What Is This Crazy Blog About?


I’ll be the first to admit that the contents of this blog are all over the place.  Some days I’ll be writing a blog post about my kids, then a couple days later I’ll be posting an article on my investing philosophy.

To outside eyes, my post topics can seem almost random.

When people unsubscribe from my mailing list, they usually do so in protest of my seemingly random content, saying, “I signed-up for your mailing list because I liked your [post type here] posts, but you hardly ever publish those.  I’m unsubscribing!

I even get feedback from other bloggers telling me, “You would get more readers if you just focused a little more.”  That’s very humbling feedback of course, and I totally get it.  I do.  I really do!

Well, I’ve guess I’ve got some explaining to do…

 

A Method To The Madness

Many of the most popular blogs on the planet choose a particular niche and stick with it.  Back when I first started MrTakoEscapes back in 2015, I knew picking a niche worked really well, but I decided not to paint myself into a corner.

Can you imagine starting a blog about waffles and then having to write about waffles for every single post?  (Not just on Wednesdays!)

Frankly, I’d be bored to tears after a couple of months.  (No offense to my waffle loving readers)

I also looked at blogging as a serious commitment to write 3,000 to 4,000 words every week.  I thought it might be really hard to write about just one single topic day-in and day-out.

So I left myself a little extra wiggle room on those chains.  A little freedom to move around if you will.  Despite the appearance of randomness however, there’s actually a method to my madness.  A signal is actually hidden in all the noise.

To explain it, I need to start with a story…

 

My Rollercoaster Career

Earlier this year I wrote a post called The Fire Movement Was Inevitable.  In this post I recounted how the modern workplace had changed considerably over the last 50 years.  Not only were traditional financial safety nets disappearing, but people are working shorter and shorter durations in one job and a larger percentage of their lifetime job hunting.

Like a roller coaster, income levels rise for a couple of years while we’re employed, and then they fall again during the job hunt.

What I’ve failed to mention in the past was how turbulent my own career was.  Mostly, because it’s pretty embarrassing.  During my short 19 year working career, I worked at 18 different jobs (spanning everything from a restaurant dishwasher to a project manager at a famous video game studio).  The longest time span I ever managed to stay employed at any one job was 5 years.

up and down
Like any good rollercoaster, my income was up and down constantly. I can’t say that I didn’t vomit a few times from the stress of it either.

That’s a lot of different jobs isn’t it?  My career was tumultuous to say the least.  It’s not that I wanted to change jobs, but life just happened.  I worked hard of course, but recessions happened and companies downsized… I lost my job during both of the last two recessions.

There’s nothing to do but pick yourself up, put on the stoic face, and just keep going…

Then there’s the temp-jobs I took to fill the gap.  Those were alright.  Some lasted 6 months and some for 9 months, but they all came with a predetermined end-date.  Most didn’t pay very well.  They’re not idea jobs, but you take what you can get, right?

Occasionally I even found myself in the situation where my “job description changed” suddenly, and the company was unwilling to spend the money to retrain me.  They let me go instead.

Oh well, try again…

Then there’s the jobs where find yourself under a manager who just doesn’t like ‘the cut of your jib’.  There’s not a lot you can do in a situation like that.  Eventually the boss finds a way to fire you.  I’ve been fired more than once.  I was a good worker too.  I never once showed up late.  I always did my work and conducted myself in a serious and professional manner.  It didn’t matter.

Managers gave me a raw deal … and can you blame them?  With all these tentacles I don’t exactly ‘fit in’.  It’s painful to write about, and frustrating to say the least… because the work wasn’t what mattered.

Your ass is going to get fired when you’re the puzzle piece that doesn’t fit.  (I know this might sound unbelievable to some, but unless you lived life as a misfit you’ll never understand)

3 years and 294 blog posts later and I’ve finally healed enough where I now feel strong enough to write about this.

So, I found financial independence thrust onto me like a giant tsunami.  You ride that wave or it crushes you.  I’m still a little angry about my career, but dwelling on the past would accomplish little.  I have kids to feed and that’s just how Corporate America works.  It’s not a nice place to weirdos like me.

I needed an escape plan.  Hence the name ‘Mr. Takoe Escapes’.  I formulated an escape plan, and it followed three major themes.

 

Theme 1: Building Wealth Continuously

When you have a crazy career like I did, it’s hard to make any real financial progress.  One month you have an income, and then the next month you don’t.

Trying to build wealth like that is hard, but you make things work. Despite the big fluctuations in income I learned how to build wealth continuously.  I did whatever it took.

Eventually I learned (perhaps earned?) the skills necessary to cut my expenses to the bone.  I’ve lived in a lot of different rat-holes in my life, but I always tracked my expenses carefully… just like I do now in my monthly financial updates.

