I'm writing this post only for those seven of you who actually read PPP regularly. Maybe eight. Whoever you are, you're my favorite❤️ and I'm so crazy thankful for you. Thank you for taking the time to read PPP today and every day.
Ten years ago I had this crazy idea to start a blog. My kids were little (my youngest was two), and I knew it wouldn't be too long before she'd be off at school and I'd be bored out of my mind at home. (Hmph.)
Honestly? Money was tight in our home and I dreamed of coming up with a job that would let me work from home. I had no skills at all (I'd only worked in youth ministry prior to having kids), but I could type really fast. (And was a little addicted to buying groceries as cheaply as I possibly could for our family, plus making meals for next to nothing with whatever we had on hand.) 🙂
(Us way back in 2010 when I'd just started blogging. My kids were babies!)
So when I read a blog post about making money blogging, I decided to give it a shot. The whole concept of blogging sounded so self-absorbed to me, but frugal blogging seemed like it might actually help a few folks. (Rather than just blogging for the sake of writing about myself, I could share deals and things that I found at the store and hopefully encourage others .)
I blogged for a solid month without telling anyone what I was doing because I knew I'd never stick with it.
I finally sent my little list of deals to my only seven frugal friends.
I stayed up all night researching how to hyperlink an item in a post. (That means doing this instead of this https://passionatepennypincher.com/welcome/ . It took this never-had-a-real-job-momma 3 weeks to learn how to do that. Ridiculous.)
And I started to watch what people did if they ever did manage to land on my little blog.
In fact, I compulsively watched. Way back in 2009 and 2010 when I was beginning I didn't know how to use google analytics (which is super fun, and what I use now to watch what readers are interested in), but there was this thing called Sitemeter that allowed me to see how much blog traffic we were getting each day.
I'd open it every hour on the hour.
Got depressed when no one visited PPP (publixpennypincher way back then.)
And watched closely to see if anyone did ever click, exactly what they were clicking on.
I learned so much.
I learned that regular girls like me had to make easy meals and that crockpots were their favorites too.
I learned that people liked when I talked about cleaning our homes or fluffing our spaces with frugal DIY ideas.
And I learned that busy moms really really really liked easy deals on Amazon. (They weren't alone. I sure like those too!)
So I kept typing.
Eventually I was able to hire some seriously amazing ladies to help me run the site as it became way more than I could manage on my own. We grew the PPP Facebook page and email list, as well as blog traffic incredibly slowly but also consistently every single year.
(From top left circling around ~ this is Cheryl, Cheree, Amber, Misty, Staci, Andrea, Shannon, Nicole, Hannah, Laurie & Jamie. They're each a crazy gift to me!)
I started doing Facebook Live shortly after Facebook rolled it out even though I seriously hated it (because I knew it was the only way to “meet” people on this crazy internet!)
I typed like crazy and constantly thought of ways to grow traffic, because I decided that if I was going to take time away from my family to work (even if it was working from home!) I'd better do my job well enough that it was worth my time online each day.
In the meantime, life changed way too fast for our family just like I'm betting it did for you too. We lost my father-in-law (who was inadvertently one of the reasons I started PPP), made a big (um, HARD!) move, prayed for and raised these cute kids, survived a pretty big family crisis, sent our oldest off to college, and paid off our home.
I'd had this little idea for a “checklist” in the back of my head, but I had no idea how to make it happen as a physical product. For ten years I'd sold other people's products through Amazon or affiliates (I've probably sold more Charmin, Tide, and Instant Pots than any store in your hometown. Yikes.) But I'd never dreamed of selling my own thing, because I honestly didn't think anyone would ever want to buy whatever I came up with to sell.
But a friend hopped on board and pushed me wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone to create this crazy thing, and oh my word . . .
y'all were (thankfully!) all in.
In January of 2019 we sold 6400 of my first little idea (1700 physical checklists as that was all we ordered ~ the rest sold as digital PDF downloads). That's when I realized this little crazy idea might be more than just a silly idea, and that people might want to jump on board with me in this craziness.
