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Finding The Passion For Personal Finances with Philip "PT" Taylor

You're going to get to know Philip “PT” Taylor. This guy is an icon in the personal finance industry.
He started a blog called PT Money showing people how to be better with financial decisions and financial education. In that journey, he also went on to found FinCon, which is one of the leading conferences in the space.
In this episode, you're going to hear about his own personal journey of getting out of debt, him and his family. How he started a blog on the side, was able to monetize it, and then ultimately started this event which he is monetizing as well.

A key takeaway that you're going to discover is this idea of paying yourself first. You may have heard that. However, in the context of what PT says, it's a lot different than you may think. PT talks about paying yourself first, especially as a business owner, making sure not to put everything back into the business, but you are able to extract money from the thing that you created.

The other thing I found fascinating that you're going to discover is he says, “Manipulate.” I’m saying, “To change or to adopt a system that allows him to be who he was.” Rather than try to change himself and be Mr. Frugal, he created a system that allowed him to be who he was and still win the game.

The final thing that you're going to discover is this idea of tapping into your community. He talks about this idea of community. If you're starting a business or you want to be a better contributing member of society, you're going to find what says about building a community fascinating.

Dustin
It’s 2007, you find yourself and your family in debt, not enough savings and you recognize you're in quite a jam. You're in a hole. You're looking for a way out. How did you come to think that starting a blog was the way to transform your situation?
Philip
It was being inspired by other bloggers that were out there. I’ve been consuming their content for years at that point. My financial confidence was rising, my desire to take more ownership of my money and move it forward. I just got married. I wanted to pursue a better financial life for my family at that point. It all came to a head there where I thought, “This is the time to start journaling it, chronicling my journey, my rise to power financially and out of a negative situation.” I’d seen others that I was reading were doing it. I knew that it would be a great accountability piece for me to take that message forward. I struck out with my first blog post and off I went.
Dustin
When you got started doing it, were you mindful that you were going to try to monetize? Was it more about the accountability piece first?
Philip
In the back of my mind, I’ve always thought I had an entrepreneurial bone in my body and that I would want to do something. I’d seen some other bloggers as well monetizing their effort. From the start, I’d be lying if I didn't say that was one of the angles as well. I was truly passionate about my own financial life and sharing my message in an effort to get in on this community of people who were talking about money online and moving forward. That was a big component of it. The entrepreneurial side was there as well. It took me about a year and a half before I tried to do anything on that front. I knew that could come eventually if I got enough traffic.
Dustin
Were you doing this on the side while you were doing CPA stuff?
Philip
At the time I was working for a big corporation on their corporate finance site.
Dustin
You set out a year and a half before you started trying to monetize this. Were you able to pull your first dollar then?
Philip
It was April 2007 when I first started. It was a year and a half before I started making decent money. I took my first ad client in December of that year. It was a sponsored text link way back in the day where they’d pay you $10 a month to put a link on their site. It’s the shady SEO practices these days. Back in the day, I was green so I took whatever money. I couldn’t believe someone wanted to pay me $10 a month for my blog. Then I installed Google AdSense on the site. It took about months for that to pay out and the baseline payout was $100. During this time, I was still working the corporate gig. I maintained that status, having the corporate job and then keeping the PT money on the side for years. From 2007 all the way to 2010, I kept that status going. The income from the blog continued to rise from about mid-2008 on and toward 2009. It was starting to pay my mortgage, which was super nice. In 2010, it was doing a little more than that. It was getting about a third to almost a half at times of my corporate income. Fixing our financial life, it married up with the blog making enough money for me to take the leap. Both of those things came together. In 2010 was when I took the leap out of that and went from part-time to full-time.
Dustin
What was the missus thinking? Not when the money was coming in droves but before it. How did that conversation play out?