Believe it or not, those monthly updates I write are as much for me as they are for the readers of this blog.  I use all that information to track our family finances.  Crazy huh?

I also learned how to save money like nobody’s business.  I saved 50% or more of my income every single year.  That’s really hard to do when you’re unemployed!  (Pro tip: Just save more when you have a job.)

Food was one of the ways I learned how to save.  I’ve put away A TON OF MONEY over the years by cooking nearly all of my own meals  (Seriously! 99% of my meals were made by my own hands).

I enjoy eating out as much as the next person, but restaurant spending IS A GIANT HOLE that most people throw gobs and gobs of money into.

Yes, cooking every single day isn’t easy.  You really have to stick with it.  Some days I reeeaally want to quit, but I tell myself, “Suck it up buttercup.  You’re no special snowflake!”

 

Theme 2: Investing

Of course, saving money is only half the battle. You have to invest that spare capital too!

Like many people, I entered the corporate world with zero investing knowledge.  Thankfully, I’m a voracious reader.  It might be the cause of my myopia, but I learned how to invest.  I read thousands of books, publications, and business newspapers on the topic.  I’m now a giant money nerd and read everything I can about investing.  I easily spend 4 hours a day reading about investing… often more than that.

That knowledge came in handy when I didn’t have an income too — Having passive dividend income that filled any income gaps was a huge help in reaching financial independence.  It’s one of the reasons why I consider myself a dividend growth investor.

Dividends have been a friend to me when no one else was.  Dividends don’t care if you have tentacles or a third eye.  They show up every quarter and help you pay the bills rain or shine.

Now that’s a really good friend.  (The only downside is they’re terrible conversationalists)

So, investing is something of a passion topic for me these days.  Every month I write a several posts about investing, and even share my most recent investing ideas.

Investing has really been my bread and butter for the last decade, and I can honestly say “I love investing.”

Another reasons why I write a lot about investing is my kids.  I’d like to give them a leg-up on the investing world that I didn’t have.  What I learned through trial and error (mostly error), I can share here on this blog and give them a GIANT HEAD START in life.

I can write about what truly matters in investing and help them ignore all the noise put out by Wall Street.  The younger they can learn the better.

Afterall, compounding takes time, and the more time you have to compound in life, the better chance you have at seeing large amounts of money in your lifetime.

 

Theme 3: FI is For Regular People Too

The third and final theme of this blog is that financial independence is for regular people too.  There’s this common misconception out there that you have to be this highly paid engineer earning over $100k a year to reach financial independence.

You don’t have to be a rich engineer to do this.  I only made over $100k in one job during my entire career.  That only lasted a couple of years.  For the rest of my 18 jobs, I made considerably less than that.

Financial Independence isn’t some fairy tale that only applies to overpaid engineers.  Neither do you need to be a super famous blogger on TV like Mr. Money Mustache,  1500 Days, Millennial Revolution, or Root Of Good in order to create a job-free existence.

While those bloggers (and a handful of others I didn’t mention) do make a ton of money from blogging, most blogs don’t.  Those folks are the exception.

My blog (for example) makes around $100 per month.  (Actually, only $35 last month!)  I’m completely transparent about that.  My blog does make an income, but it’s pathetically small.  It’s certainly not going to pay my bills.

It needs to be said more often — Financial Independence is a feat achievable by regular people.  You don’t need a blog.  You don’t have to “get lucky”.  You don’t even have to be one of the beautiful people, or the conniving asshole who screws over his co-workers to get that promotion.

Heck, you don’t even have to be that smart! (I’m a shining example of this!)  If weirdo’s like me can do it, then the normal people of the world can do it too.

All too often I think some of the good, honest, and hardworking people of the world get overlooked when it comes to monetary rewards.  You don’t need to let the world keep you down.

Fight back.  Financial independence is a way for us regular folks to still win at life.

 

The End?

So there you have it.  That’s why I write about the topics that vary wildly from investing articles to frugal food recipes.  Those three themes are where my passions lie.  What I care about.

I blog about this stuff because those were the things that helped me achieve my rather miraculous escape from the corporate world.

When I look back at my rocky career, I’m rather surprised I actually managed to reach Financial Independence.  My career was something of a worst case scenario.  A horrific shit-show of employment and unemployment.  Thank God that’s all over with.

Now, I’m just a (sometimes) humble SAHD and blogger.

Having such widely varying content might not be what makes a popular blog in this world, but it is what keeps me writing.  So far, I haven’t run out of things to say…

 

[Image Credit: Flickr1, Flickr2]

84 thoughts on “What Is This Crazy Blog About?

