To be honest, today was supposed to be my income report for April 2017, but from time to time I have interactions with readers via social media (specifically Facebook for this post) that make me bust out something that I really didn't have planned on the posting calendar.
Sometimes, it's really helpful for me to put the feelers out and get an idea of how the M$M readers think about different topics.
Over the course of the past two years, I've shared a lot of really incredible financial stories across my social platforms and this blog. They range anywhere from people paying off a lot of debt, to young people becoming multi-millionaires early in life and then retiring.
Readers either love them or hate them…but mostly love them from what I can tell.
How do you react when you see $$$ stories that seem unachievable?
Personally – I freaking love seeing stories about people that have pulled off some kind of crazy financial feat.
A lot of that probably stems from the fact that this site became a viable business when CNBC picked up my story last year of paying off $40,000 of student loans on a teacher's salary in 18 months.
That feature was the first taste I got of how most people interact with these stories on the internet.
I'm so proud of the community that we have all started to build with M$M. Overwhelmingly it's full of positive people that root for each other. That's the way it should be.
But, there are so many people on the internet that totally suck haha.
The tin-foil hats that came out when I got on CNBC blew me away.
There were people emailing me telling me that I was full of crap, the numbers were made up, etc.
It didn't matter that I literally shared all of the details of my salary, living situation, AND had my student loan payoff record to back it all up.
There were people threatening to turn my in-laws in for tax evasion, crunching all these made up/estimated numbers and “disproving” my accomplishment, etc.
It was so so so bizarre, and honestly very uncomfortable. It was the first time that I realized how vulnerable you are to weirdos when you put your life out in the open like I did.
When that story came out and I had my little 15 minutes of fame – I was more stressed out than anything. But, eventually I just got numb to the negativity and learned how to tune out haters and turn up the volume on good people.
Just part of the game, and thankfully there are a lot of good people out there!
Some people immediately look for holes in the story.
I shared a cool early-retirement story on Facebook, where basically a girl who had been featured on Forbes and Business Insider made several hundred thousand dollars a year after college and then retired early at 28 with $2,000,000+ in the bank.
She gave some really interesting insights about how she did it, and even though I knew I wasn't going to be able to do what she did since I'm already 28, I still got some value out of it.
Basically – no matter how much money you make, you still need to save and not waste the opportunity.
BUT, a couple people felt differently about the story than I did, and even wondered if it was true at all (which is a fair opinion to have). That's been a trend over the past two years, so I'm curious about it.
Some people do fake their stories, and it sucks for the others that don't.
Just like anything else, some people lie. The biggest instance of this I can think of is from a guy that lied to my friend J Money over at BudgetsAreSexy.com about his net worth, and then ALSO lied to Yahoo Finance about it…and they covered his story.
It all fell apart when they figured out that he was full of crap based on a tip from one of his friends, and then Yahoo had to issue an apology. You can read that here. It's pretty fascinating.
I can just tell you from experience – good journalists do vet these stories. CNBC and Business Insider asked me a bunch of questions and wanted documentation proving I had paid off my loans before they ran my story/let me write for them.
Business Insider did the same for a similar story that I ran on this site about a guy that racked up a $100k net worth by 25.
They literally asked for bank statements to confirm his net worth before they would pick his story up.
So, even though some people slip through the cracks and lie – most journalists still do their homework on financial success stories. Nobody likes to get burned!
I take what I can from every story
What I'm really trying to get to without writing a novel is that I think people with a growth mindset look for tips and tricks, not direct solutions for their situation.
It's way too easy to point to success stories and think: “Ugh, they make more money than I do or just got lucky so this story is bogus.”
But what does that do for you in the long run?
My mindset is always: “Woah that's insane…now what can I take from it and use in my own life?”
There is no blueprint for success. I'm sorry. There just isn't. But there is wisdom out there for the taking.
Or…I'm just a gullible idiot haha.