5 Real Struggles of a Mompreneur

Are you considering dropping the day job to become a mompreneur? Honestly, I can say that there is no better time to launch a new business than the present. However, there are a lot of things people don’t tell you when you quit working for someone and start working for yourself.

Here are my top 5 tips that have saved me when I first launched my new boutique. For details on my business please visit www.mommyboutique.net.

  1. Taxes – Yes, we are all aware that Uncle Sam needs to get paid on anything you sell, but what they don’t tell you is that in the state of Florida, you have to file sales tax every 3 months! For someone who knows nothing about taxes, this was a huge wake-up call for me. Luckily, I spoke with a very patient and understanding lady from the IRS who walked me through the whole process. To avoid me having a panic attack the next time, I actually enrolled in a program called Tax Jar (This is an affiliate link). After not knowing what the heck I was doing I started researching tax programs and fell in love with Tax Jar. The reason is that they make it super easy for you. You link your website to theirs, then they provide you with all the information the Government will need, plus you can see your net profits. That’s not all, here is what sets Tax Jar apart from the others in this industry. You can enroll to have them file your quarterly taxes for you. Yep, that’s right! They do everything for you and honestly, it’s so worth it, so that I have peace of mind, and don’t have to worry about the stuff I know nothing about. I feel confident that they have my back. Check them out, you’ll thank me later https://taxjar.grsm.io/MOMMYBOUTIQUE
  2. Wages – As a work at home mom or Mompreneur you expect to get paid for all your efforts right? WRONG! Yeah, you’ll make money when you sell stuff, but all those hours you’re promoting your brand, organizing, buying products, and doing sales pitches are all your time. Now, there will come a point when all those hours will pay off and you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back for sticking with it through the hard times, but believe me, there are many hard times. This is something no one ever tells you. They say yeah, quit your job and work for yourself, but they don’t tell you the long hours you’ll be grinding away, learning your craft. The hours you will spend arguing with your spouse over money issues, and the times you will have to tell your kids no ice cream when the ice cream truck comes around. Being a mom is hard, but adding your own business takes it to a whole new level. Now, don’t get me wrong I would not trade working at home, for anything. My kids get to be a part of my job, they even do live video’s with me on YouTube. But no one ever tells you about the real-life struggles that you face, the long hours, and the exhaustion that sets in when you are first starting out. You do way more work then what you get paid for at first. Our goal is to get to a point where all these efforts pay off, and we are able to hire someone else in our place! But don’t go into this thinking you’re going to be making a lot of money at first. The money follows the efforts! 
  3. Sweat – Blood, sweat, and tears! We’ve all heard the saying, but when you’re a mom working for yourself that brings on an entirely new meaning. For me, I mean literally sweating! I have a booth at a flea market every Monday and I sweat. Some day’s I do really well and I can say the day was worth it, other days I’m sitting in the Florida heat for hours and never make one sale. During the summer I had to drag my kids along with me and they had to endure the heat as well. I mean let’s be honest who can afford childcare these days? Especially for kids in diapers (FORGET IT)! So, on those days with no or little sales, you really start to question if you made the right decision. From experience, I want to push you to hang in there. Consistency wins people’s trust. If you can stick with it during the slow times, you’re going to see the benefits during the busy seasons. At least that’s how it’s been for me. Most of us become mompreneurs and work at home mom’s (WAHM), so we won’t have to pay a babysitter or daycare, so keep in mind some days are harder than others. Remember you are building a legacy, and hopefully one day your children can take it over, or help you with it when they are older. That’s my plan anyway. 
  4. Balance – This is one I talk about a lot on my podcast – WAHM RADIO. Balancing your daily life with kids, and your work is not easy. Most of us have errands to run, chores to do, a to-do list, and not to mention if you’re married, then that list gets even longer. You have to worry about dinner, girl scouts/boy scouts, tutoring, Bible class, speech class, laundry, dishes, and afterschool sports. We have to help with homework, baths, lunches, diapers, and the list goes on and on. This is before we even start to focus on our work at home job. So balance is your lifeline. No one ever told me that you’d have to be very disciplined to stay at home and work. The reason I say this is because your bed is going to look mighty cozy once your baby takes a nap mid-day, and the never-ending list gets overwhelming. However, to combat this, I have learned to set alarms and schedules. I give myself a daily schedule. We all have smartphones, so get out your calendar app and start giving yourself a daily schedule. Then set alarms for everything. I have about 30 alarms that go off during the day. They range from: it’s time to feed the baby lunch”, to “go pick up the girls from school”, or “do marketing on social media”. I have to give myself a small task that I know I can finish in order to get anything done. Otherwise, I will leave everything until tomorrow and then nothing get’s done. Time management is going to be your best friend when running your own business! 
  5. Getting incorporated – When starting a small business, one of the most asked questions I get is when should I incorporate? I have had many businesses in my life, some have been successful, some not so much, but here is one thing I’ve learned through the years. When you start making enough money to cover your business cost and daily living wage, then you need to consider an LLC or Corp. Now, I can not advise you as to what is best for your business. I’ve been on both sides and had LLC’s as well an S – Corp so you’d want to speak with a business advisor on what will fit your company best. The reason I say to incorporate once you see profits is to protect yourself and your business.  When you become a legal corporation you no longer are liable for anything that may happen through the business. Right now, if you were to get sued they could take your house, your car and any other assets you may have. When you have an LLC or Corporation, now the business has it’s own set of assets and they can no longer go after your individual assets. Plus, it’s a great way to record your income, and prove you are a dedicated business owner to your clients or customers. Most people want to see the LLC or INC behind the name. It builds trust and helps people know you’re not just playing around, but in it for the long haul. If you are selling cakes for friends on Facebook, then maybe waiting is a good idea, but if you have an online store like me “Mommy Boutique” then perhaps getting incorporated is worth it. Along with this comes other factors like business licenses, tax licenses, county licenses and so on. Be sure you have someone to speak to about all the requirements for your state. If you’re in Florida here is where you would go to get incorporated. http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/