  • November 14, 2018 at 5:36 AM
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    Just keep going, personally love to also read more than just the investment assessments and financial updates. Gives a glimpse of who is behind the blog and the other things that also happen in life. Thanks for the blog entertainment over the years, it’s been fun and very educational! Cheers mate!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:23 PM
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      You’re definitely one of my oldest readers Cheesy. Thanks for being such a constant and dedicated reader! 🙂

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  • November 14, 2018 at 5:51 AM
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    I am totally on board with your concept. Writing EVERY time about PF will cause you to write some inferior posts. Plus part of why I follow someone is because I like getting to know other aspects about them. The leaking of our blogs into other areas is what personalizes us to each other so we end up more relate-able to a larger audience. I venture into at least 4 ‘other areas’ and just make sure to come back around to FIRE related stuff consistently enough.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:25 PM
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      I absolutely agree OthalaFehu! I’m a bigger fan of personal blogs than I am of the more “corporate” style. 😉

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  • November 14, 2018 at 5:52 AM
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    Makes a lot of sense. I love the blog. Keep on going and doing what you like-this is all for fun anyways and you don’t need to make money from the blog.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 6:36 AM
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    I’m with ya man! I too blog about way more than the strict financial stuff because it’s the other stuff that got me to FI, as I said in a recent post. The money stuff doesn’t matter if you can’t change the lifestyle behaviors to make it happen.

    Also, I come here for the octopus pics 😉

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:26 PM
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      OK, I’ll be certain to post more octopus pictures! 😀

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  • November 14, 2018 at 6:37 AM
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    Yeap, keep at it. That’s all we can do. It’s very inspirational that a regular guy can become FI. I love it. My career has ups and downs too, but not that much. It was only at the end that it got really bad. We have advantages and disadvantages too. Everyone just has to be flexible and find their own path to FI. I enjoy your blog. 🙂

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:29 PM
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      Thanks Joe! I’m a huge fan of your blog too! 🙂 Your blog is a lot more personal than many — you write about your kid, your mom, and I feel it really lends to the authenticity of it all.

      That’s a model I strive to imitate. 😉

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  • November 14, 2018 at 6:50 AM
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    I don’t begrudge bloggers who use their blogs in part or in whole to make money. I follow and love plenty of them. But it seems to me — from what you wrote in this post and from having passively followed you for some time — that the blog is a passion project and you’re writing as much for yourself (both for joy of writing and for posts that you’re proud of and may help others (like me!) as for anyone. I applaud you for that. Some readers will misunderstand that YOU are an equal component of the audience you want to please. To those who don’t get that and unsubscribe, I think a “good riddance” is in order. Your core audience gets it. And for bloggers who offer advice like that in this post (assuming it was wholly unsolicited), I think they misunderstand their place. Anyway, thanks for writing, and thanks for this particular post. I appreciate anyone who writes publicly and honestly about challenges/challenging times. I’m amazed and inspired by what you’ve accomplished in spite of them.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:32 PM
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      Wow, that’s a incredible comment Joe! One of the best ever. You actually “get it”!

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 7:23 AM
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    That’s a lot of jobs in your career span! 🙂

    I enjoy that your topics bounce around from post to post – it keeps it interesting. It would be boring to hear the same old thing every week.

    Also, I’m a big fan of theme #3 – it drives me nuts that people think that only those with massive incomes can reach FI. In most cases, it’s just a mental hurdle that people should get over. Whether or not you want to retire, everyone should be striving to reach financial independence. Not only is it important for your retirement at some point down the line, but you never know what’s going to happen in the meantime. FI gives you that flexibility to not have to worry about the money factor in life and concentrate on what matters.

    — Jim

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:41 PM
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      That’s definitely how it happened for me! And yes, it was a lot of jobs. I had to sit down and write them all out.

      Maybe it’s just my impression, but for people without high-paying corporate jobs this more frequent level of job changing is more common.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 7:29 AM
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    I appreciate the transparency. The little you make on your blog and the fact that you only made six figures in one year of your career yet achieved FI. You and I are in the same boat in that regard. This will be my first year in six figures and before this never made more than 85k, but pretty comfortable where we’re at. Also, felt that everything there is to write about general personal finance has already been written which is why appreciate the more personal articles.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 7:30 AM
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    I say keep doin’ what you’re doin’. To channel Forrest Gump, a good blog is like a box of chocolates 🙂 I really like the eclectic topics, and while you do risk some of your posts falling flat with a portion of your audience (sometimes that portion for me is “all”), I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:43 PM
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      Hey, I love your blog Paul. It’s hilarious! Clearly your posts can’t fall flat with *everyone* because I always enjoy them! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 7:31 AM
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    You had me at “I don’t exactly fit in!”