Philip
She used to call it playing around on the Internet. I did computer gaming a little bit when we first got married and would stay up late at night doing that sometimes. She put it in the same category of me killing time. Once she started seeing some of the commenters, some of the email feedback I was getting and then certainly the checks from the AdSense. When the other advertisers came in and it started paying our mortgage, she started taking it a lot more seriously like me. At the time, I went by PT. I didn't share that I was Phillip Taylor in my real person, my real name online. There was an anonymous factor to it. She was one of the only people I could talk to about it. She got an earful every night of what's the latest with the blog, my concerns about my latest blog post or whatever it is. She was there with me side by side whether she wanted to be or not. For her, it was fun to watch but she was always someone like me who's conservative and always saw this as a hobby, something on the side that was killing time and wouldn't necessarily lead to something immediate and certainly not as fast as it did.
Dustin
What would you think a CPA, someone who watches how money flows and accounts for it and audits it would lend it to being naturally savvy in personal finance? Why was this not the case?
Philip
There was a little bit of me of being embarrassed about that. I was like, “Why didn't I have better personal finances?” I’ve got this Accounting degree and a Master's in Accounting. I’ve got this big CPA certification. I’ve got a father who's a CPA as well. Money in terms of how you manage it on a daily basis wasn't necessarily something that we talked about directly. I saw how my parents treated their money and they treated their money wisely. I respected that but I didn't understand it for myself and I didn't have high standards for myself with my finances. I essentially said, “I’ll go make a good living and then I’ll spend that money.” I’m a natural spender. I’m not a natural saver. Once the income was coming in, I was ready to spend it. I felt it was my reward for all the hard work I’d done in my college days and in my early career. Now, here I am ready to spend it so the new car, the nicest apartment, the new clothes, dining out every night. We did it. I used the money to reward myself for past efforts.
At the same time, I wasn't making advancements. I discovered that personal finances are different than to a degree than business finances. It's still the same cashflow in and out. The way I was looking at it from an auditor perspective or for someone doing a tax return, there were certain elements of the finances that you would handle but then the actual cashflow was a different part. A true entrepreneur gets this as well. There's a cashflow aspect to the business that if you don't have that under control or if you're not paying yourself first, which I learned to eventually do, it helped me hack my natural spending habits and become a good saver to start paying myself first.
I had to manipulate who I naturally am to become better at money. It also helped that I married a frugal wife, someone who's a natural saver. She saved me in a way financially. It was a good partnership. With the accounting degree and with the finance background, I naturally assumed I would win with money and that's not the case. Even if you don't have the certifications, regardless of your status in the financial world. If you don't take ownership of it, if you don't learn who you are by nature and build a system to defeat some of those natural bad habits, you are going to struggle with money. That's something anybody is going to deal with.
Dustin
What do you think your wife has taught you directly or indirectly about money, the biggest thing?
Philip
She constantly is teaching me stewardship with our money. We have been blessed with good incomes and now successful businesses, especially if you consider what we make compared with the rest of the world. We should honor those dollars even if we don't necessarily have a specific goal for them later on. We should treat those dollars with respect because they've been in essence given to us. We should be good stewards of them. There’s a discipline to how you spend your money that leads to happiness in life. The frivolous nature of sometimes the way I would spend my money without accounting for it or without caring and turning a blind eye, that can be good at times too. There's also a happiness that can be found in a more disciplined approach with how you spend your money and conserving. There's joy in conservation as well. She expresses that joy a little bit more effectively than I do sometimes. I respect that. I get to see that up close with her and respect her for being a good steward of money like she is.
Dustin
You've been doing this for years now being in the personal finance world since starting the blog. What has surprised you about your journey into this world?
Philip
It surprised me on the entrepreneurial side possibly. How when you have full control of your time, energy and your income that you can rapidly increase your net worth. Once you have access to all the levers and given yourself permission to control it all, you can rapidly increase your financial life. I assumed that I was moving from a part-time business to more of a lifestyle business. I realized, “I’m in full control over PT Money for the most part on what it does, how much it makes or other businesses that now I have more freedom. That I want to start.”
You grow up with upper middle class, middle-class family. You set natural limits for yourself like, “This is probably what I’ll make every year the rest of my life.” It was surprising to me that I fixed my financial life creating freedom for me, creating some independents where I had more room to pull more levers. Now that I have that room and that ability to scale things up, think of more ideas, do more and “10x it,” It's been surprising as to how much income is possible out there. The money is out there that now I can in a way go get it. That's been revolutionary for me because before I had more of a fixed mindset about what I would make or thinking about what my dad would make. He made it all his career and that's probably where I’ll be too. It’s opening my mind to what's possible with entrepreneurship and scaling your revenue.
