Logan, Where Have You Been?
by Mike Dang and Logan Sachon
Mike: Logan! So enquiring minds would like to know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.
Logan: I’m glad you asked, Mike. Would it surprise you to know that I’ve had “write post for Billfold explaining why no longer posting on Billfold” on my to-do list for multiple months? I bet it would surprise you not at all. So in lieu of that, this. I took a full-time, 9:30-to-5:30ish job. I get up and go to an office and eat salad at a desk — all things that I spent the whole of my twenties avoiding! But I’m not 20 anymore. I’m 30, in three weeks. It was the right and good decision for me.
Mike: You really needed to earn more money. That was the whole point of getting this other job. It was kind of crazy that you were working a full-time restaurant job and blogging on the side and still struggling to make ends meet. It was unsustainable, plus not very remunerative.
Logan: Yeah, we’ve never talked about how much money we’ve made with the site, but it isn’t enough for two people to work full-time. Maybe it will be one day, but I needed to be making a lot more money now. Maybe there was a way I could have made it work — a more lucrative second job, I’m not sure. But by the new year, I’d decided I needed to step back and find a full-time job.
Mike: Neither of us were making enough from the site to live in the city and pay all of our obligations (we’d share those numbers if they weren’t proprietary to the network). One of the reasons for this is that we took out a loan to start the site and have been slowly paying it back. But I was able to make it work with my second job at another website and also via freelancing and consulting. And I’m taking less money now so that we can bring on Ester part-time. She has been great and will be a huge help when Meaghan needs to take a step back after she has her baby.
So I guess the thing people are wondering now is whether or not they’ll see you come back and write on the site once in a while after you get settled at your new job.
Logan: I hope so! I keep thinking of post ideas — that’ll happen after having to produce so much content for two years! — but I can’t actually write any of them because I want to keep my job. It’s why I stopped blogging during my job search, too: When I started to think about things I wanted to write in terms of potential employers reading them, it became impossible to write, for me. So that’s something I have to figure out, how to be myself again on this site while also having a job I want to keep and bosses who, if they don’t read this website, at least know it exists.
Mike: Totally — that makes sense. This is the internet, it is public, and we have our real names attached to it. And you’ve shared some stories that don’t always show you in the most positive light. Also, my other employer encourages me to pursue my own undertakings, but it makes sense if an employer is like, “If you’re going to be working, you’ve got to be working for us and not the competition” (though I’m not even sure if we even count as competition here).
Logan: Well to me it’s not even that I’d have posts up, it’s that all my posts, historically, have been about how much of a fuck-up I am, and I’m trying to Be a Professional Now. The cool thing is that now I’m a Billfold reader. Love what you’re doing with the place. Love Meaghan. Love Ester. Love the Employment Histories.
Mike: I think you and I got to a point where there was only so much from our own experience we could draw from. Ester and Meaghan are parents (or will be). Neither of us are married or have children, and so much about money has to do with those things. Remember all those Fridays when we’d sit around and figure out what we were going to chat about? We felt like we ran out of things to say to each other and that was not good at all. And the narrative was that I was good with money and you were bad with money, and even though we’re friends, it sometimes had that “man good with money, woman not-so-good with money” vibe. I think it’s good now that we have two women on staff who are good with money to switch up the narrative. I mean, Meaghan taught people about stock options, and Ester is a crazy saver.
Logan: Yes, totally. My narrative for so long was “person who screwed up and has a lot of credit card debt and no real plan to pay it off in any timely way, lol.” That got old, for me. So I made a change! A good one, so far. And I do hope to be back on the site. I still have my login.
Mike: You will always have your login! Um, I have a feeling when True Detective Season 2 rolls around, there will be some fun posts up. But also, it’ll be good to see the narrative change. I told Meaghan in a chat a few weeks ago that so many of our money problems are simply solved by earning more money. I think that will be true for you. You made some behavioral changes (getting rid of your credit cards), and the next step was the earning more money part.
Logan: Yes, I think so. And I get to start finding out soon! My first paycheck comes tomorrow.