No matter where you are in the world, it’s no secret that news never “sleeps.” At any given moment, the 24-hour news cycle can both turn your attention to a barrage of negative breaking news as well as turn your positive mood completely upside down. And unfortunately, in this day and age; just like negative news, one can find themselves despondent and triggered by those who try and bring them down, instead of lifting them up. Fortunately, however, Dave Domzalski, Editor and Founder of www.herostory.org, created an outlet that features only the best features of humanity — not the worst. Highlighting amazing entrepreneurs doing incredible things for their families, communities, and the world, Dave provides us with our very own safe haven in a world of chaos.
Grit Daily: You had your own interesting early entrepreneurial adventures. Share those.
Dave Domzalski: Yes, I’ve had quite the journey since starting my first personal finance site, Financial Bin, in July 2010. That site introduced me to so many things in the online space and it was where I got my feet wet.
In fact, I remember learning and teaching myself basic HTML and CSS tricks to get the site looking the way I wanted. I wanted Financial Bin to be a Drudge Report style site for finance and business news. I learned how to write PHP scripts to pull RSS feeds from different sites. The site looked so retro and people thought it was from the late 90s with a black background and green and white font color.
Later, as I eventually moved it to WordPress, I began taking on contributors as I turned it into more of a news style site with long form content. I even hosted a podcast on Blog Talk Radio with guests such as former major leaguer turned entrepreneur Todd Stottlemyre and Jeffrey Hayzlett, the former Chief Marketing Officer of the Eastman Kodak Company.
Then, in 2017, I started another personal finance blog, Run The Money. I coupled the topic of making and saving money with healthy living. And it was this platform that lead to many great opportunities including writing for Forbes and GOBankingRates with my work featured on AOL, MSN, Nasdaq, and Yahoo.
Plus, I was able to create my first course on blogging and build a business that provided a nice side income for my family.
GD: Where did you come up with the idea of Hero Story?
DD: Hero Story is a byproduct of my love of writing and storytelling. Aside from an incredible ego boost, writing for Forbes gave me something incredibly valuable. It renewed my love of writing.
I had a platform with which to cover just about anything I wanted within reason. I was given a great gift (although short-lived) to write about some amazing people doing incredible things in this world.
One story, in particular, was that of an obese gentleman on a mission to lose weight – and help others in the process. His journey inspired me to write a piece that really captured the essence of his experience and his message. My style and depth of coverage actually moved him (and it was his own story).
That really stuck with me. So, while I no longer write for Forbes, I have that desire to share great stories.
Earlier this year, I came up with the idea of Hero Story. It needed to be something that inspired people, but also educated them to go out and make an impact.
I chose entrepreneurs because I’ve always been fascinated with that journey. From the idea and concept to the execution and realization of the product or service when it hits the market.
These are the types of people – the tech startup founder, the social entrepreneur, and even the freelancers and side hustlers – making a true impact on their families, communities, and the world. They all deserve to have their story told.
And I’ll get there. One at a time.
GD: What is “headline anxiety?”
DD: Headline anxiety, or headline stress disorder, really came to light after the latest presidential election cycle in 2016. That’s when you really start to see it in the Google search results. You had the whole fake news debacle going on and people were just inundated on a daily basis.
But, I think the concept of negative news isn’t anything new.
I remember growing up and watching local news. They always ended on some happy note. However, that was after 30 to 45 minutes of coverage involving people losing everything in a fire, someone getting shot, some horrific crime, or a terrible natural disaster.
This is the type of stuff we put in our brains every day. Is it any wonder why so many people are unhappy?
Now, I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Today, it’s even crazier because we’re attached to our phones during this 24/7 news cycle. You can’t escape the negativity.
GD: What drives you to attempt to “cure” headline anxiety?
DD: I’m a naturally positive person. However, I’ll admit that sometimes I let people and my environment get to me. I believe people want to be happy. They want to be inspired.
But, sometimes it’s just that we find it difficult enough to get out of bed in the morning and fight traffic to get to a job we hate. We are tired, run down, and just too damn busy. Those are the people I want to get a hold of. I want to grab them and look them in the eye and say, “Hey, there’s a better way.”
There are heroes all around us. People doing incredible things. Some we know, but many we don’t. I want to be the person to share their heroic tales with you all.
My goal is to inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, dadpreneurs, freelancers, and side hustlers.
Anybody out there with an inkling of a dream, come join me. Let’s help you craft the legacy you were put on this earth to leave.
GD: What’s the relationship between “Hero Story” and Financial Bin and Run the Money?
DD: Hero Story is the culmination of my work as an entrepreneur. I see it as my “legacy in progress” if you will. Today, it’s a newsletter. But, tomorrow it will be a podcast, membership site, and live event. That’s where I see this going.
So, how does that relate to my prior endeavors like Run The Money and Financial Bin?
Well, honestly, without those two outlets, there is no Hero Story. I cut my entrepreneurial teeth on those blogs and I still run them today. They help generate business income that I use to fund Hero Story.
Going forward, I will use what I learned in running those blogs to continue growing an amazing audience of motivated individuals for Hero Story. It really is an exciting moment in my journey and I hope you will all join me.
For more inspirational news and tips on how to keep motivated, be sure to follow Grit Daily’s Monday motivation column that features new content weekly to help get your work week off to a good start, and more.