 

There is a lot that I can’t cover in a blog post, but I hope this gives you some things to consider when becoming a mompreneur. We are powerful, we are worthy, and we can accomplish great things when we put our mind’s to it. Together we stand as women, and support each other on our daily grind that is life, working from home, kids, spouses, and all the in-betweens!

 

 

 

 

Do you have a side hustle?

What exactly is a side hustle you ask?

“A side hustle is a way to make some extra cash that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in. It can also be your true passion – a chance to delve into fashion, travel, or whatever it is you care about the most without quitting your day job.”  As stated in www.entrepreneur.com

I have always had some sort of side hustle in my life.  Whether it’s Freelance Writing. Or, one of my many attempts at MLM businesses, I always try to keep a steady side hustle going. Right now, I sell things on Amazon and eBay, and I’ve also started doing the popular pearl parties everyone is raving about these days, with a cute online boutique, I call “Mommy Boutique”.

Did you know that most successful business owners have at least two side hustles? Having a good side hustle guarantees that you will have some sort of income, even if you lose your regular day job. Even the popular Gary Vaynerchuk has a side hustle. He goes to yard sales every weekend to buy things he can resale online. He talks about it in some of his videos linked above.

I recently took a course on how to start a content marketing agency, because I am launching my new full-time career very soon called “Digital Marketing Fairy”. The teacher of this course is James Burchill, and he has unintentionally become my mentor on all things side hustle as well as content marketing.

James is from Burlington, Ontario and helps thousands of people find their side hustles. Check out his website, and Youtube videos because they are filled with wonderful tidbits to help you find your side hustle.

So, what is your side hustle?

If you don’t have one, but want to start doing something after work, or with free time, now is a great time to start. We are moving rapidly into the digital age where much of the higher paying jobs are being replaced with robots.

Have you been thinking of writing a book, baking cakes for friend’s parties, or building websites? Perhaps you are an artist wanting to sell your art or music! These are all great ways to bring in some extra cash. If you see a yard sale, stop and see if you can find anything of value that can be resold to make a profit.

Do not make excuses. There are so many ways to make extra money, you just have to be willing to put in the work. It’s not called side HUSTLE for nothing. You actually have to HUSTLE to make it happen. Just because it’s not your full-time job does not mean you’re not going to spend hours doing it. On the contrary, a lot of side hustles do take time to start, but once you get it going, they can become like a well-oiled machine, and that’s the goal!

Whatever your passion is, turn that into something that will make you money. If you like superheroes, perhaps start a YouTube channel or podcast where you talk about your favorite comics. If you’re doing something you truly enjoy, it won’t feel like work, so the hours you put in will go by quickly. Once it grows and you start making money with it, that’s when the true joy will come through, because you would have made money doing something you love, and that, my friend, is a pretty wonderful feeling.

For more information on side hustling, visit James Burchill. Also, check out my podcast for more work at home tips, WAHM Radio.

Good luck side hustlers!

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10 places to find freelance jobs!

Back when I first started freelancing, most of these sites were not around. It would have been awesome to have had these sites back then because it would have been easier to get work. I would spend countless hours searching for freelance gigs, then, after I finished the gig, it was back to digging for more jobs.

However, in today’s article, I am going to share 10 really awesome freelance sites that will help you get jobs. Most of the sites I am mentioning take 20 percent of what you make, but that’s standard, and when it comes down to it, you’re saving hundreds of hours of searching, so it’s totally worth it.

1. Up Work – I really like this site and am currently offering freelance writing on here. I will also be adding my marketing as well.
From their website:
A world of opportunities through Upwork businesses get more done, connecting with freelancers to work on projects from web and mobile app development to SEO, social media marketing, content writing, graphic design, admin help and thousands of other projects. Upwork makes it fast, simple, and cost-effective to find, hire, work with, and pay the best professionals anywhere, any time.
Upwork’s vision to connect businesses with great talent to work without limits.”

2. Fiverr – This is one of my personal favorites, so much so that I have an affiliate link because I talk, as well as use Fiverr so much. This is actually the 2nd time it shows up in one of my posts, I have an entire article dedicated to Fiverr, and you can read it by clicking here.
From their website:
“Fiverr is the world’s largest online marketplace for freelance services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name.

3. Peopleperhour – Now, I have not personally used this one, but have heard from others that they have gotten work from it.
From their website:
We strive to create a trusted and dynamic online workplace that will help people realize their dreams and lead a free and independent life.
Everyone deserves an equal shot at success, and it’s our mission to make it a reality.”