    I always look forward to what you are going to write whether FI related or not—bring on the food porn—it’s clear by your quality content that you take the time and thought to post an article and I appreciate the attention to detail. Keep (the tentacles) up!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:52 AM
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      This ^. It’s nice to know that a regular person with some square peg round hole attributes can build a solid foundation and reach FI. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 7:49 AM
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    I love your blog and please keep it going! With all your financial success I never would have guessed that you would have had periods of unemployment or being laid off or fired. The fact you have been able to become financially independent at such a young age despite these obstacles is inspiring. I’m going to show this post to a dear young nephew of mine who is depressed because he thinks he has it tougher than his cousins and didn’t have as much a head start as the other cousins due to their various parents position. I hope your story will inspire him too. Please keep up the great posts!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:52 PM
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      Yes, yes, please show it to your nephew!

      It’s true. Sometimes people do start out at different places in life. That life, and it sucks, but it’s no reason to go cry in a corner. Toughen up buttercup! It’s time to become a badass.

      And how do you do that? You work harder than everyone else. You show up early and you leave late.
      While your cousins are goofing off and watching Netflix, you can be studying. You do more than necessary Every. Single. Day.

      Over time, that small advantage compounds…

      Success *will* find you, even if you have to find it on your own terms like I did.

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 8:14 AM
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    “A signal is actually hidden in all the noise” — come on, admit it — you’re a closet engineer! Just kidding. As a blog reader, I personally love searching for the hidden gem of meaning in a post. Sometimes, I feel it is my goal to find that even if the writer might not see it. I think we all enjoy dividends. Maybe you should see us, your commenters, as dividends that actually ARE great conversationalists!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:53 PM
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      Thanks for the dividends Susan! Fantastic way to look at things! 🙂

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  • November 14, 2018 at 8:14 AM
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    Hi Mr. Tako, so sorry about the career. I can relate, even though as a public servant i am hard to fire, a few recent managers have made me want to jump on the train tracks, but instead I read your blog and a few others, had the miracle baby, and now the situation at work is somewhat but not necessarily enough improved (I work hard and do great work, lots of revolving managers in our area, having to train them and do much of what they should be doing, no thanks for it). I am looking at what’s next from the position of having more an more choices as time goes on. Thank you Mr. Tako for educating me and supporting the transition to creating the life of our dreams for our family.
    Many blessings, Tigermom

    Reply
    • November 14, 2018 at 7:56 PM
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      Thank you Tigermom! You’ve been a reader of this blog for quite a while now, and I really appreciate that your always such a wonderful positive force! You always leaving me positive and uplifting comments!

      The world is definitely a better place with you in it! 😀

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  • November 14, 2018 at 8:37 AM
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    Great post Mr Tako. And it’s very well written. I can totally relate to your work experiences. I’ve had many ahole co workers and managers. I’ve been fired several times too in corporate America. I take it very personally and it makes me angry to this day whenever i think of the circumstances that led me there.
    Unfortunately I’m still in the corporate world. I still need me paycheck. Hopefully I’ll be FIRE in a few years. If not, I hope to find something I am passionate about that will hopefully come with a paycheck.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 7:59 PM
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      Good luck CJ! Corporate America can be rough. It certainly was to me. With any luck you’ll reach your FIRE goals soon! 🙂

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    • November 21, 2018 at 10:40 AM
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      Hi CJ,
      I can totally relate. I have finally transitioned out of the corporate world which was a horrible fit. It clashed with my personality and values. Now I am working at a non-profit. It’s ironic that I made the most money in my career so far during my FIRST year of employment. Interestingly, even though I literally make $25,000.00 less than I peak salary, I have been able to achieve a 50% savings rate two months so far. Not ONCE during the time I worked at my peak salary was I ever able to save that amount of money. It cost me alot of money to make a high salary. Buying food all the time was costly and made me fat. I had to spend money on purchasing and dry cleaning expensive suits. My coworkers always wanted to go out to restaurants for lunch or do after work drinks. I no longer have to wear suits. I cooked all my meals. At work, almost everyone packs a lunch and goes home to their children after work. I haven’t found something I am passionate about. But I’ve found something that I don’t hate, is relatively enjoyable and allows me a good work life balance. So interestingly, my smaller paycheque has allowed me to achieve greater savings.

