In this episode, Emily interviews Dr. Lucie Bland, about her financial journey from graduate school to self-employment. Lucie was severely underpaid as a PhD student, and she felt such guilt and shame around spending that she became terrified of money. Her money mindset didn’t improve when her income increased several-fold as a postdoc, and it wasn’t until she discovered the Good-Better-Best goal-setting framework that she started to heal her relationship with money. She now describes herself as a money boss. In this second half of the conversation, Lucie describes the Good-Better-Best goal-setting framework and how she applied it to personal finance as well as other areas of life. She also shares how mastering her personal finances enabled her to take the leap into self-employment.
Links Mentioned in the Episode
- Lucie’s Website: luciebland.com
- Lucie’s Free Guide to Writer’s Block
- Personal Finance for PhDs: Speaking
- Personal Finance for PhDs: Help Out
00:00 Lucie: Money is so interesting because it’s where you have a conflict between all your limiting beliefs and your trapped emotion and your resources that are linked to survival. That’s why money triggers our fear centers so much. It’s the modern-day saber-toothed tiger that’s coming to eat us.
00:24 Emily: Welcome to the Personal Finance for PhDs podcast, a higher education in personal finance. I’m your host, Dr. Emily Roberts. This is season four, episode six, and today my guest is Dr. Lucie Bland, a self-employed PhD living in Australia. Lucie has such an amazing story to tell that I’ve split it into two episodes. Last week’s and this one in this episode, Lucie shares how she relied on the Good-Better-Best, or GBB, framework when she decided to become self-employed. She also illustrates her current practice of personal finance now that she is a self-described “money boss.” She proposes many ways PhDs can use the GBB framework with respect to income, personal finance, research, and other areas of life. Without further ado, here’s the second part of my interview with Dr. Lucie Bland.
Lucie’s Self-Employment Journey: Using GBB
01:19 Emily: Okay. Now we’re going to resume talking a bit more about your self-employment journey. So you’ve already told us that you went through this period of re-evaluation where you’re taking time off from your postdoc, then you went back part-time to your postdoc, which didn’t work out very well because it’s very difficult to do research part-time. And you also had a side job as an editor for some time. But then you were saying that you sort of realized that you really wanted to be self-employed and wanted to have more control over your work, control of your schedule, I assume that self-employment would offer you. So let’s talk more about this GBB model and how you used it in this journey towards self-employment.
02:02 Lucie: Yes. Basically, when I was using GBB in the budgeting I realized that my “Good” goal, or my minimum viable income, is 33,000 Australian dollars, which is actually not that much. It basically means that I need to make $50,000 minus tax, which is a very realistic start for a business. And especially kind of as we talked about before, I still have a lot of savings. So doing these highly-paid postdocs enabled me to have the financial security to then go on and do my business without taking a loan, without taking a lot of risks in many ways. And so using that GBB framework enabled me to make a really intentional decision and actually a very low-risk decision to start my own business.
Two Forms of Runway: Savings and Part-Time Work
02:56 Emily: Yeah, so I was highly involved in the personal finance community, the personal finance blogosphere in 2011 to 2015, I would say. And I watched a lot of other people in that space move from being employees to being self-employed. And ultimately, I did this as well. And the term that we used for what you did was to give yourself a runway. So you gave yourself two kinds of runways. The first was by having a good amount of savings from having that higher income for a number of years. So you knew that you could have no income coming in for some period of time and you would be fine. Or you know, a lower than ideal amount of income. And the other runway you gave yourself was working this part-time position, having the side job, experimenting with how much you would need to work for other people but still be able to fulfill what you wanted to do and ultimately you could drop those things off as you were able to take off with your business income and no longer need those need the runway.
03:52 Emily: Right. So, two forms of runway. Just for anyone considering self-employment or considering maybe even doing another job that’s lower-paid. Any kind of transition like that, giving yourself some runway. Here’s a great idea, whether it’s through savings or side jobs or whatever it might be. Yeah. Anything else you want to say about using that model and your transition to self-employment?