4. Craigslist – I know they get a bad reputation because of the shady people that sometimes post fake jobs, but I have had pretty good success with CL. You just have to know what to look for before taking a job. If nothing else, perhaps sell some stuff while you’re there!

5. Local Facebook Groups – Again, you have to be careful when looking for jobs on here, but a lot of big companies use Facebook to hire. I have found a few good writing gigs through Facebook groups. Just search for the freelance job you’re looking for. In my case, it was always writing. I got a few paid blog post like this, so it’s worth a shot.

6. Guru – This is another site I have not used, but by doing some research it looks like a very solid format for getting jobs, as well as getting paid. From their website:
Create a free Employer or Freelancer account in minutes. Employers post jobs — Freelancers create profiles and submit quotes to open jobs. Employers review the quotes, communicate with the freelancers, and choose who they want to Hire.”

7. LinkedIn – Believe it or not a lot of companies post freelance jobs on LinkedIn. If you don’t already have a profile, I strongly suggest you create one. I talk about LinkedIn a lot because it’s a great place to showcase your talents. It’s a virtual resume that will show potential employers that you know what you are talking about.

8. SimplyHired – This has always been my go to when looking for jobs. I love this site because I know that if a business posts an ad, it’s usually a real job, plus they search all the other job sites for you, including Indeed. Type in freelance and see what pops up. Some may not be remote jobs, but you can at least inquire.

9. Flexjobs – This is a paid site, so I don’t use this one for that reason, however, if you are tired of digging and waiting for gigs, this might be worth it for you to check out.
From their site:
FlexJobs knows that there’s a ton of junk out there for job seekers. Whether it’s the too-good-to-be-true business opportunities, endless ads, broken links, repetitive postings, or just straight-out scams… well, yes, there’s a lot of junk out there. And it’s often burying the actual good job opportunities. FlexJobs can change that. We can make your job search experience better, easier, faster, and safer.”

10. Google keywords – A good ole Google search might surprise you with some jobs. As a matter of fact, when I first started Freelance Writing by Sheena Diane, these freelance sites were not around, and I found 70 percent of my jobs by google keywords. Type in “Write for pay”, “Freelance Marketing”, or “Website design needed.” You might just find your next job!

Good luck with finding your next gig. As a freelancer myself, I know it’s all about digging and finding that next job, so I hope these 10 freelance sites will help in that journey. Check out WAHM Radio to hear more about freelance jobs!

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Creative Breaks

Creative Breaks are sometimes needed!

Today’s post is going to be a little different. I want to encourage you, if you’re doing a project and start to feel a little lost, overwhelmed, confused, or at a standstill, to take a creative break.

That’s not to say to get lazy or be away from your project too long, because that can have a negative effect on your end goal. What I’m saying is take a breather once in a while. Take time for yourself. Take some e-courses to get your creative juices flowing.

Invest in yourself.

Once you get a new outlook, you can come back to your project or business and start again. As an entrepreneur, I feel it’s vital to not get burnt out too quickly. We tend to eat, sleep, breath our new goals. This is good, don’t get me wrong. You need to become obsessed with your new goals to make them a reality, however, I caution you to take breaks. To allow yourself downtime, and invest in yourself.

I just need ME time!

I am the first to admit that I’m so bad about this. I go all in, pedal to the metal, and when I don’t see any progress right away I get upset and feel unaccomplished. I have to remind myself to step away for a few days when I start feeling this way, give myself some time off from that particular thing, and work on something else. Watch some of my favorite Netflix shows, get my nails done, etc. I just need ME time!

Stop and smell the roses…

Don’t be afraid to step away. I promise the momentum will still be there, just don’t take too long of a break, because then it’s harder to start where you left off. You will feel ready and rejuvenated after you stop and smell the roses. Go outside, let the fresh air hit you, and enjoy nature. Do something with your kids, and just have fun. We get so caught up in work, work, work, that we forget to have some fun along the way!

Creative Juices Flowing Again

This is exactly what I am going to be doing. I am taking a creative break for a few weeks. I will be back, I promise, but in order to provide good content, I feel the need to give myself some time away from the WAHM Club. Just for a little while, so I can get my creative juices flowing again.
You can still reach me on all my social media handles.

Thanks for all your support, and I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, check out my podcast Audio Blog as well as WAHM Radio for updates on the happenings of my life!

Unplug and make connections

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Family Connections – Why we unplug.  

We are all attached to our smartphones and laptops but once in a while, we need to unplug.

As a work at home mom, I am on the computer eight-plus hours a day. It’s so easy to get caught up in working because it’s right at my fingertips.
I have three kids, and monkey sees, monkey do! My two daughters are constantly using their tablet or on their phones as well. I can’t be upset being I am doing the same thing. However, because I understand that we live in a time where devices control our attention, we have made a few rules that I believe keeps us strong and connected as a family.

The first rule is every night we have dinner together as a family. No devices are allowed at the table during that time, and we make a point of talking about our day. We ask each other the highs and lows of the day. It’s a fun way to get us all talking and listening to each other.

The other rule we do in our house is on weekends we spend time together. We play board games, go to the movies, bounce houses, have a dance party, and just have fun together. Once we have our fun, we will watch our favorite shows on Netflix, and perhaps before bed play some online games together. Sunday is when my husband is off work, and so this is the day we go to theme parks, visit family or travel. Sunday we are almost always unplugged unless we are visiting family with no kids. Then they can play on their tablet or phone for a short while.