Dustin
What I feel you shared is you started off with this lifestyle business or it enabled you to get out of your job. It became a lifestyle business. Now you've identified these levers that you can pull. Are you thinking perhaps to build something to sell to get to that point where you can make substantial money or build this thing so that it produces more revenue or income?
Philip
I’ve enjoyed building both businesses. I also created FinCon. I run both businesses side by side. I built a lot of equity up into both. The PT Money has gone up and down in terms of equity through the years, but I foresee at some point in the future me taking some liquidity off the table and capitalizing on some of the equity that I had built up in both businesses. I don't necessarily have to do that but I don't come from wealth. I don't come from privilege necessarily. I see that as a potential for my family to secure our future and to transform how we think about the future. I’ll always be building something because I enjoy the process at this point. Even if I were to sell PT Money or FinCon which is a possibility in the future because I’ve seen other entrepreneurs and other friends in our space sell both of those types of businesses. I could see a similar roadmap for myself and so I’m not opposed to that.
I’m lucky that I have both businesses so that I can take some money off the table on one and then continue moving forward with the others. I don't have to necessarily think about this new income stream or go completely to zero at that point. A benefit of a good side hustle is that if you take something off the table, you still have something there. You have multiple income streams. There's a point to where it's interesting to me to capitalize on what I’ve made. I’m not planning to win the lottery any time soon. No one’s coming along to save me or give me some big inheritance down the road.
This is a way for me to lock into a certain degree in certain parts of my future and that’s okay. We worked on our finances from 2007 to 2010 point. We were both making some money. We were both employed before we had kids. Dual incomes, we’d lived off one income. We did crush our debt other than our mortgage and we saved up as much as possible. We took that three-year window to fast track our financial life so that now we're in a place where we have a lot more options even when it comes to selling a business. I don't have to do that. I could continue to risk it going forward, that the revenue will continue to come. Knowing that we've got a couple of businesses going and also knowing that financially we're pretty much at a place in terms of what we saved.
There's a blog post on PT Money. It's something like how we saved at least 20% of our income each year in our 30s. We did that and that was roughly 2005, 2006 to 2016. That process of saving at least 20% each year during that period essentially set us up to where if we don't save any more for retirement, we literally don't touch that money. We let it mature until we're 65 or 70 and can't produce any more income or choose not to produce any more income. That will become enough money at that point for us to live off of the rest of our lives. All that to say I feel we're in a good spot financially where we've got a choice. That's the whole idea behind PT Money. That's been in it from the start. It was to help people move from a place where they didn't have control. They couldn’t pull those levers to now where they have a lot of freedom. If not complete financial independence, they’re in control of 95% of their financial life and their life in general, their future.
Dustin
You've written lots of blog posts. You interact. You’re on podcasts. What is your counterintuitive advice? Things that people aren't saying in the national media, things that you don't believe are widely accessible. What are some of the counterintuitive advice you've given people or that you've written about that can help people create a better financial life?
Philip
Automating your finances is somewhat of a big topic. People go talking about controlling your spending in one way. They talk about budgeting and they talk about changing who you are. That's a mistake to try to necessarily change who I am. I’m a spender. I like spending money. I believe that's okay. What I’ve enjoyed doing for myself is creating a place where I can freely spend in and out of a bucket. The money that I need to be saving, the money I need to be putting towards other goals is happening in the background before I get a chance to even see it. I don’t even think about it. A lot of people talk about strict budgeting and month to month. That's not something that has ever resonated with me.
We write a little bit about budgeting. I’m a believer in the zero-based budget process but to kick start you in terms of helping you understand where your money is. I’m not a person who has been able to stick to a budget month after month. It's not my nature. Some of the advice that points you toward to trying to fit into a certain box financially and to change your personality or the way you naturally behaviorally handle money. To me, that change isn't going to happen. What needs to happen is you need to create a system that works even within what your nature is. That's been automating my financial life as much as possible.
