A Confession & The Future

I’ve been working as an entrepreneur since 2010 when I started my first company and then in 2011 when I partnered up with two guys to grow a consulting firm. Over the past 7 years, I’ve worked as both solopreneur and entrepreneur. It’s been the best of both worlds.

Both have been absolutely essential t0 reach my goals of making over $1.25 million in 5 years and becoming financially independent. I have had the opportunity to build hundreds of websites, manage over $100 million in digital ad spend, build teams, and work directly with hundreds of clients, many of whom I still have relationships with today. Every day I pushed myself to learn as much as I could about selling, digital marketing, managing people, making money, and growing a business.

But I have a confession.

I realized something had happened over the past year – I stopped growing.

I also started to burn out. Even as an entrepreneur I dreaded Monday mornings. I lost interest in things that once really inspired me. I started gaining weight. I couldn’t sleep even though I felt tired all the time. My anxiety that I’ve battled for most of my adult life and largely conquered 3 years ago, started to return.

Then everyone in my life started telling me I needed to slow down. My wife. My parents. My friends. Even a few of my employees said I looked exhausted. I needed to make a dramatic change.

So I walked away and started a corporate detox.

I realized I needed to stop and reflect. I needed to slow down and get my health under control, to take time to write, to figure out how to best support this community and spread this message.

I needed a corporate detox.

On October 16, 2017, I took an extended leave from my company. I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations or management, but I will still be acting behind the scenes as an advisor in a very limited capacity. I informed my personal consulting clients that I could no longer work with them.

It’s been one month since I walked away.

While I’d love to say that the past month has been amazing, it’s actually been one of the most difficult, but inspiring, times in my life. I didn’t choose the term detox lightly. It has truly been a detox. I’ve spent 7 years with a ton of structure around my life and now I have none. Going from having literally every 15 minutes of my day scheduled for 7 years to not having a schedule at all, has been both freeing and jarring. This takes some getting used to. It’s forced me to take a close look at all of my patterns and habits — both good and bad.

The first week I started taking long walks. I also upped my meditation from 20 minutes to 45 minutes and started doing daily yoga. I also started eating less, removed sugar, and completely stopped eating out. My body and my mind didn’t like any of this change, so I spent a lot of time sleeping and being pretty out of it.

The second week I was traveling, so some of the new habits I started building fell apart. Realistically, it was probably a little early to travel since I was so exhausted, but I did get to FinCon, which was a blast. I returned home still exhausted and recommenced with the detox routine.

The third week I started getting into a rhythm and significantly increased both my walking and writing time. I also started teaching myself how to not feel guilty taking a few hours off to watch a documentary at 11 am on Tuesday or simply stop and take a nap in the middle of the day. By the third week, I started to sleep better and feel somewhat rested in the morning. It really does feel like catch up. I’m literally rewiring my brain to chill out, but I’m still not quite there yet. I know this will be a process.

Last week, week four, I was also doing some traveling, but the trip was spiritually and intellectually rich. I had the opportunity to spend four days with Vicki Robin, the author of the transcendent Your Money or Your Life. We spent a lot of time filming and talking about money, community, and freedom. We are also working together on a platform for Your Money or Your Life that launches in March with the new 25th-anniversary edition of the book. There will be tons of videos and amazing content all designed to help you achieve financial independence.

Vicki Robin Grant Sabatier
with the great Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life (Whidbey Island, Washington)

But I flew home last night and now I am back home focused on finishing the book by early January and thinking about the future.

Thinking about what I really want to do with the rest of my life.

The Future

But over the past year, something else has happened too. Millennial Money started to grow — my traffic, email list, advertising/affiliate revenue, and partnership offers. The podcast just hit 1 million downloads. I achieved one of my life goals by signing a book deal with Penguin/Random House and I’ve been able to meet three of my favorite authors in person. I’ve even been included in a documentary on financial independence and done some filming for a television pilot.

playing with FIRE filming
Playing with FIRE financial independence documentary filming

Through my own writing, I’ve reflected deeply on how money is not the goal, time is. I’ve also learned that I’m happiest when I’m inspired, creating, growing, and helping others grow. Writing a book is teaching me not only how to write, but it’s also pushing me to think deeply and reflect on my own life.

But as it turns out, it isn’t the website traffic, or the book, or my list size, or how much money the blog is making that’s really inspiring me. It’s you, as in you the person reading this, not the clicks in Google Analytics.

Over the past year, there have been millions of visitors to Millennial Money and I’ve received over 4,000 reader emails and messages. While I, unfortunately, don’t have time to respond to all of them personally, I’ve read every single one. Here are a few of my favorite recent success stories you’ve shared.

“Hey man, after stumbling on your blog I spent a weekend reading almost all of your posts. I just increased my savings rate to 40% and think I can get to 50% by the end of the year. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.” – Phillip

“I never thought I would leave my crap job, but your blog inspired me to look harder and now I’m making $34,000 more and have more flexibility. Thanks Grant.” – Tarek

“Thank you for giving me the push to start investing – I’ve been holding off on my 401k for the past year, but today I set it up to contribute 15% of my salary. Seriously, thank you!” – Sarah

“Dude, you’ve really inspired me to get serious about saving and tracking my money. I’ve been working on my estimates all weekend and think I can retire in 12 years (I’m 24 btw!). Keep it up.” – Mike

Every reader email means more to me than any dollar I’ve ever made. I have to be honest, I never expected or could have anticipated any of this. I love making money, but as it turns out, I like teaching others how to do it even more.

The rest of the emails I get are asking for help. So I’ve decided to completely dedicate myself to…

Helping you make more money and design a lifestyle you love.

