Michael Metzler
California Baptist University, Riverside
Award: $2,000
November 15, 2019

Create and Go is excited to announce Michael Metzler as the winner of The 2019 Design Your Future Scholarship for $2,000.  Michael attends CBU, Riverside as an undergraduate student. Candidates had to craft and submit an essay detailing potential blog ideas.

Congratulations, Michael!

Michael’sWinning Essay

My Blogging Future

Since age ten, I’ve been baking in the kitchen. Baking desserts, grilling vegetables, and, more recently, cooking dinners for the family. But it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I started developing my own recipes to submit in contests on Instructables.com, the world’s largest user-created-content DYI website. I developed my own recipes, documented the process with a camera, and created step-by-step instructions on the website. Finally, I would submit them to food contests. So far I’ve been a finalist in 20+ contests; 2 third places, 1-second place, and many times runner-up, and have a total of 300 thousand views on all of my 96 step-by-step recipes on that website. I’ve been promoted on their homepage, and many times been featured in their Staff Picks emails for my “Instructables” posts, in which I document my own recipes. So, naturally, after a while, I decided to create my own blog for my recipes. Being a fan of America’s Test Kitchen, it wasn’t after much deliberation that I named my blog Michael’s Test Kitchen and created it on WordPress when I was 16. Since then, I’ve been posting my own recipes on my blog, taking care to take good pictures of what I make, and writing about them. My favorites are my Triple-Layered Chocolate Ganache Cake and my Molasses Marbled Cheesecake. Right now I’m in the process of making my own Chocolate Coffee Mousse Pie for a pie contest. I’ve also expanded to YouTube, where I make instructional videos on how to make these recipes.

That said, I only have 70 followers on my blog, and I haven’t done much to promote it, besides recently creating my own domain name – so now it reads michaelstestkitchen.com. In order to create more following, I’d need to upgrade to a Business Account, buy a good microphone to record myself, money to buy ingredients, and acquire a nice kitchen to work in. (Right now I’m living in an RV with my mom and four siblings, so having a good kitchen means a lot to me). Besides that, I need to work on narrowing my niche. Right now my main topic is “desserts,” but as this is a large category, I need to focus in on what makes my blog unique from all the other dessert websites. Developing a niche is one of the best ways to grow an audience, so I’d better get on with it. I’m thinking about making a niche for “Cooking in an RV” or, as I’m going to be a college student next year, “Cooking for College.” More likely, though, I’ll be slowly transitioning to a more health-centric platform, posting things about the health and wellness network marketing company I joined that transformed my health and inspired me to start my own company with them as a network marketer. Since you can be on the program and still eat baked goods now and then, I can still post desserts, while also posting and promoting my health company. This would be an effective way to generate an income, and also to help others reach financial and physical freedom. Financial, because they could sign up under me and reach their own friends and family, and physical because they would be changing their nutrition intake for the better. I’ve already started posting about this health company on my baking Instagram profile, and recently started a Facebook profile specifically for that purpose. The next step is to carry this over onto my baking blog. The nice thing about this company, as I said before, is that I don’t have to stop posting desserts – I’m simply advertising my meal-supplements that supply the body with incredibly balanced nutrition that everyone needs. It’s fine to eat pie every now and then. Another aspect with this health and wellness company is that the business is run completely online – sure, there are crucial face-to-face conversations that need to be happening, but all the logistics are online, so I can run this business entirely on my laptop, or phone, for that matter. The possibilities are endless. Since a young age, I’ve wanted something to complement my passions but also be lucrative, and health and wellness network marketing is the perfect match, in that it fits right in with my passion for food.

One of the most important reasons people should design their own future is that they will more likely end up doing something they enjoy. So many people nowadays are stuck in an office or blue-collar job that they don’t enjoy, in order to provide the bare minimum for their families. Another important aspect of designing your future is that you are making your goals tangible. Experts tell us that we are more likely to achieve a goal if we first write the goal down, and repeat it to ourselves often. This is essentially what designing our future looks like. We’re putting our plans to fruition, not just making a mere mental note. Thirdly, people who design their future are taking their own life into their hands. They aren’t handing their life over to a full-time job with a boss they despise, they aren’t giving their life to the banks, or the piles of debt they may eventually accrue. On a side note, I’d like to point out that many times your plan for your life is not always the best at first. You may want to be an artist, but after attending college you decide to be a biochemist. You may have dreams to become an astronaut but end up changing your mind and pursuing TV instead. When you design your life, your mind-changes will be forgiving. If you changed your mind in a full-time job, the consequences would not be as forgiving. So ultimately, designing your future gives you the flexibility to discover your passions and interests, and how to best use those to provide financially for yourself and your family.