Before I even get the money in my checking account, it's going to my retirement accounts automatically saved. It's going into a separate savings account to ensure that I have money saved up for my taxes. Now that I have employees, it's going to a separate account that’s setting them up for payroll. It's going to even a profit account at this point to where from our businesses paying myself first from that standpoint. Creating a system has worked for me and not trying to change who I naturally am. When the money gets into my bucket, the money that I know I can spend freely out of, I’m happy to spend it. I don’t have to worry about where it's going. When that bucket runs out, I know I’m done with spending.
Dustin
You've essentially had a seat at this FIRE movement. For the WealthFit Nation who is reading this term for the first time, can you explain what FIRE is and what this movement is?
Philip
FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. It's essentially a different way to think about how to go about your financial life. Such that there's a point in your life where you no longer need to produce any more income if you don't have to because you can then live off of what you've saved. It's essentially fast-tracking your retirement. Most people like to hang on the financial independence side of things and I like that as well. There's a math behind it which is based on the Trinity Study. It says, “As long as you've saved up enough to withdraw 4% of your retirement account each year, that money should last you until you die.” 30 years at least is what the Trinity Study studied. As an example, save up $1 million. 4% of that is $40,000 a year. If you’ve got $1 million in the bank, you can freely spend $40,000 a year. You can do that into the future and you would be safe. That's considered the safe withdrawal rate, the 4% rule.
A lot of people in this FIRE movement are saying, “Why don't I get to that $1 million point or that $1.5 million or whatever that number is for you, get to that number as fast as possible so that I can then go do what I want with my life?” What folks have done is realize, “Is $40,000 what I need or is it less? Can I live off $20,000? Can I live off $30,000? Maybe it’s $60,000 that I need.” Figure out that number whatever it is then adjust your life accordingly living off that amount, knowing that once it's your time to eject yourself from whatever track you find yourself on that is unpleasant, undesirable or somewhere you want don't want to be, then you can move off of that standard track and move yourself to this financially-independent place where you can then start withdrawing. That was probably a confusing way to say it. It's a movement of people who decided that the normal track of life of getting your college degree then work somewhere for 40 or 50 years for the rest of your life until you’re ready to retire at 75 and then draw on your pension or out of your 401(k) at that point. It’s typically people who find themselves in a career that they're not necessarily all that satisfied with or they discover that they want to have more options in life.
People are choosing now to use their finances as a way to eject themselves from a standard template at life the world sets you up for. That's a positive thing too. There are positive things about that standard track but there are also positive things about saying, “I own the rest of my life and I can have control of it. Why don’t I use math and why don't I use finances to set myself up to where I have more choice?” That's what the FIRE movement is. There are some people who are leading that charge. There was Jacob at EarlyRetirementExtreme.com who's one of the first people. Vicki Robin wrote a great book, Your Money Or Your Life, which talks a lot about the philosophies around it. Mr. Money Mustache has been the guy to put it on the map for the rest of the world to see and to make it more mainstream. There are all these folks who have followed along, discovered that the math can work for them and said, “Now, I’m on this path to find myself,” and started journaling it on their own blogs and moving that way.
I like the movement. I didn't start out FIRE myself. I didn't read Jacob's blog until about 2010. I was years into my own blogging. I liked the topic. I liked the philosophy. I love the movement because it's raising the bar. For so long we've set a bar of 10%, 20% savings rates in this country. If you look at what the actual current savings rates are out there and the amounts of debt that people are carrying, the standard that we've set up until this point hasn't created great results, so why not raise the bar? Even if people get halfway, there will have positive effects from it. I like it because it also attaches why to personal finance.
A lot of personal finance and even for me was about the numbers or it was about the accounts you're putting things into and maxing things out for tax advantage. It was detached from your why, your life. Where are you moving? Where's this moving me toward? For most people, personal finances back in the day essentially moved them into retirement. That's not exciting when you're thinking about your 70-year-old self. When you can fast track that and think about your 35-year-old self, opening up to do a lot more with your life at that point, then that gets exciting for people. That's a couple of things I like about the movement.