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      • November 21, 2018 at 12:27 PM
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        Hi Frugalista,

        I’m glad you are in a happier place.
        The only thing i like about corporate America are the social interactions I have with some of my co workers. This is a recent phenomenon as I’ve always hated most of my co workers in my previous roles.
        I know I would miss that the most if I ever became a full time blogger and worked on my own most of the time.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 8:39 AM
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    Your blog has been great for learning about so many things….eneloop batteries, homemade Pietro dressing, good investing books and ideas etc.! I only subscribe to blogs in which the authors have put in a lot of time, effort and thought into their posts. I feel like it’s a reflection of the kind of person they are, they care about what they put out into the world. Isn’t this what ultimately matters in our short existence on this earth? FI allows one to do this EVEN MORE so congratulations and keep on being yourself!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:01 PM
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      Thank you SAHM! I definitely put A LOT of time into this blog. Each post takes at least 8 hours to write. I wrote this one on 3 hours of sleep.

      I hope it at least makes a little sense! 😉

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 9:34 AM
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    Oh my gosh don’t change!! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites (wonder why–mine’s kind of all-over-the-place too!?). You’re the author so you get to write about whatever you want! And I’m always so inspired by your cooking at home, AND I love your recipes (so far your salsa recipe has been my favorite).

    “You’re no special snowflake!” Oh but you are, Mr. Tako. You are.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:05 PM
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      Nah! Little old me? As common as mud in the Pacific Northwest. 😉

      I’ve got no plans to make changes, but a lot of readers have been unsubscribing lately because of issues with the content. I thought I should explain why I write about the topics that I do.

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      • November 17, 2018 at 11:34 PM
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        Hey Mr. Tako,

        I’m one of your newer readers, and I agree with everyone else—just keep doing what you’re doing. Your stuff is useful, interesting, and well-written. I like it!

        Don’t worry about the unsubscribers. I’ve heard many big-name online marketers repeat this over and over: as important as it is to attract your true fans, you also want to repel those who’ll never be.

        We can’t be everything to everyone, and if people want to unsubscribe because you’re you, let them! The ones who stick with you will continue to spread the word about you. 🙂

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  • November 14, 2018 at 11:01 AM
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    I’m so glad you didn’t niche down – I love the frugal recipes and the dad stuff. We bloggers are whole people, and the ones I’ve followed the longest have let me into their lives, not just their money.

    That, and as someone who also isn’t that focused on my blog (and not really making money – on purpose), it is absolutely a hobby and one that I do for fun. If fun means writing about random stuff sometimes, then I’m all in.

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:11 PM
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      Absolutely Angela! It’s also a great way to think and learn about a topic. I find myself doing a ton of reading and research about a topic before I write and I’ve found that it’s a great way to organize my thoughts. 🙂

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    • November 17, 2018 at 11:37 PM
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      And I enjoy your blog for the same reasons Angela! I love reading the random (both exciting and mundane) details of my favorite bloggers’ lives. It makes me realize how similar we all are in the end.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 11:01 AM
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    Hi Mr. Tako,
    Wow, that is a lot of jobs!
    I tend to get bored with blogs that only talk about money and investing. I like diversity, like yours. Of course, I like some posts more than others and it’s ok. If you keep enjoying it, I will keep reading.
    My blog is all over the place too. I try to share my experiences, hoping others can avoid some of my mistakes. Sometimes, it’s nice to get other people’s perspective on a specific topic.
    Cheers

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:12 PM
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      Couldn’t agree more caroline! Seeing things from different perspectives is a great way to learn!

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  • November 14, 2018 at 11:17 AM
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    I really don’t want to hear about waffles every week. So please keep on doing what you are doing. Your passion always comes through and that is more than enough for me.

    cd :O)

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:14 PM
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      Thanks ChrisCD! Great to see you commenting here again! 🙂

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  • November 14, 2018 at 12:50 PM
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    I had to lookup SAHD.

    “Managers gave me a raw deal … and can you blame them? With all these tentacles I don’t exactly ‘fit in’. It’s painful to write about, and frustrating to say the least… because the work wasn’t what mattered.”

    There is a lot of truth in that statement. 99% of the managers would rather have a worker that they get along with than someone who is clearly more competent. In my 20+ year career, I had one manager who was an old guy but he was also old school. He felt managers should absolutely not be friends with their employees. There needed to be a professional detachment. If you are friends with the employees, it makes it harder to be objective and it makes it tougher when you have to lay someone off. There were no team building meetings. As he would say, “Do your damn job. If you want to be friends with each other, do it off the clock.” His management style made him a dinosaur in the 1990s. I can only imagine what twentysomethings would think of him now. That was the best manager I ever had.

    More often, managers make your life miserable before they fire you in the hopes you will quit. They give you private & public criticism that seems unwarranted or unfair. They give you smaller raises. They give you less interesting assignments. They give you unachievable assignments. They give you lower performance reviews but not so low that it requires some type corrective action program which would be work for them & involve HR. They transfer you out of the department.

