First Creative Dollar Interview: Writer Chris Panteli

Please give us a little background along with where we can track you down on the web.

Hey, my name is Chris Panteli and you can find me on my personal finance and money blog at

I am 33 years old and just over a year ago was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes - despite being fit and healthy, it came out of nowhere!

I decided that considering my whole life was about to change I may as well start something I had been meaning to do for a long time, and so I did.

I took the plunge, purchased a domain name (LifeUpswing) and embarked upon a journey that has taken me deep down into the rabbit hole. But it’s been a blast so far, and I haven’t looked back!


Can you share the story of the first time you made money related to your current creative endeavor? Do you mind sharing how much you made?

I have always been a keen writer, and despite having a degree in Economics, my career has been very much away from academia. In fact, for over a decade now I have run a fish and chip shop restaurant in the UK - which I love, but doesn’t provide much by way of creative outlet.

And so starting a blog was a perfect way to marry my passion for business and creativity. After a few short months, I managed to make my first Amazon Association affiliate commission of just over 0.45cents.

What happened internally when you realized you could make money from your creativity? Were you inspired or were you concerned about what it would do to the originality of your ideas?

I am an obsessive person at the best of times, but when I realized I could make money from writing I became a man possessed.

In fact, I regularly work 40 hours a week in my restaurant and a further 20 hours (minimum) delving ever deeper into the world of blogging.

Did you ever decide to pursue the creative activity full-time? Why or why not?

My dream is to take this full-time and move to Cyprus - which is where my family is originally from. I have a long way to go to get to income replacement sort of earnings, but I believe I am on the right path.

Are there times when you feel pulled between traditional success and creative ideas that won’t leave you alone?

I am brimming with creative ideas, but my personality always seems to end up weighing the monetization possibility of these ideas. And so I do not ever feel as if my creativity is stifled, but instead streamlined and focused with an end goal.

Do you have any advice for people making money or wanting to earn money with their passion?

I am a firm believer that you can make money with any passion. For as long as people have lived there has been a desire for knowledge, and this knowledge can be monetized by creative people that are able to deliver it. In fact, this is in demand and always will be. Just look at the hundreds and thousands of podcasts you can listen to - which are almost all monetized with ads and cater to every niche and creative outlet going.

What role has art and music played in your life?  Can you tell us some favorite bands?

I must confess I have always been a musical junkie and preferred being on stage rather than watching. That is why I took part in a number of amateur dramatic performances growing up - with my pinnacle moment on stage playing Kenickie in Greece for my University drama society. I was also the Lion in Wizard of Oz and the Artful Dodger in Oliver. For this reason, the songs of the musicals will always have a special place in my heart.