One Million Journey Turns One Year Old
Today, the onemillionjourney.com blog turns one year old 🙂 Albeit 12 months are technically nothing when compared with the whole duration of my personal journey (10 years), it feels to me like a lot has been going on during this short period.
Those who have followed the blog since my first opening or introductory post know that I’ve had quite an eventful first year. Now waters seem to have calmed down a little bit lately.
Before I continue with my one-year blogging summary and share some statistics with you, I would like to have some fun by writing about the backstory of this blog, and the experiences that made me take the decisions to get this journey started.
I know it may be a bit long and boring. I am not expecting anyone to read it all, but please, I would appreciate some feedback from you as I explain on the latest point.
If you decide to read and go ahead, I hope you’ll enjoy it (at least there are some cartoons!) 🙂
Before I Blogged
2017 and 2018 were my revelation years. The years when I decided that I would shape my future towards something better than what I had. My interest in personal development and investing “skyrocketed”. My tendency towards spending more and more time reading and watching educational content, and less and less time partying and drinking beer increased day after day.
In March 2018 I lost my job (not because of fiesta though!). I had been recently promoted from being a multiskilled worker to a CAD engineer in a sheet metal company that was about to bankrupt. Six months after, the company went into administration due to its incapacity to repay outstanding working capital loans back to investors. As an anecdote, most machinery had to be put in an auction and was sold at ridiculous prices, which cause a substantial investor capital loss (Due diligence note: business loans backed largely on machinery are risky indeed).
I was in fact lucky losing that job, as it opened a new door that faced right to my current day job, which I enjoy more and pays better.
Pay Rises Are Addictive
In Spain, getting a pay raise is further much more challenging than in the UK. When I first landed here, I earned below the minimum hourly rate, £6 per hour in an Indian restaurant, with no contract, no holidays entitlement, working late nights and during weekends. Four and a half years have passed since my first payday in this country and I ‘ve had exactly 10 pay raises. Oh boy! How addictive they are!
Every pay raise is like an injection of happiness and fulfillment that lasts not over 2 months. Then I wanted another one, and if I couldn’t have it (obviously not) I wasn’t happy and would spend a larger amount of my own daytime complaining.
At that point, the difference with me and most people is that I didn’t purchase happiness injections, I spent little. So, the only time when I was feeling happy was after a few beers with friends (at happy hours times, not expensive beers please!) or when feeding my learning desire during my revolution years. If none of these conditions were met and no pay raises were close by my tendency towards complaining was prominent.
The Time When I Decided I Would Blog
The revelation years were fascinating! You know that feeling when you discover something new that can potentially change your life? When you tell yourself: “Why the hell I didn’t know about all of this stuff before? If I would have known this earlier, I would have done that and that and that and now I wouldn’t blah blah blah …”
My investments started to take off, I learned about ISAs, stocks, bonds, gold, forex and about most assets classes, including the innovative peer-to-peer lending new trend.
Doing online research about the latest type is what led me to the financial independence community, which I completely felt attached to it. I quickly became aware of some bloggers with similar investing profiles that were trying to make a few bucks online. I initially thought that blogging could be something I could try to do someday too, but I had no idea how it worked, so I quickly forgot about opening mine as at that time I was pretty much focused on adapting to my new job. Learning about all the blogging related stuff seemed to require a lot of time for a non-software engineer or non-IT guy like me.
Later in 2018 my misses came to me one Saturday morning and said:
“Cariño, we’ve lived near a mediation center for almost a year and you haven’t visited it yet. I’ve got a 2×1 offer to assist to an Improving Relationships through Mindfulness half-day course.”
I thought that was an amazing idea since I had not been meditating seriously since I came to Brighton (I used to be a member of a Reiki group before, meeting in a weekly basis and meditating 1 hour a day)
Our teacher was a monk whose soul radiated pure happiness and wore a deep honest smile during the whole course. It was contagious and transmitted a sort of an angel feeling.
Summarising, my personal take away from this course was that helping others gives a sense of true happiness, as I mentioned in my 10 reasons to pursue financial independence.
Putting Everything In A Mixer
So, if we take this and my raising interest in shaping my future and put it together in a mixer, the resultant is the idea of starting a blog to help, so I can get rid of that annoying complainer, and start building something beautiful from scratch. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The issue was that I knew I don’t have much experience and knowledge to offer to the financial community, but there was something else I could do, I could help others by donating my generated blog income to a charity, after all, it didn’t seem to be that difficult, right? (I was wrong there, it is actually more difficult than it looks)
That happened at the end of October 2018, but I didn’t start this blog until the 23rd of December.
Ok, Now The Toughest Part: Choosing A Domain Name!
Choosing the domain name took me ages, everything I liked was already taken or otherwise had to pay through the nose to get it. I appreciate my lovely nose and would rather keep smelling many more springs to come, so I kept thinking and thinking until I came up with the million idea. One of my illusionary dreams was to become a millionaire. The idea of setting one million as my lifetime financial target fascinated me, it called me and wake up something inside me that gave me a lot of energy and inspiration. I was getting close… I knew it!
