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If you’re trying to increase your family’s income and are curious if a side hustle from home is even a good idea – let me encourage you.
Just do it.
Do I think that working from home is for everyone? No. But if you’ve seriously considered a work-at-home job (part-time OR full-time) – if you’ve done your research, you know that it IS an option that works for MANY people.
And it’s an exceptionally good option for many moms, in my opinion. Working on your own time while being able to care for your kids and work around their schedules is really invaluable.
I started my side hustle from home a little over a year ago and here’s exactly how it has changed my life – and could change yours as well.
#1. It can really pay off (with hard work)
This is the most obvious benefit of a side hustle, so I’m just going to cut to the chase: you can make money – good money – with a side hustle from home.
As a new blogger, I started with lofty ambitions. Many people who write about “How to start a mom blog” make it sound like a quick process to cashing in your first $5,000. Just start a blog, they say, and you’ll be able to quit your day job in no time!
Well, not so fast (for most of us).
Blogging, like just about every other side hustle, takes WORK if you want to earn an income. The only reason my blog is earning a steady income right now is because I was determined to spend time and money learning everything there is to blogging and content marketing. (And graphic design, and SEO….the list goes on forever!)
It’s been a huge investment in time. I’ve missed out on a lot of life in the last year, but I’m slowly gaining it back.
Because I still have a part-time day job, my blogging hours for about 8 straight months were from 10pm to 1 or 2 AM. And I earned $0 for months on end. (Sounds like a great career, right? 😉 )
Late nights and a huge learning curve are just part of it, when you’re a mom and your time is limited.
So whether you start a blog, open an online boutique, become a virtual assistant, a transcriptionist or whatever online side hustle you choose, just realize that overnight success isn’t typical, but putting in tons of work at the beginning can pay off dramatically over time.
I’m just now starting to see the result of MONTHS of hard work. But at this point I can confidently say my only regret is I wished I had started sooner!
#2. It can provide a creative outlet
With most online jobs, there is an element of creativity required. Even if you decide to become an administrative assistant helping business owners with data entry, for example, you have to be creative to market yourself and your skills, and find clients.
So whether you’re designing your own business cards, designing your website/blog, freelance writing, selling products, creating social media graphics or written content – you likely will have an opportunity to stretch your creative muscles (unless you outsource these tasks, which most people can’t afford to do right away.)
I knew that blogging would be a great creative outlet for me, as I’ve always loved writing, but I didn’t realize just how much I would enjoy all the creative tasks that go along with blogging.
Sometimes mom-life can be a little monotonous and you “lose yourself” in the day-to-day tasks of caring for others. For me, being able to create content has become almost like a form of self-care!
When I’m creating, I’m happy. And the fact that I am getting paid to create, from the comfort of my home, is a huge added blessing.
#3. It allows you to build real, lasting connections
I think this is especially true in the blogging world, but I’ve also dipped my toes in other online ventures and found that if you work online, there’s likely to be a Facebook group out there (or 20) to help you along.
What started out as searching for answers and tech help eventually turned into finding like-minded friends. Through Facebook groups and other collaborations, I connected with other moms who were doing the same thing as I was: trying to build a business from home so they could help their family’s finances.
Authentic friendships were something I really didn’t expect to find, honestly! But, if you make the effort to reach out and cultivate these connections, you might be surprised how encouraging it can be.
Even when you’re not “‘talking shop”, it’s great to have those friends who just get you – what you’re trying to accomplish, the struggles and the joys of working online – and who are genuinely thrilled to see you succeed.
When you’re up late at night working, you’ll greatly appreciate a community of moms who can inspire you, cheer you on and become part of your “tribe”.
#4. It opens up a world of possibilities
You probably didn’t know you had many of the skills needed to start or maintain a successful side hustle, but I think most moms are uniquely qualified for online work.
Why? We’re used to multitasking! And working around kids and husbands while juggling household chores can become second nature pretty quickly.