No matter what your rules are in your house, it’s a good practice to have at least one day of family unplugged fun. It will not only make you feel better, but it will help your children feel a stronger bond towards you as they get older.

How face to face contact can help build your brand!

Unplugging at home is a great practice, but let’s dig into why it’s also just as important to unplug when you are starting your own business or working for a company at home.

It’s really easy to just rely on the internet for sales. It’s quick, convenient, and you can be online at all hours of the day or night. However, it’s not as easy to speak to potential clients or customers face to face. We tend to hide behind our keyboards, never wondering into the outside world.

One thing that I have found with all of the businesses I’ve started, is that it was vital for me to not depend solely on internet sales. You have to get out of your comfort zone and go to meet local people. Perhaps put flyers up at stores or pass out business cards.

A few things that really helped me grow my businesses were getting involved with mommy groups in my area. We have a program called MOPS (moms of preschoolers) and they are nationwide, so you should be able to find one in your area as well. Most of the time you see them being held at churches. This was a great way for me to meet local moms, as well as promote my businesses without being preachy, or spammy. Once I got to know the ladies, most want to know what I do for a living, and this is my opportunity to tell them.

Another great program you can get involved in is meetup groups. You can find them on Facebook, or online at meetup.com. Look for your area’s playgroups. If there is not one, then make one! If you are the admin of the group, this works even better in your favor because after a while of getting to know your group, hanging out with them, and learning about them, then you can ease into telling them about your business.

Meeting people locally is a wonderful way to get people interested in you as a person, and overall it builds your brand. You can join a bible study at your church or even a class on a topic that interests you. Find like-minded people to connect with, and grow your business with word of mouth advertising.

To quote Grant Cardone, start thinking to yourself “Who has my money?” Now, this is not to say be fake with meeting people. Don’t join the groups for the sole purpose of making a sale. Go in wholeheartedly to make connections. Your kids will benefit from the play dates, and you’ll get some much-needed adult time! So, it’s a win-win even if you don’t make a sale right away. You’ll be building your brand, making connections, meeting locals, having fun, and perhaps getting your business known around town, all at the same time.

Unplug once and a while – It does a body good!

Unplug from your daily internetwork and join a group of friends for coffee. It’s really going to help your morale to disconnect now and again!
Internet sales may be your main source of income, so keep plugging away at that, but don’t forget how important human face to face interaction is.

Even if you have a drop shipping eBay or Amazon business, you can still promote it with at a meetup. Just remember to hold back until they get to know you. Otherwise, people will feel you are pushy and it might scare them away. We all know that ONE PERSON! You know the one, she/he only calls because she/he needs to make a sale and wants you to order their product. Yeah, that one! Don’t be that one person. Instead be a friend, and make a sale because you are respected, not pushy!

Men, you’re included in these groups as well!

Unplug at home with your family at least once a week, to build a stronger connection, and get your mind clear for the following week of nonstop computer work. Then find a day that you can unplug for a meetup or mom’s group. It will be so worth it, with or without a sale. And for dad’s out there, don’t feel left out. Many churches have men’s groups, and there are also meetup groups for dad’s.

I always appreciate your support

If you liked what you read, and enjoy my podcast, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Your donations help me to continue making my work at home program better, and allows me more time to help you reach your work at home goals!

9 side hustles to make you money!

I know working at home can be tough to get into, especially when you’re new to the whole “work at home” life.
So, if you’re not ready to dive in head first to the full-time work at home life, there are some things you can start doing as a side hustle to make a little extra income.

Baking –
If you have any baking talent, this is a great way to make some side income. Start by offering your cakes, pastries, cookies, or cupcakes to friends and family. Tell them to spread the word. Make a free Facebook page, and start promoting your baked goods.

A true story that happened to a friend of mine – She did this exact thing. She was a teacher, and on weekends she would bake for friends and family. After a while, she got very well known by all the school moms and staff. Her cakes and cupcakes were everyone’s favorite. Pretty soon, she started a Facebook page and was starting to book orders weekly. Then daily, then she got to the point where she could no longer work full time as a teacher. So, she quit teaching, opened up a small bakery in town and is one of the top-ranked ones. So, these side jobs can sometimes turn into more if you work it!

Cooking –
Very similar to the baking, you can start cooking dishes for those in need. This is great for those disabled people who can’t get out of the house and want a home-cooked meal. My next-door neighbor makes the best tamale’s and every few months, she posts on the Facebook groups that she’s selling them. It’s a great way to make a few hundred bucks fast.

Another true story – A friend from my church has a catering business now. She cooks wonderful dishes for parties, or just for your family. Instead of calling out for pizza, call her and she will deliver a fresh yummy home-cooked meal. It’s a win-win, and that is her full-time job now! She was even invited to speak on a Christian TV show about her success!

Consignment –
I know I touched on selling stuff in another post, but doing consignment is a great way to make extra money while purging all the old stuff that no longer fits. If you have kids, this is even better because kid stuff sells rather quickly. If you keep the toys and clothes in good condition you can get a good price for it at these places. I have gone to a bunch since I have three kids, and even maternity clothes sell great at these events.