    “Suck it up buttercup. You’re no special snowflake!”

    I don’t think I could say that with a straight face. Based on my having read this blog for a couple of years, I believe you said or at least thought that but it make me even more certain that you would be insufferable as a friend. You come across as Ned Flanders crossed with Phil Dunphy. Always upbeat, never complaining, I doubt you drink alcohol, probably only loved one woman in your life and married her, a killjoy on any trip to Las Vegas or a casino, a stranger to the typical male bonding rituals, I doubt you watch football on TV or in person, you can count the number of lifetime strip club visits on one hand, your sensitive to any perceived criticism or insult, etc. The type of guy you may admire or respect but never be friends with. 180 degrees opposite of me but I’m old school too. I don’t need to identify with the blogger in order to appreciate the content of the blog. When you are not writing about the food you eat/prepare or your kids or the hikes you take or your vacations, your blog is quite useful to me. I thank you for the 50% or so of posts on investing & financial matters that interest me and will endure the other 50%.

    Reply
    • November 14, 2018 at 8:22 PM
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      I profess to having to look up who Phil Dunphy was. That was quite a long comment Dan! I can’t say that I 100% agree, but on some points you’re right. For example, I don’t drink alcohol anymore. That’s something I’ve blogged about a couple of times in the past.

      Glad you enjoy at least 50% of my posts! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 12:51 PM
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    Can you write a post on the RealtyShares debacle? Your blog has moved up in my rankings since you did your due diligence 🙂

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:24 PM
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      That’s an interesting idea snowcanyon! I don’t have any inside information about RealityShares, but I might have some things to say about the crowd funded realestate model!

      I’ll definitely think about it!

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      • November 16, 2018 at 8:47 AM
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        That would be awesome.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 4:54 PM
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    Love your site, Mr. Tako and the diversity of your posts. Please don’t change a thing.

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  • November 14, 2018 at 5:04 PM
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    I love your blog! I like the little side posts that let us get to know you a little better. If I just wanted facts, I’d go to the Wikipedia article and read the sources. You’re a whole person with varied interests – keep on typing on!

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:26 PM
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      Thanks Bec B! Sometimes I think some readers just want a technical manual for financial independence, but that would hardly be a good read!

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  • November 14, 2018 at 5:47 PM
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    I appreciate the honest post. You are not alone- I’ve had 9 jobs in my 22 year career and have been pushed out / separated / fired from the last four in a row. It’s not surprising that these were also higher paying jobs and since I don’t care for stabbing others in the back (playing heavy politics) it’s usually me that gets the shiv. It’s pretty disgusting but that’s the nature of the workforce.

    I think you are an amazing individual and a great writer. It’s a highlight to read new content from you and I hope to meet with you in person one day.

    -Mike

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    • November 14, 2018 at 8:28 PM
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      Thanks Mike! It’s great to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. Corporate politics is awful! 🙂

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  • November 14, 2018 at 5:59 PM
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    Mr. Tako,
    Can you share some of your favorite reading material?
    I would love to check that out.
    Thanks

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  • November 14, 2018 at 10:10 PM
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    Mr Tako, I can relate to everything you say, I was in IT corporate jobs for a total of 8.5 years since I was 23 years old , then by my thirties after changing jobs myself and layoffs and I just got sick of the entire environment. I first avoided looking for another job by doing a master degree, however when I finished the degree and 25K later, the job market was horrible and I avoided looking for another job by going to Asia to teach English, but after awhile I thought it was a waste of time but I loved the 18 hour work weeks, then I looked for IT teaching, which I still do. I didn’t learn about dividend growth investing until 2011 and didn’t put serious money until 2012, I am still pretty far from FIRE but on track for probably 10years later, I also have 2 young kid’s, a daughter and son , and I love your variety of topics , keep at it!

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  • November 15, 2018 at 8:19 AM
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    I always look forward to your new posts, you never know what your gonna get.

    With investing info, better butter chicken recipes, and travel recommendations to use on my trip to Osaka next week, why would I read anywhere else?

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    • November 16, 2018 at 10:25 PM
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      Awesome! Have fun in Osaka next week! Eat some gyozoa at Osaka-Osho for me! (I love that place btw)

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  • November 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM
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    I originally wanted to just write about finance but realized that really I wanted to just write about our life and a record of what was going on.

    Really it’s for us as well as friends and family, if other read it and like it that’s fine. But i’m not trying to build a “brand”

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  • November 15, 2018 at 1:40 PM
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    Awesome post! Thanks for being so open about your unconventional career path. It is refreshing and as well good to see one does not need to be a high I come earner to become FI! I have enjoyed every post I have read on your blog so just continue to post about whatever you so please! Wherever those tentacles may lead you!

