I have been exploring for you (and for myself) the concept of working from home and actually making a living doing it. I know that there are millions of people who leave their comfy homes daily to slave over someone else’s work. They are tired, overworked, underpaid and disgruntled. If only they knew that they have skills that they can use to be their own boss.
Speaking personally, I hate the thought of saying, I work for so and so. I much prefer to say, I work for me!
In an attempt to show you that this is indeed possible, I am sharing the story of three real life women who are currently doing it and enjoying it. Their stories are such an inspiration to me and to so many others.
Bethany Loginow has her website here and she is a busy SAHM who has helped others with their own website, brand and business. She has several children at home while she works. Here is her story and how she does it.
I made the decision to work from home after being a stay at home mom for 5+ years. We didn’t “need” the income, but I knew that the extra income would help my family in incredible ways. I decided after having my last baby that I was going to start my own business. I was very intentional about the fact that I would only work if I could stay at home with the babies in the process.
Since I have my own business, my job entails whatever I want it to. I work on four different teams – I am an Executive Assistant to two different companies, a Media Manager for a church, and a Content Manager for another company. I also design websites “on the side.” LOL
It wasn’t incredibly easy to start, it was a ton of hard work and a huge investment of time while I figured out the direction I wanted my company to go. 6 months later, I have a concrete work schedule that helps me balance work/home life, and I am feeling very confident. I love where I’m at and the direction I’m heading in. 🙂
Oh, this definitely pays an income. It took about 4 months to get here, but I am definitely here. To be fair, I put in full-time hours but I get paid a full-time income for it. It’s awesome though because working from home means that I don’t have the added expenses of leaving the house, commuting, daycare, lunches out, etc.
I would advise people who want to work from home to consider the fact that working from home actually does mean working. It can be easy to think that the hours will be there for both work and home full time, but that just isn’t true. I have had to relax my housekeeping standards and meal prep a little bit, since I simply don’t have the time to keep up with both full-time anymore. I also would advise that starting your own business is absolutely possible if you are determined to make it happen. You can do anything you put your mind to!
I use a program called RescueTime, which helps me analyze every second I spend on the computer and where that time goes. It is also incredibly useful for tracking client time as well. 🙂
I allow my kids a lot of flexible free time. They know that they may read, play, play their Leappads, or watch TV during the day while I am working. I keep plenty of snacks on hand that they know they are allowed to help themselves to (apples, bananas, yoghurt, etc.) They know they are allowed to cuddle with me or sit with me at any time, and I will always stop what I am doing or working on to have a conversation or for some quality time with them. However, they also must respect the time when I am working or on a call. Balance might be a strong word for what happens around here, but I think we make it work. 🙂
Here’s my typical day…
4:45 am – I wake up, make the coffee, and head down to my office space to start planning my day.
5:00 am – 7:30-ish am – I’m working – checking emails and making headway on projects.
7:30 am – around the time my kids start waking up. I take a break when they wake up so that I can make breakfast, get my oldest off to preschool, and pour myself a second cup of coffee.
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – My husband leaves for work and I settle back in to keep working. The kids eat and play with each other during this time.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – it depends on the day, but this is usually a break for lunch and to get a little bit of housework done. I tend to what needs tending to.
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – nap and/or rest time for the kids, and I check emails and do more projects during this time.
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – I start wrapping up my day – I do one final email check for the day and close any loops that need closing. I do a hard work stop at 5:00 pm, and spend the rest of the evening with my family.
I head to bed between 8:00 – 9:00 pm, and then set the alarm for 4:45 to do it all over again the next day. 😉
Beth Nyhart is also a SAHM who makes a living working from home. Here is her story:
I was working full time till my daughter was 6 months old, then I started out running a home daycare. I started building my digital marketing business in August of 2016.
I started my blog in June 2016 and by August began receiving requests from people to write for their websites, businesses and organisations. What an honour! I love putting into words what others are thinking, feeling, and experiencing; but aren’t able to communicate themselves; whether it’s due to lack of time or a need to highlight other voices.
I’m a freelance writer and speaker. I write magazine articles and am working on a book proposal. I speak to mom’s groups in the area and to faith-based event and conference planners.
