Hey guys, J. Money here!
Got some pretty exciting/crazy/probably surprising news to share with you all today, so I’m just going to put it out there while I’m feeling the courage ;)
After 4 years of pouring my heart into Rockstar Finance, I will be transitioning out from running the day-to-day here to more of an “advisory” role going forward – handing over the reins, and ownership, to my good blogger friend, John from ESI Money. Someone who’s been in our community for longer than I have (12 years!), and someone I know will do a fantastic job ushering Rockstar into a new era.
As you can imagine it wasn’t an easy, nor quick, decision to make (it took me 5 months and was the hardest thing for me to do in my 10 years online!), but here are a few personal variables as to why I felt this was the best way forward for all:
- I’ll be having a baby in a few months, and I want to try really hard being a stay-at-home dad who hustles on the side, vs a full-time hustler who dads on the side ;) Which means I had to figure out how to free up at least 50% of my time if I really wanted to give it a good shot.
- I’ve also been finding it incredibly hard to run and grow *two* main sites of mine at the same time (Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance), and I’ve started wondering if I’m doing a disservice to both of them by splitting up my focus instead of going “all in” with one? So this, mixed with my desire to cut out 50% of my hours, meant having to choose one of my internet babies to keep, and one to cheer on from the sidelines as I transition away. And at the end of the day, I just couldn’t say goodbye the one project that started it all for me – my personal finance blog, Budgets Are Sexy. So I’ll still very much be around, just more so over there than here :) (Although I’ll still be spending a few hours every week helping John with strategy and brainstorming here, as well as being able to jump into the forums more!)
- Lastly, after 4 years of leading Rockstar and doing my best to make it as helpful as I can for people, I feel like I’ve taken it as far as I can leadership-wise, and it’s time for a new set of brains to come in and continue its vision. I’m a firm believer of doubling down on your strengths while also admitting your weaknesses, and if I’m being completely honest with myself, my weaknesses have begun to get in the way of making Rockstar the best it can possibly be. Something again I feel John can soar at, given his almost 30 years running large scale operations over his (since retired) career.
So that’s it when it comes down to it – it’s not you, it’s me! ;) But I also really do think it’s the best path forward for Rockstar, especially if we want its legacy to continue here.
There was actually a time where I considered just shutting everything down and sunsetting the site so it didn’t get into the hands of someone with the wrong motives, but thankfully I second-guessed that route and instead went on this crusade looking for a new – and right – leader. Something that can be challenging when your project doesn’t make that much money! (This site was never built to be a “business”, it was just a fun little idea I had a while back that ended up taking on a life of its own!)
So what does this mean for you? And the future of this site?
Well, for the most part things will keep going as they always have been just basically under new leadership now. John and I have had many talks over the past few weeks on how to make this platform reach even more people and do even more good, but for the next couple of months you probably won’t notice many changes. Especially around the core of what we do (curation, directory, forums).
John is one of those people who believes you shouldn’t break something that’s already working real well, so his main priority is to only strengthen what we’re already doing here, and then later start adding new initiatives to it. And because he’s retired and literally has millions in the bank (he’d rank pretty high on our Net Worth Tracker! Haha…) time, nor money, is of much concern to him either. Which bodes well for this site not ending up on the internet hall of shame as most new owners drive it too! There will be no plastering of ads or sponsored posts across this site, so you don’t have to worry about that :)
In fact, John has told me he would love to be able to pass this site down to his own kids to manage one day, so it’s safe to say he plans on keeping it around for many years….
You know what, here – let me get him to say a few words real quick so you can start getting to know him:
Just want to let you know that I’m super excited about what’s in store for Rockstar Finance!
As always, we will remain committed to finding and sharing the BEST personal finance articles every weekday. J. Money and Cait will be helping to make sure I pick up the magic touch they’ve had selecting the best all these years ;)
I also have some ideas to grow/expand the site for both readers and bloggers. But before I plunge into those, I’d love to hear your thoughts: what would you like to see on the site? What do you love or dislike or want added? Feel free to drop me a line — I’d love to hear from you!
You can contact me directly at ESI (at) rockstarfinance (dot) com.