Once I learned that I could earn money online by working a few hours each evening (give or take- I worked a LOT more in the first year), I found ways to get the work done. Seeing that work pay off has only fueled me to to keep going and see how far I can take the skills that I’ve learned.
Many times, one type of online job can lead to another. For instance, this summer, in addition to my blog, I took on a few clients and provided virtual assistant services, doing the same types of tasks I’ve learned from my own blog.
Being immersed in the mom-boss community has shown me that there are sooooo many avenues to earn money online. (Which leads to point #5.)
#5. It gives you freedom & flexibility
Before I decided to start a blog, I researched some online jobs that weren’t so flexible – those that required you work set hours, or had strict deadlines for completing projects. Mostly, this applies to online work for large companies (think call centers, Amazon, etc).
Those aren’t the jobs I generally recommend for moms with kids at home, because it kind of defeats the purpose of working online when you’re tied to someone else’s schedule.
For many other types of online side hustles (like the ones I wrote about here), you have a lot of freedom to work at your own pace and on your own time.
When you work at home, especially if you own your own business, you create a scenario that lends to a very flexible lifestyle – as flexible as you want it to be.
If my husband finds a great job in another state, I can take my work with us wherever we go, and still be at home and available to my kids.
Someday, as my blog creates more passive income, we hope to be able to have little or no debt (working our way there!), and to be able to travel and experience more of the world with our family.
#6. It’s (usually) less expensive to start than you’d think
There are always costs associated to working from home – computers, internet, software, training and more.
But there are costs associated with working outside the home too. Daycare, clothing, eating out – all of those things add up in ways we don’t always realize.
I think I hesitated in starting an online business for a long time because I assumed it would cost at least a few thousand dollars upfront. While some jobs do require a larger initial investment (if you’re buying inventory for an online store, for example), many do not.
If you invest wisely and spend your time researching side hustles, you will find many options that cost little to nothing to get started. Blogging, freelance writing and virtual assisting are just a few that fall into this category.
#7. It can help curb spending (and other bad habits)
When you’re at home with kids, it can be tempting to spend too much time shopping online. (Can I get an amen?)
Before working at home, I’ll admit that one of my default activities was shopping online to find “deals”, and I often ended up overspending because of it.
Now that I spend so much time on my business (doing work that I truly love), I have very little desire or time for online shopping. Instead of spending money, I’m making money!
Getting a side hustle isn’t a cure-all if you’re a chronic overspender, of course. If you’re not careful, you can transfer those habits and overspend on “business expenses” that aren’t really necessary.
For me though, diverting my time and attention into my side hustle has been the best financial decision I could have made.
#8. It can easily become more than a side hustle
Scaling your side hustle into a full-time job is really just dependent on you. Once you find a way to earn money online, it’s only a matter of time, energy and training to make it more than just a side hustle, if you want it to be.
Of course, some people seem to have a natural ability to scale their business very quickly, while others stay in the “side hustle” stages for a longer period of time.
For me personally, I’m thrilled that my blog is helping meet our financial needs, and I’m still able to be the mom I want to be. Meaning – I can pace myself when I need to so that I still have plenty of time with my kids.
If I want to put in more hours and do MORE, however, I can. And I know that as the kids grow and are a little more self-sufficient, I’ll have more of that elusive time to put into my business.
In the meantime, I am continually learning ways to “work smarter, not harder”. Many online businesses allow for passive income, and once you learn those techniques you can continue to earn money in your sleep – without working full-time hours.
Even if you aren’t in dire need of extra income, keep in mind that a profitable side hustle can provide an extra layer of security for your family. None of us want to think about job loss, disability or economic disaster, but the fact is that no job is truly 100% stable.
So if you have been procrastinating like I had been for so long, let this be the year that you do something to improve your family’s finances and prepare for the future. You might be surprised, like I was, at all the ways that a side hustle could change your life for the better.
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