Taking the Time to Experiment and Make Mistakes
04:16 Lucie: Yes. And you know, I think you make very good points about using the two different types of runway. And for me, in a way where doing the postdoc part-time worked really well in that it gave me time to know what I wanted to do. Because it did take me two years, two whole years to figure out what I really wanted to do. And that’s very typical of any career transition if you read the career-coaching literature. So it gave me time to set up my business and know what I wanted to do. It gave me that time where I was only working part-time hours to set things up behind the scenes, make lots of mistakes, go down lots of rabbit holes and not have that pressure of things having to work out immediately in the sense that, now, I’m in my first year of business. But really, I’ve been doing this for almost two years. I know how things work a little bit better. So again, probably a theme that’s coming through this interview is that I’m actually a little bit risk-averse in many ways. But I was much more comfortable making that decision to jump into my business. Having had just a little bit of legs under that idea and a little bit of knowledge, some numbers through my GBB goals and my budgeting other than flying by the seat of my pants, which is not really me.
05:32 Emily: Really what you’re doing, in all those different approaches that you just mentioned, is giving self-employment or your business, the ultimate business idea that you settled on, the best chance it could possibly have. Because like you said, when you’re first starting out with a new venture, you have to do a little bit of experimentation. You have to bumble around a little bit and make some mistakes. And if you have given yourself no runway and it has to work within two months or whatever it is, you have to make enough money to start sustaining your lifestyle within that short period of time. It doesn’t give your business really the room to evolve and grow and succeed. And so, yeah, I definitely would say that if you’re serious and very, very aspirational about becoming self-employed, you need to build that into your plan, right. Build some bumbling around and some mistakes into your plan.
06:21 Lucie: Yeah.
What Does Your Business Look Like Now?
06:22 Emily: And so what did you ultimately come to, you know, through this period of experimentation, what does your business look like now?
06:29 Lucie: Now I run an editing and coaching business and I’ve got three arms to my business. I’ve got editing, coaching and writing workshops. And the advantage with professional services businesses, like yours and mine, is that they have very low expenses, and in a way, they’re quite low risk. They do require some work in terms of to make it more leveraged or passive. You know, I need to evolve my business model in terms of I can take holidays and not have to be working all the time. Because otherwise, I’m just my own boss that’s still the slave to working every day. But for me, it’s a much better balance.
07:09 Lucie: And I would say that I definitely went from surviving to thriving. And that’s where being really intentional and self-knowledge is critical in the sense that when I did this career-coaching with this What Color Is Your Parachute?* book, one of the things I realized was that creativity and freedom or some of my core values. If I’m not getting this in a job, then being self-employed, you have ultimate control, you have ultimate freedom. And so there are lots of reasons why for me this is the best choice. And I think for people who would be listening to the podcast, then any self-knowledge that you have about your own values, about your own preferred work environments can only enhance your decision-making. Regardless of whether you want to continue in academia or do something else. It’s like your minimum viable income, but for your personal happiness.
[* This is an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting PF for PhDs!]
Professional and Personal Development
08:06 Emily: Yeah, exactly. I did a lot during graduate school. I would always pay attention when the career center or professional development stuff sent out emails about workshops and events they were doing. And I was always like, yeah, if I can go, I’m going to go, and did a lot similar to you. Like self-exploration, guided exercises, little tests and stuff to help me figure out like what was the work environment that I wanted and so forth. And it was funny because at that time, it didn’t at all occur to me that self-employment would’ve been a good fit. And yet, I’m really enjoying it now. I’ll link to a post in the show notes about how I think that PhD research and self-employment actually have a lot of overlap in terms of the skills that you learn in one can apply to the other. But what you were just mentioning about kind of being your own boss and managing your time and so forth. I think that there is room for another loose interpretation of the Good-Better-Best goal framework there. Like “Good” might be working 40 hours a week, every single week out of the year, “Better” as being able to have a little bit more freedom and flexibility with your time, and “Best” is being able to have so much stuff outsourced and have people on your team that you can take time away from your business whenever you like. There are so many ways that Good-Better-Best framework I think can be applied outside of just how much money do you need to make to fund your lifestyle. Right? It seems so flexible.
