Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California. His core business is freelance writing and his work has appeared in publications including the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investopedia, and many others. Eric also takes on consulting clients and an occasional website development project. He owns Personal Profitability, a website dedicated to helping you earn more, spend thoughtfully, grow your wealth, and live a better life through mindful personal finance.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in the Denver area in a typical middle-class suburb. I was lucky to grow up with a grandpa who was a business school professor and a dad who didn’t shy from teaching me about money and the family business he owned for a decade. Both left me with lifelong lessons around money, marketing, and business that shape my decisions every day.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Investing a little more in a business earlier on can lead to much faster and bigger results sooner. Waiting for the business to pay its own way delayed my biggest successes for years. If you have a great idea and believe in it, don’t be afraid to throw in a little money to help it succeed.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Many people don’t have a great idea of how finance really works. I see many people make investments they don’t understand and get into debts they can’t afford due to misconceptions about money and investments. For most people, managing your money should be very boring. Exciting investments like cryptocurrencies should generally remain a small part of your portfolio. Going all-in on risky assets isn’t wise for most people.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I’m still there! About six months ago I lost my dad from cancer and experienced a concussion within two weeks. In still healing from both. I learned that it’s important to be patient with yourself and give your body time to heal when needed. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others, your business, or your career.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Focus on a specific goal. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny objects and new ideas. Sticking with what works and repeating, even if it’s not where you expected to see success, seems to always pay off.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up without an alarm clock. That’s the best part of being a self-employed entrepreneur! That was one of my biggest career goals, and I’m lucky to have achieved it five years ago.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Tracking my daily productivity has been helpful. The methods I’ve used have shifted over time from productivity apps to notebooks to note-taking software. There’s no right or wrong way to track what you do, but it’s a good idea to find a method that works for you. Tracking your success helps you identify what you’re best at and what you’re worst at so you can optimize your workday to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I try to take an 80/20 approach to everything I work on. Earlier on in my full-time self-employment, I noticed a strong 80/20 pattern in my accounting records and completely changed my business to focus on what was working best. My income roughly tripled in the next few months and has never dipped back down to what I made in my old day job. Understanding your strengths and working with them in mind helps you find your best professional and personal success.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

My favorite books that have influenced my life are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. Both helped turn my worldview around in a way that showed me my efforts can turn my dreams into reality, business, and otherwise. Other favorites that have shaped my business and finance mindset are The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach and I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

These books are full of great quotes! Here is a couple that sticks out:

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Unreasonable,” “unrealistic,” and “impractical” are all words used to marginalize a person or idea that fails to conform with conventionally expected standards.”
― Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World