By now you have probably heard of “Freelancing.”
The term is widely used in the digital age to describe individuals that work for themselves full-time or on the side to make money, typically using their computer/internet.
Freelance writing, graphic design, consulting, digital marketing, blogging, etc. is very popular, and in the case of Noah founder of Busy Living Better, he has literally made a career out freelancing online!
In fact, Noah has managed to become a six-figure freelancer and today we get to interview him in the MLW Entrepreneur Series, edition 6.0!
Interview with Noah of Busy Living Better
1. Noah, what is your background & upbringing?
I grew up in a relatively poor household in a relatively rough neighborhood. Unfortunately, the city I grew up in was a pretty violent city with a lot of shootings and other crimes, but, it was home and we made the best out of what we had.
My childhood home.
I had 3 siblings that I lived with and a half-sibling that stayed with us occasionally. My mom was a stay at home mother who would do odd jobs here and there like cleaning houses etc. and my dad owned his own construction business.
We didn’t really bring in a lot of money when I was growing up, but more importantly, my parents weren’t good at managing the money the did have. This is a lot of what inspired me to be so interested in finance and money management as I got older.
2. You talked about growing up in poverty, did that help motivate you to aspire to do more?
It absolutely did.
While money wasn’t my ONLY motivating factor, it was one of the most important to me as I grew up and especially entered adulthood. Nobody in my family except my grandfather had ever really been financially stable or at least prepared for retirement and things like that.
I didn’t want to live the same way, so I started working as hard as I could as soon as I was able to get a job. I worked summers and holidays with my dad from 14-16, got a part-time job from 16-17, and started working full time my senior year since I opted to do DECA (a program that allowed you to leave school and go to work for credits in place of two classes.)
3. When did you realize you were passionate about finance?
At first, I had a love-hate relationship with finance. When I moved out of my parents home just before my 18th birthday, I didn’t really know how to do anything except save money. I knew that I had a checking account and a savings account, and that was it. I didn’t understand credit scores, interest rates, how to pay all of my bills, I mean financial management and literacy was at almost 0.
So I began diving into it. I began by learning how to pay all of my bills on time and automatically, then moved into establishing good credit, then started to understand interest rates and where to keep my money short term vs. long term and even invested my first $20.
This lit a fire in me and excited me. Here I was at 18, and I had already done what almost no one in my family knew how to do, investing, and started to build great credit.
4. What inspired you to start a blog and why did you choose the niche you did?
Getting into blogging was honestly by complete chance.
At the time I was 20 (almost 21), working as an EMT and managing a local dessert shop. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would wake up early (like 4:30 early) get my college school work done, then go wait outside of the local plasma center. I would donate twice a week for an extra $70 per donation. (They offered me a bonus every donation since I was a first responder). This gave me an extra $560 a month that I would put towards my $40,000 of debt (student loans and my car loan) and sometimes would invest with if I saw a stock go to a price I liked, etc.
My donation would typically take about an hour and a half, but the waiting time could be anywhere from 2-3 hours. The wait was ridiculous.
So, I decided to start looking for “side hustles” I could work on while I was waiting to donate. This led me to a youtube video by Create and Go, that taught newbies how to create their own blog and make money with it.
I decided to save the money I got from donating plasma that month and used it towards buying their Pro Blogger Bundle.
I chose the niche I did, because it was honestly what I talked about all the time already! I had such an interest in finance and self-mastery, plus all my friends and family constantly asked me questions about self-development and finance so I figured it would be a great place for me to start.
5. What were some of the fear or doubts that you had when you decided to start your own business?
I struggled a lot when I first started my business. I didn’t have the internet at home until I moved out of my parent’s house at 18 for one, and while I learned a lot about using it at school, blogging definitely took it to a higher level than I was used to and I struggled with it at first.
Another thing I struggled with and something I still struggle with is “Who wants to listen to a 23-year-old talk about money and self-development?” I figured a lot of people would think I didn’t have much knowledge to offer in the space or hadn’t lived enough to know much about it.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. My readers really connect with my story and often tell me that it has encouraged them to take control of their money and change their family's cycle and it makes me so happy to hear. Knowing my tips and my content helps others is an unbelievable feeling.