The Many Applications of the GBB Framework
09:29 Lucie: Yeah. It can actually be applied to anything. So, for example, for a PhD student or a postdoc Good-Better-Best: How many papers do you want to publish this year? For me, I run writing workshops. How many people do I want in my writing workshop? What’s the minimum to make it viable? What would be a better goal that I would be happy with? And what would be the best that I would be completely chapped with? What’s your Good-Better-Best for losing weight or gaining weight or eating better. So, it can be applied literally to any form of goal-setting. And it actually makes any form of goal-setting much more realistic in that life is not black and white. It’s not like we meet or we fail at reaching our goals. And this gradation actually enhances motivation. That’s why it works so well for different areas, because once you reach your Good goal, you really want to reach your Better goal. Versus with traditional goal-setting: If you reach your goal, then what’s left?
10:27 Emily: Yeah. I love that you stated it that way, that you brought that up. I was thinking the exact same thing that it’s not a black and white success or failure with a razor-thin line in between the two for whatever your goal might be. As you were saying, there are gradations there of success. And even sometimes failures can be reframed as successes, you know, if you can see them the right way and so forth. So, I really love that. I think the audience members hold me to that, but I think I may try to figure out how to apply this Good-Better-Best framework within the teaching that I do within personal finance. Because I do talk about goal-setting and about financial goals. But as you were saying, it can be so demotivating to not reach a goal.
11:08 Emily: And yet you also want your goals to be very lofty, right? Like you want to be able to strive for something. So, it’s again about self-knowledge, about knowing what’s going to work for you. Do you want to strive for something and maybe not quite reach it but feel good about it? And know that you’re going to focus maybe on that Best goal? Or, do you want to set something that you know you can succeed at and then you’ll be motivated to move on from there? Well, that’s the “Good” goal. I feel like this is a good framework for people of many different kinds of mindsets toward goal-setting. So, I don’t know. I’m really excited about this. I’m really excited about learning about this framework.
Applying GBB to Research Life
11:40 Lucie: And I think one aspect where I really wish I had known about Good, Better goals when I was doing my postdoc was exactly about how many papers to publish. Because especially within research, there’s this kind of like runaway consumption model in that you need to do more and more and more and more. And if you never put a note on it, you’ll never reach it. And it’s very frustrating. Versus I feel that if now I was working in research again, I would definitely set myself Good-Better-Best goals just so I would know when to stop and relax and take a break.
12:17 Emily: I love that. Have you had any other thoughts about that? How you would apply GBB to research life for those who are still in it?
12:27 Lucie: Yes. So definitely in terms of your income and your budgeting, any of your key performance indicators, your grant income. More and more of academic life is measured with numbers, whether we like it or not. But because it is done this way, we better get on board with it. You can even apply the GBB to your h index if you really want to.
12:52 Emily: I was just thinking that. Yeah.
12:54 Lucie: But there again, it’s about, you know, having that realistic benchmark and then that motivational benchmark and that dream benchmark rather than having these unattainable goals. That makes it much more attainable and then you can discuss it with your supervisors or with your peers. And then for me, I wish I would not have gotten so run into the ground, in the sense that if you reach your “Best” goal, maybe you can take the foot off the accelerator.
How Can People Work with You? *Free Gift*
13:24 Emily: Yeah. And not get to the point like you did where you just had to throw up your hands and say, I have to take a complete break and escape from this for a while. Is there anything else that you’d like to tell us about your business? Like who do you work with or how can people work with you?