True story- A friend of mine has made a successful business from putting together these sales three times a year, and not only is this her only job, but she has been able to help those in need around our community. It’s been a great blessing to the town, and we all look forward to the sales.

Crafts –
If you’re a crafty person, then there is a lot of wonderful things you can do to make extra money. Make jewelry, and sell it on Etsy. Also, knitting has become very popular. If you can knit a hat, scarf or doll, these things go for a high price. As a matter of fact, I bought both my daughters custom made crochet dolls. They love them and have had them for over three years now. I paid about $35 for each doll and to be honest, I feel it was well worth it.

If you can make anything pretty or unique, then why not sell it. Today is the day my friends. We live in the best time ever to make a profit with our passions and talents. Make that thing you love and sell it. This even goes for furniture and big items. If you can build it, someone will buy it!

Art –
I for one love to look at art. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but I buy art all the time. My bookshelf is filled with books of my favorite artist work.

If you are gifted with the ability to make art, then get on these online sites and sell it. These days you have places like Twitch, where you get viewers to pay you just to watch you draw or paint!

This is a perfect time to be an artist. There are so many people needing illustrations for their books, blogs, and even logos for their business. If you have the ability to make art, then you have a huge advantage.

True story – I know of a teenage girl who has started a business drawing flash art for tattoo places. She is seventeen years old and makes extra money after school, drawing. What a great way for her to use her time to get paid. I mean, she would have been drawing in her free time anyway, but now she gets paid to do it!

Writing –
I know I talk about freelance writing a lot, but hey, it’s how I got started and writing is my passion. I may not be able to draw or do crafts but I can write!

Writing is how I helped support my family for three years. Now, if you’re not ready to be at home full time, and still want to work, then you can get some side gigs by writing.

Places like Craigslist, and even Indeed post gigs for writers all the time. If you have a pretty good grasp on grammar, then why not write a few articles a week on a subject you enjoy. You might get $25 for a few hours of work.

I loved my time as a freelance writer, as a matter of fact, I’m still currently doing it very part-time. Just wrote a review for an e-book that is being published. Even though I may no longer be a full-time freelance writer, as you can tell by my blog, I still write all the time!

There are a lot of places to get writing gigs and if you’d like to dig deeper into Freelance Writing, check out my blog post on all things writing!

Music –
People love to be entertained. With YouTube and other social media, your talents can be heard all around the world. You no longer have to play in bars to get an audience. Now you post a video and millions of people are listening to you.

I love to sing, and if I was not so darn scared I might make a few videos myself. Stage fright takes over and I can’t handle the nerves.

No matter what your talents are, get them out so the world can see, and ignore the haters because to quote Taylor Swift “people throw rocks at things that shine”.

If you have the nerve, try out for one of those TV shows. America’s Got Talent, Britain’s got talent, American Idol, The Voice, The X Factor. There are so many to choose from. Get your videos on the web, get a following, and start making music!

Gaming –
Yes, you can even make money gaming. Because of Twitch and their patron program now you can play your favorite video games and get paid to do it. Now, it’s not as easy as just playing, no, you have to be entertaining. You have to keep people engaged in your gameplay, and you have to make them want to come back each week for your episodes.

It’s like any business. You have to be consistent and it will take time to get followers, but once you get those followers, they will pay you to see more.

True Story – I was watching a girl play my favorite PC game, and at the time, I watched, I want to say it was about thirty minutes, she made two thousand dollars. That’s more then I make at my day job in a week. On Twitch it shows on the screen each time someone donates, and I was in shock! She has been on Twitch for over a year now, but it still amazes me!

E-Books –
I know this is touching on writing, but if you are knowledgeable on a subject, and know you can help someone with that knowledge, why not write it down? I know so many people who make a paycheck each month from their book sales. It may only be a few extra dollars but, money is money. I know how excited they get when the check ends up being a few hundred dollars.

True story – My cousin has a few e-books out. She makes consistent income from them each month. Sometimes it’s thirty dollars, and sometimes more. But, I remember one day my cousin was struggling and was not sure how she was going to cover bills that month. She called me so excited because her e-books made her $300 that month! That’s a few bills right there.

I am also working on a few e-books just for all of you. So, I will be joining the e-book club very soon. If you’d like to get info for my e-books, don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list.

Good Luck

These are just a few things you can do to help make extra income while keeping your day job. Side hustles are a great way to get that little extra that you could use for an unexpected expense or the bill you were not sure how was going to get paid.

Side hustles have been helping my family stay afloat for many years now. I only touched on a few of the things that have worked for people I know or have worked for me. There are many others out there, and I’ll be posting more later on.

I always love to hear from you so feel free to find me on Social Media. You can see all that info on my About Me Page!

Freelance Writing

 

Freelance Writing

Have you been thinking about writing books, blogs, papers, or stories? Are you good at writing? I mean, you have to like to write to do it as a job, so if you enjoy writing, are fairly good at it, and think you’d like to make it a career, then… Freelance Writing might be your answer!

When I had my firstborn daughter, Keira, I was determined to be a stay at home mom. However, our finances had other plans. I tried so hard to find a job that I could do from home that would actually make me more than $5 a week. Believe me, that was not an easy task at first. So, I leaned towards something I knew I was good at. I have been writing since I was 10 years old. It’s always been my therapy, my way of dealing with stress, and also my way of escaping reality. As an adult, I continued to write on my personal blog, and for my friends whenever they needed a resume or someone to do their website content. After being asked over and over, I  decided to make it my new career.