6. What was it about online business & entrepreneurship that drew you in?
Besides the freedom of it, it was the potential for growth. Something that intrigued me right off the bat was that people who worked REALLY hard on their online business were achieving $200,000 even $300,000 months!
Numbers I could NEVER even fathom. I knew that if I could even make 1/10th of that, I would live a life so drastically different then I was used to, and I could truly make an amazing future for my future wife and children.
7. What is your why? What pushes you to continue to grow your business and continue to pursue bigger things?
My biggest why actually is not really existent yet… Which I guess is sort of funny when you think about it. But, everything I do, I do for my future family and kids.
I have had months where I have almost made $10,000 and more money than I ever thought I would, and honestly, I haven’t changed much since college. I still wear clothes with holes in them, athletic shorts and white t-shirts 99% of the time, the same shoes I have had for 6 years, and drive the same car I bought when I was a freshman in college.
I don’t really need the money for me, because I have lived in infinitely worse conditions. I feel like the life I have now, in my basic apartment and with my normal things is all I could have ever wanted as a child. So I don’t lose sight of that.
But I push the envelope and push myself to earn more, create more, and achieve more because I want to make sure my future children and my wife have EVERYTHING they could ever want. They deserve to grow up in a household that feels safe, and stable and dare I say even luxurious. Nothing drives me more in this world than that.
8. Where do you envision your business in the next five years?
My business has a lot of room for growth on the blog side of things and it is honestly something I haven’t focused too much on over the last year. I focused mostly on growing the consulting/SEO freelancing work side of my business as I saw a lot of success in that. But, I plan on really attacking the blogging side of things and adding to my multiple sources of income in 2021 now that my current income is consistent and I have a singular client that I love working with.
I hope to see my blog grow and develop into a hub where people can find information on how to transform themselves from a personal development standpoint, but also transform themselves financially by starting their own businesses and managing their money in the best way possible.
9. At what point did you know it was the right time to go full-time in your business and how did you reach that point?
This one honestly wasn’t much of a question for me. I reached a point where I was making 3x my normal income at my job and it just didn’t seem like the smart thing to keep working 40 hours there. It was hard to let go of the benefits and those things, but I knew it would be worth it.
I reached full-time income ($5,000 a month) within my first 7 months of starting my blog. I did this in a much more untraditional way than a lot of other bloggers. I ended up taking all the courses I could and learning all the blogging knowledge I could so that I could use that to convince other successful bloggers to hire me to work for their blog.
This helped me accomplish two things, 1) I was able to 3x my current income with the knowledge I needed to learn for my own blog, AND it gave me practice with those skills. 2) I was able to see the inner workings of what is needed to run an actual Six-Figure blog and the systems that are needed.
10. Do you have any parting words of advice for people that started in a similar position that you did and hope to accomplish similar things?
The number one thing I always recommend is just to start.
It may not look exactly the way you thought it would and it might not be at all what you had in mind, but your business can never grow and evolve if you don’t at least start it.
Do your best to find what’s important to you, find a motto and affirmations that resonate with you, and get done at least one thing that moves your business forward every day.
As far as someone who wants to become a six-figure freelancer, I suggest you learn as much as you can about whatever field it is you want to pursue as a freelancer, then begin building a portfolio. From there, reach out any way you can and be as personable as possible. Tell them how much it would mean to you to work for them, and then show them your skills. You would be surprised how simple it is to score big-time clients.
Lastly, I would say, no matter where you are in life. Your situation is only as permanent as you make it. You can truly achieve anything you put your mind to. Surround yourself with the right influences, the right information, and just never ever give up.
I’m rooting for you. ~Noah Riggs, founder of Busy Living Better
Note From Josh: I love how similar Noah and I think in terms of making your “Overall” self better in every area. Finances (money) and a better you (life, wax) are all vital for the wholistic individual growth. Every day is a great day to get better in all areas! Thank you for sharing Noah!!!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.