Mike Greig

You are in control of your future. If your life doesn’t look the way you want it to, schedule a meeting with the person in the mirror.


Mike Greig is the founder of NinjaBudgeter, a personal finance blog dedicated to helping Millennial parents learn how to budget, save money and earn more.

Where did the idea for NinjaBudgeter come from?

We are a family of five living in an expensive part of the country. I found that no matter what I did, we just couldn’t stay out of debt and make our finances work. I don’t have a huge income but I knew that we should have been able to get by comfortably. In 2016, I went on a mission to learn how to budget, and generally manage our finances more responsibly.

While hunting for resources, I found that there was not much out there in the way of financial blogs for parents with multiple kids. There were a lot of mommy blogs, some of which focused partially on finance, but it wasn’t really what I was after. It seemed to me that there was room in the personal finance space for a blog written from the perspective of a sole breadwinner, and so I set out to create it.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I typically wake up between 5 and 6 to give me a couple of hours to work on my website before I go to my day job. Waking up early can be tough, but I’ve found that if I set the tone for the day by getting something done before I eat breakfast, it helps keep me motivated.

Generally, I find another free hour or two immediately after work and I use that to either build my brand, or do work for freelance marketing clients. I always try to be home by 6:30pm so I have some time with the kids before bed.

How do you bring ideas to life?

By taking action, typically before I think I’m ready. If I wait too long I get stuck in analysis paralysis and never get anything done. If I have an idea that I’m serious about, I try to just go and get it done. Nobody ever changed the world by thinking about it forever. Action beats inaction, every time.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m excited that Google is placing more and more value on user satisfaction. I think this is the future of SEO and will give small-time bloggers like myself an opportunity to compete with large brands who have clout, but do not focus on a high-end user experience.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Every morning I write down my vision for my life in a notebook, and it helps me stay focused on my long-term goals through the day. It forces me to be evaluating my decisions based on whether it gets me closer or farther from where I want to be.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Focus on building quality relationships with people who are achieving things that you want to accomplish in life. They say you are the average of your five closest friends, so make sure you choose them wisely.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Tomato sauce on pizza is a travesty. A hawaiian pizza with a barbecue sauce base is a culinary miracle.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Seek out quality people to build relationships with. You can’t have too many connections and when you’re on the hunt for partners, opportunities or assistance, you’ll have an awesome community to draw from.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Never, ever give up. I suffer from shiny object syndrome and love the first 10% of building a business. I have always found it difficult to stick with something for the long-term but nothing amazing is built overnight. If you’re not willing to commit to something for two years, consider not bothering with it at all.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

An acquaintance of mine owns a large business and asked about hiring me as a marketing consultant. I put weeks of work into my pitch, looking over his business in detail and thought it would be a slam-dunk. Nope, he ignored my emails and hired an agency. I still don’t know why. It bothered me a lot at the time but I realized that if I take rejection personally, I will never make it in business.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I love nachos and always thought it would be cool to open a restaurant or food truck that only serves nachos of different varieties.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently bought myself a dash cam for my vehicle and absolutely love it. At just under $100, it’s the best insurance you can buy. Everybody should have one.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Ahrefs, hands down. It’s an absolutely amazing SEO tool that can help any business grow their web presence based on what’s already working for your competitors. It’s super expensive at $100/mo, but it’s an awesome tool.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Death Of Expertise – Tom Nichols
Definitely recommend this one! It walks the reader through the general public’s relationship with experts throughout modern history and makes a case for why we still need experts in the information age.

What is your favorite quote?

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman

Key Learnings:

  • You are in control of your future. If your life doesn’t look the way you want it to, schedule a meeting with the person in the mirror.
  • Waking up early and being productive sets the tone for the rest of your day. Check something off of your to-do list before breakfast.
  • Just start. A business started and failed will be infinitely more valuable to you in the future than one that never moved past being an idea.