13:40 Lucie: Yeah. So, I have a website. It’s called luciebland.com. L u c i e b l a n d. And I have a blog where I blog about everything, academic writing and productivity. So you might have guessed, I’m really into goal-setting. I’m actually a certified coach, and so I work professionally with people to help them reach their goals. Especially their publication goals in a kind of holistic manner. And so I love to blog about evidence-based techniques to reach your goals. And I will send out a little gift and surprise that I would like to offer to the listeners of this podcast. I have a free Guide to Beating Writer’s Block. Everyone suffers from writer’s block one moment or another. And so I have a really nice free guide that recaps the different techniques that you can use to beat writer’s block. And you can get that at luciebland.com/write. So that’s w r i t e. And so you can go and download that for free. And I always kind of keep it to my side if I ever feel my motivation lacking I always refer back to these little exercises.
How Are Your Personal Finances Now?
14:46 Emily: Yeah, that’s great. Thank you for that. And we’ll link to that as well from the show notes. So if you want to go there first, that’s fine. So, when we started talking about doing this interview, you described yourself as a money boss or maybe it was an aspiring money boss–you’re getting to be towards the money boss state. And so there was this huge difference between the mindset that you had towards money during your PhD and where you are now. And so can you talk a little bit more about how you’re managing your personal finances right now, how you’re using the GBB framework and your personal finances? And just more about the healthy point that you are at or that you’re developing at this moment in comparison with where you were a few years ago.
15:33 Lucie: Yeah. Well, I think that really the proof is in the pudding in that five years ago, I was never looking at my bank accounts and I was completely in the dark about anything financial. And now, I make extremely detailed 2-year cashflow projections using that GBB framework. And I feel good. I feel good about it now. I enjoy it. And that’s why I’m on this podcast because I’ve actually become a personal finance nerd. So, you can see the extent of the transformation, both in practical terms and in terms of mindsets, and especially now both, given my background as a coach. So, when I trained as a coach, I worked with a lot of clients who had money issues because money is so interesting because it’s where you have a conflict between all of your limiting beliefs and your trapped emotion and your resources that are linked to survival.
Money: The Modern-Day Saber-Toothed Tiger
16:30 Lucie: That’s why money triggers our fear centers so much. It’s the modern-day saber-toothed tiger that’s coming to eat us. And so there’s a perfectly logical explanation to why money is so difficult to so many people, both for the people who are really in scarcity mindset or the people who own that runaway consumption type of spending. And so what I love about the GBB goals and the budgeting is that, for those of us who are scientists, it really taps into our experimental tendencies. So for me, going from being scared of my finances to budgeting, I took it with a lot of self-love and self-compassion in that, “Okay, I’ll just see how it is.” Had a glass of wine because I couldn’t bear to look at my expenses without a little treat, and “I’m going to tweak a few things. I’m not going to change everything all at once. I’m just going to see how it is.” As if I was running an experiment in the lab. Like, what’s working, what’s not?
17:34 Lucie: What can I change next month? What can I change the month after that? And getting kind of that objective perspective with the numbers removes that emotion. Because we’re not going to go from fearful to excited all at once. You know, going from fearful to curious is a very good progression. Maybe then you become curious about your money, curious about how it functions, what other little tricks you can use. So, for example, I went through a phase where I would change all my electricity and gas providers and my phone. I went through all the things very methodically, with my personal expenses. Yeah, the gas bill.
Easy Ways to Make Extra Income
18:33 Lucie: And then another thing that really helped my mindset, especially for people who suffer from a scarcity mindset, is I started generating lots of money from random places. I became a lot more inventive with how I generate income. For example, over the weekend, I worked at festivals during my postdoc. Most postdocs don’t do that. Just work at festivals to make a little bit of cash. I sold a lot of my unused furniture and unused clothes. So, I just started to have these random little pockets of money that would come from kind of very odd places. And then that increased my belief that I could make money easily. Money is not that difficult to make. There are lots of places where we can make money, so I can imagine some people being on Airtasker or even driving Uber, et cetera. There are actually lots of ways to make little pots of cash in this day and age. And so both kind of doing the budgeting, revising my expenses, and creating these additional pools of cash really increased my confidence.
