Tag Archives: life

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!

 

 

 

 

What is your end goal?

Why do you spend all your time and energy at work? To make money, to pay bills, to have food on the table, the list can go on and on right?
Well, when you are considering working from home, you really need a clear idea of what you’d like to accomplish by working from home.
I had a lady speak with me the other day and said: “Sheena, I want to work from home so that I can have more free time to do all the things I can’t now that I am away at my job all day.” I had to comment back, and say, I wish I could have free time to get my house clean and organize my house as well, but as a work at home mom, I rarely get free time.

A lot of people have this misconception that if you work from home, you pretty much get to make up your own rules, and work your own hours. Although, that may be the case on some rare occasions the majority of real work at home jobs will be a 9 to 5 or similar. Unless you are hiring employees to work for you, or selling a product, chances are you will have to put in the time.

I have been doing some sort of stay at homework for about 9 years now. Whether it was a side hustle, or as it is currently my full-time job I have had a lot of experience with the work at home life!

Everyone’s WHY is different. What is your WHY for wanting to work from home? Once you can answer that, it will help you get a clearer picture of what type of jobs to look for.

Originally, I started looking for work at home jobs when my first born came along. Keira is now 10 years old. Being a new mom, I refused to let a stranger babysit my newborn baby, so I did everything in my power to stay home. I babysit the kids around the neighborhood, I sold Avon, MaryKay, & still currently sell Scentsy, cleaned houses, and even did marketing for friends in exchange for food, or goods I needed. I filled out surveys online, mailed out chain letters, joined an online membership group where you test out products and get paid to give an honest review (that mostly paid in products though). I even got scammed pretty bad a few times as well. The two I remember being the worst were, I signed up to book cruises over the phone. Even had a phone interview with the company, said after 3 months my family would get a free cruise, and in order to be paid they needed my bank account info. I gave it to them, being naive and thinking this was a great job, and a few days later $200 was gone out of my account. They claimed it was the taxes for the FREE cruise I would get. Needless to say I had to fight the bank to get that money back but in the end, they said it was authorized because on the recording I said I understood that I’d be responsible for paying taxes on the cruise when I booked it. I didn’t even work one day and they took my money and I never got the cruise cause well, I never got the job! The 2nd big scam I fell for was flipping houses. I mean you hear about this all the time right? Well, I was listening to this radio station and they were saying go to this website for a free booklet for flipping houses. So, I went to the website and called the number. Spoke to a guy for about an hour and he had me convinced this was a great opportunity. I had to order their training that was only exclusive to this program. It cost about $80 so I did it, but when they charged my card it was $165. They claimed it was taxes, and handling fees. I got the package and it had nothing in it that you couldn’t find on Google for free. It was a waste of time and money. At least I got my money back with this one! Needless to say, I was not able to flip houses with no money! When you hear that run the other way, cause there is always a catch! It talked about finding investors, but if I knew anyone willing to lend me that kind of money I wouldn’t need the book in the 1st place ha-ha.

So, why do you want to work from home? If it’s to spend more time with your kids, then you may want to reconsider the types of jobs you get. I currently work in sales and marketing for a low voltage company. Yes, I work from home but no, I do not get more time with my kids. As a matter of fact, they ask me to play with them after I pick them up from school, and I always have to say Mommy is working. I hate dismissing them, but I have to work! Working from home is a wonderful thing. I do not have to hire a babysitter, I can take breaks to feed my 2-year-old son, change his diaper, and play with him in small spurts during lunch break or when he’s upset, but the truth is working at home is not going to be easy. I think it’s harder balancing my life now that I am a full-time work at home mom (WAHM).

I would not trade it because I love having the flexibility to be home, and being able to pick my kids up from school, but it’s really tough having a conference call with a baby crying in the background. Or taking the kids to speech class, having a client call and having the noise of all the distractions going on around me. It takes a lot of focus and discipline to balance working at home and being a mom that is for sure!  Oh, and if you are married don’t forget your spouse is going to want dinner on the table and a tidy house. Well, in my case my husband has settled for dinner on the table because cleaning the house and answering hundreds of emails all day is not going to happen by the time he get’s home!

I tell you this not to discourage you, but rather to inform you that there is no such thing as EASY money from home. If you want to earn a living from home, you are going to have to work for it. Even if you are starting your own business. Actually, more so if you are becoming a business owner because you are building your brand and that takes time, as well as peoples trust. It takes time to build people’s trust! I had a mom in one of my MOPS groups (Mom’s of preschoolers) tell me that she started her own business so that she could set her own hours and have more free time with her family. However, the business ended up growing so fast that by the 2nd year, she was never home and was on the road weeks at a time. She started a consulting firm for wellness and fitness counseling. She went into it thinking she would travel a few times a month to do workshops and what not, but it ended up she was traveling more than she was home.