Dustin
Why do you think it took the folks that you mentioned to bring it to a mainstream? Do you think society has changed? Everyone loves the idea of retiring early and being able to chart their own course, no doubt. Why all of a sudden has this had such an uprising, a swelling?
Philip
We are several decades now into what I would call corporate career culture. Most people that can get a good college education can go into a large corporation. They can get a pretty sweet set up in an accounting department like I did or an engineering department like Mr. Money Mustache did and have a pretty sweet fast track to success in life. In the past, that pathway was a lot more appreciated. Now people my age and maybe younger have said, “I appreciate it but I also want more out of life. I also want more freedom or I want more choice or I want more satisfaction out of my job.” Maybe people in our generation before us were a little less likely to do that because they saw their parents struggling with just coming up and having to struggle to get by. We're several years now into the corporate culture and people are choosing to leave it because they can. We’re at a privileged place in time, especially here in the US where we can in a way have our cake and eat it too. There's a privilege factor to it as well.
There's also the fact that we've seen our parents spend those years slaving away for so long, which they were perfectly happy to do. For us, we see it as a prison sentence or something where we don't have to do it that way now. We're also seeing examples. The bloggers that have come along, social media has changed this for us all. We don't have just SuzeOrman or Dave Ramsey to listen to anymore. We've got all these other voices online who have different experiences and different pathways. It's opening up whole new experiences for people to model themselves after. That's why I got started because thankfully these weirdoes online were blogging about their financial journey. I was able to attach myself to that story and say, “What if I could do that? I can't do that. They're doing it. Now I can do it,” and that's what's happening. It's a little bit part of the economy changing. It's one part media has changed. The internet is a beautiful thing. It's made us all our own publishers. The best message can win and democratize media in a fantastic way.
Dustin
Along with your journey, along the way you think, “I should get some friends together and invite them to come to hang out at an event,” which now is FinCon, the go-to event in the personal finance space. I didn't know that it wasn't FinCon at first. I’m curious as to the grassroots beginning, the first event that you did.
Philip
I bought the URL Financial Blogger Conference. That was the first name of the event. It was a group of financial bloggers that I wanted to get together. We were hanging out in a forum online. It was even called the Financial Blogger Network or something like that. We were all discussing our blogs, the next article we were going to write, what advertiser we were working with or how we're going to find our next freelance writer. Just talking shop and we were all fighting this bigger enemy of financial illiteracy. We were all fighting the big publishing brands of the money magazines and the Kiplinger's and thought, “Why don't we join arms and move each other forward?” That's what we used this online forum to do. I loved being in there talking with those guys and gals early on and trading ideas, helping each other grow. It was through that process of talking to them that I eventually became a fulltime blogger myself. I felt I owed this community a lot. I felt I wanted to serve them in some way but also continue building real relationships with them. They had become people in my life who were less just some weird person on the internet but now someone who I knew their name, had met at other conferences like at WordCamp, Affiliate Summit or BlogWorld Expo and meet these folks in the hallways. I found that we spent hours talking to each other versus going to the sessions or doing stuff at the conference. A light bulb went off and like, “We need us all to be together and for us to have our own thing.”
There were some rumblings of other people in the community wanting to do it, but no one ever pulled the trigger. Running an event is you’ve got to be a little crazy or a little foolish to want to do it for the first time. I told my wife one time late at night, “I want to do this blogging conference thing.” That was probably the tenth time she heard me say it and I was repeating myself. She was like, “Get out of bed and go start the darn thing. Stop bothering me about it.” I got up out of bed and registered the domain. I Immediately went to the forum and asked the folks, “I’m going to do this thing. Would you help me build it and make it awesome?” I tapped into the existing community as much as possible for them to help formulate the event. It's been a community-led event ever since. The genesis was that manbringing the people together who I wanted to be friends with and who I wanted to help selfishly. They were helping me build my business at PTMoney.com. I wanted to help them as well. I figured if we could all come together, share ideas and have a peer-driven conference like that, it would propel our little budding industry.
Dustin
Where was the first set?