19:26 Emily: Emily here for a brief interlude. Through my business, I provide seminars and webinars on personal finance for graduate students, postdocs, and other early-career PhDs for universities, institutes, conferences, associations, etc. I offer seminars that cover a wide range of personal finance topics and others that take a deep dive into the financial topics that matter most to PhDs, like taxes, investing, career transitions, and frugality. If you are interested in having me speak to your group or recommending me to a potential host, you can find more information and ways to contact me at pfforphds.com/speaking. That’s p f f o r p h d s.com/speaking. Now back to the interview.
20:15 Emily: I wanted to add kind of two further examples to what you were just saying. One is frugal experimentation. You said that you can take sort of an experimentalist approach towards managing your money, and this is something that I’ve talked about as well. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your expenditures, or like you were saying earlier, not necessarily reduce what you’re spending but rather shift from using your money in ways that don’t give you as much satisfaction towards ways that do give you more satisfaction is a better way of thinking about it, right? Rather than just spend less everywhere. But if you are looking for something that you don’t care about spending money on too much, how can I spend less and less in this area? So I can redirect my money elsewhere. You can run what I call frugal experiments.
20:56 Emily: And so I think this is what you were mentioning. You would find a frugal tip somewhere online or whatever from a friend, and just try it out in your life. And what I say is to try it for 30 days. So it’s really giving it a good shot. Seeing if you can make it habitual and make it mindless and easy for you, and then go ahead and evaluate what was the actual effect. How much money did you end up not spending in that area that you didn’t care so much about? Was it worth the effort that you put in? Were you able to make it a habit? Were you able to make it easy? And if the answer is no, it didn’t reduce my spending enough to make all that effort worthwhile, well then just go back to whatever you were doing before. You can just easily reverse it.
21:35 Emily: And so you can do maybe, you know, one frugal experiment per month and just take like sort of a playful approach to it as you were saying. It’s not do or die in every single one of these things. You don’t have to change everything about your lifestyle in one fell swoop, but you can just take these small areas and make a change. And if you don’t like the change, then just go back. No big deal. So that’s one comment I wanted to make. And the other one is about finding other ways to earn or finding that money would start coming your way once you were thinking about it a little bit differently.
Having a Plan for Windfall Money
22:09 Emily: And what I did during graduate school, again, when our incomes were lower and it was very important to me that we used our money in the best way possible. I was very careful that I had a plan for any, what I might call windfall money that came my way. So it could be receiving maybe a gift, a birthday gift or something. Or it could be, I occasionally would participate in studies, like clinical trials. Very minor stuff. You know, psychological surveys, that kind of thing. If I made $10 from that, okay, well I would always have a plan for where that money was going to go. It wasn’t something that went into my general checking account to be just floating out there and who knows where it went. It went towards what we were using, targeted savings accounts. So it went into my target savings account for travel usually, or one time we were saving up for like a camera purchase for a DSLR. And so we would put in the extra money that we found into that savings account for that ultimate goal.
23:10 Emily: And I think having a plan for where that money was supposed to go, to help me use my money in a way that was most satisfactory to me, really made me pay more attention to all those little ways that money came to me. Whether it was from earning it or whether from, I don’t getting cash back on something, right. I had cashback credit cards, like just having a plan for any of those little non-salary income sources of money. Having a plan for what to do with it made sure that I was using it in a way that felt most optimal for me. And so I really love that you said that example as well. And maybe money was coming your way from time to time earlier, but you just weren’t paying attention in the right way to it to be able to use it in a way that was satisfactory.
23:53 Lucie: Yeah. And what I love about your example, Emily, is the actually you were almost using GBB. Because when you talk about your camera in your savings account, you know, to me that’s like your “Better” goals. And so, you were intuitively using a similar system by putting all that windfall income into these very specific goals.
Anything Else About Being a Money Boss?
24:14 Emily: Yup. That’s probably why I’m so excited about the framework is that it’s a way of sort of crystallizing how I was thinking about things already in a way that will help me communicate those ideas better with other people. Anything else you want to say about becoming a money boss or how you are a money boss? How you behave as a money boss now?