Fast forward a few weeks.
After seeing the success of our little home checklist, I started dreaming of ways that we could make menu planning a little less stressful for families. I realized that most people who ordered things through PPP were ordering real products (not PDF downloads of things), and thought that just maybe they'd like an easy system for their menu planning.
So last March in April when I met up with the entire PPP team in Nashville, I told them alllll about my crazy little next idea. (I'm pretty sure they all thought I was nuts). But they let me chatter away, and thank goodness did so much work behind the scenes to help my newest little idea actually happen.
In late September we launched our little Magic Menu Planning Tin (it's really called Menu Planning Made Easy, but Magic Menu Planning Tin sounds a wee bit more fun). 🙂 My goal was to sell 3,000 of those in 2019, and then just store the rest in a local storage facility until they sold, (hopefully), in 2020.
Welp, on Monday of this week we sold out of every single one of them. (ALL TEN THOUSAND OF THEM. WHEW.)
Just behind that we launched the 2020 Home Planner (which turned into way more than our original checklist – it includes calendars and everything!) and we sold so many in the launch back in September that we ordered an additional 5,000. As of this minute, only 1,000 of all 15,000 physical planners are left (when these are gone they're gone – and we won't order any more until the new 2021 planners come out. Seriously it's just crazy to me!)
In 3 months we have sold, packed, and shipped 25,000 physical products (as well as quite a few less expensive digital products too.)
Here's the thing though . . . I never-ever-never dreamed this would happen. (Like for real – my wildest dreams would never quite have dreamed this big!)
And none of this could have happened if my husband and I hadn't started twenty-three years ago determining to always live on one income. Even as PPP continued to earn a little more each year, all of our income was put into a separate account so that we could donate to missionaries, save for our kids college funds, and cash flow any PPP projects that ever came up. (We've spent more than our first home on shipping alone this year, and there's no way on earth I could have done that if we hadn't had the cash on hand to do that!)
We could never-ever-never have done that with true financial peace and freedom if we hadn't set out from day one to really monitor our finances. We don't wear fancy clothes, drive fancy cars, or spend much at all on fancy groceries.
(We do vacation really really well these days as our one big splurge. Worth every penny and all the work it has taken each time!)
Because of the crazy growth of PPP over the last few years, we've been able to also donate abundantly to local and overseas mission work ~ that's truly been the most fun gift ever . . . you have no idea what a blessing that's been for me and our family!
But what has blown me away by far is the way folks have been blessed by these little products from that side of the screen. I never ever wanted to sell you something just to sell you something.
I wanted to sell you something that truly just might bless you and your family.
The private Facebook communities that have come from these products have been amazing, and I feel like my soul is simply refreshed after meeting you in each one every day.
I am so thankful for you.
So, thank you for supporting PPP and this crazy mom's big ideas in 2019 and truly for the entire last decade. Even if you haven't bought or considered purchasing any of the PPP products at all, I'm just thankful you taking time to hang out here every once in awhile and read.
I hope that this site and the work we do here has blessed you a little bit in the last ten years, and continues to encourage you throughout 2020 too. I'm so thankful for you taking the time to read every single day, and know there are lots of other places you could be each day. So I'm just humbled that you took the time to stop by here along the way.
Most of all though, I encourage you . . . no matter what season of life you're in, that it's never–ever-never too late to dream big. I'm praying that you also see some kind of wild-and-crazy-success in 2020 that you never imagined could happen before, because if it can happen to this mess of a momma, I have no doubt it can happen for you too.
Cheering for you this 2020 ~ praying God's peace over your year, as well as renewed excitement and energy over whatever this next year (and decade!) brings.
Hugs sweet PPP reader ~ goodness I'm so thankful for you!
P.S. I don't honestly even know why I'm sharing all this with you ~ probably just because this is my little corner of the internet, and one day I think my kids might enjoy reading the story of how we landed where we did! So here it is kids. Thanks to anyone else for reading too. 🙂
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