Philip
We said we were going to have it Chicago. I said, “Chicago 2011. Here we go. The Financial Blogger Conference,” then I went and started pricing hotels, looking into the actual logistics of it all. We ended up in Schaumburg, Illinois which is a little suburb outside of Chicago. Maybe not so little but it's not technically in Chicago. The frugal nature of us bloggers is we wanted to have an affordable hotel. They rolled out the red carpet for us there that at that Marriott in Schaumburg and did a great job for us. I discovered a lot in terms of how to run an event, how to put on a great show. At the heart of it was it was community-led. It’s community-driven. I asked in every step along the way, “What do you guys want to do with this part of it” That gave the community a sense of ownership when I showed up at the event. It felt they had helped me build something great here that we could all rally around and celebrate going forward.
Dustin
This last event I heard 2,200 people. How many people were at the first one?
Philip
We had about 220 or so registered for the first one.
Dustin
That's a great showing for a first event.
Philip
That blew me away. I thought maybe we’ll have 50, 75 people. I’m not from Chicago but I plotted it on the map. One of the things I did early on as well as going to the conferences and being in this forum was I made this map called the World Map of Personal Finance Bloggers. It's a Google-driven type map where you can plot yourself. You could still do it now. If you search for Personal Finance Bloggers Map, it's out there. You can add yourself to this map. If you are anywhere in the world you can put your pin on this map. At the time it was mostly focused on the US-based bloggers. I geographically pinpointed where it was closest to the most people that I thought might attend. Chicago ended up being that hub.
I picked a city I wasn't even living in but I thought, “Maybe ten people could drive in at least.” That was my thinking there. I ended up having quite a few. More than just bloggers came. We had podcasters come. We had people who were doing video. We had journalists come and we had folks from corporate blogs. Immediately I thought, “This thing is bigger than blogging.” At the time, BlogWorld Expo would change its name to New Media Expo around that same time and I thought, “This could be bigger. Why don't we focus on all the mediums out there, whether that’d be podcasting, blogging, or even journalism to a degree?” That’s how he shifted it from Financial Blogger Conference just to FinCon so that we could include more people in the umbrella.
Dustin
I’m sure it's transformed quite a bit in the years but I’m curious as to what your future vision for FinCon is?
Philip
I’ve been kicking that around the past couple of years. One of the things that keep coming back is that either at FinCon or an additional event, there needs to be a way for us to invite more people from the general public to the event and make it more appealing for them so that we can connect with our readers, listeners, followers face-to-face. This movement, specifically the FIRE movement, is becoming bigger than just this group of bloggers. That's one vision forward is for it to become a Comic-Con of money in a way where we are celebrating personal finance in general. Helping people move forward to a positive place with their money and to have those people their own site. 
Other ideas are serving the community in a deeper way, whether that is a smaller niche event based on one topic or doing regional events. We have FinCon Local, which is grassroots, organized by local leaders in different cities across the US. We've thought about supporting that a little more and putting some more oomph behind that. I don't want to put any shackles on this conference or barriers to entry. We continue to grow each year. I expect we'll have over 2,500 people register for our next event. We’ll be in DC. It should be a good location. We need to attract a lot of folks.
If you're caught with any good ideas, Dustin, let me know. I’m always looking for what's next out there. It's been a fun community to serve. I’ve tried to go back to the community and say, “What do you guys want?” To a certain degree, I have an obligation to do that but also to be a good steward of our industry now. I want us to succeed as individual business owners as well where that makes sense for people. There are a lot of hobbyists in our community but not a lot of business owners. I want to make it financially rewarding for them to be at the event. Be a part of it and to push our industry forward. Those are the things I’m thinking about as we continue pushing FinCon forward.
Dustin
I want to move us into a WealthFit round, essentially rapid-fire questions. What's been your most worthwhile investment?
Philip
It's definitely been investing in the stock market. My businesses have been great and they'll ultimately be pretty rewarding. I would not have been able to do this had I not started with investing in the US economy through the stock market. Save your money. Put as much as you can back each week.
Dustin
What's that investment that you'd rather not talk about?
