I meant to do a post about how I’ve been self employed for two years, a date that came and went on January 1! Wow, how time flies! So, here is a combo post all about the key lessons I’ve learned not just as a self-employed writer but also as a work from home mom too.
Lesson #1: I Cannot Work if I Don’t Take Care of Myself First
I am a bit of a stubborn fighter. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been able to push myself really hard to get things done. As I mentioned in a previous post, I stubbornly didn’t get help for what ended up being very bad postpartum depression after my children were born.
I’d sit in the bathtub at the end of a long day, and just cry about how overwhelmed I was. I knew I had to get up and go write, even if it was 10 pm and some days, it took all the strength I had to go and do just that.
The more I talked to my husband about how I was feeling, the more he kept telling me that my feelings just didn’t sound right or healthy. One day I was just sitting in Starbucks writing like I usually do on a weekend day, and all these horrible thoughts about my son just started pouring into my head. He and his twin sister were in great hands with their dad that Saturday, but I just got this overwhelming feeling that something bad was going to happen to him and the tears just started coming.
I called my husband from Starbucks crying and asking about my son, and my husband told me it was time to go talk to someone. My anxiety was out of hand, and it was affecting my work. My depression coupled with all this new mom anxiety was crippling, but amazingly I kept turning in post after post pushed by my responsibility to take care of my family as the sole income earner.
Once I got the help I needed, I felt so great, better than I ever have even in my younger years. Just a month or so after talking to my doctor, I was waking up early, doing my chores, writing posts faster, pitching new clients, and enjoying my life again. If there’s anything I can impart to other moms working from home is that it should be fun. You should like the work you do. If you’re crying every day, overly stressed, or dreading doing the work you need to do, something absolutely has to change – today. Take care of yourself, and reap the rewards that come with feeling healthy.
Lesson #2: For the Hustler, There are Always More Clients
On my second day of self employment, I got an email from a client who said they weren’t going to need my services anymore. At that time, I only had a handful of websites I was writing for, and this was one of my higher paying ones. It was a terrible way to start self employment and made me worry all my other clients were going to pack up and leave too.
What I’ve learned though is that when you’re self employed you can always have more work than you need as long as you hustle. In the several years I’ve been a freelance writer, I’ve probably pitched thousands of clients asking if they need writing services. Even now, even though more people come to me than I go to them, I still hustle. Just last week, one of my current clients e-mailed me to say they were dropping me from four posts a month to two posts a month. These days, now that I get paid several hundred dollars a post, losing a client or losing a handful of posts from any client could equate to a loss of $1,000 a month give or take.
Even though the loss is greater now, I don’t even sweat it. I just e-mailed the client back and said “Sounds good. I’ll adjust my calendar,” and that was that. In my experience now being a writer for hire since 2011, I know there will always be more clients. There will always be more opportunities. There will always be more jobs and more people willing to pay me for my words. Clients come and go but what doesn’t go is my hustle and my ability to be one of the best at what I do. Once you’ve honed your work ethic and your talent as a work from home mom, you never have to worry about having enough money because you can always push yourself just a little bit more and earn more.
Lesson #3: Investing In Yourself Pays Big Dividends
This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over time. As the more frugal one in my relationship, I’ve always been hesitant to pay a lot for anything, let alone on myself. However, the hubs is a huge proponent in spending money on investing in yourself. After all, he’s the one who took out $500,000 in student loans to go to graduate school and medical school.
The very first time I invested in myself was purchasing Jon Morrow’s course way back when I was completely broke and hardly had a dime to spare. That course directly contributed to me getting my very first writing job and then some. In the past year, I invested over $10,000 on coaching, and I’m just starting to see some of the benefits of that now. While I don’t plan on any huge investments in my business this year, I’m always on the lookout for new courses, new conferences, and new events where I can learn more and be more.
P.S. If you want to learn how Jon’s class helped me earn thousands of dollars writing, you can read my post about it here.
Ultimately, these three lessons together have helped me to have a very successful two years as a work from home mom. Sure there have been ups and downs, high points and low points, lucrative months and not-so-great months, but through it all I’m confident I could never, ever work a desk job again. Plus, I wouldn’t give up what I do for anything.
Working through my health issues and stress last year really helped me to appreciate my community and the work I’ve created here. I’m just so grateful that this type of job exists and that I get to do what I love every day and spend more time with my kids in the process.
Do you work from home or have you ever wanted to? Tell me alllll about it.