Accidental Entrepreneurs: Careers That Didn’t Make the Cut

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Many bloggers are accidental entrepreneurs. They didn't see themselves becoming professional bloggers, but today can't imagine doing anything else.

I wish blogging was something you could choose as a college major, and maybe someday it will be. Until then, blogging will have to remain something you teach yourself how to do. 🙂 Most people who blog for a living are accidental entrepreneurs who did something totally unrelated to blogging before they quit their jobs.

Still, some bloggers are business majors who always knew working online was the wave of the future and found a way to ride that wave through blogging.

In order to celebrate all the different paths that bring us together here in blog land, we’re starting a new series at Frugal Rules that will feature full time bloggers who haven’t always held that title. The catch is that we don’t need to hear about awesome blogging is. We already know all about that! 🙂 We want to know the career that didn’t make the cut.

The question we’ll be asking bloggers during this series is: “What did you want to be when you grew up but became a blogger instead?”

Crystal’s Story


Crystal Stemberger is a well known name in the personal finance space since she has been blogging for five years now. She wears many hats when it comes to online entrepreneurship but perhaps is best known for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Crystal and her husband also own an extensive ad network service and work with hundreds of bloggers helping them to make an income from their websites.

But Crystal didn’t know that blogging was the career for her. In fact, she says, “I thought I wanted to be an OBGYN and deliver babies. Then I decided that I didn’t want to deal with that many body fluids. In high school, I thought I wanted to work in a corporate office somewhere, work my way into a management position, save a ton, and retire with a full pension by the time I was 50 years old. That’s why I went to college in 2001 and received my BA in Marketing with a Spanish minor in 2005.”

A Marketing Degree Translates to Entrepreneurship


Her marketing degree was well suited for a career as a blogger, even though she didn’t know it at the time. Crystal’s knack for finance and business eventually made her grow tired of “commutes and making tons of money for other people while bringing home less than $30,000 a year myself.”

Many bloggers are accidental entrepreneurs. They didn't see themselves becoming professional bloggers, but today can't imagine doing anything else.

In 2009, amid exhaustion from her commute and cubicle-induced boredom, she found personal finance blogs in 2009 and started her own in 2010. She figured out how to monetize blogs rather quickly with ads and soon started helping other bloggers do the same. By July 2011, a mere year and a half after starting her own blog, she ditched the cubicle job and hasn’t looked back.

As Crystal said, “I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I grew up, but that is exactly where I am the happiest.”


I have to say that I feel the same way. There’s just something about building something all your own that’s much more satisfying than working in a cubicle all day for someone else. Blogging as a full time career has its ups and downs and that can be worrisome when you’re trying to care for loved ones as a self-employed individual. However, when you work in a career as unique as ours, the sky is the limit. Luckily for us, Crystal is a part of our community and not delivering babies or holed up in a cubicle somewhere.



What did you want to be when you grew up?  Are you doing that now or something different? How unexpected is the career you currently find yourself in? How did you end up where you are today? If you’re a full time blogger and want to be a part of this series, please e-mail us your story!
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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families. Check out her award winning blog,


  • Inspiring story! I have wanted to become an astronaut when I was a kid. I think I’m pretty close to it though because I’m always exploring and exploring the world 🙂

  • I first wanted to be a stock broker after a 5th grade stock market project. Then I was really into science and math for a while and thought civil engineering was the way to go. When I got to college I declared as a finance major since I realized engineering wasn’t for me, but then was persuaded by a professor to go the accounting route. I am still in accounting, and while I do not love it, I have a very solid finance and business foundation now which maybe I can parlay into something I like more. Who knows where the next chapter will take me!?

  • Money Beagle says:

    Crystal is great and has inspired a lot of people who have followed her success into the blogging world.

  • I knew as a kid that I had always wanted to own my own business. To me that meant that I was going to need to get a degree in Business. I went to school and got a degree in Finance.

    I have had a lot of side hustles but nothing that has materilized into something big enough for me to ditch the 9 to 5 to be in business for myself full time.

    I am now building a blog myself and am working diligently to eventually make the break. Until then just trying to mast the blend.


  • Kim says:

    I love Crystal’s story and she is one huge reason why I started a blog. Cool series.

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