I'm in debt

I owe $1,950 to the IRS. 

I owe $1000 to my roommate.

And I’m paying off a $3,000 doctor bill from before my Latin America trip, which was the result of me getting a procedure after my insurance lapsed (unbeknownst to me - getting the phone call that my claim was denied was a fun one 😃 )

Sorry to get so real on a Tuesday morning {{ subscriber.first_name }}, but for some reason starting this email list is making the rawness flow.

(BTW, this is another ~4 minute read. There's a blog version here, if you prefer. Also, if you want marketing / freelancing tips check the P.S. and hold tight)


How could this have happened?

Well, a big part of it is that I just hate dealing with money, so I avoid it.

Another part is I started to freelance without any clue about how much money I was supposed to save for taxes.

And the last part is that I spent all my money filming a TV show for 2 years, and I haven’t made anything from it.

In fact, I had far more money when I was 22 than I do at 28.



... This isn’t a cry for help, or me complaining

I’m lucky I don’t have student debt, or anything else hanging over my head. Some of you on this list probably do, and I have a lot of respect for your hustle.

And my roommate very kind, letting me pay him back whenever I can (the IRS, not so much).

Plus, I've made deliberate choices that brought me here.

That being said, suddenly finding myself in this situation is terrifying. And it comes at a time where more people than ever are saying to me “seems like you’re doing great.”

And in many ways I am. The creativity is flowing. The connections are growing. 

But this debt is an albatross around my neck (is that the right phrase?)


Why the heck am I telling you this?

I bring it up, for two reasons.

One, money is so freaking taboo. We can't talk about getting rich AF off an IPO. We can't talk about being broke AF because of decisions we've made. We cant talk about just bobbing along, being content with what we have.

Well here's me getting real about having none of it.

Second, how I'm spending reveals a big part of how I think.

Because I'm still spending a good amount.

But not on things like entertainment or travel or clothes.

Not even on the necessary things like food.

I've cut all of this back. It kind of sucks (but its fine).

Not spending on these things is a superpower I retain from my backpacker traveling days (when you have to wear the same underwear for 8 days in a row or eat peanut butter sandwiches every single day, your perspective shifts).

What I’m spending money on is improving my skills - freelance direct response copywriting to be specific.


Investments worth making

Last month I bought a $2000 course that I’m paying off over 10 months.

I recently bought a book that cost $200.

I subscribed to an online community membership for $30/month.

I'm considering joining BNI (this weird culty networking group) that would be another ~$200 a month.

Hell, I’m paying $30/month for the service that sends you this email.

It seems insane on the surface, but I don’t see them as costs…

… I see each of these as investments.

Not desperate ones, but strategic ones.

Not gambles, but sure things (as long as I follow through on what I’m learning).


It's starting to work

Two months ago I made about $2,500 from freelancing (I was more focused on Nowhere Men stuff).

Last month I made about $4,000.

This month I’m shooting to make $6,000 (though I’m off track and don’t think I’ll hit it).  

The difference between seeing something as a cost vs. investments is huge. I’m trying to play the long game here, even while I’m in the hole.

I should be out soon.


I'm curious where you're at

Rich AF? Feelin' stable but don't have as much as you need? Facing similar struggles?

No shameful answer here, it's all just a number (whether it's huge or tiny), not a reflection of who you are.

And where's your mindset at - Do you make investments in yourself? Do you struggle with this mindset? Have you ever even thought about it?

Reply to this email and let me know (if you're comfortable talking about it). Seriously, no judgment.

Enjoy this bird.

- Alex


P.S. For those of you who signed up for marketing info and are getting an inbox full-o-me, that’s coming next. I’m learning how to do some segmentation on this email list so that I can make sure you’re only getting whatever you find most valuable.

But I’m taking baby steps. Thanks for bearing with me.

P.P.S. Some people may be wondering why I’m not doing freelance video production… and the answer is, I should be. I just had a bad experience, and it spooked me. I will once the debt is paid off.