Meet Me: Average Joe

Today I’m going to finally do something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. I’m going to tell you who I am.

I’m not good at this. While it’s fun writing stories that include snippets of my life, penning a piece all about me me me me me me me me me isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong: the internet doesn’t care about me (although it truly breaks my heart….). This post won’t change the world. It’s just good to be me on this blog.

 

Why did I blog anonymously in the past?

 

Some people blog anonymously for good reasons. They don’t want family to know who they are or they’re worried their boss might start reading. Anonymity frees them up to say things they otherwise wouldn’t say.

Being anonymous for them is security.

For me it’s different. I’ve lived in the public eye for a long time, with my blog or otherwise, I’ve had a contractual obligation not to enter a financial arena as myself. That’s all changed now. That obligation is over. Different than many, I’d prefer to write as myself.

So, here it is: AverageJoe is Joe Saul-Sehy

Wow. I know. You had no idea who I was and still don’t.

Here’s a picture of me then:

Joe Channel 7

Handsome, huh?

I was one of a few people (12 to my knowledge) who spoke on behalf of the company I was associated with in the national media. It was a big national firm. This photo is from a gig I held for 9 years: I was Detroit’s Channel 7 WXYZ “Money Man,” appearing twice weekly on the news talking about (shocker!) money.

As part of my media job, I’ve been quoted on WSJ.com, in Brides Magazine, Child Magazine, Best Life Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, Baltimore Sun, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and others. I hosted a radio show on local Detroit radio for awhile on a barely-listened-to channel.

It was fun.

Blogging anonymously didn’t stop me from telling you about who I am. I told you that I ran track and cross country for The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Many people have “glory days” stories. I was the guy who accidently pulled off his shorts in front of a large crowd of people.

I mentioned that I’m originally from a small town in west Michigan called Vicksburg. That’s why I had no idea how hotel charges worked on a “big date” and didn’t know the dress code when looking for a theater.

Networking didn’t go well all the time, either.

I have twins that are going to graduate from high school in the spring. They’re great students but also do a hell of a job driving a car on top of a mailbox.

If you’d like more of my story, check out why I left financial planning.

Here’s a picture of me now, hard at work entertaining you:

Joe at work

I’d love to tell you more about me me me me me me, but I think I’ll continue to do it in the context of pieces I write. Just like you’re a multi-faceted person, so am I. Because I can’t fit it all in here, I think we’ll stop for today.

What I loved about blogging anonymously:

It was a really tough task trying to build credibility based on writing quality alone….without my name, experience and credentials. It was humbling a year ago to write stuff and hope that 20 people would read it after speaking to huge audiences when I’d give speeches at Chrysler, Microsoft or other local companies. Having to build an identity based on solid facts and hard work while establishing a new trust in a guy named AverageJoe was a richly rewarding experience.

In closing this sappy me me me me me post, thanks for reading my stuff. I’m still humbled by the number of people that stop here every day. It’s the biggest part of what makes writing this so rewarding.

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Author: Average Joe

A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.

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74 Comments

  1. Joe! You escaped from your mom’s closet! How does it feel?

    On a more serious note… congrats! Glad you can finally come out and say who you are. Hopefully it helps your little bloggity blog out :)

    Of course, I’ll keep reading because your Average Joe not Joe Two Last Names.
    Lance @ Money Life and More recently posted..The Most Popular Budget and Why It SucksMy Profile

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    • Thanks for your help on that front! It pushed up the timeline….

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  2. Nice to finally “meet you.” I think we all have our reasons for blogging anonymously. I’m still sort of semi-annonymous, meaning I’m open to bloggers about who I am, but I don’t tell my “real life” friends about it. I still do this because I’m still uncomfortable about people who know me, knowing about my financial issues. But as my blog grows, I start to let that wall down a bit. BTW, I used to work at WDIV in 1994 for a little while as a news video editor. I remember the first time I met Mort Crim. I felt like I was meeting the biggest celebrity ever. I was so intimidated. LOL!
    Budget & the Beach recently posted..Changing Course/$20 Amazon.com Giveaway!My Profile

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    • I’ve noticed that wall coming down….I like it.

      Mort Crim IS a god. I was lucky and got to work with Erik Smith for those years. What an awesome guy.

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  3. Oh man, and all along I thought your real name was Average Joe! I figured your parents hated you or something. :)

    So cool to actually “meet” the real you! I loved your story on Yakezie too; it’s fascinating to hear about other people that are/were in the business. I enjoy it, but the 100% commission thing is rather tough.
    Jason @ WSL recently posted..PerkStreet Financial Review – The Best Online Checking AccountMy Profile

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    • They do hate me, but that’s only because we’re messing up their basement with our podcast.

