What’s up Yakezie!

This is Grayson from Debt Roundup and I am pretty excited to be writing this.  I always love getting to the finish line of any challenge. Challenge accepted, Yakezie, and challenge completed!

I couldn’t have made it to this point without all of the help of the Yakezie members and challengers. It just goes to show that helping others is really powerful and you can’t succeed without proper networking  I love the idea of a community that is around to help a specific niche of bloggers. You don’t find that often and it really makes a difference.

Alright, enough chit-chat, let’s get down to business.

About Me

I am the owner and head writer on Debt Roundup.  Yep, I am another one of those debt bloggers. Luckily for me, I like being part of a group of other bloggers that are all dealing with the same thing. The difference between myself and other debt bloggers is that I didn’t start blogging until after I had paid off my debt.

So, how did I get into debt and what did I learn. Well, it is a long story regarding my money mistakes, so here is the cliff notes version.

I started an e-commerce business back in college in order to sell consumer electronics. The business came about because the only place to get electronics in my small college town was Wally World  If you are an electronics fan like me, then you know that Wally World is no place to get the good stuff.   gots to get my fix, man!

I had no experience running a business and I have even less experience creating a website. Back then, I coded my website from scratch. Yep, I wrote every single line of HTML in order to get my site to function. It was an awesome learning experience. I built my website from a few pages to over 20,000 pages in the course of 2 years.

Over the years that my business existed, I learned a lot of stuff, but the one thing I didn’t learn was to stop funding the business on my personal credit cards. I paid for all my advertising, website work, shopping cart scripts, and all other expenses on my credit cards. I was borrowing against the business’s earning power.  Oops.

I only ran the company for a little over four years. During that time, I built the business from nothing to one that was selling over $1 million worth of electronics per year. It was a fantastic experience and one that I will always remember. There came a point when I needed to make a decision about the direction of the business. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I decided to shut down the business. You can read about my reasons more in depth, if you wish.

Shutting down the business left me with over $50,000 worth of credit card debt.  And here we go!

The Debt Payoff

I am not going to write much about how I paid off my credit card debt, because I have almost killed that subject on my blog. I don’t want to put you through that. Either way, I paid off my credit card debt within 4 years of shutting down my business. I did it the hard way with spending less and earning more. Nothing crazy, but only serious determination got me there.

As I was paying down my debt, I started to look over other personal finance blogs. I liked seeing what others were going through and how they handled it. It is a nice change of pace when you are going at it alone. With a few of the finance sites, I noticed this little black and gold badge describing that they were either a member or challenger of “Yakezie”.

What in the ???

I first thought that these blogs were telling their readers that they were part of the Japanese mafia. Why in the world would they advertise that to people? I don’t want to be a part of any mafia. Luckily for me, I realized that my brain was playing tricks on me and it wasn’t the Japanese mafia, but a group dedicated to personal finance bloggers. I guess I need more sleep.

The Birth of a Blog

Since I had already gone through four years of debt battles, I really was intrigued by the personal finance blogs. Most of them were around to help others with their debt and financial position in general. I wanted to be a part of it. Finding Yakezie only cemented the idea in my mind because it gave me access to many other great personal finance blogs that I never knew about.

I started Debt Roundup in September 2012, but didn’t really do much until October. It has come a long way since then and it still amazes me how much.  It has only been a year, but the growth and acceptance of the blog is astounding. I have been blogging on other blogs since WordPress came around.  This is not my first rodeo, but it is by far my most successful.

Since becoming a Yakezie challenger, I have met many great bloggers that all have the same goal. Helping each other.  I don’t know too many other groups that are willing to help to the degree that Yakezie members do. That is the great thing about becoming a member. Now, I am official. I am not just another blog trying to make it.I have made it!

My story just goes to show that you can do anything. Just because you don’t know something, doesn’t mean you can’t learn it.  Educate yourselves based on topics that interest you and find others that are willing to help.  It is not always what you know, but also who you know. When you are a Yakezie member, you know some of the best.