24:32 Lucie: So definitely this in terms that I’m spending more time being more future-oriented. So for example, now thinking of buying a property having these two-year cashflow projections, dreaming to the multiple six-figure business. All of these things now are within reach because I can actually monitor my progress to them rather than feeling stumped. And the other thing that has happened, which is surprising me a lot, is that I’m teaching basic business finance to other entrepreneurs, which seems really odd. But I’m actually doing it. And so, teaching other people how to do cashflow projections, how to manage money in their business. And so for me, especially lots of everything that we’ve talked about in this conversation, is a complete turn around.
25:24 Lucie: I had the skill set to do that. My training in biology was in specifically statistics. I was a computational modeler. So, money should not have been so difficult to me because I know how to deal with numbers. But it was the emotions attached to it that were blocking me. Versus now, I can really feel that my mathematical skills or my decision-making skills, I can use them to the best of their effect because basically my conscious mind and my subconscious mind are in the same direction. And now, I can head towards the future and make these better longterm decisions and also help other people make decisions like that.
26:10 Emily: Yeah, I love that point. I mean sometimes I hear that personal finance is intimidating to people because it is about numbers. Kind of. They think it’s about numbers. But really, I mean especially if we’re talking about PhDs, the level of mathematical ability is a very low bar to be passing to be successful in personal finance. It’s really all about mindset and emotion and understanding your values and self-knowledge and all the things that we’ve been talking about in this conversation. That dwarfs the ability, in terms working with numbers, to be successful in personal finance. Of course, it helps if you’re comfortable with math and everything, but it’s not what’s holding you back basically if you’re not feeling successful in that area.
Start Frugal Experiments Today
26:54 Lucie: What I would say as well to anyone listening is to start doing these frugal experiments. Start doing it now. And that’s not because I want to scare anyone out. But now especially that I work with business owners a lot more: people who can manage their money well will always be catered for, and you’ll definitely have a leading edge over anyone. Actually, very few people manage their money well. And so, if you can have both these mathematical skills that most of us would have in the academic world. and the willingness and the right mindset to manage your money. And if you can do it as soon as possible, let’s say in your late twenties or whatever. The rest of your life is going to be so much easier because of things like compound interest. And so it’s really worth kind of pulling the BandAid off and starting small today. Let’s say, looking at your phone bill and how you can optimize that, and then just gradually looking at all the other elements.
27:59 Emily: Yeah, I think you put that so well. And I could not agree more. Start today. And it doesn’t have to big, it doesn’t have to be scary. Have a glass of wine, like you said, whatever it takes for you to be able to look at your account transactions or whatever it is that your starting point needs to be. Just start, and start small. And the earlier you do it, the more you’re going to benefit really throughout the rest of your life. So as we sum up here, how do you think that PhDs can use the GBB framework with respect to personal finance and with respect to other areas of life?
How PhD Students Can Use the GBB Framework
28:35 Lucie: Yes, I think that the main two ways that PhD students can use the GBB framework are first, in terms of budgeting their expenses, or trying to align that concept of what is “Good” or what is the minimum viable income that you need. And kind of either reducing your expenses or rejigging your expenses to some things that provide higher value. And if this is available to you, also diversifying your income. Unfortunately, now we’re in an increasing world of casualization of the academic workforce. So a lot of people are working smaller contracts and having kind of little pools of money, and the GBB framework is great for that. But also for people who might have a more stable income, there are lots of opportunities out there to make more money if you wish. And so, once you’ve costed out what your dreams are going to cost you–your savings account, your camera, and your holidays–then really it’s up to you how you reach that goal. And for me, it’s a motivation to work hard because I enjoy doing it and especially with the Best goal, that’s where you can allow yourself to dream big. And I can imagine as well that having that GBB framework comes in extremely useful when negotiating for jobs. Because once you have that number in mind, it’s crystallized in your head. I need that number. I would like that number. I really, really want that number. And it’s up to you to make it happen.
