I set a goal to be a millionaire by the time I was 30.
I was 25 at the time and decided to set up a blog to keep myself accountable, as well as to share ways to make and save money. I figured I would make my money through property. I had no idea how that little blog would change my entire life. All I knew was I was unhappy in my marriage, hated my life and the only way this would change is if I did something about it. I figured if I made a million dollars we could buy a house, my now ex-husband could work less, we’d spend more time as a family, and be less stressed.
I went from being a stay-at-home mum with two babies to an author, freelance writer, speaker, owner of multiple websites, and now ambassador for various charities. I have won multiple international awards, been a finalist for one of my country’s highest honours, and own a digital media company. I also overcame domestic violence, robbery, homelessness, borderline personality disorder, paralysis for six months, and a cancer scare. The bulk of what I do now, the life I have and love, happened because of blogging and determination.
Using a blog to create the life you want comes down to a few factors:
- Knowing what you want
- Setting goals and creating a plan to get there
- Creating your own community
- Being authentic
- Being determined
Knowing What You Want
I started a blog to share ways to make and save money and track my goal to be a millionaire. I knew I did not want the life I had. This was back in 2009. Not long after I started my blog, I separated from my husband and ended up living in a garage with my daughters, ages 2 years and 9 months old. In 2010 we ended up back together and by the end of that year I was offered a book contract with Wiley, Australia because of a post on a blog I owned. In 2011 that book was published, and I spoke in Chicago at the first Financial Blogger Conference (FinCon) on going from blog to book and I was offered freelance writing work.
My dream for myself, from when I was young, was to travel, write, be an author and help others. I was originally going to do law and psychology, but I dropped out in year 11, so that didn’t happen and I am glad. If it had, I wouldn’t be a blogger or social media influencer and I certainly wouldn’t be doing what I do now to help others create a life they love nor would I be able to help end domestic violence and homelessness the way I do.
I knew I wanted a better life for my daughters and me. I knew I could make it happen, make our dreams come true and I was willing to do what I had to.
Setting Goals and Creating a Plan to Get There
Prior to setting the goal to be a millionaire I had been floating around for a few years. I didn’t have direction, I had given up on my dreams and thought I had no options. Basically, I had given up on my life.
Once I set that goal, my life started to changed. I had more confidence, things came together and I found more things I wanted to work towards. I started achieving many of my goals and developed a 10 step plan to success with goals which has enabled me to achieve more than I could have imagined.
Through blogging, you can track your goals, be accountable, create a plan, get feedback, advice, have people around to support you, mentor you and your entire life can change.
Creating Your Own Community
Growing up in country Tasmania, our family was part of a strong community who supported each other. By the time I was married, I felt things had changed. I was living in Sydney and no longer had that community and support around me. I still had strong ties to my family and we are extremely close, but the rest of my community changed when I moved away. So I created my own community through my blogging networks, people I met online and off and I have developed some amazing relationships through my blogs.
Creating a community is easier than most think. Get out there, get to know people, be social (social media is not meant to be about self promotion, it is meant to be social!). Participate in groups, attend events, comment on other blogs and Facebook pages, things like that. Foster relationships and actively help other people.
Creating my own community through my blogging networks, especially FinCon has possibly been one of the most effective and important steps of creating the life I love. It gave me confidence. It made me feel like I was more than an at home wife/mom (nothing wrong with being an at home wife, I felt that was my only identity though). Being at those events and the people I connected with made me feel I was not alone.
I had an entire world of people outside my family and church. The energy I came home with continued to grow and saw me speak at other conferences, be given other opportunities, create a community for myself and in early 2012, I had the strength to say “Enough!” and ended the relationship with my abusive ex-husband.
The community I have now have supported me through everything, both online and in real life through messages, awareness, sharing what I am doing and even some financial assistance at times, such as helping me get to FinCon14 when legal fees were taking all my income.
I am extremely open about my life, much to the horror of my family at times, I am sure. I started blogging in 2009, yet between 2012 and 2015 I had the most traumatic, but also most successful moments of my life, most of which I shared online to help others. I included resources, advice, guides and used my story to raise money for charities and awareness.
My life was intense. At the end of 2012/early 2013 I left my abusive marriage and the family home taking my two daughters with me. Within a week of moving into our new home I was robbed of everything including my underwear. A few weeks later I was raped in that home. Following this, my daughters and I ended up homeless because of my ex-husband stalking us and causing issues.
I owned a few blogs at this point, had won Best International Personal Finance Blog in 2012 and I had always been open and honest about my life. I had shared my borderline personality disorder diagnosis, the fact I had separated but I hadn’t gone into more detail.
I decided over the next few years to share more of my life, what was happening and to do what I could to end homelessness and domestic violence. In 2014 I started my company, bought more websites then in 2015 I was paralysed for most of the year and part way through tests and treatment for that they discovered I might have the cancer my mum died from, so had surgery for that.
My blogs meant I had a platform through which to share my story, raise awareness and funding for charity plus by being authentic and open, the reaction from my readers was astounding.
Being authentic lead to another book contract, more speaking, media opportunities, ambassadorships, more awards, the launch of my company in 2014 and most importantly to me, meant I was able to support my daughters, be an example to them and create a life we love.
Clearly, throughout all of this I have needed a lot of determination and I think to be a successful blogger or social media influencer, we all need it! It hasn’t been easy. I even deleted my little blog a month or so before I landed the book contract because I felt like I was failing. It was my sisters who supported me, encouraged me to keep going and honestly, without my family I would not be where I am today.
At the lowest points in my life, I have repeated my favourite quote to myself “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” By Carl Jung.
At the end of 2012, when my life pretty much went to hell, I was determined not to let that be the end of me. I decided to use it as a turning point, use my online presence and I knew that through blogging I had so many opportunities waiting for me if I was determined and took action.
What are the Benefits of Using Your Blog and Online Presence to Create the Life You Want?
I see many people start blogging as a way to make money. You can make money through blogging and use your blog to launch other businesses or take you in a new career direction. It has not been the motivation behind my blogs and never will be. I do it because I love it. I do it because blogging is part of my lifestyle and has enable me to create my ideal life.
My life is so surreal to me right now. I never imagined it would this good. I am able to work from home around my kids, I live in the most perfect location in a complex we love, have an incredible partner, get to travel, am healthy and all I have done in the past few years has shaped me to have the life I have now.
How has blogging impacted your life? Have you set and achieved goals or changed careers because of it? How did you do it?
Kylie Travers is an Australian speaker, writer, CEO and advocate. She has a passion for helping others create the life they love, blogging, travel and of course her family. She has won 3 Plutus Awards, including the 2015 Plutus Foundation Service Award and was a finalist for Young Australian of the Year in 2015. You can find out more about her at www.kylietravers.com.au or connect with her on twitter, Facebook or Instagram.