07 Dec 2012

What is A Sponsored Life?

By There are no tags 26 comments

Social media influencers are a hot commodity in the marketing and PR world right now. Bloggers, are perhaps the most in demand of them all seeing PR and marketing pitches daily to share a new product, service or an event experience. The idea is simple – offering the blogger something in exchange for hopeful coverage on their platform and reach the bloggers audience.

As a blogger and incredibly active social media user, I have received a lot from brands looking for exposure and generally I’m willing to share. But, one of the things I keep telling people is that you can’t base a life on social media influence. But perhaps that was my own internal limitations saying “no”, maybe the thought scares me and I’d rather deny it is possible? Well, I’ve always been willing to challenge my own beliefs and explore possibilities.

So, I have decided to challenge myself. I’ve decided to challenge my own opinion and see what happens. I am going to conduct a year long social experiment to determine if you can in fact base a life on social media influence! But in order to do this right, I really need to commit to it… which means plenty of sacrifices and personal risk. So here’s how it will go down…

  1. On January 1st 2013, my apartment will be completely moved out. This means everything from my clothes, furniture, dishes, food, electronics and everything else in between. I even intend to remove every light bulb. My entire apartment will be devoid of any personal possessions.
  2. I will pack one suitcase of possessions to help me get started. The contents of the suitcase will be shown in an initial YouTube video. I suspect some of the seed items I’ll be packing will include a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a change or two of clothes, a laptop, some TTC tokens, some food, a pillow and blanket – Truly limited to the basics of everyday life.
  3. I will also put aside $1200 cash of emergency money to help pay for items I may need in a pinch – this may allow me to extend food/toiletries by a month or two, which I figure is crucial as dying of starvation or uncleanliness is not ideal.
  4. I won’t be including rent or hydro in this, and instead will pay for those things myself as I have determined they are both crucial to this experiment. (Oh, and my landlord said ‘no’ to removing the fridge/oven.)
  5. The rest of my life will be in the hands of the social media world and what it provides.

Now, along the way I’ll be doing plenty to document the adventure. Brands who provide items will receive different benefits, including blog posts, images and in some cases a YouTube video. There may be a short podcast where I will provide an update on what’s going on, the challenges and other fun stuff.

Oh, and while this social experiment is going on, I’m going to be doing as much social good as I reasonably can!

  • For every 15 sponsored items, I’ll be sponsoring a child for a month through PlanCanada.*
  • In December, I will be going through everything and donating appropriate items to Toy Mountain, the Red Door Shelter and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
  • I may also host an auction on site in December, with money going to both PlanCanada and Red Door Shelter - but that is a long ways from now, and logistics will be figured out by then.

Regardless of what happens, it will be a great learning and living experience for myself and for people reading. Not going to lie though, the thought of sleeping on the ground is not one I’m too amped about. But alas, it has to be done, and I’m excited for the challenge!

*To a current max of 180 months, but will increase if financially possible.


  • http://www.alexaclark.com Alexa Clark

    Wow, that is a bold experiment. Looking forward to watching as you live a sponsored life. Good luck!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Thanks Alexa! Much appreciated and excited to see what happens too!

  • http://www.justinbaisden.com Justin Baisden

    I’m curious to see what your NASCAR style jacket will look like by the end of the year.

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Haha, me too! I’m sure it will be an eye turner as I walk around with it haha.

  • http://subtlenuances.wordpress.com/ Smichm

    congrats bud! looks like an amazing social experiment

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Haha thanks! It hopefully will be!

  • http://twitter.com/karensd Karen SchulmanDupuis

    Brave! Will be a great thing to watch…best of luck!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Thanks so much Karen! I’m excited to get it started.

  • http://twitter.com/EdenSpodek Eden Spodek

    Very cool, Zach! It’s wonderful knowing you’ll be paying it forward to charities. Did you choose which ones or did they ask you to help them? Can’t wait to see how your year evolves.

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      I came up with a list and hand picked them based on what I think would best fit the end result criteria – toys/games/electronics good for Toy Mountain. Household items and personal items needed at the Red Door Shelter. Stacks of leftover non-perishable food, perfect for the food bank. And sponsoring children through PlanCanada just made total sense. :)

  • http://twitter.com/shwetajacob ShwetaSays

    Very cool Zach!!! Can’t wait to follow along and see how your apartment transforms!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Thanks! Should definitely be a unique experience.

  • http://twitter.com/ejbrooks Emma Brooks

    Really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out. Good luck Zach!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Indeed, me too! Thanks! :)

  • http://twitter.com/CorySilver Cory Silver

    Looking forward to the weekly updates in 2013. Best of luck Zach!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Nevermind weekly, daily! Likely multiple times a day! Haha :) Thanks Cory.

  • http://twitter.com/missfish andrea tomkins

    Wow. This is going to be interesting. Do you have any criteria re: brands you will or will not accept? What if Thrills gum wants you to chew their gum everyday but you hate the taste of shaving cream? :)

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Haha, generally… no. I’ll have to learn to love shaving cream mouth! (Never had Thrills before btw.)

  • http://twitter.com/shrued Jonathan Greenwald

    You’re nuts, sorry, I meant genius. Sick idea!

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Hahaha, nuts works. :) Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/kendallerica kendall erica

    Zach, I think this is bomb.
    This will be very, very cool.

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Thanks Kendall! I’m very excited, nervous, happy etc. Haha. Just thrilled that there’s a Christmas distraction between now and then.

  • mkshft

    Awesome idea, Zach! I just came across this tonight, but I’m certainly going to be following it. I wish you luck! (and hope you don’t starve)

    • http://ZachBussey.com/ Zach

      Haha thanks! Hoping I don’t starve either! It’s actually something I realized today when I looked at how little food I had packed… :/ A bit of weight loss would be good though. Thanks for stopping by and please do come back!

  • Pingback: Tweaks to Come on Site | A Sponsored Life

  • Pingback: One Man’s Attempt To Live A Year Off Sponsorships : INNOVATIS

Project Sponsors

Get Involved

A Sponsored Life is a year long (Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013) social media experiment to see if I can survive a year living exclusively through social media marketing/blog outreach etc. Everything possible is being donated at the end of the year to several great non-profits/charities. Please follow along and feel free to ask any questions you might have! Learn more: This page explains more.

First Time Here? Click here to get caught up!
Copyright 2013 GoodChoice - Company. Design by OrangeIdea