Freelance Writing by Sheena Diane “Established 2006”

Freelance Writing by Sheena Diane was born. I created a professional logo, got a website, and began writing as much as I possibly could. I created my own portfolio of writing content. At first, my portfolio contained things I had written for my family and friends through the years, but as I got a little more established, I had over a dozen websites,  a huge variety of blogs, newsletters, articles, and ghostwriting content. I was really proud of all the work I was getting, and the rave reviews from my clients. Freelance Writing paid my bills for the first 3 years of my daughter’s life. I even had one of my stories published in a book called “Open to Hope“.

I can’t say it was easy because it was a lot of work. Yes, I was able to write during my daughter’s naps and when she went to bed, but the writing was never the hard part for me. That always came pretty easy. The hard part was finding the jobs. You are consistently digging for new gigs, new writing jobs, and new places to pay you for your content. That is by far the biggest hurdle. Finding the jobs!

Losing all my references

After writing full time for a few years, you can imagine how much content, referrals,  references, and reviews I had gotten. My list of jobs kept growing, making my website a powerhouse for me getting new writing gigs. After all, the more you write, the more you can get paid to write. When people see you’re established, and see all the great reviews, they want to hire you above someone else. But suddenly, it all came to a stop!

I was hosting my website on a free web host. I paid for my domain name, but wanted to cut some corners, and didn’t want to pay for hosting, so I found a free hosting platform. It was great at first because it allowed me to design my own website, and I just forwarded my domain to that site and no one knew it was a free platform until it crashed! Let’s just say I learned my lesson the hard way. There is a reason you should pay for hosting your website. This company ended up getting shut down, and without notice, I lost all my references, my jobs, links, everything was gone!

When I tried contacting the company I couldn’t find anything online. It was like they disappeared and took my website with it. Unfortunately, I did not save any of my references anywhere but my website. I see now how big of a mistake that was because when I do Freelance jobs now, I have to start at the bottom again. No references to show people I’m a pro. No content to let them know I’ve done the jobs they need to be written. So, I have to start from scratch.

Let me be your example, and keep a file with all your jobs listed in it. Make sure you have a backup somewhere for your links. I didn’t have that, and all I can go by now is my memory, and after 3 kids that’s not very reliable these days!

Is Freelance Writing for you?

If you love to write, don’t mind digging, searching, and digging some more for jobs, then go for it. I can honestly say I loved being a full-time freelance writer. Every day was something new and exciting. My creative side was able to shine, and I felt very fulfilled. This is why I started blogging. I missed writing so much, it’s been a huge part of my life, and when I don’t do it for long periods of time, I start getting depressed, anxious, and unfulfilled.

There are a still a ton of Freelance writing jobs out there. On occasion I even apply for a few, just to keep me on my toes. Right now, I am doing reviews on Kindle books or books that are being self-published. People contact me and I will read the book and submit an honest review of that book. It doesn’t pay much, but again, I just do it for the fun of writing, and getting to read a new book for free!

If you’d like more information on how to find Freelance Writing jobs, or just have questions for me feel free to contact me. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, podcast and don’t forget to join my mailing list!

 

 

 

 

Want to make money by captioning movies?

I have had so many people say to me that work at home jobs are not real. That they are all scams and you can’t earn a living doing them. I know there are so many false hopes out there, but this is the reason I have started this blog, my podcast, and my youtube channel to help encourage you that I am living proof you can find real work at home jobs.

If you like to write and watch movies, then the job I am highlighting today might be a perfect fit for you. A while ago I worked for a company called Rev. This is an amazing company that allows you to work from home. They have great customer service and will be there to answer any questions you might have.

What is Rev? Blurb has taken from www.rev.com – Rev is a marketplace for remote work made up of a large network of 12,000 freelancers (aka Revvers) that provide services to our 100,000+ customers around the world including companies like Amazon, Google, Buzzfeed and more. Our goal is to create 100,000 work-from-home jobs by 2020, and we are looking for ambitious professionals to help us get there.

In a nutshell companies, or individuals will go to the Rev website and get their videos, movies, sermons, and many other things transcribed. For this job, you don’t need any previous experience, although having good grammar and typing skills is a huge help!

When I worked with Rev I applied for the captioner position because I love to watch videos and movies, so I thought this would be a great way to make money doing something I enjoyed. The one downfall with captioning is getting the timing right on the videos. When I first started out this was a struggle and did take me a lot of time to get done with one video. However, the more you do, the better you will get.

Anytime you start something new, give yourself learning time. You won’t be making a lot right out of the gate. Practice makes perfect.

As of today’s date (1/12/2018), this is their job openings and pay scale.

This is a job I have personally worked for, I did get paid and it is a REAL work at home job, that you can do on your time. The amount you make depends on how much you want to work. So, if you need to make more money, then you will need to dedicate more time to it!

Here is the information, and if they ask where you heard about them, please refer them to my blog (I am not being paid to advertise for Rev, this is from my own experiences). Good luck and let me know how it goes!  https://www.rev.com/freelancers

I love hearing from you and would love to know if you get the job. Please feel free to email me below, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest!

