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.
Especially if you want the financial peace that Dave Ramsey is always talking about, or you need help paying down debt, you want to travel more, etc.–many have what he calls “an income problem”. So keep in mind that the below ideas can be great “side-hustle” jobs that you can do from home to bring in extra income. You could even earn a full-time income (and then some) from home if you're willing to put at least some time into it–it can happen fairly quickly too!
A Few Ideas for “Be Your Own Boss Jobs”–Work at Home Concepts to Consider…
So how many of you are tired of working for someone else, struggling to make ends meet, or dropping your kids off at day care?
Many years ago I worked as a nurse (home healthcare, doctor offices, rehab facility, long term care), but I much prefer the flexibility of working from home and I've been my own boss now for over 30 years! I've owned 3 different businesses:
- Blogging here since late 2007
- Freelance writing
- Author of Real Food for Rookies
- Beautycounter consultant — this has taken off, it's so exciting how quickly this income grows: see my 2020 update here! There's more info here if you think it might be for you. Or email me with questions: [email protected]. Or read here about why I started.
- Plus I had my own day care business for over 20 years. 🙂
(Read more about each of those below.)
As stressful as be-your-own-boss jobs can be at times, 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 go take a walk on a gorgeous day or have lunch with a friend if I feel like it. And when you work hard and know that you're earning well and business is growing because YOU made it happen, it feels great.
Not to mention the crazy opportunities this blog has brought my way:
- Like this dream-come-true trip for our son a few years ago.
- Or this trip that was another dream for me and our other son.
- I also don't think THIS opportunity for our youngest to be on Food Network would've happened if not for my business.
- And who knows if our daughter would've loved to cook as much as she does if she wasn't always experimenting with me in the kitchen?
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. (And yes you CAN work full time from home and homeschool the kids too!) It's certainly not always rosy–you don't even WANT to see me when I'm swearing about another technical issue, but nothing is easy every single day, and isn't that true no matter what you do? Nothing valuable comes without putting in the work.
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 day care). 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 it's impossible to make it work if you want to stay home with your kids!
People do it all of the time. Some moms enjoy working outside the home, and if that's the case, cool, it's her choice! And many are pretty good at balancing everything, finding good day care, etc… 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! 🙂 (If that overwhelms you, start here!)
Here are Ideas for “Be Your Own Boss Jobs”…
- Lately the blog has been a big struggle, so instead I've been focusing more on this new business that's going much better than I imagined. (It's so much easier and less time-consuming than blogging, just ask me and I'll share more if you want to know.) In the past I wasn't into makeup or skincare, but I've always been into safety and health, so I love how this company's main goal is educating people about what they're putting on their bodies! Not only am I keeping our family healthier (our daughter is into ALL the girly things), I'm actually earning well too and it's growing fast, faster than any other parts of my business have. And these days I'm really getting into skincare and makeup now because it just feels so good that you want to keep using it. Now is THE right time because the company is getting great press all over the place and people don't want to put junk into OR onto their bodies anymore. If you want to know how much money you can make, how much time it takes, etc., just email me and I'll tell you, we can talk about how easily you can earn a primary or side income too. (Many women are replacing their big corporate incomes with Beautycounter!) [email protected] Right now you can choose to join for $50, or for $98 which comes with products to try. (See more here about my earnings.) Or you can go here to learn more. (Also request to follow my private Beautycounter social pages here on Instagram or Facebook.)
- Until recently, what has allowed me to work at home, have flexible hours, and homeschool our kids for the past 10 years is my blogging/online/writing business. Besides what I earn from my book, mostly I earn money this way via ads on the site and by building relationships with sponsors and companies I know and trust. 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! The frustrating part nowadays is always scrambling to keep blog traffic up in the midst of the shenanigans that Google and the social media companies are always pulling. Also finding the balance of time can be difficult. Some days when everything happens at once or something else breaks in the backend of my site, that can mean loooong hours. I worked 17 hours the other day (I know, that's bad), but yet I'm still my own boss, so other days I only work an hour or two if I'm busy with kid stuff, and some days not at all.
There are many options for online businesses besides blogs, 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, in fact I often chat about it with complete strangers at the store! Figure out what that thing is for YOU.
- How I earned money when our kids were young… It's something that most any mom could do: a home day care business! I've always loved kids and made money from home for over 20 years this way. Obviously, there were pros and cons, as with anything, because 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. Our day was fairly structured, so the kids always knew what to expect too. 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 while the kids played happily together. 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 say, “No, but I wish they were!” Most of the parents were really great and I made so many dear friends who I'm still close with today. I keep in touch with a lot of my day care kids too, most are grown now and they come back to visit me often. I love seeing them, getting big hugs, and being friends with them as adults. They're 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 Kent wouldn't love the idea. I just asked him to remind me why he wouldn't like me to do day care again and he said it's because everything was always broken or 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.” 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 clueless about food then! 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 call the shots), but that's always sticky and I think I only had to do that one time. Usually the parents are great and they're thankful to have someone watching their kids who love them, and the occasional challenging periods will pass or 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. At its peak, I made $3000/month bring home, not huge money, but not bad, and that was several years ago, but it was a LOT of kids. Remember to factor in the money you're NOT spending on gas, work clothes, or day care for your own kids. (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?)
- 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!
- Others earn by driving for Uber or being a Shipt shopper.
- What are your gifts? What do people tell you you're good at? How can you build a business around that?
- By the way, if you want to get out of debt, which takes financial 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 to stay motivated to save. 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?) And by the way, if you DO have debt, you may not want to utilize the idea I suggested here for how to take free vacations!
- 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.
- 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 and 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. 🙂
And please share this post with others using the social media buttons, thanks!
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!
- Have you seen this post with pictures of my big-batch cooking day?