Bio Photo-orange wallHey There! I’m Jen McKen and I like to take pretty pictures. I’m a professional photographer (www.jenmckenphoto.com) located in Southwestern, PA who just happens to love all the nerdy business, marketing and personal finance books! Here’s my story behind WHY I started this blog……

I grew up in my fare share of “temporary housing” having moved too many times before the 1st grade. Thanks to extended family members, my teenage parents finally settled into a trailer where I would spend the majority of my childhood. We didn’t have much but I don’t remember going without, however, growing up, I was well aware that we weren’t exactly rich. In fact, money talk was so rare in our household that we hardly spoke of it…..at least in a positive light.

You see, my parents were kids raising kids trying to meander their way thru life “figuring it out”. My Dad was 17 and my Mom barely 16 when I was born….4 years later comes my sister-WHOOPS! With two kids before the age of 21 and no high school diploma-the odds were stacked against them and they had a lot to learn. I was a teenager when my parents divorced and that’s when I really started watching my Mom’s money habits when there wasn’t enough, her ability to stretch money as far as it possibly could go, or how she struggled but refused to go into debt to fulfill “wants”. All of that built a solid foundation for how I would view “money” as an adult. That very foundation has helped me get my personal finances in order…..but that’s not to say that I didn’t have some bumps/hills/moutains along the way.

Throughout college and several of my “big girl” jobs, I’ve watched people around me get out of sync with their priorities. At one point, I thought only rich, smart people could run a business. Boy was I wrong. As it turns out, you don’t need any type of degree to run your own business but don’t be fooled-sometimes those business owners who appear to “have it all together” have NO CLUE how to manage their money and their businesses are a jeopardy as we speak-yes even the ones you look up to! Using the foundation I established, growing up below the nationally recognized poverty level, I was able to put myself thru college, work 2-3 jobs at once and eventually I was able to quit my day job and build my business/dream job-debt free…with ZERO handouts.

I learned that it’s not about how much or how little you have, it’s about what you do with it. This is my journey of how I learned not to be afraid of money, not to be afraid of not having enough and my ah-hah moments that made me realize that I can live the life I want. We’re only afraid of things we don’t understand and if we take control of our finances, we can stop being intimidated by them. I mentioned a journey….because I’m still learning….but I invite you to come along on the ride, the first stop is the money tree….SIKE!

Who knows….maybe you’ll learn a little about your personal finances, business, marketing……and maybe a little something motivational along the way.


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