Get Rich Slowly isn’t quite three years old yet — or is it? Its official “birthday” is 15 April 2006. But recently, while digging through some old notebooks, I found a gem of a page. In an abandoned moleskine, I discovered the genesis of this site:

I registered the getrichslowly.org domain on 03 March 2006, but that was on a whim. I was really focused on making my (now-defunct) comic book blog a financial success. Get Rich Slowly was an afterthought. This notebook page is the earliest evidence of me deciding that maybe a personal finance blog was a better idea.

Because I know my chicken scratches are difficult to read, here’s what I wrote to myself:

3/6/06
GET RICH SLOWLY blog
categories

  • include an odds-and-ends category linking to stuff like Getting Things Done
  • financial news
  • links
  • money-saving ideas (library)
  • bargains

Most important:
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!
If you try something and it works, keep at it.

It’s curious to compare how this site has gone in the three years since I first conceived it.

I’ve focused less on the personal productivity stuff than I originally intended. I do like to feature it on occasion, but you folks have made it clear that you come here for financial stories, so that’s the focus at Get Rich Slowly.

I like the penultimate item in the list: “money-saving ideas (library)”. This is me telling myself that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to come up with enough money-saving ideas, so I’d need to resort to the public library. Haha. Little did I realize that I’d eventually have thousands of readers feeding me so many ideas I could never possibly use them all. (You guys rock!)

The last item on the list never really took off. At first, I was going to highlight bargains from Amazon and other sites. I do this now-and-then, but much less than I had intended. This is largely because I discovered that the best way to save money was not to spend it at all!

Finally, look at that last note to myself. “Do what works for you” has become my mantra, the catch-phrase of this site. I had no idea how important this concept would become to me, but I now truly believe it’s the key to smart personal finance. There’s no one right way to do anything. It doesn’t really matter what works for other people. In order to succeed, you need to find the tools and techniques that help you meet your goals.

Finding this scrap of paper reminded me of one of my favorite sayings: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” Even Big Ideas start as small ideas.

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