Where Are They Now: John Schneider and David Auten

John Schneider and David Auten of Debt Free Guys were recipients of a 2018 Plutus Award. Now, a year later, we catch up with them about drawing inspiration from Oprah, their exciting new course relaunch, and their efforts to get their message to the LGBTQ community.

1. Can you tell us about your blog and what Plutus Award you won?
In 2018, our blog, Debt Free Guys, won the Best Debt Freedom Blog.

2. How did you feel when you won the award, knowing it was from your peers?
We were honored. It made all the years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears pay off.

3. What have you been up to in the past year; are you still doing the same blog? Have you decided to focus on anything in particular this past year or have you changed course in any way?
We still have debtfreeguys.com and the Queer Money podcast. Our goals and mission are the same. We did just wrap up our first Queer Money Live Tour, which mostly visited LGBTQ centers in the northeast to get our community talking about money.

4. Have there been any topics you’ve covered/are planning to cover that people have really responded to? Why do you think that is?
By and large, the queer community isn’t talking about its personal finances. Most everyone carries negative money stories and limiting beliefs about ourselves and what we’re worth. That’s especially true in the LGBTQ community. With many in our community being told from childhood by parents, educators, religious and political leaders that we’re bad or not equal, it’s easy for many in our community spend money we don’t have to give the outward appearance of success. With the Queer Money Live Tour, as well as our blog and podcast, we’re changing that.

5. Is there anything that you’re reading or listening to right now that you’ve found really inspiring? Why?
“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza and “A New Earth” by Eckart Tolle have both been books we’ve gravitated toward this year. In fact, we’re reading A New Earth for the second time while simultaneously listening to Oprah Winfrey interview Tolle chapter by chapter on her Super Soul Sunday podcast. Both tap into our inner voice and help manage the vibration we generate. This has been powerful with helping us continue to overcome our limiting beliefs and become more conscious about our thoughts.

6. What do you do to push through any creative blockers? Do you have any fun ways to get the creative juices flowing again?
Exercise and music! We use exercise to get our juices flowing, think of ideas and get in the mood to create. We use music to keep the energy up and keep it fun.

7. How do you find new, fresh ways to approach the topics you cover?
When we’re searching for a new angle or idea, we talk about it. In the conversation, we’re usually able to create what we want.

8. Do you make stepping away every now and then a priority? What do you do to recharge?
Yes! Again, exercise is key. We meditate, journal and read, as well. We also like traveling, so we’ll immerse ourselves in whatever our travel destination affords us.

9. What advice would you give someone looking to start their own blog?
1) Choose your topic, 2) choose your niche, 3) start.

10. Do you have anything exciting in the works that you can share with us?
We’re re-launching our Credit Card Pay Off Course right after FinCon19. Other than that, we’re in maintenance mode through the middle of 2020.

11. What do you consider your greatest achievement outside of Debt Free Guys?
Our relationship with each other. One of the reasons we started this journey was to spend more time together, travel the world more together and help people together, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do. We love the playtime and the work time we get to spend together.

12. If you hadn’t ended up doing Debt Free Guys, where do you think you’d be right now?
John would still be sitting in a beige cubicle doing compliance for financial services firms. David would probably still be a business systems analyst for financial services firms. There would be more security and routine, but not as much fun or purpose.

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