012, I spent $111.34 to purchase a website domain and hosting fees from Bluehost. That balmy day inside my tiny apartment in Washington, DC, I secured newstoliveby.net, one year of hosting and began to blog about the career advice “hidden” in the news.
Why that topic? I love the news and to teach other people communication skills. “News To Live By” seemed a natural fit.
Almost three years later, the investment continues to pay dividends for my career. I have now published over 250 blog posts on News To Live By. All the effort has taught me about the world of blogging, the needs of young professionals and, perhaps most importantly, the kind of work I love to do.
It’s hard to quantify every skill I have gained, but it’s safe to say the education is now worth far more than $111.34.
And you know how much our generation loves a good deal.
When I first purchased the domain and hosting, here’s what Bluehost gave me.
Then I found a template I liked, made a few modifications and rolled out News To Live By (version 1).
The template got the job done, but it had limitations and too much of the content was buried deep in the site. In the summer of 2014 — two years after I created the blog — I did a big redesign (version 2) with the help of LookThink in Washington, DC.
Now the site looks much better, right?
The redesign was the first significant amount of money I dropped on the website since it started. Well, I had to renew hosting fees each year, and I also paid a lawyer to help me trademark the phrase “News To Live By.” The legal process took FOREVER but was worth it.
My point is I stretched $111.34 pretty far, and it’s still the best money I ever spent on my career.
For almost three years, the money has allowed me to:
– Pursue my passion of writing (and yes, editing too…I’m an grammar geek)
– Let me scratch the “journalism itch” as I’m a former TV reporter and enjoy the newsmaking process
– Help others become more confident young professionals through career coaching
– Gain an enormous education on blogging, content marketing and online technical skills
– Meet an inspiring group of bloggers who also want to help millennials succeed
– Never feel like the work is actually work. Know what I mean?
That’s why, whenever someone asks me how to stand out in the job market or their particular industry, my answer is swift and unequivocal:
Start a blog.
Almost three years under my belt as a blogger, and the game never stops. Now I contemplate new directions to take News To Live By and the career coaching services I enjoy.
Way back in August 2012, I didn’t only invest in the domain/hosting. I made a bet on myself. A smart one.
Do you have $111.34?
Skip the huge summer music festival. That experience only lasts a weekend.
Pass on the new gadget everyone rushes to buy. In six months, it’ll be outdated.
Spend the money on an experience and a thing. Begin a blog and write every week about a topic you enjoy. So much good can and will come from the decision.
Today, invest in yourself. Your stock has nowhere to go but up.
What’s the best money you ever spent on YOUR career?