      On the commission thing, Jason: it took me 8 years to begin earning consistent income without being completely stressed out every day. 8 years. Once I got past that, though, it was beautiful. If life were just about income, I’d still be an advisor.

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    • I’m WAY kind of a big deal ;-)! You’re too funny.

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  4. I already feel like I know you better having just seen a couple of photographs! It is times like this that I feel like telling the world who I am too! That must have been a tough challenge – living two lives where one you were known well and the other struggling to get readers! Good post man
    Savvy Scot recently posted..Making Money from SmartphonesMy Profile

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    • Thanks! It was incredibly tough, but I felt that much better whenever someone read my pieces.

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  5. Nice to “meet” you! Even though I blog mostly anonymous, I think it’s brave when bloggers reveal themselves, so to speak.
    Mackenzie recently posted..GratitudeMy Profile

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    • Thank you! I think I’m only a few hours away from taking you up on that….

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    • Thanks. I look like I have 47 chins in that pic.

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  6. It’s great to have a name for “Average Joe” but I think I’ll stick with Average Joe in my round-ups if that works for you. :) I think it’s easier for readers to relate to. And now if they want to know who this Average Joe is they can get a name and description.
    John recently posted..Best Fearless Men Quotes | Volume IXMy Profile

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    • That’s exactly the way I’m gonna leave it, John….and exactly for the reasons you mentioned. Great minds!

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  7. Not that I have anything close to that problem myself, but I can understand why you would want to use a nom de plume if you had already made a name for yourself. But now that you have shown that you can blog successfully, it makes perfect sense to connect the site to your previous authority to build it even higher.

    Congrats!
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..Salsa Dip: Recipe SundayMy Profile

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    • Thanks, Edward! Mine was actually a contractual thing. I wasn’t allowed to use my name. …kind of like Prince. Ha!

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    • I ran my marathon this weekend, Maria! I thought about you at the start. Ours was the opposite: too hot. It was 80 degrees by the time I reached mile 15. I was on pace for about a 3:50 finish but completely lost it to the heat. Ran a 4:35. Still had a blast, though. When is your “replacement marathon” going to be?

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      • Well done! I know, I have run a hot marathon – lots of people got hurt as well because of getting tired too early; cooling yourself down is very energy intensive.

        First thing I’ll do is run a fell race called ‘Hit the Trail’ – it is nearby, 5 miles, cold and muddy but at least it is short and one is prepared. April 28 will do another marathon – Manchester marathon which may pass around my house (so thought it will be a bit a waste not to do it). We shall see after that!
        maria@moneyprinciple recently posted..Why finance IT jobs should be well paid?My Profile

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  8. Congratulations on becoming a real person! I blog anonymously mainly because I am in the Financial Services industry. Actually, I am not sure how anyone with a large broker-dealer isn’t a anonymous!
    Evan recently posted..My 31st Birthday PostMy Profile

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    • Thanks, Evan! That’s exactly why OG will remain OG. Compliance is a real bitch.

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    • Thank you, Jake! You’d get less than a nickel…from my parents….

      We’re going to change the site to list my media credits. Then we’ll begin working on improving the “financial advisor” tools on the site. Those are the big two on my mind besides continuing to have a blast with the podcast.

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  9. Congratulations! Nice to ‘meet’ you. As someone who works in media, I too understand the reticence to put your name out there (and can also sympathise with building up a name online from nothing).
    eemusings recently posted..How I’m saving money this ChristmasMy Profile

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  10. Nice one Joe!!! I’m sure people are stoked to know who you really are now!! Hopefully it doesn’t bring on any unwanted things that you liked about being anonymous.
    Ryan @ Planwise recently posted..House-poor and Car-poorMy Profile

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  11. I hope I’m not supposed to treat you any differently now that I officially know you were once a big deal :-p
    I prefer Average Joe, my gamer geek friend, who might know a thing or two about personal finance. He’s funny and smart, and way more relateable than some guy on TV.
    Nope, in my mind, you’re Average Joe the blogger. And who you were in the past doesn’t matter that much.
    shanendoah@The Dog Ate My Wallet recently posted..Sunday Evening Post #69My Profile

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    • My whole goal with this “coming out” thingy was for you to treat me differently. From now on, Erin, you should refer to me as “Mr. Gamer Geek.”

