Today we welcome guest Melanie Lockert, a self-employed freelancer who quit her job in a non-profit to work for herself. She also happens to be one of our writers here at Personal Profitability.
Melanie Lockert Dear DebtMelanie began her career with plenty of student debt after attending college in California and graduate school at NYU in New York City. She moved out to Portland, Oregon hoping for the best, but found the job market leaving her wanting more. After struggling to find a non-profit job with a steady salary, she walked away to pursue her own online income dreams, where she now generated a full time income.
You can find Melanie’s work on this site, at her own popular and growing blog, Dear Debt, and many client sites around the web. You can find her on Twitter at @DearDebtBlog.
New Media Expo
Portland Finance Bloggers
Get Rich Slowly
For Profit Blogging
Retire by 40
Moving to Portland to Follow a Dream
How Student Loan Payments Work
How to Shop for a Car Loan
How I Paid Off My Student Loans in 2 Years (and six days)
Eric Rosenberg: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome back to the personal profitability podcast. I’m your host, Eric Rosenberg, and I’m so excited to bring our second guest onto the podcast today. Today we have one of the writers for our own website that you’ve gotten to know, and [inaudible 0:01:04.6] writer, Melanie. So she is here with us, and she is going to share a bit about her journey from working in the nonprofit industry and going on to self-employment and now she works for herself full time as an online freelancer. So welcome, Melanie, and if you want to say hi to the fans and tell them a little about yourself, go for it.
Melanie: Thank you so much for having me, Eric. I’m really excited to be here. I am a freelance writer, hustle coach editor, virtual assistant, and all-around site-hustler and I love making money in different ways and have had quite a journey with the whole blog and writing adventure. So I’m really excited to talk to you about it.
Eric: I think that a lot of our listeners will have something in common with that liking to make money thing. That’s something that brings us all together. So welcome and I’m so excited to have you not just as a writer but an audio voice for everyone to get to meet and say hello to. So everyone, say hello to Melanie, and just a quick pause for those who like to partake in my tradition of drinking a beer with us as we go through the podcast. Here’s your opportunity to press pause and go grab the beer of your choice and then come back.
Now that you’ve pressed play again—because I don’t know if you know, Melanie, I like to have a beer when I talk money as we’ve done at the bar a few times.
Melanie: [Inaudible 0:02:36.5]
Eric: Totally. There’s no reason personal finance shouldn’t be fun. So beer is definitely fun. So my first question for you, Melanie, is if we can go back a little bit in your journey, how did you get started in your career and end up in the nonprofit world?
Melanie: So I started in the nonprofit world pretty much right after college. I graduated with a theater degree so you can all start laughing now, but I actually use my theater degree with arts education early on. So I was a theater teacher. I also was an arts administrator for a nonprofit program in Los Angeles so pretty much for my whole career, I would say about the past nine years I was working in nonprofits in LA, in New York, in Portland—they were a variety of different educational services. So there were a lot of arts-based cultural educational programs that I worked for, sort of managing programs, managing budgets, teaching, working with grants, administering city programs. The nonprofit world has sort of really helped me prepare to be a freelancer because you wear many different hats. You know one day you are the janitor and one day you’re the executive director. You’re all working together to make something that is a highly imperfect work and you’re dealing with very limited funds. I’ve worked in a variety of different sectors in the nonprofit field, both in arts education and intercultural education, but a lot of it has been around sort of helping people really understand that you can transform your life through arts and travel. So that’s pretty much how I started my career for the past nine years and then fully transitioned to being a writer which I still see as a highly creative field.
Eric: Can you shar