I’ve had lots of people ask what do I do for a living and how have I managed to work out of my home running a business for the last 3 years. It’s hard to nail down what I do because it can change on a dime. Fortunately I’m earning what I use to earn in the corporate world with a flexible schedule. Here’s my typical weekly schedule:
- Everyday post a fresh article at 10am, 1pm and 3pm for an online magazine
- Write a fresh post / tweets for 15 Facebook pages and Twitter accounts
- Spend 1 to 2 days in the field marketing on behalf of my clients
- Organize an event such as a business after hours, customer appreciation event, etc.
- Write, design and edit email newsletters
- Promote events through a news release, flyer, Chamber publicity, social media etc.
Today I shopped at Sam’s Club for several hours for Teacher Appreciation event that I’m managing tomorrow for a client. I also posted several articles and wrote posts / tweets that will be pushed out tomorrow. It’s 8pm and I’m still working.
I did get to take some time off to walk the dog, eat dinner, wash dishes and watch part of a movie with my daughter. I started my workday after I got my daughter on the bus at 7:40 am. I posted a story and then left the house at 8:20 am to drop my son off at school.
As soon as I got back to my home office, I researched and edited articles, made phone calls and answered emails until I went shopping for tomorrow’s event. When I returned from my shopping expedition, I was back on the computer until 4:30pm. Thankfully my husband, Jerome, cooks dinner.
I wash dishes, take the dog for a walk, eat dinner and watch part of a movie with my daughter. Then I’m back on the computer at 6:30pm to work on content that needs to be scheduled to post tomorrow. I will be working onsite at an event with limited access to my laptop from 8:30am to 1pm.
When I return to my office tomorrow afternoon, there will be more emails to answer and phone calls to return as well as fresh posts to write. It’s a never ending cycle of creativity, administration and managing the details of creating and marketing events. In between it all, my husband kids need to be fed, they need clean clothes and the house needs to be cleaned.
Shutting down the load of laundry screaming, “Wash me!” is a challenge when you’re on a deadline with an article. But it’s a discipline I’ve learned to focus on what needs to be done now to meet the deadline. My kids learned this when they were small and answering the phone, “Mom can’t come to the phone right now because she’s on deadline.”
If you really want to have a home-based business, you must allocate hours to focus on your clients. You can’t play with your toddler and work at the same time because you’re not being paid to play with your kids. I had one lady ask me how to start a business at home that could accommodate her kids.
I suggested offering childcare services but she didn’t want to take care of kids. She didn’t have a laptop to do online work or a dedicated phone. I had no answers for her.
In the Kansas City metro area, you can reasonably charge $150 per week for childcare. If you got 4 children, that’s $600 a week. Of course you should be licensed and have the facilities to accommodate those children. Childcare is hard work but $2,400 a month or $28,000 a year isn’t a bad salary for being able to stay at home with your children.
There are plenty of businesses you can start at home. The key is finding your niche and customers willing to pay for it. But be prepared for days in flux when you may have to work a 10 hour day so you can time off the next day to go on a field trip with your child.
My next post will be “How to Make $25k a Year Working Part-Time From Home.”