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  • November 15, 2018 at 8:06 PM
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    Love the blog, and been reading for about a year now – you put forward great ideas with a take it or leave it approach!!! Although I do wish for more of the amazing looking recipes some day, I’m all for figuring out how to curate the best life for oneself!

    Good stuff!

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    • November 16, 2018 at 10:23 PM
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      Oh, I’ll definitely get around to more frugal recipes. It’s one of those things where I just feel inspired enough to share a cool recipe.

      I’m thinking maybe a Japanese recipe for the next one.

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  • November 16, 2018 at 3:53 AM
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    Love all your posts Mr. Tako! Please keep it up. It’s a special day when you post some new recipes or drop a StarCraft reference.

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    • November 16, 2018 at 10:20 PM
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      Hmm… if that isn’t a call for more StarCraft references, then I don’t know what is! 😉

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  • November 16, 2018 at 4:48 AM
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    I enjoy your style and variety. I find some of the investing posts a bit heady for early morning or late night, but great mid-day. Those other times woodworking, mouse repair and food are excellent!
    I too have a varied past of jobs, fewer than you so far. Board of directors decided the entire site/building didn’t work in their budget was the one that taught me you can do it all the right way and still the job goes away. As for fitting in, at my last job I’ve realized I tried to be too many things, and people (management) didn’t know what to expect of me (incongruent) .
    This job I’m just me, mostly unapologetically, and being centered in that has helped. My bosses like me and my work, and if my matter of fact way of dealing with things ruffles feathers, they stand with me, because I’ve got data to back it up. 🙂

    Keep up the variety Mr. Tako! It’s what I keep coming back for, with all the wisdom and food pictures. 🙂

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  • November 16, 2018 at 5:31 AM
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    And…this is why your humble blog is one of the few I have NOT unsubscribed from. There are only so many ways to post save more and spend less without beating a dead horse.
    Just know at least reader truly appreciates your unique thoughts. Thanks!

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  • November 16, 2018 at 12:35 PM
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    Writing about investing while FI is a major topic on your blog, and would be the most interesting one to me. I would be very interested in seeing how your portfolio generates a return higher than index funds while holding 30% in cash. However, you generally don’t write about what your holdings are (for example WKEC), and the holdings you have written about (Limited Brands comes to mind) has been a massive loser for the past 5 years. Of course it’s your prerogative since it’s your blog, but that could be one of the main reasons limiting your audience reach.

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    • November 16, 2018 at 1:36 PM
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      It’s true that I don’t write about our holdings very much. I don’t want to brag, but I do mention them a little in my monthly updates.

      As far as Limited Brands goes, that’s a very small holding. Barely a blip on the radar. Only a couple of thousand dollars worth. We bought those shares almost two decades ago, and our return there is mainly from dividends. We could care less about some temporary capital appreciation, because the company returns 22% of our initial capital in dividends every year.

      What you call a “massive loser”, I call a fantastic winner. 🙂

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      • November 16, 2018 at 2:23 PM
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        I wouldn’t view more info on holdings as bragging at all, it would provide some great insight. It is after all the engine that’s driving your post-FI lifestyle. Otherwise, your audience only knows that your style of investing seems to work and may be able to support your lifestyle, but doesn’t know why and doesn’t know how much risk is involved (e.g. how well are you diversified, where the high yield is coming from, etc).

        Thank you for the extra color on Limited Brands, I only brought it up because it’s one of the few holdings you’ve mentioned by name and I had no idea how big a part of your portfolio it was. While capital appreciation may not be important to you, it may be to some readers. When I see that you are outperforming index funds while holding 30% cash, and LB is one of your holdings which has lost 63% over the past ~3 years, I naturally am curious about what in your portfolio is driving the outperformance…

        Thanks for the reply, it did give more insight into how you view your investing philosophy.

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        • November 16, 2018 at 10:13 PM
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          Not sure if we’ll be outperforming anything this year, but I’ll try to give more color on our stock holdings. Thanks for the feedback!

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  • November 16, 2018 at 4:43 PM
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    I came across your blog earlier this year, and I very much enjoy the variety. I also like the posts where you’ve talked more about your background and origin story, like this one.

    Your blog and others like it have inspired me to start writing and telling my own unique story.

    BTW – I also was pushed into a new position and then soon laid off afterwards. Just another reason to pursue FI!

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  • November 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
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    I think being personal and relate your personal stories in the blogs are very important. When your readers can easily relate you, you’ve done your job as a blogger! Keep it up Mr. Tako.

