This article is by staff writer Adam Baker. If you’d like to continue following and reading Baker’s journey, you can catch him hanging out over at Man Vs. Debt.

Thank you.

This is my final article as a staff writer for Get Rich Slowly. Actually, it’s not going to be much of an article. It’s more of a chance for me to thank you, bid farewell, and recap some of the fun I’ve had over the last year!

Nearly 16 months ago, I heard through the grapevine that J.D. was looking for one or two new staff writers to help contribute content. At the time, I had only been blogging for a few months and it seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t afford to pass up! There was only one problem: I hadn’t received an invitation. J.D. hadn’t made his search public, officially, and having only spoken to him once, I knew there was little chance of me popping into his mind.

So, I did one of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my short writing career. I took the initiative to email J.D. I spent over an hour crafting and thinking about the email. In the end, I decided to go with something short and sweet:

  • First, I had heard about the staff writer search.
  • Second, I wanted to throw my hat in the ring for consideration.
  • Third, I would be stoked beyond belief to have the opportunity.

I hit send and I began the waiting period.

To my surprise, a couple days later a response appeared! It was J.D. thanking me for stepping up and emailing him. He informed me that there would be a handful of staff writer tryouts and that he was going to be holding a public audition on the blog. Most importantly (at least to me), he’d love to have me as part of the group if I was up for the challenge!

I remember exactly where I was… off the coast of New Zealand on a tiny island community at the only local coffee shop with free internet. I celebrated silently for a couple seconds, before terror set in. Oh crap, I was going to have to write audition posts. I was swarmed by visions of J.D. rejecting my articles on the spot. A thick fear of being laughed off the blog by readers and other bloggers set in. Despite this, I accepted the challenge.

Hours and hours of writing and editing later, I came up with these two gems:

Luckily, the 10+ hours I spent on each of those articles paid off, I survived the intensity of those two audition weeks and was offered to join the team.

Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of contributing dozens upon dozens (40+ I believe) of articles and posts. Some of them were wildly popular, others fell flat, and a few probably should have just stayed in draft form! :-) But throughout it all, I learned and grew more than I could’ve imagine.

Here is a quick look back at some of my favorites. Admittedly, it was a blast looking through all the posts over the last year!

  1. My 3-Part series on my journey into real estate investing.
  2. 5 Little Known Websites That’ll Save You Time and Money When Booking Airfare Online
  3. Gone Phishing: How to Avoid Being Caught by Scammers
  4. How to Get Your Free Credit Report Online: A Step-by-Step Guide
  5. 11 Ways to Spice Up you Emergency Fund
  6. Video: 3 Passive Barriers I Use to Counter Consumerism

I’m super proud of each of these posts for different reasons and I’m glad to have contributed them into the GRS archives! :-)

Thoughts on life-changing opportunities…

I always think it sounds foo-foo when people say this has been such a life changing opportunity, but in this situation I genuinely believe it has. I’ve grown as a person, as a writer, and as a thinker more in this last year than I have in my entire life. Having the opportunity to write for Get Rich Slowly has been one of the top catalysts for that positive change.

Writing for such a large, diverse, and passionate audience has been amazing. I’ll admit, at first it was hard. Really hard. I wasn’t used to having thousands and thousands of people reading and reflecting on my writing. I was terrified of the comments section of this blog! Haha.

But over time, I learned how to deliver my thoughts and ideas more clearly. I learned how to approach a diverse audience and how to handle criticism. Most of all, I learned how to be open to learning from all of you. That’s sounds awkward, but it’s been the biggest benefit of this whole process. I’ve grown to love the comment section! I’ve learned specific tips and tricks to help my own journey. I’ve been exposed to new ways of approaching topics and ideas, and I’ve undoubtedly become a better writer and blogger as a result.

When I started writing for Get Rich Slowly, my own blog had just under 1,000 subscribers. After a year, I have over 7,000. Many of you have not only read and reflected on my articles here, but have become active readers and supporters of Man Vs. Debt, as well. I realize this and thank you.

I’ve also been insanely lucky to have J.D. as a mentor over the past year. He’s invested a big chunk of time and energy in helping me grow and improve as a writer and entrepreneur. At first I was shocked by how active and passionate the GRS community was. But after getting a up close and personal view of J.D.’s personality, work ethic, and writing skill, I’m no longer surprised by this. It’s crystal clear why GRS has grown into what it has.

While this decision has been a tough one, I know the timing is right. My year here as a staff writer has helped give me opportunities in my own life and business that were just crazy daydreams a couple years previous. It’s time for me to buckle down, step up, and make them happen!

Once again, thanks guys and gals. It’s been awesome!

J.D.’s note: It’s been great to have Adam on board as a GRS staff writer. This whole “staff writer” thing was a big experiment for me, and I was scared of how it might turn out. But he and April (and later Sierra) have done a great job of writing articles I never could have done. I hope to have Baker back as a guest writer now and then, and I’ll certainly keep tabs on him at Man vs. Debt.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.