10 tips to help you start a business in 2018!

Are you thinking of starting a business in 2018?

Here are some pointers to help you along the way. I have started a lot of businesses. Some have been a success, and others barely made a profit. There are a lot of things to consider before jumping right into getting incorporated. One big mistake I’ve made was not having a clear business plan before starting. When my husband and I started our first business, it was a dog training business called The Doggy Guru. We did great at first, but as the business grew my husband could not keep up with the demand, and we eventually had to shut the doors. Now, you might be thinking if you were growing, why would you have to close? We were growing in customers, but still not making enough money to hire additional trainers, and that caused him to only be able to take on so many new clients. What ended up happening is my husband got burnt out within only a few short years, and decided it was time to move on. If we would have had a set business plan, we would have been prepared for the spike in clients and knew how to deal with that. Just jumping head first into owning a business will be a sure way to fail, it may not happen at first, but over time without a clear guideline of where you want to go with your business, you end up getting stuck, scared, and lost!

After that, we learned that we needed a clear goal and business plan, so our next business was a great success. We started a commercial cleaning company called Matos Clean. I had a business plan, we had rules and guidelines for employees, and even had a lawyer who helped with the paperwork. This business felt different going in because we knew we had all our ducks in a row. Businesses saw how professional our paperwork was, and we got hired early on with some big companies. We even got a contract with an apartment complex that gave us steady work. What we didn’t plan for was a bad employee. Yeah, we went through all the proper channels and background checks, but still, you never know if a person is going to be a good employee. We were cleaning a big bank, and we had just hired a new guy. A really sweet older man and he and my husband got along right away. During one of the routine cleanings of the bank, this new guy stole money! Yep, he stole money from every single donation jar in the bank. Now, because this was a very large bank there were jars in every office and on most of the counters. There are camera’s everywhere, and needless to say, the next day we got a call from the police, asking us to meet with the bank supervisor. We were terrified and didn’t know what to expect until we saw the camera footage. We were embarrassed, devastated, and also grateful the bank did not press charges on us. Instead, they asked us to pay back what was taken from the jars, and since it was donations they really had no idea how much it was, so they gave us a number, and it pretty much bankrupted our little business. I don’t tell you this to scare you, instead, I tell you this to prepare you. We hired the wrong person and that untimely was our demise. You may do everything right and by the book, but there is always going to be something unexpected that pops up no matter what business you have, so have a little money stashed away for those incidents, just in case. I just hope that never happens to you!

Here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way by owning businesses. This info is based in Florida, as this is the only state I’ve ever started a business in, so be sure to check your state’s guidelines, and county licenses needed before going any further with a business plan!

1. Paying customers– Before you ever even think about getting incorporated be sure you have a product or service that people want. If you don’t have clients already, then you may be wasting money by starting a business. If you have a product, test it by selling in on Ebay, or Facebook first. If you want to bake cakes, sell them to friends and family to be sure you can actually make a profit. If you’re offering a service, get a portfolio of jobs, or gigs you have done so that you will have references once you start your business. Ultimately, you don’t want to spend money on getting your licenses if you don’t already have interest in your product or service. With our business Sunshine Breeders, we were selling the worms long before we started our LLC.  The reason we had to incorporate, is that we started selling the worms to local stores, who could only pay us if we had a business checking account. In order to get a business checking, you have to have a registered business.

2. Business plan – I know I touched on this earlier, but it’s vital to have a set-out goal or plan for what you want for your business. Starting a business just because you have customers is not going to last long term. Don’t be too anxious, patients is a blessing sometimes. You need a clear idea of where you want your business to go, how much money you expect to make, if you want employees, or what your end goal is for this business. Having these ideas are going to help you focus on them, and help make those goals happen, it’s also going to keep you on track for what you need to change if you missed the goals in the first year. I can’t stress enough how important this is when you are thinking of starting a business. Also, a great idea is a vision board or journal for your business goals. If you want help with writing a business plan feel free to email me. SheenaDiane@gmail.com

3. Should you get an LLC– This is a question I get asked a lot and it’s one that’s honestly hard to answer. Currently, our business is an LLC but when we had our cleaning business it was an S Corporation. Here is the definition found on www.legalzoom.com “A limited liability company (LLC) combines elements of a partnership, sole proprietorship, and a corporation. Consider your type of business, personal assets, and liability risk when deciding whether to form an LLC. what does LLC mean? Limited liability means that its owners, also called members, are usually not personally responsible for the LLC’s debts and lawsuits. If an LLC files for bankruptcy, the members do not have to use personal money to pay the company’s debts. If the LLC faces a lawsuit, the members do not risk losing their home to cover a settlement”.

4. What is an S Corp – Here is what an S Corp is – this was taken directly from the IRS website: “S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S corporations report the flow-through of income and losses on their personal tax returns and are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates. This allows S corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income. S corporations are responsible for tax on certain built-in gains and passive income at the entity level. To qualify for S corporation status, the corporation must meet the following requirements:
• Be a domestic corporation
• Have only allowable shareholders
o May be individuals, certain trusts, and estates and
o May not be partnerships, corporations or non-resident alien shareholders
• Have no more than 100 shareholders
• Have only one class of stock
• Not be an ineligible corporation (i.e. certain financial institutions, insurance companies, and domestic international sales corporations).
Whether you get an S corp, C corp or LLC really depends on what you want out of your business. I suggest speaking with a business lawyer, or Business advisor on the correct one to choose. There is also Sole Proprietorship and that is where you act as the business using your own social. However, I was advised against that being if you ever get sued or go in debt all your assets like your house, car, etc. become the businesses and you can lose everything you own in your name. If you are incorporated as an LLC or S Corp then the business acts as a separate entity and your personal assets cannot be touched!

