Milestones and Memories, Passion and Determination

Milestones and Memories - Passion and Determination - Mile Marker

This has been a big week for me in terms of milestones. No, no, I’m not loaded with passive income or hit a monthly income mark. And while I’m thrilled the Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl, that isn’t really what I’m here to talk about.

Earlier this week, I turned 30. Today, Write Your Own Reality turns two. While neither event in and of itself should be notable, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few thoughts about each.

The Blog… It Still Exists

My first foray into blogging happened back in 2008. I made it five or six posts before giving in. The real world wasn’t going as well as it should, so my motivation waned quickly, and I stopped writing.

Just over two years ago I conceptualized Write Your Own Reality. I wanted a way to document and track my investment journey in a few particular investment types, peer to peer lending via Lending Club and Prosper, dividend growth investing, and real estate.

These three types of investments I weren’t just things I was passionate about, but also were interesting enough to share. The joy I have from participating in these investments is only magnified as I share them with the great community. And boy, what a community it is.

This post marks my 130th post. I’ve gotten well over a thousand comments from bloggers and readers who share similar interests. Each bring something different to the table and have help me to grow and reflect on where I stand on my quest for passive income. I make it a point to respond to each and every comment on this blog, because for those who’ve taken time to write me something deserve the respect of my response, even if it is just a simple thank you.

In blog years (much like dog years), I’m considered a veteran. In the two years I’ve been posting, I’ve seen over a hundred dividend growth blogs started. The number still active is much smaller. And this is just one small piece of the greater personal finance community, where blogs number in the thousands, and the turnover is tremendous. I aim to not be one of those blogs that dies, as evidenced by one of my 2015 goals.

So here’s many more years of fun, interaction, and community. We all are searching for freedom, and sharing that pursuit with others is almost as rewarding as the destination we seek.

Entering the Fourth Decade of Life

As my wife is quick to remind me, I’m old. Of course, I’m not old in the traditional sense of the word, but the fact remains I’ve moved into a stage in life where things change.

I’ve worked in and around accounting, both in public and private, for over eight years now. I remember earlier in my career, the owner of a company telling me the following:

“You’re only 24, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

It stung. More than you can imagine. Especially because I felt I knew what I was advising for his business was right. And years later, I can say it was.

That experience has pushed me to succeed in ways I didn’t think were possible. To learn from my mistakes and to drive myself forward professionally. Of course, life has a way of interrupting things, but since then, it has mostly been an onward and upward trend.

Legitimacy in the business world isn’t given, it’s earned. I find myself in a place where my age is no longer an issue, and my experience level, or whatever that means, isn’t a speed bump to people hearing what I have to say.

Getting older has its benefits. Knowledge and wisdom abound in the eyes of others. Whether it is actually there or just a perception is a totally different story.

My goal is to make sure it is an actuality. I love business. I love studying them, both financially and operationally. One goal is own several businesses; preferably in a passive manner. The Buffett of Main Street, owning small operational businesses with sold cash flow from operations. Enough to reinvest back into the business and into future businesses.

But this is one goal of many, and as life changes, so must we.

Here’s to the next decade, of change, of goals, of loving and living life.

Thanks for indulging me as I share this journey with you. Feel free to chime in with your own stories getting older, or of blogging success and failures.

Flickr: Al King

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  1. Happy 30th! I have two more years before I catch up to you not only in terms of years of age for years of blogging as well. I just started my blog back in late September of 2014. I know that the failure rate is huge.

    But I am determined to stick with it. I think I have an interesting story and point of view to compliment the personal finance space.

    I took a long time before deciding to start this blog until I knew I would be committed to it for the long haul. Finding other bloggers like you in the community will definitely make it easier to stick with it.

    Here is to another two years.


    • Thank you sir! The failure rate is indeed large, but for all those that quit, their are those who stick with it and form the core of this great community. I’m glad to have you on board.

      Here’s to another two and many more!

  2. Great post W2R. Life’s great. Happy birthday to you my friend. Big 30th. I’m happy for you as you are on a path full of riches and happiness. Time flies and stops for no body. 2 years for the blog shows you are committed so far. Keep on tracking your progress as I believe it is a corner stone within your behaviour to succeed.
    Much love my friend. Love Tyler.