While this website has given and continues to give me so many amazing opportunities, I have been saying no to most of them because they only benefit me, not you. But recently I’ve discovered one way that I can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Over the past 7 years, I have worked directly with hundreds of clients, mostly big companies or institutions with a ton of moving parts. I’ve helped generate millions and millions of dollars in additional revenue for many of them.

But recently I’ve started doing something different — I’ve been coaching a few people one-on-one. While I’ve enjoyed helping big organizations make millions of dollars, I want to help you do it instead. For them, it’s just a number on a balance sheet, but for you, like me, it could be life-changing. There is absolutely no way that I could have made $1 million in 5 years without great mentors and coaches.

Private coaching has not only been fun, but it’s also making a real impact on my client’s lives. I love it. I actually might even love it more than writing — we shall see! Not only have I been able to help others build strategies to grow their businesses, but their businesses are also actually growing. One of my clients just increased his website revenue from $800 a month to over $4,000 a month (and growing!). I estimate he will be at $10,000 per month by the end of Q1 2018. My other client has even bigger goals and wants to take her business from $80,000 a year to over $250,000 a year in revenue. She’s on her way. My third client wants to leave his job in the next 2 years so I am helping him build a strategy to do so.

As it turns out, my experience launching, building, marketing, and growing businesses as both a solopreneur and entrepreneur and my own financial independence journey helps me help others. I’m good at seeing which decisions are important and which aren’t.

It’s been a crazy few months coaching 3 clients, but now I’m ready to add three more clients starting in December. But I am definitely capping it at 6. If you have an online or offline business that you want to grow, I might be able to help. If you are interested in working with me one-on-one, schedule some time and let’s go from there.

Also, now that I’ve reclaimed about 60 hours a week, in addition to coaching, I’ll be writing more on Millennial Money, as well as on CNBC. What is one topic that you really want me to cover?

Thanks for reading, listening, commenting, asking questions, and sharing your stories. I’m stoked to help you make more money and design a lifestyle you love.

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Read Comments

  • Comment Author image blank
    Never did receive that follow up after signing up. Do wish to hear from you soon as we will get into this new year here, but you've reached an enviable position and deserve every bit of that break away from the work you speak of.
  • Comment Author image blank
    "No just financially independent and unshaven" had me cracking up hahaha. I am glad to hear that your break has helped you reflect on everything you've accomplished and also for what's in store ahead. I look forward to your future work! Also $1,25 million in 5 years is absolutely jaw dropping, well done!
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Sean
  • Comment Author image blank
    It was great meeting you (albeit briefly) last weekend. I'm glad that you are taking the time for you and to refocus on what you love. Looking forward to more content.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Grant, I think it's safe to say that happens to almost all of us. I gained weight too. That's apart of life. My energy levels decreased. One thing I learned is if you do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach after morning prayer, your day goes a whole LOT better. Nevertheless, you're a true side hustle inspiration to me and everyone across the internets. I admire your story because you're down to earth and genuine, and not trying to shove-sell anything down anyone's throat. Stay just as you are, my friend! I might need you soon to help me run a few Google AdWords and paid Facebook advertising campaigns. Maybe you can teach me something. :-)
  • Comment Author image blank
    Congrats on the time stepping back and reassessing. It's a lot the same for me during this mini-retirement. I don't think I realized how burnt out I was before and I didn't do myself any favors in the first few months of the mini-retirement to get my energy back :) It was awesome getting a chance to talk to you in-person at FinCon. Your energy and excitement for helping people is so apparent and it's so cool to see this all in action - I'm really excited to see where you head from here and hear the success stories of the people you help roll in :)
  • Comment Author image blank
    Awesome story man. I felt something similar at my job. I came to the conclusion that I'm living and doing what I do for the sake of survival. I'm not actually living a life that's fun. So I started online e-commerce and it has opened my eyes to see a lot of possibilities.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Glad to hear you're taking better care of yourself :) It can definitely be consuming to get caught up in something you love, and sometimes you need to unplug from that and detox like you said. It's great to hear that you've made some very positive improvements in your health and demeanor over the past five weeks. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to reading more here.
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Dave
  • Comment Author image blank
    It's smart that you recognized you needed a break and were bold enough to take it. At the end of the day health is the most important thing. Maybe once you're feeling equilibrium again you'll be able to step in again in a more balanced way. Wishing you good luck and personal fulfillment on your life change!!
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks LD!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Sounds like a well-deserved rest, both for mind and body. I am sure you will get closer to your true core and will find the focus on the truly important things. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us.
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks HCF, that means a lot.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Awesome post Grant! I'm actually happy to hear that you are taking a step back from the operations and stepping into the areas that give you joy. I have a sneaking suspicion that the blog and business will continue to take off as a result.
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks! Both writing and coaching do truly give me joy. I feel grateful to have both in my life.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Sounds like you made some good life changes :) I may have missed it, but did you have to put a timeframe on your extended leave?
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Michelle. Nope, no timeline has been set. I'm going to re-evaluate it in 6 months.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Dear Grant: You have arrived at the beginning of your true path. Be present. That's it. Sue Reynolds
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Sue ?
  • Comment Author image blank
    I'm experiencing some of the same things you described. Taking on way too much work, and losing focus + strength. Excited to see where you go in 2018. Keep it going :)
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Erik
  • Comment Author image blank
    I'm so glad to hear that you took a bit of time to reflect! Our best ideas and new directions often come in whispers. They can be tough to find while life is a fenzy.
    • Grant Sabatier
      Thanks Jillian