Purposeful Positivity: Why I Joined the Tip Yourself Team

Tip Yourself (1)Though it seems entirely too much like a dream to be reality, I’m part of the Tip Yourself team. I alluded to it when I discussed my summer side hustle plan. And before I tell you what I’m doing and how you can help, I thought I’d tell you why I’m doing it. It turns out, a little positivity goes a long way. I just needed to be reminded of that.

From Positive to Pragmatic

When I was little, my mom would tell me I was her ultimate optimist. It would start to rain, and I would swear I could see a little bit of blue skies lingering just behind the light gray clouds. I wished, I hoped, and I was always of the general mindset that things would turn out for the best eventually. Don’t get me wrong. I still worked obsessively hard on things I could control and fretted over things that I could not. Even when things took a turn for the worse, this innate positivity seemed to always promise a better tomorrow.

Then something happened. While I could easily dismiss it as a sign that I was growing up, that I had finally shook my chrysalis of naivety, that’s not it at all. Yes, I got fired not once, but twice. Yes, I worked for a real jerkface. Yes, my favorite person passed away. But that’s not really what happened. Instead, I let myself buy into the complaints, the comparisons, the negativity that exists in concentrated vortices near water coolers, break rooms, and social media. And I didn’t even realize it was happening. Instead of hoping for the best while I worked hard, I started expecting the worst. It became my default setting.

After first I thought I was simply becoming a pragmatist. Better that than a Pollyanna, right? I mean, grown ups–real grown-ups– don’t always hope for the best. They watch the news. They watch their investment accounts. They deal with difficult bosses and family problems. I allowed the chatter of everyone else to seep into my thoughts to the point that I was changing my personality.

Why I Said Yes to Tip Yourself

Last fall, that started to change. More specifically, I started to change. When I launched my blog, I declared that I wanted to live a more purposeful life one cent at a time. I wanted to get my financial life in order, but I also wanted to breathe purpose into my days.

Soon after, Mike Lenz emailed me to pilot Tip Yourself before it went to the App store. At first, I wasn’t entirely convinced that I needed to reward myself for anything. I mean, I felt like I was pretty intrinsically motivated to begin with. And I hate working out. But I figured, why not? I’d toss a few dollars into my Tip Jar when the mood struck, and maybe he would read my blog in return for a week or two.

After a few tips, I was mesmerized. Happy people used this app. People who used this app were happy. Even in the face of setbacks, they chose happiness. As more people started to join and the march to the App Store grew louder, I found myself opening the app simply to breathe in the positivity. Unlike other social media feeds, it wasn’t cluttered with comparisons. No one was selling essential oils or inviting me to Stella & Dot parties. No one was posting the typical doom and gloom that I automatically assumed were standard issue components of 9-5 living. People were happy. Not because the app automatically made them happy, but because the app helped them choose happiness. I was officially hooked.

What I Do & Why I Need Your Help

A little over a month ago, Mike sent me another email. I figured he might be asking me to write a guest post for the Tip Yourself blog. I was so excited. Then, I read further. He actually wanted me to write for the app, and he was going to pay me. Real money. I couldn’t believe it.

Actually, no one could believe it. My husband quipped that I was a real writer. And he promptly ducked out of my way when he realized what he said. When I finally told my parents–remember, I blog anonymously and my mom still mispronounces the word blog–I was laugh-crying so hard I had to open with, “You’re still not grandparents, but…”. They were so very proud and so very confused. In fact, Tip Yourself might just be reason enough for my dad to part with his “dumbphone” and join the 21st century. Maybe.

My role on the Tip Yourself team is still evolving. As of right now, I’m currently creating content for the Tip Yourself Facebook page and email newsletters. I’m also curating content for the Tip Yourself Pinterest account. It has been an incredible opportunity to connect with people who are taking steps to meet their goals and to try to find small ways to inspire them and cheer them on.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be tailoring resources specifically to the interests and needs of the users. In his infinite wisdom during a brainstorming session this week, Mike reminded me that our purpose is to “just be valuable.” And I can’t think of people who are more valuable than my fellow bloggers and readers.

If you’re game, I’d love for you to drop some resources in the comments section. Maybe you have a favorite blog post that you wrote about helping people get their financial affairs in order. Maybe you have a favorite podcast for your commute, a recipe for your garden vegetables, or a workout plan. Whatever you’re loving, whatever is adding value to your life, I’d love to share it with the Tip Yourself community and link back to you. After all, some things are too good not to share. Like the fact that a little positivity goes a long way. At least, it did for me.


  1. Ernie

    This is all very cool! I love how it grew organically and aligns with the core of who you are (at least it seems like it does based on what I’m reading 🙂 )

    When it comes to finances, nothing has added more value to my life than You Need a Budget. Both their budgeting software and their philosophy have changed the way I view and manage money. I highly recommend it for anyone that wants to get their financial life in order. https://www.youneedabudget.com/

  2. That is so incredibly exciting Penny! The same thing happened to me as a teacher and I had to swear off the faculty room. Better to have students come to my room for lunch for help and to chat. I found positivity with them! I just started my blog a few weeks ago, but I just wrote this Sunday. I gave up my full-time job and now I can volunteer more and the person who got my job will be doing the same! Adding value to our lives and to others! http://www.makesmarterdecisions.com/letting-go-paying-forward/
    Time to check out Tip Yourself now!

    • Links to your book and anything else on your blog would be great! I am adding different Pinterest boards as well. There’s lots of visually appealing pins that come up on Pinterest searches, but I really want to pull content from bloggers I follow and trust.

  3. I’m not at all sure if I’m answering the question that you’re asking but this is one of my favorite things, people chime in on the hashtag from time to time and was directly responsible for making non-PF friends feeling like money doesn’t have to be a big and scary thing so they started investing! Yay!: http://agaishanlife.com/category/1gmt/

    And on the subject of favorites:

    • TJ, I know it’s a bummer. There’s a wait list people can subscribe to in order to be notified when it comes out for Android. Fingers crossed it’ll be really soon! I’d love to ditch my iPhone (and Sprint!) when my contract is up. Thank you for the congratulations 🙂

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