It’s hard to believe I’ve been self-employed since January of 2014! Wow, how time flies! Growing my tiny blog into a blog that generates thousands of dollars a month was not easy. Then, add kids to the mix, and some days, it feels downright impossible.
However, there are three core lessons I’ve learned as a self employed work at home mom, and I wanted to share them with all the moms out there who are trying to do the same thing. Here they are:
Lesson #1: I Cannot Work if I Don’t Take Care of Myself First
I am a bit stubborn. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been able to push myself really hard to get things done. However, this has a downside. I mentioned in a previous post that I experienced postpartum depression after my children were born. Because I just kept trying to fight through and kept trying to work, I became even more mentally and physically unwell.
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. My depression coupled with 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.
I finally went to the doctor and got a full physical. It turns out I had a severe vitamin B12 deficiency, so now I take B12 every single day. I also started taking yoga (there are entire books on how yoga can cure depression) and in the evenings I’m known to soak in the bath with a bath bomb and enjoy the sweet silence of not having kids awake.
Even with these small changes, I noticed I felt better within one month of finally going to the doctor. I was waking up early, doing my chores, writing posts faster, pitching new clients, and enjoying my life again.
So, 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 recently, 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 in the coming 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 2.5 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 still here and still trying to make it. I talk to other mompreneurs every day through various Facebook groups, emails, and through our blogs, and I know I’m not alone when it comes to some of the issues I described above.
So, please tell me, if you work from home, how have you overcome some of your more challenging moments? I’d love to hear about it.