Then I discovered that I wasn’t the only one out there with the same target. A million is quite a common goal, isn’t it? Who doesn’t want a million, right?
After some more digging…, “voila garçons et filles”! Onemillionjourney.com was purchased by Tony macaroni at a modest price of £12 (yippee I kept my nose!)
Finally, besides this and the purposes I wrote on my about page there’s another important thing that quite drove me to start as well, but this is getting longer than I expected and I am not feeling ready to explain it quite yet either, so I’ll keep it for the second anniversary.
I didn’t have a clue about blogging, I only had read books mainly, but my girlfriend had some knowledge from a course she took a while ago, so I used her brains to get a smoother start-off.
Everything I’ve written has been improvised, besides the monthly updates I didn’t know much what I would write about or if I would write anything at all.
Surprisingly, soon after starting people would see me as a FIRE blogger, even though I didn’t call myself as such at the beginning. I knew little about FIRE, but it seemed that some of my own personal believes resonated with the FIRE community ones.
In March 2019 I lost a lot of money and my portfolio dropped -126K. The FIRE community “came to rescue me”, trying to cheer me up and give me sincere support for my loss. Today, these supporters are the blogs I read and will keep reading, forever. Thanks again for your support!
Both, April and March were challenging months. I didn’t know if the blogging experiment idea that came out of that course made sense anymore. Perhaps I didn’t make it look like that here on the blog, but I felt defeated from the inside.
The idea of shaping the future through DYI seemed completely stupid.
Did I want to put a “top fool blogger badge” on the blog and keep going on with it?
Is it necessary to go through constant humiliation?
These were common questions bouncing in my mind until I managed to erase them. Writing and the community helped.
I decided that I would take the bull (humiliation) by the corns and do what I was meant to do, shape the (my) future while helping others. But how? Well… simply by keeping this blog alive, so others can read about the mistakes I made and raise some awareness against Ponzi schemes or fraudulent financial investments, which are unfortunately still increasing in number in the EU. Seemed like all of the sudden I found a reason to keep this thing on.
I remember during this period being extremely furious some days and ended up erasing all my goals as I couldn’t focus on them anymore and had a break. I wondered for a while on what I wanted to do with the blog, thought about writing negative reviews on sites that were clear scams to me, but skipped the idea and decided to focus on my initial purposes, though I sometimes still think about revenge.
In May 2019 I stopped smoking. Boy, that was a good decision! It’s “hard” but the blog it’s being useful indeed. 7 months as a non-smoker, which is my record and I feel better than ever as I also began with my running routine. Last time I gave up was for 6 months, though I cheated and had some puffs, but this time, not even one. YAASSS!
As you can probably imagine the financial results of my first blogging year are a complete disgrace. I’ve made this special chart that displays my investment portfolio value evolution from Nov-18 to Nov-19. These numbers correspond to the beginning of December.
The portfolio value, in the beginning, was 144,991 EUR whilst now, if taking my November update as a reference, is 105,799 EUR. That’s a -39,192 EUR decrease in value :(. I am looking forward to at least break even, maybe in 2020?
I’ll run through some more numbers in January after I have updated my net worth.
Hopefully, the second birthday financial statistics will look better.
Some bloggers share their blog stats on a monthly basis. For the time being, I rather not focus much on these stats. However, a rough update on how the blog has been doing after one year seems like a good idea.
So, here we go.
These are the main ones:
- The blog received 9,300 visitors that gave 26,200 views.
- I wrote 36 posts (that’s way more than what I initially set for my 2019 goals)
- The blog welcomed 373 comments and 97 likes.
- It has produced an income of 364 EUR.
I am pleased, and I should thank all of you guys who have commented and interacted with me, used some of my affiliate or referral links or simply read me. Thanks! Hope it was worth it.
Top Posts (excluding reviews and monthly updates)
The first year was a good introduction to the blogosphere, I dipped my toe in the water, experimented and tested, met a lot of interesting people (I love you guys seriously!), learned a lot of stuff that I am grateful for, improved my writing, earned some income and the site has even been profitable (no marketing or any advertising expenses at all). The blog has followed its purpose and I am pleased and fulfilled with it.
Now, what the second year waits is still unknown, but in the spotlight, I want to keep engaging with others (though I spend more time on Twitter than I actually should) and keep learning and polishing the financial road towards my final destination, and hopefully make it shorter.
I am debating on where I want to lead the blog next. Being honest with you, focusing on P2P gives the chance to bring blog income, but dividend investing starts to make more and more sense to me. Its community also seems to be supportive and cooperative.
Help Me Improve By Sharing Your Feedback With Me
Feedbacks from readers are more than welcome. I would love to know what you personally like the most of the blog, what you don’t, why you subscribed or what’s making you stop by from time to time.
Thanks for reading amigos. Gracias
And Merry Christmas if you read this before the 24th of December.
Hope Santa brings you loads of love 🙂