Accidental Entrepreneur: From Broadway Actor to Financial Expert

Being an aspiring Broadway actor can be hard. It can also be beautiful, even when it's broke, and lead to unexpected success, as this blogger found out.

Over the last few months, we’ve shared some incredible stories of people who moved from traditional careers to full-time blogging. Today, this series must come to a close after quite a good run, and I decided to end on a high note by interviewing the very successful Stefanie O’Connell of The Broke and Beautiful Life.

Stefanie has had a fantastic past year from the launch of her book to doubling and tripling her writing income. Going from a broke and starving aspiring Broadway actor to a highly successful writer has been a very meaningful and inspiring transition for her, and I know you’ll love her story.

Starting the Blog


Stefanie started her blog, The Broke and Beautiful Life, “to chronicle my journey toward financial sustainability while pursuing an uncertain (and arguably unsustainable) career path: professional acting.” While starting her blog and writing to her small but growing audience, she realized that she loved writing about finance and started to contribute to other personal finance blogs.

At first, she was only making $20-$40 per post to write for other blogs, but “the extra couple hundred bucks each month meant less time spent at soul sucking ‘survival jobs’, and that was liberating.”

Once she got that first taste of making a solid income from her writing, she was hooked.

Raising Her Rates


We often talk about how to ask for a raise in the personal finance community, and Stefanie is a great example of someone who gained experience in her craft and started to raise her prices accordingly. She realized she needed higher paying corporate clients in order to write full-time, so as she says, she started “pitching like crazy.”

Luckily, her hard work paid off, and from all of her pitches she “got contributor gigs at places I never would’ve thought possible – wealth management company blogs, bank blogs, credit card blogs – you name it.” Over time, one corporate client became two and then three and then more. Soon, she was replacing all of those other side hustles like being a baby sitter, assistant, and hostess in favor of writing for more and more top sites.

Being an aspiring Broadway actor can be hard. It can also be beautiful, even when it's broke, and lead to unexpected success, as this blogger found out.

Not only that, but her better schedule allowed her to keep up her acting chops, and although it was extremely hectic, she was able to perform on Broadway last Christmas and try her hand at full-time acting and full-time writing all at the same time. Although it was hard work, finally seeing the dollars come in after so many years of struggling was “everything she hoped it would be.”

These days, Stefanie continues to grow her business. In addition to writing, she’s added on other streams of income like consulting and public speaking. As far as if all the transitions have been worth it, Stefanie says, “I love blogging, not only for the income and career it’s given me, but for the power of the platform it’s given me. I love writing, but ultimately, I love people and affecting meaningful and positive change in their lives.”


Do you want to become a full-time blogger?  Do you now or have you ever written for a living? What is your dream job and what are you doing to pursue it?

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Catherine Alford is a professional public speaker and freelance writer who covers family, finance, and freedom. Check out her blog, BudgetBlonde, and her bio at


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