The Next Chapter…

As you may have noticed, Money Spruce hasn’t seen many updates lately. After quitting my job in May 2012 and becoming a full-time freelancer, there’s just been less and less time to write on here.

Today, I’m announcing the launch of my new business: Content Strategy for Do-Gooders.

CWAM is a one-stop shop for content strategy and creation for social mission-driven businesses and organizations. CWAM’s focus is to help these businesses amplify their social impact using effective content to tell their story, find more followers, and develop a loyal tribe of supporters.

Why am I making this change? There are a few reasons:

1. Social missions have always been close to my heart. After finishing my master’s degree, I passed up jobs with starting salaries of $60,000+ to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. I served at a nonprofit in New Haven, Connecticut for a year, living on a stipend of  $1,100 a month and supplementing my earnings with food stamps. I learned so much that year as I lived closer to poverty than I ever had before.

After, I was hired as a full-time employee at the same nonprofit and continued to work there. I focused on helping my nonprofit update newsletters, refresh content, and simply do more to leverage online content to bring in more donations and stay in touch with past donors.

2. I’ve become much more than just a “freelance writer.” While writing is still a large part about what I do, it’s still just a piece to the much bigger puzzle of developing a strategy that works for the organizations I serve. In addition to writing, I spend hours strategically deciding what kind of content to develop and incorporating that into a larger content strategy. This strategy includes effective call to actions, email capture, lead nurturing through email, social media, blog posts, static content, and more.

3. Socially-minded businesses are perfectly suited to gain the most from an effective content strategy. Effective content is really about telling a great story. While many brands do a good job telling a story, fewer are actually “story-doers,” to use a term from this article published in the Harvard Business Review. Preliminary research from this study shoes that story-doers may be much more effective businesses than story tellers.

Social businesses like TOMS Shoes and many great others have amazing stories to tell. It’s these stories that earn them a large following of supporters. Supporters are really more than customers. They’re brand advocates who want to make a difference in the world, too.

My BIG goal: help more businesses and organizations harness their own powerful stories to gain more followers and increase the impact of their mission.

Thank you

Thanks so much for following along on Money Spruce. My life would be incredibly different right now if I didn’t start this blog and hear from all you loyal readers.

If you’re still hungry for more personal finance and other money-related articles, my friends Carrie, Mr. Money Mustache, Paula (and many more) are among my favorites to read for a steady stream of interesting and informative posts.

Wishing you all the best and brightest future,

Jeffrey

P.s. – If you or anyone you know may be interested in my services,  I’d be really grateful if you’d send them over to this page. Here they’ll be able to get my free report “10 Steps to Maximizing Your Cause’s Impact with Content.” Thanks again for all your support!

Updated: How I Used Free Frequent Flyer Miles to Get $9,000 Worth of Airfare — Twice!

Update: I just booked another trip using frequent flyer miles. This time I’ll be flying to Japan, India, and Nepal — for just $120! The real cost was just 80,000 miles that I earned from a couple of credit card offers.

For those who missed it last year, here’s my strategy that I posted in October 2012. Enjoy!

I’m excited to share how I’m spending a month traveling to Paris and Bangkok – and spending only $140 on airfare (just the taxes). How? It was really easy, actually: Free frequent flyer miles.

No, not the kind you earn from flying …

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Beyond Money: How to Find Happiness in Your 20s (or Any Time)

find-happiness-Thailand

find-happiness-ThailandI spend a lot of time thinking about how to be happy, and I think I’ve finally cracked that code.

Sometimes I even spend more time thinking about how to be happy than anything else, including my business. Why? Because that’s what matters most. We don’t really want to just have more money, more friends, or more freedom — we just want each of these things to make us happy.

Whether you’re struggling with money, a job, or just surviving daily life, here’s my best advice for being happy no matter what.

Don’t wait – choose to be

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Why I’m Writing One Letter A Day to Thank 365 People

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Today, I’d like to announce a new project that I’ve been working on and keeping a secret for over a month now. It’s called “365 Letters of Gratitude.”

The concept is simple: every day, I spend a few minutes writing a letter to a different person whom I’m grateful to have in my life. Usually it’s just a few paragraphs detailing why these people mean so much to me and the ways they’ve affected my life, large or small.

It’s been hard, but I’ve kept it going for 45 days now. And I’m so grateful that I’ve done …

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How You’re Lying to Yourself Every Day About Your Spending Priorities

liar

I’ve heard a few great arguments made lately about how we make liars out of ourselves all the time with our so-called “priorities.” Many of us say “Travel is DEFINITELY a priority for me” or “I’m serious about getting in shape.” But are these things really priorities? And does the time and money you spend on these things really back up what you’re saying.

JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly first brought this to my attention at the World Domination Summit 2012 when he said “It’s not what we say is a priority, but what we actually DO that’s a …

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Thinking of Quitting? Self-Employed Lessons, 2 Months Deep

oregon-welcome

That first two months after (finally) quitting my job definitely flew by! I’ve had a successful move from New Haven, CT to Portland, OR! Life has been memorable in a gazillion ways, and the fun is just getting started.

Today I bring to you lessons I’ve already learned and that you’ll need to watch out for or can look forward to for yourself.

Self-Employed = Awesome!

So far, 99% of the time has been freakin’ fantastic. You’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating, but I can honestly say I couldn’t be happier with life right now, and I’m committed to doing every …

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I Did It! I QUIT My JOB!

yup-i-freakin-quit

This is the post of I’ve been waiting to write and, after 9 months in the making, it’s now official: I quit my job! It feels like a huge relief to finally be done and to move on from New Haven, too.

Why I Quit

There are a few reasons I decided to leave my job:

1) I was bored and unhappy. While my job wasn’t stressful and my boss was great, I was bored at my job. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere and wasn’t making a difference in the world on a daily basis. I’m sure …

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Life After Quitting – A Few Quick Updates

I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve given any updates, but I’m working on a big post about quitting my job (which I did 2 weeks ago). Look for it soon.

In the meantime, I’ve also been writing weekly for Hat Toss, a site with money, career, and health tips for college students and grads. Here are a few of my recent posts up there. I’d love it if you’d stop by and Like or Tweet the posts:

Your First Paycheck! What to Do Before Spending It – Just as it sounds, this post has advice …

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Travel When Retired? No! Travel Now!

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I just don’t buy into the whole “travel when you’re retired” thing. It seems like such a waste to wait my whole life to travel (and, not to be morbid, but assuming I make it to retirement age).

I just got back from my latest trip to Montreal, which was fantastic. It was my first visit, and it definitely won’t be my last.

Despite the cost $400 and the fact that I’ll soon be jobless, I took the trip on my own for a few reasons:

1) I really wanted a getaway from New Haven and

2) I wanted …

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The $100 Startup: More Possible For You Than Ever

100-dollar-startup

There’s been no better time to start a business in history than today. The possibilities are endless, with new opportunities for startups being created all the time. It’s easier to access more customers than ever before (i.e. the entire wired world). And, it costs so little to create a new business.

Chris Guillebeau released his new book The $100 Startup on Tuesday that’s all about this topic. I received an advanced copy, and, after diving in, it’s truly a great read.

What I like most of this book is the range of real-life ideas and stories of others that it …

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