Speaking of updates, here’s what you can expect to see going forward project-wise:
Daily Curation: This has, and always will, remain as the core of what we do here at Rockstar Finance. Scanning the 200+ new articles being published every single day from our community, and then sharing the three articles we find to be the best. New portals and projects will be opened up over time, but the curation will always remain as the flagship.
Rockstar Directory: This too will remain in full force, adding new blogs/books/podcasts/and apps to it on a daily basis, while still tracking the net worths of all those bloggers who publish them, as well as everyone’s latest feeds. This area will only grow and branch out over the years.
Rockstar Forums: Another platform that will continue to be kept around and expanded! Both the personal finance side that’s open to the general public, as well as our private blogger threads that are closed to others as to not annoy anyone ;) John has some ideas of making this blogger side even better too, but again, that will all be stuff for the future pipeline…
Rockstar Daily Originals: Our money challenges and weekly giveaways and other daily original content will also still stick around for the long haul! Psyche! We killed those 6 months ago – did you even notice?? ;) Probably not, because literally only one person ever reached out and asked what was happening, haha… Again proof of why focusing on what you’re *best at* is important! Our original dailies weren’t horrible, but they also weren’t anything to shout off the rooftops about either. The only thing we’ll probably bring back later is our weekly book reviews and maybe the app reviews too, since we think both of those really are helpful and something our community continually asks for.
Rockstar Community Fund: This one we are phasing out, but only to make room for a new initiative John wants to do in the new year based on some of his past success as a philanthropist himself. I’ll continue to do a lot of our old projects here in the background (Debt Drop with Melanie, the Incubator, and of course the #givingcards action), but it won’t be tied to Rockstar anymore. I’ll be canceling all the donation subscriptions as well here from all those generous donors over time.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for believing in us!!
We gave out over $14,000 worth of Good this year, and after our Year End Celebration Event (20+ bloggers are dropping $100+/each worth of love around before Xmas!!!) we expect to tack on another few thousand dollars to the total :) Which, btw, is still happening for those bloggers involved – we’ll forever have a “results” page of everything we’ve done around this, which includes your upcoming links.
You can find the permanent page here: rockstarfinance.com/community-fund
(The VIP Directory package will also still be continuing for those bloggers involved, but look for an upcoming note on a revamped version that John is already working on…)
As for the rest of the Rockstar team?
Here’s the status on them as well:
Cait Flanders: Cait, our resident curator and super helper, will still be around here for a little bit, but eventually she too will transition out to better prepare and focus on an exciting new adventure of her own: her book deal and upcoming tour – WOO!!! Check it out, it’s already gone to print!!
So she’ll still be around as well after wrapping up with Rockstar, but for the foreseeable future she’ll be curating away as she always has. You can find her anytime by visiting her own personal blog: CaitFlanders.com
Steve Adcock: Steve is the brains and techie behind the Rockstar Directory (which he built from scratch!) as well as other areas of the site, and he most definitely will be staying here for the long term to continue helping build stuff out for us. He’s also been great helping to moderate our forums over the year which he’ll continue to do so as well, and you can always find him on his own personal finance site too: ThinkSaveRetire.com
Nate St. Pierre: Not many of you probably know Nate, but he’s been my sounding board and strategist with everything we’ve launched on the site this year, from the Forums, to the Directory, to especially our Community Fund, and he’s already transitioned out to take advantage of an epic 9-5 that came along his way last month. But you probably won’t see the last of him, as he’s been my partner in crime over the past 7 years, most notably with our first philanthropic endeavor – Love Drop (anyone remember that?). You can find him on his own personal site as well: NateStPierre.me
So there you have it. Big moves for a bigger future! :)
It’ll take a little time to acclimate, but I guarantee this is just the start of what we’re going to be able to do here at Rockstar. And I very much look forward to being a part of its future and helping it hit its full potential!
All my love to you guys, to John, to Cait and Steve and the Team, to all the helpers over the years, to my friend and book lover, Hélène, and to all those who I haven’t had the good fortune of meeting yet, but know are out there reading and always rooting us on :)
I love all y’all, and I hope very much you’ll stay in touch.
You can reach me anytime here:
More (personal) insight regarding this move can be found here:
Questions, comments, concerns – drop them all in the comments below and John and I will both be happy to answer them!
Upward and onward,
PS: Anyone remember when the site used to look like this?? ;)