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  • November 17, 2018 at 3:09 PM
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    I like the mix of personal family, travel, savings tips , FIRE journey and job story etc blog posts … the Japan blogs were fun too … they are downsizing here too as overseas students become less …thanks for all the stories

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  • November 17, 2018 at 6:46 PM
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    This was a really thoughtful and honest article. Sometimes we forget the trials that the last couple decades have brought us. The financial meltdown of 2008. The dot com bust in the early 2000. In many respects, stability is a thing of the past. Financial independence can be new way to achieve stability. Congratulations on finding your stability and sharing with us.

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  • November 19, 2018 at 7:17 PM
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    I like that you mentioned that FI is for regular people, too. Having a big income helps, but it is even more necessary to learn how to save money when we are struggling financially. No matter how much money we make, if we save 50% of it, we will become financially independent sooner rather than later.

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  • November 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM
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    I totally understand about the stress of corporate America. My husband and I are on the path to FI!! I am a contractor so I do go in and out of roles and the most stressful time was when my contract abruptly ended because I wasn’t the right fit for the role. Despite showing up to work at 7:30am every day when the rest of the team rolls in at 8:30-9:00am and doing a good job of what they need me to do(had a good review), they still ended my contract instead of converting me to full time after 6 months. It took them 6 months to found out someone is not a good fit? Give me a break! If I am the boss, I know someone who is not a good fit after 1-2 months. To make matter worse, I found out I was pregnant 2 days after my contract ended. It was the most stressful year of my life.

    This experience made me realize I am not cut out for corporate America and I am not the type to back stab someone to get to the top. It seems like all of them are doing it. It’s matter of how well/unwell you do it. There is art to “networking” and getting to where you need to go. Even at the top, you have to keep working the politics to stay on top. It seems like mentally draining work for me.

    My goal is to make and save as much as money as I can from the contracting jobs and then get out and invest like you did. Us regular folks can still win in life by walking the other way where everyone else is climbing that ladder. No thank you!!

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  • November 20, 2018 at 4:21 PM
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    I like the variety. I’ve added an off topic feature to my blog on Wednesday’s “Bro, do you even lift?” I cover my fitness progress and frequent lack thereof. It keeps me accountable and I think it lets me demonstrate that just because I’m FIREd I’m not some kind of uber man. I’m a very normal and I hope relatable guy who struggles with his diet and fitness; struggles with maintaining commitment to something hard. If I can FIRE at 40, anyone can. (Especially if they make the most of income centric investing!)

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  • November 21, 2018 at 10:28 AM
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    Thank you so much Mr. Tako for having the courage to share your honest story. I would also describe my career so far as “A horrific shit-show of employment and unemployment.” I’ve been experiencing precarious unemployment since I graduated in 2011. I am on my 5th employer since graduating and on my 4th employment contract. It is comforting to know that someone else has achieved FI despite having periods of unemployment. All the other FI bloggers I’ve read (MMI, Millenial Revolution) are engineers with steady and well paying jobs. Considering I have gone through cumulatively over 1 year of unemployment, I have decent savings. Ever since I started making all my own meals, I’ve started saving alot more. Since reading these blogs in July 2018, I’ve achieved 2 months of 50% savings.

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  • November 24, 2018 at 3:41 PM
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    “Financial Independence isn’t some fairy tale that only applies to overpaid engineers.”

    So true. I get this comment a lot “oh, I can’t become FI, I’m not an engineer.” I can see why it would be disheartening because so many FIRE bloggers are engineers, but you can definitely do this with an average salary–hell, our friends Rob and Robin at wherewebe.com did it even though she started her FI journey making less than 20K a year. A high salary makes it easier but it’s definitely not a pre-requisite.
    Thanks for sharing your story and proving you don’t need to be an engineer with 6 figure salary to retire early!

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  • November 27, 2018 at 8:35 PM
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    One thing that has a huge appeal to me with regards to you and your blog is that you don’t follow the normal convention.

    You have a unique voice and a unique blog. You never know what you are going to get when you click on your post from food to arts and crafts to finance.

    You keep being you. It’s your blog and your vision and it will attract the audience it is supposed to.

    I’m a bit unconventional myself and have periodically taken slack for my blog design etc but again I’m gonna be me and if someone doesn’t like the content or look it’s okay. The people who like my writing style will keep coming back and hopefully I can keep them entertained as much as you have entertained me.

    Both of us certainly do not need the monetary aspects of a successful blog (of course I am not going to be an idiot and say no to monetization) but I am in a position where I don’t have to compromise my vision because I am trying to earn every cent out there

    Reply

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