Accidental Entrepreneur: From Principal to Professional Blogger
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Over the last few weeks, we’ve interviewed several successful full time bloggers who started their careers in completely different fields; from aerospace engineering to accounting to working in the nonprofit sector, the bloggers we’ve talked with come from many different walks of life and had different goals and career aspirations than what they do today.
These glimpses into their lives provide a beautiful picture of the multifaceted nature of the personal finance blogging world. We are a diverse group of individuals with at least two commonalities – we want to help others, and none of us set out to be full-time bloggers.
Today’s featured blogger is no different. In fact Brian Fourman of the blog Luke1428 used to be a school principal.
Twist and Turns
Brian is used to his career taking twists and turns. He went to graduate school and received a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in school counseling. He didn’t intend on teaching in a private school but during his time in graduate school, he became a part of a local church community that ran a private school.
He taught middle school as a way to make extra money part time, but at the end of his third year, Brian found himself with an interesting career opportunity. His principal left his position, and the school board asked Brian to become the new one. Brian said he “was shocked but pleased for the opportunity.” He spent 10 years as principal and then another four years of teaching before he quit his job.
Deciding to Quit
It wasn’t an easy decision for Brian to leave his work, but a combination of factors contributed to the decision. His wife, who was also a teacher, made a big career change and went back to school to become a CPA. The result, Brian said, was that their “lives were turning out not much different than many other two-career families – stressed out, running from here to there, with no margin for things we enjoyed. Clearly some difficult decisions were ahead.”
Unhappy with their stress levels and wanting to spend time with their kids who were growing and getting involved in tons of activities and sports, they began to develop a plan for Kim, his wife, to work and Brian to transition to being a stay at home dad.
At first, just stepping down from being the principal to a teacher was hard for Brian but it was an important part of his transition to putting his family first. Brian and Kim are incredibly sweet (I’ve met them in person) so it was no surprise to me that Brian said, “The chance to support Kim to follow her dream after she had helped me for so many years was worth the risk.” Plus, they were working towards a bigger goal: Brian actually quitting his job completely.
A Stay at Home Dad and Blogger
Their plan went off without a hitch. Brian said, “Once Kim’s schooling was done, her licensure requirements were completed, a fabulous job had come her way and our mortgage was paid off, we knew it was time to act. I quit my job as teacher and became a stay at home dad in August of 2014.” He added that “Leaving something you’ve spent 17 years at isn’t easy… I felt a lot of anxiety about leaving but knew it was the right choice for the family.”
In the midst of all of these big decisions Brian started a blog. Inspired by a Dave Ramsey comment that said, “you could get a degree in finance just by reading the book of Proverbs,” Brian began to think about finances and couldn’t shake Ramsey’s idea out of his head. He said, “That month of reading set me out on an exciting journey. Eventually I decided to read through the Bible in a year and record all the Bible verses about money I could find. On that reading journey, I became convicted about my use of debt and how I was recklessly spending money. That’s when our financial lives began to improve by leaps and bounds.”
Brian admits he was scared to start a blog at first. When his wife initially suggested it, he immediately said no and came up with a litany of excuses why it was a terrible idea. But, Kim, like the amazing wife she is wouldn’t let the idea go. After six months of encouragement from his wife, Brian finally gave in and started his blog on July 3, 2012.
It’s a Good Thing He Did
It’s a good thing Brian started that blog since he has experienced much success over the past few years. I know his readers enjoy his lessons and appreciate his candor and life experience.
I’ve been telling Brian from the first day I met him online that he’s an extremely talented writer and that he could make a living as a freelance writer. He totally didn’t believe me at first, but now three years later, I’m happy to see his name popping up around different websites as a staff writer. Brian is very clear though about his intentions. He said, “I quit my job to become a stay-at-home-dad” not be a professional blogger, and “it still remains a secondary activity for me to taking care of the family.” However, as time as gone on and his blogging income has increased, he is just seeing where the opportunities take him.
As far as the balance he was seeking when he decided to quit his job? Brian said, “It’s like we have our life back. The margin we were seeking is finally there.”
Learn more about Brian at Luke1428.com.
Have you ever thought about starting a blog? When have you faced a major job change and how did you handle it? How do you find balance between work and personal or family life? What do you know about finance today that you didn’t one year ago?
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