Look at the Numbers and What Works For You
30:07 Emily: Yeah. Excellent point. I think something that may be useful for someone who’s in a really, really tight spot with money, maybe it’s during graduate school, like you were really not making a sufficient income for where you were living. If you are allowed to take on outside work, if it’s permitted by your contract or you think you can get away with it, whatever the situation is. I think it could be really useful to actually look, as you were just saying, at what is the shortfall that I have between what I’m making right now and what that minimum viable income is. And if I did this type of work, how many hours would it actually take to make up that shortfall? Because I’m thinking that maybe a lot of PhD students in that situation don’t need to work an additional 20 hours per week at the pay rate that they can gain using the skills from their PhD.
30:59 Emily: Maybe they’re going to be able to make a very decent hourly rate. Maybe it’s $20 per hour. Maybe it’s $50 per hour. Maybe it’s $200 per hour depending on what their skill sets are and what the market is. But really looking at, okay, well if I just worked an extra two hours a week or five hours a week, maybe I can make up that shortfall and it would make such a huge difference to your general sense of wellbeing in your life to be able to do that. This is just basically an argument for looking at the numbers and looking at potential income in certain areas as we’ve been talking about throughout this entire episode. And again, trying to figure out what is it really going to take to make that amount of money. And maybe it’s not as much effort or not as much time as you were thinking it would be when you were just sort of hiding your head in the sand about it.
Diversification of Income: Side Hustles
31:45 Lucie: Yes, that’s excellent advice. And as you say, a lot of PhD students have a lot of skills that are very much in demand. For example, tutoring or teacher relief, et cetera. Even my editing job was something I could do from home anywhere and that any PhD student with superior English could do and would pay quite well. And so there are lots of opportunities both online and offline to make these extra little pools of money. And as you say, it might only be like two or three hours a week.
32:17 Emily: Yeah. So I think that was using the GBB framework on your personal finances and on budgeting. That was the first suggestion. What was the second one?
32:26 Lucie: Ah, yeah, the second one was to diversify your income.
32:29 Emily: Ah, okay. Yeah. Great. I love both of those suggestions. And really the diversification of income strategy is not just one for PhD students as you did during your postdoc. Or even maybe if you had had a regular job at that time, you were just experimenting and you were exploring with other types of work that you could do. And eventually, you were able to hit on what is now your business and what is really bringing joy and satisfaction in your life. But without sort of stepping out of your current status, without stepping out of your comfort zone, you wouldn’t have taken that journey and been able to get to this point. So again, a theme coming up again is experimentation, whether it’s with new types of work or frugal strategies or what have you.
Additional Benefits of Side Hustling
33:10 Lucie: And I think there are a lot of other benefits to having a side hustle experimenting beyond the extra money. You know, there are lots of talks that most PhD students don’t stay in the academic world and need to translate their skills to industry or the business world, et cetera. And experimenting and having a side hustle is the perfect way to do that, in addition to earning more money.
33:34 Emily: Yeah, if some of the different topics we’ve covered in this episode have peaked your interest, listener, please go to the show notes because I have written about so many of these things in different ways. I’m going to add a lot of links there to different articles I have that you can go to explore deeper and of course also visit Lucie’s site. You want to mention it again, Lucie?
33:53 Lucie: Luciebland.com. L u c i e b l a n d.
33:58 Emily: Yeah. Especially if you want more content around what she is specializing in. Lucie, it was such a pleasure to talk with you today, and I’ve learned a ton from this conversation. I’m sure the listeners have as well. Thank you so, so much for this interview.
34:10 Lucie: Thank you, Emily.
34:12 Emily: Listeners, thank you so much for joining me for this episode. Pfforphds.com/podcast is the hub for the Personal Finance for PhDs podcast. There, you can find links to all the episode show notes, a form to volunteer to be interviewed, and a way to join the mailing list. I’d love for you to check it out and get more involved. If you want to support the show and my business, please go to pfforphds.com/helpout. There are plenty of ways to do so without laying out any of your own money. See you in the next episode! And remember, you don’t have to have a PhD to succeed with personal finance, but it doesn’t hurt. The music is Stages of Awakening by Podington Bear from the free music archive and is shared under CC by NC.