I get a LOT of questions about the topic of working at home, being my own boss, and how I earn money, so today I'm sharing everything I can think of to help you live your dream in this way too!
A Few Ideas for “Be Your Own Boss Jobs” — Work at Home Concepts to Consider
How many of you are tired of working for someone else, struggling to make ends meet, or dropping your kids off at daycare?
I've owned my own business for almost 30 years, two different businesses. As stressful as it can be at times to work at home, and even though some months I make so little income it's pathetic (thankfully other months are much better and it balances out to be a pretty good part time income!), I still wouldn't trade this flexible lifestyle for anything. The fact that I've never had to entrust someone else with our kids for hours every day makes my heart happy, or just that I can stop and go take a walk on a gorgeous day or have lunch with a friend if I feel like it. Not to mention the crazy fun travel opportunities this blog has brought my way like this trip from a few years ago or this awesome trip, just to mention a couple. There are many benefits that make this a really great gig. It's not for everyone, I know, but being my own boss, setting my own hours, and in recent years, having the option to homeschool the kids, is priceless. It's certainly not always rosy (you don't even WANT to see me when I'm in a heap of sobs over another technical issue around here), but nothing is easy every single day, and isn't that true no matter what you do?
I recently received this note from a soon-to-be-Mom:
My husband and I finally conceived after fully implementing the recommended diet in Nourishing Traditions. It's a very exciting time! I was just wondering, Kelly, how you were able to figure out how to make money from home? My husband and I want to raise this baby in our home, playing in our garden, and getting schooled at our table. Yet I have student loans so I must make an income somehow. We are attempting to create a garden and sell organic produce, specialty breads, and fermented foods at the farmers market, but that is really a seasonal job. Do you have any encouraging words for two people currently working through debt yet still want to keep Momma in the home? All I hear from my family is, “Suck it up, do what you have to do (they mean taking our baby to daycare). Sure, everyone WANTS to stay home with their kids, but it's not possible!” Thank you for your help and for your wonderful blog!
First, I do NOT agree that if you want to stay home with your kids it's impossible.
People do it all the time. Some moms like to work outside the home, and if that's the case, cool, it's her choice! Plus some are quite good at balancing everything. But my heart was in turmoil at the thought of leaving my kids all day every day, and I didn't want the stress of rushing everyone out the door each morning. Don't listen to those who say it can't be done, you just need to be creative, think outside the box a little, and be determined to live your dream. And besides, flexible at-home hours means more time to cook real food! 🙂
Ideas for “Be Your Own Boss Jobs”…
- Since most of you are probably curious about the ‘six figures' mentioned in the title, I'll tell you about that option first. This one may not be for everyone, but I'm sure it would apply to a lot of my readers! How many of you are health coaches or nutritional consultants in some capacity? If so, you'll want to watch a free online webinar about how a couple of my online friends, Jordan and Steve, built a $367,027/year part-time health consulting practice, and are on the way to a 7-figure online business — and they only work 10 hours a week?! I've done some one-on-one health coaching in the past, so you can bet I'll be watching this. 🙂 Even if you aren't a health coach, you may want to sign up to watch as I'll bet there will be lots of tips on growing your own business no matter what it is. Click here to sign up to watch the free webinar on your computer or your phone, your tablet, etc. These guys were originally engineers working regular jobs, and after overcoming some terrible health challenges they created a successful consulting program that’s helped over 600 clients… Here's what Jordan and Steve say, “There are so many great health coaches and practitioners out there struggling to pay the bills… and there are so many people that need their help. Our mission: To help those great practitioners create their dream online health consulting practice so all those people can get the help they need.” Click here to register or to learn more.
- Check out the latest work-at-home book bundle — you know, where you get LOADS of resources at your fingertips for dirt cheap?! Click here to check it out. (Note that it's only available for a few days, so if you're reading this later, just enter your info to be notified when it's up again.) If you love to create things, there are books all about earning money with Etsy. If you think a blog is in your future, there are books on that. You'll learn how to succeed no matter WHAT your thing is, or you'll find help figuring out what your “thing” even IS.
- What has allowed me to work at home, have flexible hours, and homeschool our kids is my blogging/online/writing business. Besides what I earn from my book, mostly I earn money this way by building relationships with sponsors and companies I know and trust. I know MANY bloggers who started after I did who are earning six figures. (I'm not there yet, but finding the balance between business stuff, mom stuff, and homeschooling is tricky — SO I just remind myself again that being a good wife/mom and helping others are really all that matters anyway!) I began blogging in late 2007, when there weren't many blogs, especially not many real food blogs, and now they are everywhere. This is good, because that means real food is becoming more mainstream! As much as I love how my business provides a fairly good income that I earn from home, it's not always easy. As I said, finding the balance is really difficult. Some days when everything breaks in the backend of my site, and there's no one but me to fix it, that can mean loooong hours. I worked 17 hours the other day, but yet I'm my own boss, so other days I only work an hour or two if I'm busy with kid stuff, or some days hardly at all. I can work whenever I want! There are many options for online businesses, so again, be creative. Start with what you LOVE — God gave you your passions for a reason. I absolutely love talking about food and nutrition and helping others become healthier, I'd do it whether I earned anything from it or not — in fact I chat about it with complete strangers at the store! Figure out what that thing is for YOU. By the way, if you're ready to start your own blog, you'll want to get the above-mentioned bundle, and also feel free to email me for my “cheat sheet” with links to all the “hacks” I've found to make it EASIER to earn money blogging now than it was when I began. (Kelly@KellytheKitchenKop.com.)
