You Are Your Greatest Enemy


Motivation to Achieve

I heard a sermon at church a couple of weeks ago, and the Pastor was talking about how often we try to blame anyone or anything but ourselves when things go wrong.  Whether we blame others, our circumstances, our upbringing, or even the devil himself, he said that most of the time, none of these are the true culprits.  Instead, he said, “You are your greatest enemy.”  


My Excuses

This got me thinking, and I kind of tuned out the rest of that sermon.  How often have I tried to blame others for the circumstances that I am in?  From money mistakes I have made, to giving up too early on endeavors because of self-doubt, I started to realize that I really was my own worst enemy.


Motivation to AchieveFor years, I have read online about people with side hustles such as buying real estate properties and flipping them, refurbishing and reselling items from Craigslist, or even starting a blog online.  I told myself that I didn’t have the money to put towards real estate, the know-how to refurbish items, and wasn’t a good writer, so I definitely couldn’t start a blog.


Meanwhile, I carried on with life and spent my free time watching TV instead of hustling.  I found myself becoming more and more restless, as I wanted to make an impact but was secretly afraid at the amount of work that would be involved if I moved in that direction.


A Deep-Seated Problem

Motivation to AchieveHow could I start a blog?  My second grade teacher basically led me to believe that I was a terrible writer.  She gave me a grade of “Unsatisfactory”, which was essentially a D, in writing.  My mom even signed me up for a creative writing class after school, which she happened to teach.  Even with all this additional help, my writing still stunk.  I felt hopeless.  So I held on to that experience in second grade to solidify my inability to achieve in any area in regards to writing.


Despite my limitations, I began to have this burning desire to start up my own financial blog, despite my lack of confidence in my writing skills.  I told my wife that one day that I would do so.  My mind was set.  The terrible thing is I had been talking about starting one for the last four years.   Why did it take me four years to pull the trigger?  


I reasoned with myself at times that because I was an amateurish writer, I wouldn’t be able to effectively communicate what I want to convey.  Plus, I didn’t feel like I had enough time to pursue it like I wanted to.  Tons of excellent financial blogs already existed– what else did I have to add?  You know what all these were?  Excuses preventing me from reaching my goal.


motivation to achieveSo, right as my son was turning one and as I was busier at work than I had ever been before, I began the process of starting up this blog.  It definitely did not seem like the right time to do this.  But, I’m not sure it would have ever felt like the “right” time.  I’m so glad I took the plunge, though.  It’s been a fun ride thus far!


Starting Out

When I first started, setting up the website completely overwhelmed me.  Everyone says it’s super easy and that there should be no problems.  I paid $100 to get my site hosted and to own the domain address for a year.  That was the easy part.


motivation to achieveAs I was trying to get everything set up, a funny (well, scary at the time) thing happened.  Within the very first hour of working on the site, it got hacked, and I was locked out.  It was incredibly frustrating calling customer support asking why I got hacked and how to resolve it.  We had even paid the extra fee for hacker protection… But once we finally got everything straightened out, running the website became easier as I became more comfortable with everything.


motivation to achieveI don’t know what my real expectations were when I started the website.  As much as I was hoping that it would be a Field of Dreams moment, “If you build it they will come”, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  But what happened that first month still came as a rude awakening.  Nobody came.  Well some people like my mom stopped by.  But for the most part, it was a pathetic number.  


The Personal Finance Blogger Community

Then I started to interact with the PF community.  People started to stop by and provide great feedback.  People were actually reading what I have to say.  You know what else, I’m becoming a better writer, or at least I feel like my posts are coming together more naturally the more I write.  


motivation to achieveYou know what also helps?  An amazing wife that helps with editing and the final product.  So while I would love to be able to take credit for everything, I have to give a good amount of credit to my wife as well.



With that said, readership has continued to trend upward each month.  Most recently in the month of October, I had over 10,000 page views in only my third month.  I know there are a ton of bloggers that do way more than me in a much shorter period.  Let me first say congrats because I feel like I’ve been busting my tail to get readership to where it is now.  But the awesome thing for me is it’s not a competition.  


I can only control what I can control.  I’m extremely proud of where I am especially in light of my goal for the end of December was 6,000 page views.  Having surpassed that, I now hope to have 20,000 page views by the end of December.


motivation to achieveIs there a lot that I still need to learn?  Absolutely.  Most bloggers say it takes a year before you start making money.  To date, I’ve made a whopping $1.11 from Amazon affiliates.  Some would say I’m ahead of the game 🙂


Affiliate Marketing

Admittedly, I have not spent enough time trying to figure out how affiliate marketing works.  I was able to quickly get approved by Amazon.  But since then, I have tried to get approved by Google AdSense, but sadly I was rejected.  Additionally, I have applied to numerous advertisers through CJ affiliates and have gotten rejected by all of them.  So clearly, I the research that I’ve done has not gotten me on the right path.  If anyone has any good tidbits or things that I can watch/do, please share.


