504. Being Debt-Free Opens Creative Doors
Claudia and her husband were reflecting on their past 10 years together and realized they had been living the daily grind without goals, a budget or a plan, and a vague desire to help people. They decided to tackle some massive changes in their lives, starting with eliminating their debt.
Claudia Pennington is a digital marketing consultant and trainer. With more than a decade of experience in online marketing, she has become an expert in SEO, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager through her work with small businesses, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. Claudia trains side hustlers, freelancers, and small business owners in the fundamentals of digital marketing and SEO.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“My high school French teacher encouraged me to go to college, even in the most challenging times. Without her, I wouldn’t have this career or many of the successes I’ve had. Growing up in a home where our financial situation was either feast or famine, I focused on stability. For getting out of the cycle of poverty, college was the ticket out.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Working in the admissions office at her alma mater, Penn State University, Claudia realized she was learning a lot about marketing in general and social media in particular. “At the time, Facebook and Twitter were really new. My campus job helped me gain experience in digital marketing, search engine optimization, creating websites, social media and so on. I was at the forefront of learning how these technologies could be used in marketing and communications. I took that experience and parlayed it into another position.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Financial insecurity and the fear of it can make you timid about taking risks, speaking up or stepping out. Debt keeps that fear alive and active and makes you cling to a sense of stability and safety. Taking control of your finances and eliminating your debt can liberate your creativity and give you courage to take a chance on the life you desire. So many things flow from the feeling of having your debt burden lifted off your shoulders.”
Steps to Success from Claudia Pennington
1. Free yourself from debt so you can focus on living the life you want.
2. Figure out specifically what it’s going to take to address your financial situation: create a budget, track your spending, increase your income.
3. Don’t limit your options by automatically assuming you can only help people by working for a nonprofit. For-profit organizations help people in many ways. Find one that fits your values.
On Her Bookshelf
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness, by Jeff Olson and John David Mann
Top Tools on Her Browser
Mr. Money Moustache, a blog that challenges attitudes about money.
Connecting With Claudia Pennington
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Careers: Digital Training
Topics: Debt, Digital Marketing