- How I earned money when our kids were young… It's something that most any mom could do: a home daycare business! I've always loved kids and I made money from home for over 20 years this way. Now, obviously, there were pros and cons to this job, as with anything, nothing is the “perfect” job. There were tricks I learned over the years, though… I had clear rules and boundaries as far as payment and other policies in place, so parents knew what to expect. I was fairly structured, so the kids knew what to expect, too, and best of all, my kids LOVED having their friends come over to play EVERY day! I was able to be home to make dinner, keep on top of laundry, and get other stuff done around the house. I could do fun Mom things with our kids and include all these little people who I grew to love. Taking a huge group into stores or restaurants was so fun, people would gasp and say, “Are those all YOURS?!” I'd smile and so, “No, but I wish they were!” Most of the parents were really great, and I made SO many friends who are still some of my best friends today. I keep in touch with a lot of my day care kids who are grown now and come back to visit me often — I love seeing them, getting big hugs, and being friends with them as adults. They are like family to me. Wow, I'm almost talking myself into starting back up again, LOL! I actually would consider it if not for the fact that my husband wouldn't love the idea. I just asked him to remind me why he wouldn't like me to do daycare again and he said it's because everything was always broken and stained. I said, “How is that different than what OUR kids do to the house?” He said, “It's not, but at least I know it was our kids who did it.” All that is truly a small price to pay for being able to be home with your kids, though, AND having their friends come to YOU (no driving to pick up play dates!), AND you get paid for it! The only other downside is that, depending on how many you watch and their ages, you're tied down and don't have the flexibility to go anywhere during the daytime hours, unless you have a vehicle that holds everyone. I used to pack my van full and we'd head off to the park, and in those days, to McDonald's. Gads I was SO in the dark! The other thing that was tough was the occasional challenging parent and/or kids. If it's too bad you could tell them you can't watch their child anymore (it's your business so you can call the shots), but that's always sticky and I don't think I ever did it. Usually the parents are great, and they are thankful to have someone watching their kids who love them, and the occasional challenging phases that kids go through can be worked out. Taking my cod liver oil consistently helped with my patience level — seriously! (Have you read my post: My All Natural Chill Pill for Anxiety?) Depending on the laws in your state as far as how many kids you're allowed to watch in your home at once, you can usually make a fairly good income this way as well. Especially when you factor in the money you're NOT spending on gas, work clothes, or daycare for your kids! At its peak, I made $3000/month bring home, not bad, and that was several years ago. (By the way, here's another post in response to a reader question that you also may want to read: Straight Scoop On Day Care and What if They Don’t Serve Real Food?) Look at all these cute little girls, they're driving now — one is our daughter, pray for us, lol!
- Many are earning six figures with businesses like selling essential oils. That business and the MLM model turned out not to be a good fit for me, but it's something for you to consider! (Now I love these affordable quality oils best!)
- Another idea to look into if you've always dreamed of writing is an option from my online friend Sylvie: Click here for a free cheat sheet with 6 proven steps to create (plenty of) passive income with ebooks.
- Another friend has her own cleaning business, so she can set her own hours, it's the perfect “be your own boss job” for her!
- By the way, if you want to get out of debt, which takes the pressure off families big time, this guy is someone you need to know — he not only gives you the tools to do so, but he motivates you and gives you hope! Thankfully Kent and I only owe on our house, but I still love to listen to him. His book, The Total Money Makeover, is about how to have financial peace in your life. (Have you seen my post, 5 Dave Ramsey Money Principles compared to 5 Kitchen Kop Real Food Principles?)
- If your goal is to be home with your kids, but owning your own business isn't for you, then be creative!
- Ask your employer about working from home — you don't know unless you ask.
- Look for another work-from-home job. (The bundle has help finding those kind of jobs too!)
- Maybe your hubs could work a second job while the kids are young so you can afford to stay home with them, or you could work somewhere on nights or weekends when your spouse is home.
- You could do what a thrifty friend of mine did: get radical about cutting down on spending so they could afford to live on one income!
What else haven't I mentioned? Let me know in the comments how YOU earn money from home or tell us what “be your own boss jobs” you know about, so we can all help those who have this dream. 🙂 (There are some great ideas in the comments!)
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Some related, some not…
- Check out this podcast for work-at-home Moms w/ my tips on working at home, prioritizing, and some info on real food too!
- All my posts about infertility, babies, and having a healthy pregnancy
- Have you seen this post with pictures of my big-batch cooking day?
- Straight Scoop On Day Care and What if They Don’t Serve Real Food?
- My All Natural Chill Pill for Anxiety