Search Engine Optimization

motivation to achieveAdditionally, I feel like a neophyte when it comes to optimizing the website’s SEO.  I have run the programs, but I haven’t been able to crack the formula in order to be optimized past 69 out of 100.  I’ll continue to work at it because isn’t that half the fun of learning something new?


Article Contributions

Finally, when I see bloggers that get selected to be featured on websites like Yahoo, Huffington Post, etc., I can’t help but be a little envious.  Each day I apply on HARO and have only been selected as a contributor once.  So if anybody knows the formula for that, please do share.


motivation to achieveWith all that said, I hope that you as well will put away the excuses and run after whatever it is that you want to achieve.  I know that I wasted precious time waiting for the “right” opportunity to create a website.  I wish I had started earlier.  But alas, I’ll press on and Carpe Diem.


Are you lacking motivation to achieve?  What excuses are you telling yourself from reaching your full potential?  Share your thoughts below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.


  1. We are right behind you in terms of age of blog at 2 months. We did manage to get accepted by google on the second try. The keys for us were ensuring our site had no broken links in their search console, a privacy policy which I see you have, and enough pages of competent that they know I’m serious.

    No luck at all on my end on SEO so far. Someday I’ll spend some time on one of those seo optimizer apps.
    Full Time Finance recently posted…The Fallacy of Cause Based InvestingMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing FTF!!! I will have to go back through things with a fine tooth comb to ensure there aren’t any glaring problems.

      Glad to know I’m not the only one still trying to figure things out.

  2. Congrats, those are some great numbers!

    I also used to worry a lot about my writing. But I’ve learned that blogging and writing in school are two different things. Yet, they’re still both very difficult haha

    Like you, I was actually scared to try out new ventures. It can be nerve-racking, but it feels great to build something with your own two hands

    The only place I’ve tried to get my articles posted is Rockstar Finance (which I inquired about yesterday), so I don’t have too much experience unlike more experienced bloggers.

    Good luck towards the 20,000 goal! You should totally do an update post when you hit it 🙂
    Andrew recently posted…10 Ways To Improve Your LifeMy Profile

    • Thanks Andrew!!! I too have tried to get on Rockstar Finance. I haven’t made it yet but that doesn’t keep me from trying 🙂 Hopefully one day soon I can get lucky enough to get accpeted.

  3. Awesome numbers, congrats! I can feel your pain when it comes to SEO. It can be really frustrating when you put a lot of effort in an article, you work 2-3 days on it and all you get is 10-15 views, but a scratch you wrote in 10 minutes gets hundreds…

    “I know there are a ton of bloggers that do way more than me in a much shorter period.” And even more who do less 🙂
    The Developer recently posted…How I make my commutes more productiveMy Profile

    • Hahha…thanks for the feedback. It’s truly interesting what resonates with some people and doesn’t. I’ve written articles that I thought were amazing and then some that I wasn’t as excited about. Seems like my readers are telling me something 🙂

  4. Hi MSM,
    Congrats on starting a blog – it looks like you’re already finding it very rewarding so that’s awesome!
    I write my blog for myself really so I don’t worry about SEO or page views. But I agree about being your own worst enemy; although in my case I’ll happily blame anything else but me as reason I can’t do something 😉

    Hope you had a great October and looking forward to reading about your financial journey.
    Best wishes,

  5. I can so empathize with this post. I’ve wanted to start a PF blog ever since I knew there were PF blogs. I’ve been reading PF books since I was a teenager and I picked up The Wealthy Barber from the library – and I thought I would love to teach others the things I knew. For years I struggled with the framework, but it came to me about six months ago. Ever since then I refined the concept in my mind on the way to and from work, and finally launched the site a month ago. Your page views are great-heck I was happy to get a little over 100 in the first month! 🙂

    • Sounds like your website is coming together at the right time. Seems like once everything starts to click that it’s time to execute which you are clearly doing. Awesome job 🙂

  6. I think those are OUTSTANDING numbers for not being featured on Rockstar Finance or other “big” sites. I have been on three big sites and I think you are on track to beat my numbers. My full-time (temporary) job is sucking the life out of me right now – (and my 4 side gigs…) So I am needing to prioritize. My blog is more for fun and information. I felt a real need to give back after reading so many blogs for years – and from all that information, I reached FI. I owe others big time! Great work and happy to connect!
    Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions recently posted…We Paid for a Full Year, But Haven’t Been to the Gym in 6 MonthsMy Profile

    • Thanks Vicki 🙂 I have submitted a couple of articles on Rockstar so far but haven’t heard back. One of these days hopefully I get the chance. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  7. Great post! Definitely going through a lot of the same stuff that you are! I hadn’t looked into many places to share my stuff, but I’m definitely going to give HARO a shot, thanks to your tip!

  8. Never realized our blogs are so close together in age. I had the idea of making my own this summer, and then just did it. Trial and error are some good friends if you want to start something up.