    • “Time flies and stops for no body”

      You nailed it there. Life keeps marching on and it is up to us to adapt and manage the hurdles and successes life puts in our path.

      I appreciate the support Tyler!

  3. “Here’s to the next decade, of change, of goals, of loving and living life.” Really liked that line. I’ve enjoyed your writing, and resonate with how much you strive to actually enjoy this work.

    Like you, my site turned two years old in late-January. It’s crazy to think about. I’m in my early thirties, so I’m also in a place where I’m thinking about future steps, what do I enjoy about this, what is my goal. And overall it’s similar to you: do good work, enjoy the interaction this brings, enjoy the process.

    • Simon, thank you for the kind words. I really like how you said this: “Do good work, enjoy the interaction this brings, enjoy the process.”

      That speaks so much to the core of what we do here. We write and share because of the interaction and process that creating something entails. You’ve got a great blog (far nicer looking than mine!) and add tremendous value in a space where knowledge is at a premium. Looking forward to seeing how you continue to create and improve your site, and where you decide this journey will take you.

  4. roadmap2retire says:

    Nice post, W2R. Happy 30th! Im sure you will build on your reputation and the added wisdom and experience will make you a better well rounded person. I am in my early-mid 30s and frankly I am having more of a blast in my 30s than in my 20s. I still enjoyed my 20s a lot, dont get me wrong.

    I hear you on passively owning businesses – its been one of my dreams as well and have been exploring some ideas, but havent followed thru with execution. I hope to make some progress on that end.

    Kudos for keeping the blog going for 2 yrs. Keep them articles coming!


    • R2R, thank you! There is nothing intrinsically wrong with aging, it has such a bad stigma. The last thing I would ever want would be to be someone who peaks at any given age. You see this with some people where the highlight of their life was high school or college. I’m thrilled to be far past that in my life.

      I appreciate the support and have plenty more in store for this site and beyond.

      • roadmap2retire says:

        Hah! My wife and I talk about it all the time. We are amazed to see the people who peaked in high school have really terrible lives now…and nostalgically think about “good old high school days”.

        • Exactly. This is also why I don’t associate with many people from that time in my life. I’ve moved on, they haven’t. It is almost like a perpetual prom king/queen competition. I can’t get behind that at all.

  5. Happy 30th birthday, you’re still a young man. ;)

    It’s great to hear that you’ve made some excellent progress and accomplished lots.

    “You’re only 24, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    Unfortunately too many people don’t take advise from people younger than them. Those who do are ones that will accomplish lots IMO.

    • Tawcan, some people can be so shortsighted and miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. I agree that those who take inputs from those around them are the ones who will ultimately grow and be successful.

      Thanks for your comments and support!

  6. Happy 30th!

  7. W2R,

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the inspirational post! It’s great following your journey and I look forward to watching your continued success in 2015.


  8. Happy belated birthday. Two years blogging is a great milestone. Hope I can reach it myself one day. Looks like we share all the same investing themes. I’ve looked into prosper but it isn’t allowed in my state. Maybe one day.

    Here’s to the best decade of your life. It’s awesome that you are planning for the future during this time.

    Good luck,

    • Tough luck on the P2P lending. It will be soon enough I’d imagine. And if not Prosper, now that Lending Club is public they might be able to gain entry to your place of residence.

      Robert, thanks for reading and the birthday wishes.

  9. Happy 30th W2R! I’m roughly 3 years behind you and I can certainly agree that time flys. The trick is to try and slow it down as much as possible. I heard that when you are a kid time seems to move a lot slower because you continuously have new experiences. As you get older, you fall into the same routines and your new experiences are diminished. That’s why as much as I love saving money the best I can to invest, that I try to enjoy life now and slow it down. Think about it the next time you go on vacation or do something new… You’ll be amazed.

    I can’t wait to be reading your blog for years. I hope i’ll be right there with you from now on.

    • That is an interesting theory regarding how time flies. I’d imagine given the routine of being in the working world there is some merit to that line of thinking. I guess let’s all hope to maximize the time we have each day to be both forward thinking and present minded.

