This month I have reached a pretty amazing milestone. I normally wouldn’t share but I just can’t help myself!!! I couldn’t be *more* excited because this month I will be bringing in more money by working from home than I did when I was working full time in North Carolina before I had kids. Now, that’s actually not saying too much considering the fact that it was a very low-paying job (not to mention it was awful). But I’m just SO thankful that I’m able to not only live out my dream of being a stay at home mom, I’m able to have the best of all the worlds too! It was a long, hard, slow processes of working for pennies and working my way up, but now that I am to the point I feel that I have somewhat, in some tiny way “arrived” I feel so, so very blessed.
***Update from 4/2015***
I just had to come back and update this that after doing taxes for the 2014 year I realized that I made three times as much working from home for last year than I had ever made working (even full time) working outside of the home. this just absolutely blew me away!!! Also I had one fellow blogger friend that I’ve been Facebook friends and in brainstorm groups with for years share her success in a blog post on a big sight that she made OVER $100,000 blogging last year. Another blog friend from the same group just had her husband quit his full time job to help her out because she’s doing that well blogging. All of this to say that while hard, this is totally do-able if you’re willing to listen to advice, dig in, and try HARD!
In the past few months I’ve also been able to hire on 3 personal assistants, a Virtual Assistant for my position in Mommy Bag Marketing, Inc., and go into a partnership with my very own mom running Modau Media.
Because I know there are so many moms out there who would love to work from home but have no idea where or how to start, or are working from home but getting discouraged, I wanted to put this little “success story” post together for encouragement and help! Here are 20 articles I wrote for my Faith & Business 101 column a few years ago–all the wisdom in them is how I got here today-so I will link to them and supplement with anything that might have changed/become different since then!
My Work From Home Journey
Does God Want You To Work? – my path to finding if I was supposed to be a “working mom” or a “stay at home mom” and how the hybrid of both is, to me, not only ideal but Biblical!
How I Started Working From Home – this is the story of my experience with the most common and easiest way to work from home–Direct Sales or Multi-Level Marketing Companies
If you are great at sales and have money and time to invest in a product, and friends who love parties and have money to spend, this could be a great option for you!
Usually with Direct Sales/Multi-Level Marketing Companies you will purchase a start up kit/have start up costs and then receive your items and training for the job. Each business varies with rules for inventory, stock, and how active you have to be/how often you have to sell. Some businesses require you to hosts parties, but many don’t.
There are SO many different options for Direct Sales companies and opportunities these days that there is no doubt you’ll be able to find a company selling something that you’re interested in!
I’m now running a series where you can get the REAL scoop on what it’s like to work for a Direct Sales company by speaking with one of the busy gals who is actually out there working for them! I break it down to the information you really want to know and need! Here are the businesses I’ve covered already!
Do you have a Direct Sales Business and you’d like to grow your team? You can find out more on how to get featured here!
Starting My Small Business – How I dipped my toe into the world of Entrepreneurship
The Happy Ending – Where I was with my work from home experience at the time of the article (March of 2011)
The Rest of the Story – Since I began my working from home column in 2011 my work from home career has continued to blossom and grow!I have taken on several different jobs along the way, but currently I have 4 part time jobs that I am working.
The first job is the same one I mention in most of my articles, from being the Virtual Assistant I climbed my way up the ranks of Mommy Bag Marketing and I’m now the Vice President of Operations.
This Blog has also become one of my part time jobs. From a fun, some-of-the-time-hobby I’ve gotten a lot more serious about my blogging over the past 3 years (hopefully you’ve noticed and enjoyed the improvements?!) and now I make a nice little chunk of income from it as well and can call my a Professional Blogger (although that still weirds me out a bit, haha).
My 3rd job ties into my 2nd job–through being a blogger, a virtual assistant, and a small business owner it put me in the perfect place to begin to run blogging tours. I started out doing this for Mompact and through my work as a blogger and my past experience I was able to become a Campaign Leader for SocialFabric (the best blogging network, ever. period.) This is the job that is currently taking up the most of my time each month.
My 4th job currently is Social Media Promotion and Management for Mom Inventors & Bloggers through Modau Media Management, a company that my Mom and I now run, in partnership with Mompact and Spin Kindness.
I’m now bringing in a consistent monthly income that has greatly blessed our family and is, in part, allowing my husband to go back to college to pursue his dream of becoming an Electrical Engineer. One other thing I wanted to mention is that I have never gone into debt for any of these jobs–I realize that for many work from home careers this might not be possible, but you can start up without investing money if you need to!
My Best Work From Home Advice For Those Getting Started
The Truth About Working From Home – A Great Place to Start! If you can’t handle the truth in this article, then working from home is not for you.
What Can I Do To Earn Money from Home? – Figuring out what you CAN do to begin working from home!