    Time is my best (made up) enemy, as I feel that sometimes just too much is going on. A night watching tv didn’t happen anymore for quite some time… Still I really like being part of the community and being able to give some back. Who knew there were so many likeminded people, but I had to go online to find them 🙂
    Divnomics recently posted…Dividend & Portfolio update – October 2016My Profile

    • It’s been really great finding the PF community and being able to bounce off ideas.

      I wish I would have started years earlier but I guess there’s a reason for everything 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  9. Congrats. I am impressed with those numbers for such a short time. I think you have a really nice look to your site and am surprised at how quickly you have ramped up. I have been blogging since March of 2016 but had to take a break for 3 months or so. The great thing to focus on is the positive gains. I try to think about the proportion of gains that I am making – even if the numbers now are small. If I can keep making 10 -15 -20% gains then I will get there. Great post.
    PatientWealth recently posted…Why is Beer So Popular in Japan?My Profile

    • Thanks Patient Wealth for the compliment 🙂 I think I’ve read too many blogs where people talk about how easy it is to get followers from Pinterest, SEO optimization, etc. and was thinking I would be able to ramp up a little quicker. But like most things in life everything takes time. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  10. Wow, congrats on the numbers so far! 10,000 page views in your third month is really impressive. I’m a month in on my blog and the process to set it up and begin writing articles has been really enjoyable. What would you say the biggest factors have been that have led to being able to generate that many pages views in just 3 months? Would also be curious to hear your growth from month 1 to 2 to 3. Thanks and really enjoy your blog!

    • Thanks Go Finance Yourself for stopping by. I think it’s probably been a combination of writing content 3x a week, posting on twitter 3x a day and commenting on other bloggers and becoming familiar with the community. I’m sure there is way more that goes into it but that’s what I’ve done so far.

  11. Great Post MSM! I’m very new to this as well, 2.5 months in, so I can relate to so much of what you write about here. Judging by the number of comments you’ve generated on this post alone shows that your content is relevant, and is making a difference! Like you, I struggled with all of the reasons NOT to start blogging, but finally pushed through all the self-doubt!

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one that took awhile to start blogging. Everything happens in the right timing but I definitely wish I had started earlier. I have a blast doing this 🙂

  12. Congrats on those numbers, and aren’t you glad that you finally got started? The PF community is indeed wonderful, as are amazing wives who help with editing and such! As for a lack of motivation, I know that there are things I could be doing to improve my blog traffic and I’ve just been putting them off. Time to stop making excuses and get down to it. By the way, here’s a great article I found on responding to HAROs:
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…What Color Is Your Financial Personality?My Profile

  13. You are doing great in terms of page views per month. Keep it going. I would suggest you reapply for Google Adsense. Your site should easily meet the requirements.

    Try FlexOffers and ShareASale affliate networks – they will most likely accept you.
    Michael recently posted…Do You Have A Gift List?My Profile

  14. You’re kicking butt, man! Those are great numbers to post up for such a short run so far. Sorry to hear about getting hacked on day 1. Good for you for pushing through it. I would’ve been thinking “Is this a sign that I should just give up?”

    Google AdSense will come eventually. I think I read somewhere that they usually don’t approve a blog unless it’s been up for at least 3-6 months. Mine got approved right away, but I think it’s because I had an earlier blog and both were hosted with Google, so it was easy for them to verify that I wasn’t a fly-by-night scammer. But AdSense is not a big money-maker anyway. Your Amazon affiliate relationship might end up paying you more. I got approved for the Amazon affiliate deal and then never got a sale with Amazon, so they auto-canceled it. Sigh. Maybe after I get more regular traffic, I’ll try again.

    Great work!
    Yetisaurus recently posted…Rental Property Report – October 2016My Profile

  15. I used to procrastinate about a lot of things. I had thoughts of starting a website since 2010. For years, I talked myself out of it. In 2013, I finally pushed myself and created my site. At times we are our own worst enemy. As soon as we can fix that, we can make some positive changes.
    Jason Butler recently posted…My First Year As A FreelancerMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Jason. I definitely wish I started earlier looking back. BTW…thanks for sharing your experience with freelance work. I am definitely going to look into it. Thanks for stopping by!!!

  16. I am glad that you started this blog, otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten to know you. I don’t lack confidence in myself, but I lack the motivation to stick to something for a long period of time and to power through when I face obstacles in front of me.

    Even though we are both finance bloggers, I view you as more of a friend rather than a foe. It’s better to have more friends than foes.
    Leo T. Ly @ isaved5k recently posted…Part 2: How To Improve Your Financial HealthMy Profile

    • Michelle over at Making Sense Of Cents made an interesting comment that the piece of the pie isn’t finite and that the more we help each other. The bigger the pie will grow for all. So when opportunties arise to help and share I definitely do.

      I appreciate all the comments and definitely am glad we are both on each others friends list than foes lists 🙂

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