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      • Mr. Gamer Geek? Really, you get an opportunity like this and Mr is all you’re going for? I was thinking along the lines of a full title. Something like: Overlord Gamer Geek- Dark Master of the Dice, All Knowing Ruler of the Cards, and Controller of “Milk Will Come Out Your Nose” Party Games.
        I mean really, you get your big deal chance only once here, you’ve got to take advantage. ;-)
        shanendoah@The Dog Ate My Wallet recently posted..A Story of Immigration & HealthcareMy Profile

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  12. Nice to meet you A. Joe. I still like my little nickname, kind of like J. Lo or A. Rod, and now I know you are kind of famous, so it fits even better. Funny, your picture looks kind of like I pictured. Usually when I get a picture of someone in my head, they never look that way in real life. That Pattinson guy ruined Twilight for me. Looking forward to more stories and good financial advice.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Obesity in America: What It Costs UsMy Profile

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  13. I am really glad I got to know you as a nobody blogger. It’s kind of like dating someone who’s really rich without them telling you about it. You get to know them as a person first, who they really are, and aren’t influenced by their success (or intimidated in my case).

    Rock on Detroit Money Man

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    • Dude, that’s the world’s longest story. I ran the San Antonio marathon last weekend and scrambled to get the piece finished. To keep it short: I thought it was up and realized at 7:30 that it wasn’t. Crazy, crazy day.

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  14. Really cool to finally get to know the “real” you! I am a big fan of NOT blogging anonymously, but fully understand why some choose to. I’m sure this will only slightly change your posts and I’m looking forward to the same quality content as before!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..The Cost of Dog OwnershipMy Profile

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  15. Wow, I’m very impressed. I blog semi-anoynmously (gee, I can’t spell today) and may someday come out. However, I don’t have the credentials to back up my name so maybe it doesn’t matter. ;)
    Little House recently posted..Flooring AlternativesMy Profile

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    • To steal a phrase from a guy I know in Denver: I’m kind of a big deal.

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  16. Nice to meet you, Joe! That is a unique situation. I blog anonymously because for some reason I’m just not comfortable in the public eye. (Even if that public’s relatively small haha.) That is being torn to shreds today, though. I’m doing it for money.
    femmefrugality recently posted..Help me earn a $10,000 scholarship!My Profile

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  17. Wow, I go on hiatus for a few months and the whole financial blog world has changed! It’s so nice to know who you are and I’ve always enjoyed reading your articles even with your ‘secret identity.’ You’ve done a great job and I’m sure you will continue. Best of luck to you and I look forward to reading your future articles.
    Monica Clark recently posted..CFPB: We’ll Change Credit Card Act Rule to Help Stay At Home MomsMy Profile

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    • Holy cow! She’s back! That just made my day, Monica.

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    • I’m very pleased I have no idea what internet dating sites recommend! It was taken two months ago.

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  18. I know this shouldn’t matter, but I find it far easier to relate to bloggers online when I know their name and when I have seen a photo of what they look like.

    I understand that for some people this is a big step and also raises a whole raft of privacy concerns. So i can understand why many bloggers choose not to be identified.

    *Don’t shoot me* but I have always been a casual reader of your blog. Now I have read this post and I have seen your picture, I feel that I actually know you a lot better and I suddenly want to become an active member of your website.

    Anyway, congratulations on putting yourself out there :)
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Opportunity to earn money on your blogMy Profile

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  19. Thanks for adding a last name and a face to a personality I felt like I already knew so well. I understand why Original Gangster has to stay anonymous, being a practicing adviser. I always wondered though why you remained anonymous. It all makes sense now.

    Did anybody make the connection by recognizing your voice from the podcast as the same as that guy on TV in East Michigan?
    Matthew Allen recently posted..Getting Rid of Credit Card Debt is Financial Advice 101My Profile

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    • The bad news, MMD, is that you don’t get to see my legs in those shots. Smokin’ hot.

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  20. As a person who knew what you looked like and sounded like before.. I thought I was exclusive. Now that everyone knows you, I might have to stop being your friend. Good day sir!
    Dominique Brown recently posted..Do You Have A Big 3?My Profile

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    • Ha! They had no idea that it totally wasn’t worth it. You’ll just have to consider this an “open” relationship now, Dom.

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  21. Great to get to know the real you Joe. Great photos. I like the product placement of the laptop too. Go Apple. I am looking forward to learning even more about you.

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  22. Way to come out man..i always wonder what bloggers look like…not that it has any bearing on if i read their site or not…I can understand your reservations for not coming out at first…hopefully someday i will show my face..not there yet though
    Christopher @ This that and the MBA recently posted..Tips on Buying Your First CarMy Profile

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