Philip
I do a little real estate. I’m pretty happy with that. Probably the time I bought some Bitcoin. I didn't necessarily lose a bunch of money on it, but I felt foolish tinkering. Any time I do any individual investment picking or micro-type investing like that, ultimately it’s a waste of my time. Those things I don’t like to talk about.
Dustin
What is your guilty-pleasure spending? What’s your splurge?
Philip
It's got to be dining out. We have so many good restaurants here in Dallas. That's something that I get a lot of fun out of, taking my family out to eat. We do that probably too much. My wife holds me back a little bit on that but I like having fun around with our family. That's a cultural thing for me. That’s where I end up spending a little too much money.
Dustin
In the last years, where have you become better at saying no to?
Philip
I’ve become better at saying no and it's a challenge. I love the position I’m in with FinCon to be able to do a lot of partnerships. I’ve had to become good at saying no to business partnerships of those types because there are a lot of opportunities out there. I’m thankful for them. I’m a yes guy, a people-pleaser type personality. It stretches me so thin. I’ve had to learn to say no to a lot of business opportunities.
Dustin
Do you have any hacks for us, systems or little rules that you've set up because you know you're that way?
Philip
None. It's a struggle every time.
Dustin
It's good to see that you're human. You're incredibly successful. You’ve got a lot on your plate: partnerships, deals, people wanting to interview you. How do you manage all? Do you have any special routines or rituals that you do?
Philip
My family is important to me. My wife is big about having us together at dinner every night. I would say that's probably the best routine that I have going personally. It’s something that my wife helps me hold accountable to. Every night at 5:30 or 6:00, all three of the kids, my wife and I, we get together for dinner, whether that is going out to eat or something she's made here or I made here. That's important because that keeps us centered. It keeps us talking to each other. It gives us good face time and it will pay the biggest dividends that I could ultimately create in my life, which is a legacy with my family. That's a big one for me. I’ll hang my head on that one.
Dustin
I can't imagine the ride that you've been on from being in the corporate world to starting a blog to running one of the largest events that are out there. Looking back over it all, what has been your biggest defining moment? When I mean defining moment, I’m talking about a point in life where you made a decision and that changed the trajectory of where you are now.
Philip
It was when I left the corporate world to go start my blog full-time. It is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. I wasn't making as much income. My wife had just left her career. We had a baby. It was a scary time but we had done a lot of preparation. We were confident in our finances. I did whatever it took. I found it within myself some new things that I’m proud of, which was essentially saying, “I’m going to do whatever it takes,” and I did. I took more side hustles on. We trimmed down our expenses a lot further. I worked hard and it never worked. It was good to go to that moment because it showed me what I was capable of. It helped me to realize that whatever fear you have out there for yourself. If it's leaving a job, oftentimes it can be your health insurance. What are you going to do there? What happens if you lose one source of income? There are lots of fears that you can get hung up on. I did that for several years of my life.
The big lesson was to take each one of those fears, chase them down and discover what's at the end of it. Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché but that's true. Those are some of the lessons I learned from that moment. That was pretty pivotal. I haven't looked back from then. I felt like I’ve had my independence since that point. There are new challenges in my life now like discovering how to dictate your own schedule, how to hire people, how to scale something. For the most part, I found my freedom since that point and found my independence. It's been great.
Dustin
I truly appreciate you taking the time for us here at the WealthFit Nation giving us your advice, telling your stories of growth and being scared along the way. For those that want to keep up with you, get your thoughts on personal finance and also learn about FinCon, what are the best ways for them to do that?
Philip
I still blog at PTMoney.com. I’ve got some great content there. I’ve done some podcasting in the past. You can find links to those podcasts there or on iTunes. I’m on Twitter, @PTMoney. With the conference, I would love to have you check out FinConExpo.com. We’ve got a great event. It's open to content creators like you, Dustin, or listeners, readers, followers. We’ve got a special community access pass that you have to apply for but look for that starting in January we’ll release that. I’d love to have people check out the event and meet me in person.
Dustin
Thank you, PT. I appreciate you being on the show.
Philip
Thanks, Dustin.

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