It was surprisingly easy to start off. I never thought the blog would open the door to a part-time career. It’s been a wild ride!
I get paid to write, I still can’t believe it! I get paid to speak, but I’ll be honest and say it’s minimal in these beginning stages. This is all new, I’ve only been at it for six months.
I would say prioritise your life! Make a list of what’s important to you, your top five or six priorities in life. Mine are:
- My husband
- My kids
- My ministry in the home (managing a smooth running, well-organized, safe home that is a haven for my family)
- My personal mental and physical health and development (eating well, working out, my friendships)
- My business and ministry outside of the home (writing, speaking, leading women towards Christ)
Now, and this is the hard part, CUT OUT whatever isn’t on that list. Ouch! Saying yes to new things means saying no to other things. I used to watch hours of reality tv a week. I now watch two shows a week. I used to spend a lot of time texting, on social media, talking on the phone. I limit those things now to only what has to be texted/shared/called. I know my priorities and have had to say some hard but living nos.
Apps/books or programmes that I use and find helpful that I would recommend: I use my notes function on my phone all the time. I dictate ideas as soon as they come to me to develop later in my writing. If I don’t, they’re gone and that’s sad because driving or in the shower or my last thought before I go to sleep are usually my best ones.
I went to a writer/speaker conference in September and got completely inspired. My purpose to “write, speak and lead women towards Christ” was revealed to me and I couldn’t just do it haphazardly anymore. I came home and asked my husband if we could please enrol my two-year-old son in preschool and get a cleaning service. I needed time and energy to put into this big purpose. He said yes and I guard that time like a hawk these days; using it to dive into my writing, speaking, leading. Other ways I get childcare in is the gym daycare, childcare swaps with friends, dropping my kids off at my parents or if I have a deadline approaching, asking my husband if he’d take the kids swimming.
Here’s what my day looks like: I wake up at 5 am and spend time with God through Bible study, prayer and journalling. This is new. I’ve always wanted a daily quiet time but didn’t have the discipline to do it. Now I feel lost and irritable if I don’t get that time, at the crack of dawn, before the family is up; to be just Jesus and I.
At 6 am I look over my calendar and time block my day (write down every waking hour and what I need to be doing when). Then I get writing whatever article I’m working on.
At 7 am I wake the kids and get them ready for 8 am drop off. On Tues./Thurs. both my kids (five-year-old girl, two-year-old boy) go to school from 8-3 pm so I work those days. On the other days, I take my son to the gym childcare. I write for an hour and then work out for an hour. He LOVES the gym daycare. It’s cheap and the childcare providers are like family. When I pick Ava, my five-year-old, from school, we all have a snack and afternoon quiet time/nap. I get some more work done. Then I work with her on homework, make dinner, eat dinner, baths, bedtime.
I don’t work in the evenings. I read (writers read) or hang out with my husband with a well-deserved glass of wine.
We are really grateful for the insight shared by these inspirational women about how you can actually do your part by working from home and taking in an income.
What are the favourite bits you will take from each woman to inspire you? Here are my favourite bits from each:
Bethany Loginow “I would advise people who want to work from home to consider the fact that working from home actually does mean working”. Read that statement again… Got it? It is really working, not just staying at home. Are you ready for that sort of commitment? It can be really easy to stay home. You have to organise yourself so that you are productive.
Bethany Nyhart “I replaced my daycare income within 6 months. You can do it too. Look at your skill set and time constraints, find a profitable niche, and invest in training”. It is absolutely doable. You do have skills that you can use. You may need some training, but see it as an investment in you. And this investment will show you returns for a very long time. You can do it!
Kelly Russell “I would say prioritise your life! Make a list of what’s important to you, your top five or six priorities in life”. Be focused, purposeful and intentional about your life and your work. In other words, take it seriously. Use tools, such as a simple calendar whether on your phone or a hard copy to make your plans and follow them. Say no, when you have to, in order to keep to your vision.
All these women are Christian women who are doing their bit to make the world a better place. And they are getting paid for the work they do at home to supplement their family’s income. I hope you have been inspired. I know I have been.