5. Marketing – One thing I had to learn the hard way, to have a successful business of any sort, you have got to learn to market it. Going back to the Doggy Guru days, I would have spent all day long marketing for my husband, and it paid off because again we got so much business we had to turn people away. I had to learn the hard way on what worked and what didn’t. You have got to have some sort of online presence so that people will buy whatever it is your selling. This does not necessarily mean you need to run out and buy a website right away. Places like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter can act as your website until you start making enough money to put back into the business. If you are not good at marketing but have high hopes for your business, I would suggest hiring someone to market your business for you. It really is going to make or break your business. It’s the difference between having friends and family as customers, to growing into a big enough business that you have customers for years to come. Social media is really the best and most cost-friendly way to market. If you need tips on this, check out Gary Vaynerchuk, he is literally the master of social media, and he has taught me so much more than I ever would have learned on my own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3w3YvhbHVA

6. Knowledge is power – I say this a lot but it’s so true. If you are going to brand any type of product or service, you have to be knowledgeable about what the people want. If you are not reading about your craft and learning all there is to know, then what makes you stand out next to the other guy selling something. There are no original ideas. We are all fighting for someone to spend their money on whatever it is we are selling. If you are not an expert in your craft, then I’m going to go to someone else who can answer my questions about the product or service. You have to know everything there is to know about your business. If you don’t know it, then research it. Get the answer and memorize it!

7. Customer Service – This by far goes such a long way. For instance, I also sell Scentsy, the scented wax, but there are literally hundreds of people in my area selling Scentsy. So, why would you buy from me? I strive to give great customer service. I will meet you wherever you need me to, I will take time out of my day to speak with you if you have questions, and I always give thank you cards, or gifts when you purchase from me. I go above and beyond for my customers and they know that when they book a party with me, they are going to get lots of goodies in return. Another example of this is our phone company. Note, that I am not being paid in any way, shape, or form to plug T-Mobile, but I’m going to use them as an example. We have been with T-Mobile for over 12 years. Do you know why? Because their customer service is amazing. I can’t tell you the number of times they have replaced our phones or given us a discounted phone. They may not have the best cellular service, nor the best data plans, but we would not go anywhere else because over the past 12 years T-Mobile has given us the best customer service possible. No, the customer is not always right, and yes, there will be times people will try to take advantage, but the truth is, keeping the customer happy makes everyone’s life a little better. Without good customer service, it’s going to be hard to keep people coming back.

8. Taxes – This is one of those things that I have no clue about, but, it’s also something I didn’t think about when starting our first few businesses. When you are a business owner, the taxes that come out of your check in a regular job no longer happens. You have to manually deduct the taxes from your income. What helped me was having two bank accounts. I had my main business account, and I had my tax account. I actually set up a checking and savings together and used the business savings for taxes only. This way when it was time to file, I would not get a huge tax bill that I had no clue how I was going to pay. Another suggestion I can give unless you are an accountant yourself is to hire a CPA to help in this department. The last thing you want is to not file your taxes correctly and get the IRS after you.

9. Files – Be sure you keep all your receipts going out and coming in. A huge help to me was getting Quickbooks. Yes, it is a bit costly. I want to say it cost about $200, but in my opinion, it’s worth it to keep everything organized and filed. I get sidetracked really easily, so having a program like this really keeps me accountable. If I don’t file a receipt, then I won’t have the correct amount on my budget paperwork. Definitely look into purchasing a program like Quickbooks to help you keep everything in one place, and keep all your sales in order. You will need this at the end of the year when filing your taxes or when filing your business report. I also use a filing system with folders. You can set up one folder for income, and one for business expenses.

10. Florida – Because I live in Florida I register my business name through Sunbiz.org. Depending on where you live you will have guidelines to follow. Also, depending on the county you live in you might need a county license in order to do business in your area. I say do all the above before paying to get incorporated, let getting an LLC or S corp be the last thing you do. The reason I say this is because you don’t want to drop $150 bucks if you’re not truly ready for the long haul in your business. There are so many little steps you will learn along the way. You will make mistakes, but learn from them and keep moving forward. Once you register your name on Sunbiz.org then you will need to get a tax ID number. You can get this by going to IRS.com. It’s pretty easy, you just fill out the form with your new business info that you get from Sunbiz, then you get emailed your tax ID or EIN. With this number, you can open a business bank account, and have a business PayPal. If you are not sure where to find info for your state, call your local tax office. They can direct you to the right locations, and answer a lot of your questions.

I hope that my experiences can help you in yours. I want to wish you a very prosperous 2018, and all the best in starting your new business! I am always glad to help, and love hearing from you so feel free to shoot me an email below, or find me on social media! Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter.

Check out my podcast on starting a business: https://anchor.fm/sheenawahm?at=2125452