We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, how do you think about risk?
There are moments in my life where risk was at play and I wasn’t even aware of it until after those moments had passed. I remember feeling the pull to leave corporate life to start my first business as an independent marketing consultant in 2016. In the moment, I was scared. The fear of not knowing how much money I’d make or how I would obtain clients was overwhelming. However, I realized that fear and risk was how I knew I was onto something. I made the choice to move forward with that business in spite of the risks and as a result, I was able to develop strong business and marketing skills as an entrepreneur which led me to build Debt Free Millennials.
What should our readers know about your business?
Debt Free Millennials helps stressed out millennials learn how to become debt free by providing practical money tips and debt payoff solutions they can do on their own through hundreds of YouTube videos. The Debt Free Millennials community welcomes those who want to crush debt and live payment free while also spending intentionally on the things they want. I am most proud of the community that this business has cultivated. There are interesting money conversations happening in our group anytime I hop on social media. It’s very cool to see how openly everyone talks about money! Together, we have built a positive and safe space for people to talk candidly about their financial situation. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that they didn’t start off in the business they are currently in. And that’s true for me! After leaving corporate to start my own marketing consulting practice, I still felt something was missing. Personal finance has been a passion of mine since paying off $35,000 in student loan debt in two and a half years but I wasn’t quite sure how to build a business from that experience. While I was doing independent marketing work, I formulated a business plan for Debt Free Millennials and started creating content. Initially, the work was exciting but hard. I had a lot of self-doubt about how I would produce an income. I overcame the income challenge by bringing in my marketing skills. I pitched myself to personal finance clients as a freelancer. That way, I was able to use the skills I already had (writing, marketing, video creation) and work specifically in the personal finance niche. Then I was able to add in other income streams by testing my own digital products, affiliate marketing, and making money with YouTube ads. My business is built with the intention that once you become debt free, you free up opportunities to do what you love in life. I love flexible work schedules, traveling, and untapped income potential. I believe that if you eliminate debt you can live a lifestyle you love,
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m all about budget-friendly vacays and also splurging on some of the coolest things to do in San Diego! When the besty is in town, here’s how we do San Diego. Monday – Day trip to Coronado Beach. Pick up $6 Coronado Club sandwiches from Bony’s Bayside Market on our way in and spend the day sunbathing or playing paddle ball on the beach. Tuesday – It’s a must to visit the San Diego Zoo. Annual membership passes include 50% off coupons that I can pass along to my besty or she can use her active duty military ID to get in for free! I also love that we can bring our own snacks as we visit with giraffes and elephants. Wednesday – A leisurely stroll through Little Italy. I love getting the almond rum croissant and a lavender vanilla latte from Frost Me Gourmet then walk up to Blick Art Supplies to look at fun crafts and gifts. If we’re thirsty, Ballast Point Brewery is one of my favorites or we’ll hit up Born & Raised during happy hour. Half-priced specialty cocktails and appetizers are available and out of this world (don’t skip out on the oysters Rockefeller!). Thursday – Head to Law Beach in Pacific Beach for surf lessons with SD Surf School. After building up an appetite, we pick up tacos from Oscar’s and people watch. Friday – A night out in Gaslamp! I like starting at The Smoking Gun for drinks and shuffleboard followed by dinner and dancing at Cafe Sevilla. Saturday – Whew, we are worn out. Sometimes it’s nice to order a big plate of carne asada fries and relax by the pool in my building. Sunday – What better way to cap off a trip to San Diego than to head to Sunset Cliffs to check out the tide pools and watch the sunset.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my husband, Kyle. Without his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, I would not be where I am today.
Meg Marie Photography and Nigel Cook