Finding Your Niche – if you’re a blogger that sounds familiar–but it’s not what you’re thinking! This is a must read!
The Power of Brainstorming and Networking – This is how every single job I have “fell into my lap” except it didn’t. Read to learn more!
Work For Where You Live – Choosing the right job depends a lot on where you are–literally!
Getting a Mentor – You will never succeed if you aren’t willing to ask, learn, and give back in return
When a Good Thing Isn’t a Good Thing – How to make sure you’re not taking on more than is good for you
Turning Rejection into Motivation – You’re probably going to fail. This is why that’s ok.
Multiple Streams of Income – if you’re going to bring in a substantial income from home this is a must. Any start up company or job will have slow periods and months. If you’re relying on a few then you *should* always have something coming in even when one runs dry. As I mentioned I have 4 different jobs right now–but I really wouldn’t recommend this!! Usually 2 is good, 3 at the most if you’re very dedicated and organized. 4 works if you’re willing to be working from home full time and hire assistants and have a great support system (since we’re living with the in-laws right now I don’t have to do the bulk of the cleaning for the house and also have a built-in babysitter, which allows me to work this much without everything spiraling into chaos) Also because all my jobs are related if not identical that also helps me out. Start off with one business, make sure it is a good fit, and then branch out from there!
No Excuses – 5 years ago there were other girls wanting to work from home–and today they might be reading this article of me telling you how I did it. Please don’t let another 5 years go by where you’re still just sitting around with an excuse why you aren’t succeeding.
Thinking Outside The Box
Even if you’re not ready to commit to a work from home job there are plenty of things that you can do to bless your family and bring in income!
Sometimes It’s Not About the Dollars – how to bless your family by creatively making & saving money.
The favorite ways I do this is through Swagbucks (I only use them for Internet Searches and still bring home at least $40 in Amazon Gift Cards a year–not a ton but it makes a difference come Christmas time!!)
CVS — go here for a great CVS tutorial on how to “shop for free” using CVS Extra Care Bucks! There is also a way to do it with Walgreens and If you live near a Kroger Family Grocery Store MyLitter has amazing deals and match-ups (and she posts amazing deals all the time).
If you’re a mom I swear by the Pampers Rewards Program. Most rewards programs are a bunch of dumbness but I really do like that one because you buy wipes and diapers aaalll the time and I’ve been able to cash in for several really nice Christmas gifts for the kids through the years through them–we’re talking Melissa & Doug and Shutterfly kinds of gifts!
And now I’m about to reveal my *huge* hidden secret, just because I love you, ok???? So seriously–ssshh this is a secret! I have used Focus Foward for a few years and have gotten the chance to participate in 4 different online study groups–you just answer a few questions or polls a week (that are normally a lot of fun) and then you get the chance to be given gift cards (usually Amazon) monthly. Right now I’m in a group called Small Biz Buzz that is giving feedback for The UPS Store and it’s my favorite so far!
Now that we’re in Texas my favorite way to save money is garage sales–I have gotten practically new boots for $1, shirts for .25 cents, and jeans for $1 (those are all clothes for me!). Now virtually my entire wardrobe is garage sale finds, but I’m wearing Ralph Lauren Co., Gap, and American Eagle; so unless I told you that I bet you’d never have known!
Don’t have great garage sales where you are? Check out ThredUp — I love using them anytime I need something specific. They have amazing prices for name brands and if you use this ThredUp Referral link you’ll get $10 to check them out!
Creative Ways to Make Extra Holiday Money – Great ideas for this month, or anytime!
Encouragement for Those Who Already Work From Home
Maybe you’re working from home already, and you’re in those first couple of years where you’re seeing lots of dirty dishes stack up and not so many dollars roll in. Or maybe you’re where I find myself lately and there are just SO MANY opportunities you’re feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Either way here are some words of encouragement and some suggestions for you!
When You Don’t See a Paycheck – Yes, it’s true–sometimes when you work from home, you will be putting in blood, sweat, and tears and not see one penny (yes–I’ve gone through this personally several times!!!) Here are some thoughts for those hard, discouraging times!!
Giveaways, Sweeps, and Twitter Parties – Oh My! – Making sense of the world of online sweepstakes as a small business owner
Don’t Sell Yourself Short – Yes, there will be times when you will be working for pennies, and everyone has to start somewhere. In the beginning, and even now for me, every little bit helps! However there is the other end of the spectrum and I still get slightly disgusted with tiny bloggers and small business owners who have not put in the time or effort and are demanding $100 per post/product. However your time is precious, your family is precious. There is a reason that you are working from home–don’t lose it by giving yourself over to work that it not worth your time and energy for the money you are making! After 5 years I now feel comfortable with knowing just what my prices are and turning down offers that are not meeting them (ok, ok–so maybe not all the time, but I’m getting better!)
and don’t ever forget to only ever say….