      Glad to have you as a reader ADD!

  10. Happy Birthday W2R! Welcome to the 30s! To be honest, I am in better shape now that when I was 20, so its not all bad =)

    Enjoy the ride!

  11. Happy Birthday W2R! I’m about one month behind you until I turn 30 too! And congrats on your blog still staying strong and interesting. I’ve been a long time reader and always look forward to your posts.

  12. Happy belated birthday and happy birthday to your blog! 2 years of blogging is quite an accomplishment.

  13. Congrats and happy B’day. Believe me, you are entering your prime and you will be surprised at what you accomplish over the next decade.

  14. Happy belated Adam!

    Listen, 30 is nothing… You are just stepping in to the prime time of life! I am 57 and I still feel like I was 30!

    Congrats on your blog too. I do enjoy reading and posting from time to time. You and I have some common ground such as Lending Club and Loyal3.

    If you are ever headed to Minneapolis, please reach out. I will buy you a beer.

    Best regards, Ray

    • Ray, it is great to have you as a reader, and your comments and thoughts are always appreciated.

      I’ll be sure to let you know if I head up your way… preferably in the summer when it isn’t frigid!

  15. W2R,

    Welcome to the 30 crowd. I’ll get there later this year. My wife is there already, something I give a her a lot crap for.

    Still 30 is not old, we have a ways to go yet.

    Here’s to a decade of FI.

    – Gremlin

  16. Congrats to your blog on two years! You’ve been such a huge motivation for me personally, and you had the first comment ever on my blog! Thank you for all of the content you’ve shared with us over the years and I’m very much looking forward to you getting even that much older and wiser :)

    • Ryan, thank you for such kind words. I’m glad to have played a role in your journey, and hearing that is really incredible. I know for certainly I’ll continue to get older, however judgment is still out on being wiser.

  17. Nice to see you around W2R. I have been following your blog for some time and saw it growing along with your investments. I also have seen many good blogs die recently. So keep up the good work.

  18. Happy birthday, W2R! Turning 30 or 40 or 50 (I don’t know about 60 yet :-)) is a milestone and it is not. Seen from one perspective, you’re just one day older than the day before. Seen from another, you’re aware of the significance of passing time, of Earth’s journey around the Sun, of the future and the need to plan ahead, to dream, to act, to be. May you have a wonderful journey ahead of you!

    Take care!

    • FerdiS, you’re absolutely right, it is both a milestone and not one all at the same time. For me it is more of a recognition of progress, a mile marker so to speak. It is easy to look back and see where I was when I was 20, 25, and now 30. Going forward, similar markers can be used to set goals and achievements.

      I appreciate you commenting and reading!

  19. Write on brother! Pun fully intended. Happy birthday too!

    Cause for optimism: My old ass is 41 and I feel no different from I did at 30. No more aches and pains, I feel in the same shape. I biked 128 miles in one daya year ago. Eat well and exercise. Your body will return the favor. So will your mind.

    If nothing else, keep that hand in shape. I won’t tell you how to exercise that.

    • Thank you Mr. 1500! You’re absolutely right about feeling better physically. It all boils down to eating right and staying active. I know I do one of those two things better than the other, but would say I’m better off today than I was ten years ago. At this point, most of my aches and pains are generally the result of me pushing to hard at times.

      Haha the hand… always in top form! Thanks for the visit!

  20. W2R,

    Glad to see you still blogging, and at it stronger and better than ever! :)

    Happy birthday as well. I’m not too far ahead of you, but I can definitely say that I’m having a better decade thus far than I was when my 20s started. Things just seem to keep getting better. I’m confident you’ll experience the same.

    Keep at it, brother.

    Best regards.

    • Stronger and better than ever… I like the sound of that! And I agree, things have definitely gotten better over the last few years, and I expect nothing less from the 30s.

      I appreciate your support DM!

  21. Happy 30th! I’ve been active into the blogosphere for 7 years… so yeah, I’m a dinosaur! ;-) It’s always a pleasure to see others coming in to stay though. Congrats on reaching that and keep it up!

  22. W2R, Congrats my friend. Great achievement on the blog, and many congrats on the birthday.

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