Those who follow along on instagram know that I’m currently (as of writing this post) around 25 weeks pregnant and that Rich and I are expecting our first baby in late March. We’re very excited and someday I’ll write a post about all the ways pregnancy has been different than I expected.
But today I want to talk about another “baby” of mine. One that I had nearly eight years ago in May 2012. Not a real baby, actually, I’m talking about my blog. Back then it was L Bee and the Money Tree and I started it on a total whim. I’d just moved home after almost two years of living in New York City. I hadn’t been thriving there, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So, I started a blog.
And eight years, a name change, and several pivots later I’m still here. And you’re still here. And I don’t really know much beyond that except I’m incredibly grateful.
But even before I got pregnant I’d been itching for a change.
I’d entertained offers and briefly listed the site for sale back in 2017 shortly before I went back to work. I could sell the site for what I wanted to make, but couldn’t find a partner I felt I could trust with my “baby.”
So, I made the decision then to keep it and I’m glad I did. The next two years taught me even more than the previous ones and it reinforced my faith that when the timing is right, the universe provides the perfect opportunity.
But when I found out we had an actual baby on the way, I started to think more about what I wanted the next chapter of my life to look like. Not just motherhood, but what I want to spend my life doing and building. I love blogging and writing, but over the years I've become overwhelmed with what it takes to not only run and maintain a digital business but grow it on top of everything else too.
This is why when I met The Soapbox Financial Network (a division of The Motley Fool) at FinCon this year and heard about the network of financial blogs they were starting to create, I got very excited. I knew they'd just recently acquired one of my favorite personal finance sites, Budgets Are Sexy, while allowing J.Money to still blog and be the creative force behind the site.
It sounded ideal. Could they do the same for me?
It turns out they can and they have.
Why I Decided to Sell
Maybe my decision to sell makes sense to you. But in the spirit of transparency, here are a few of the reasons behind the decision to start this new chapter.
Bandwidth – This is a biggie, and it’s a bit hard to explain even though I’ll try. Running a business, especially a content-specific business takes so much brainpower. It takes even more hours than it takes to actually create the content you need to sustain the business. I'd like to put my bandwidth into what I'm good at (for once) and get a lot of the other “stuff” of running a business off my plate.
The right partner – I’ve monetized the site over the last eight years, but I’ve always tried to be responsible in my recommendations knowing that you guys NEED personal finance product recommendations and content you can trust.
I KNOW Soapbox will act with this same emphasis on responsibility and trust (it’s one of the Motley Fool’s core values, in fact.) So, I finally felt really, really good about turning over the “keys” so to speak (I know, I’m mixing up my metaphors) to a company with these values. The fact they’re committed to maintaining creative voices in the personal finance space when so many personal blogs are getting crowded out by the Nerdwallet’s and CNBC’s of the world, makes me feel more comfortable than I could ever say.
Playing to my strengths – Instead of it being just me and a few hardworking and amazing contractors, there will now be essentially a handful of “Lauren’s” running around and working to make this site be the one I always knew it could be. At a time in my life when I need to throttle back a bit and make time for my family, there’s someone else to pick things up and continue to accelerate even when I can’t.
But what does this really mean?
Not a ton, really.
While Soapbox is taking ownership of the site and some things may look a tad different in the New Year, I’ll still be here every week writing the same as always. You will still see me, hear from me, be able to connect to me, write with me, and share with me.
Essentially, this new arrangement allows me to do what I love – create and connect – while they focus on running the backend of the blog and growing readership. I’m super excited about this partnership and I couldn’t be more grateful (there’s that word again!) for what finally feels like the right next step in my life, with the right partner, at the right time.
So, functionally, nothing will change on your end. You’ll still see me. (Hopefully) you’ll come back and read the same content that will be here. The stuff about money management but also the stuff about my adventures as a new Mom.
With the holidays coming up it will be quiet around here. I know I'm taking some time off this December to spend time with family (especially since last year was spent in a whirlwind with our holiday wedding) and I hope you do the same. For me personally, I'm taking time to reflect on not only the end of the year but the end of the decade and the end of an “era.” Truthfully, there’s been so much going on behind the scenes with this transition, I didn’t feel it was right to just “quietly” sell the site and not say anything.
But I do hope you come back in January, there's still lots of content from living my own “Financial Best Life” for you to see.