Welcome to a new interview in the “Debt & Success” series, where I feature other men and women who have defeated debt or made a name for themselves by starting their own business and freelance career.
Become happy, successful and balanced
Anna Runyan is the writer and career coach behind the Classy Career Girl blog. Her mission is to help other women become happy, successful and balanced in work and life while demonstrating class, skill and integrity.
On her site you will find topics that include career motivation, personal development, business chic fashion, office etiquette, job search advice, balance, health, networking and education.
She’s been featured on Forbes, Yahoo! Finance and even published in People’s Style Watch Magazine. Plus, she was able to payoff over $80,000 of debt in 18 months!
1. Please share a little about your background, your current job and what inspired you to start your “passion project” ClassyCareerGirl.com.
I currently work as a Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and a Blogger and Career Coach at ClassyCareerGirl.com. My blog started 2 years ago when I decided to create an online journal of what I was learning during business school and on the job.
I got the idea from a marketing project I was working on where I had to look for blogs that would sell baby clothes company that I was creating a marketing plan for. When I saw other blogs I was like, “hey! I can do that!”
So I started one on my next break. For the first year I was anonymous but then when other people started reading, I wanted to be true to who I really was so I decided to put my name and face out there.
It was the best decision ever because now I can write about me and who I really am. I am very passionate about helping young professionals become happy, successful and balanced. I love helping young professionals nail interviews and find fulfilling jobs they love!
2. Did you always know what you “wanted to be” when you grew up? When did you come to the realization that you wanted to be a career coach for recent grads and young women?
When I graduated college I thought I wanted to get into finance and one day become CEO of some company. It wasn’t until I started blogging and interacting with readers did I realize what my passions were which are training and coaching.
That is why I recommend blogging because it allows you to explore your passions and become more knowledgeable in your field. I knew I wanted to be a career coach when all my friends would come to me for job search advice and I would drop whatever I was doing to help them because I loved it.
3. Earlier this year you reached an awesome milestone, you and your husband paid off $80,000 in 18 months and are now debt free. What does having debt have to do with your career?
Everything. Without debt controlling your life, you can make life and career decisions that really make you happy. You have nothing hanging over your head nor do you have student loan, credit card and car loan bills piling up to pay.
You have savings available for emergencies and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck wondering if you will ever have the life and career you dreamed of.
Not having to worry about debt allows your mind to open up so that you can really think about what makes you happy and what you really want to do with your life. That is exactly what happened to me.
Read more about how Anna paid off her debt: 15 Ways I Paid Off $80,000 in 18 Months
4. Do your blogging projects bring in additional income? If so, how long did it take before you started seeing a return on your time investment? What was your motivation to keep going?
After two years of blogging, I have a small amount of income coming in from advertising, courses and coaching. I think one of the things that has benefited me is that I didn’t start blogging to make money.
I have learned that a blog won’t make you money. Instead, you have to create services or products around your blog to make money which takes a lot of time and work but it is so much fun to use your creativity and knowledge to make a service or product that someone truly needs.
My motivation is that I am helping someone out there with information that she (or he) would not have gotten that will help them become successful in their careers. My motivation is the emails I receive from readers who tell me that my blog has helped them and to keep on doing what I do. As long as those keep coming, I won’t stop blogging.
5. As a female who works a full time job and a side hustle, what’s your best tip(s) for other women who are trying to strike the perfect work-life balance?
Prioritize and use your nights and weekends wisely. You may not know the latest American Idol information but who cares.
Stay motivated by posting thank you cards or quotes on your walls and make sure you have a higher purpose and are loving what you do. If you don’t love your side hustle and if the hours don’t fly by, you might want to evaluate your career.
Anna also runs a successful podcast and YouTube channel: Classy Career Girl Podcast
6. I’m an avid reader of career, entrepreneurship and personal finance books. What’s one (or several) must-read books you recommend?
- Career: 48 days to the work you love by Dan Miller, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
- Entrepreneurship: Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port, The Art of Non-Comformity by Chris Guillebeau
- Personal Finance: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
7. Of all the topics you talk about on your blog – career, office etiquette, professional fashion and answering questions from readers – what is your favorite topic to write about? Why?
My favorite blog posts are answering reader questions because it challenges me to learn something new. I am also the most passionate about finding the right career path for you and the steps to do about doing that BEFORE you start your job search online.
That is probably my most favorite topic because most people just jump online without doing the necessary self-assessment needed so they don’t just jump back into another job they hate.
It’s like a pattern that I have watched a lot of people do and I want to change that and get young professionals in jobs they LOVE early so that they be happy, perform better and eventually change the world.
8. Please tell us about your new FREE course, Get Your Career Unstuck. What else is in the works for CCG in the future? Can you give us a sneak peak?
My latest project is getting young professionals out of jobs they hate and into jobs they love. I am sharing how I got out of my career rut and into a job I love in a webinar on October 30th called 7 Simple Secrets To Get Your Career Unstuck.
I also have put together a ton of videos and worksheets to guide you along the way. If you want to sign up and get the webinar information, head on over to http://getmycareerunstuck.com.
Lots of fun things ahead! I recently went part-time at my job at Booz Allen Hamilton so I now have a few more hours in the day to create some fun things for 2013!
You can expect to see a lot more classy career courses and products in near future! I also have a goal to write a book too so that is definitely on the horizon!