This is why I asked the question. I want you to have a clear goal in mind so that when you start this work at the home journey you will know why and where you want it to end up. What is it that you want to achieve working at home? Is it vacation money, extra spending money, or helping with kids activity money? Whatever the reason, keep that in mind when searching for your new work at home career. If you don’t want a real time-consuming job, then stay away from sales. If you want more flexibility then maybe transcription work is more up your alley. It’s going to be easier to evaluate the jobs that will help you get to your end goal if you start out knowing what that end goal is!

As for me, I want to eventually be a full-time paid blogger, so that I can help each of you find your passion, help you avoid the scams, and give you all the tips I’ve learned along my journey. I want to be able to set my own hours so that writing can happen during baby’s naps, and bedtime giving me the freedom to spend time with the kids after school, letting me have time to tidy the house, and letting me be able to be the wife that I am too exhausted to be right now. That is my end goal, but right now the bills have to be paid so I’ll continue doing marketing and sales until blogging takes the front seat!

I love hearing from you, and if you have a story or question that you’d like to share please email it to me! You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or listen to my podcast

So you want to work from home?

With the rat race of traffic, tolls, people, and cost of childcare, working remotely is becoming more popular than ever. It not only benefits the stay at home mom or dad, but it is a win for your employer as well. They get the same amount of work without the overhead of having to add a desk, drug test, and have a lower overhead cost. For the right person working from home can increase their productivity and overall well being. Meaning some people are happier when working from home, which in return produces more business, better customer service, and overall a better employee!

So, Now that you’ve decided that you are ready to jump headfirst into the work at home community, what do you do next?

Finding these opportunities is not always easy, and if you go to the wrong places you could find yourself falling for scams. Believe me, I’ve done it. So here are  10 things you need to know before jumping in head first to this type of career.

  1. Research – You have to really take some time to research the company or the job you are thinking of getting. There are so many fake get rich quick things out there that you can’t trust anyone until you have done your homework.
  2. Your passion – This may seem like a no-brainer but there are actually a ton of jobs you can do from home, so knowing what it is that makes you happy to go to work is what you should be focusing on. For me, I am a huge people person & am great with sales, so when I got a transcription job doing insurance claims I hated it. Why? Because I was listening to a recording all day, never talking to anyone and it was not for me. I started to dread putting on my headphones. Now I work in marketing and sales & I love it & look forward to turning on my laptop for work each day!
  3. Facebook groups – It may seem like a normal thing to log onto Facebook and go looking for groups that offer advice on jobs at home, but from experience, the only thing I ever got from any of those groups were links to click on a landing page and sign up to make someone else rich. It will only bring you confusion, frustration, and scams. I actually had a lady ask me for my name, birthday, and address on private message because she said she was doing a job interview with me at 10 PM on Facebook? I said, lady, I am not giving you any of my info then reported her to Facebook. She was banned after that for trying to steal people’s information. Just be careful, and use good judgment. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and if someone is asking you for personal info on Facebook, never fall for it!
  4. Indeed & Monster – Once you find what you like to do now you can go job searching, I have had a lot of success using the keyword Remote jobs in Indeed & Monster. If you would like to work in Customer Service, for instance, you would look for “Remote Customer Service jobs”.
  5. Be your own boss – If the thought of working for someone else is not your cup of tea, that’s okay. You can find a lot of jobs that you can do on your own. I have been working as a Freelance Writer for many years & still do it occasionally. I did it as a side hustle so never made it a full-time job, but if you put in the work you can make it a full-time income. There are a lot of other things you can do on your own as well, and we can get into those in another post. Or you can always ask me if you want to know something specific.
  6. Balance – This is something I had to learn the hard way. If you have kids and are going to work from home you have got to learn to balance your time. I still struggle with this one, but I have come up with a system that works for me & helps me to get my work done, pick up my girls from school, have time to be with my two-year-old son, make dinner, help with homework, and do all the after school activities. One thing that works for me is alarms. I set alarms on my phone for lunchtime, this is so I won’t get so caught up with work that I forget to feed the baby and myself. I put alarms on my phone for every task I need to do throughout the day so that I can be sure to get everything done. I have also found little things that help me be more productive, but I can go into more detail in another post.
  7. Distractions – I had no idea just how many distractions I would face being a work at home mom. Being I have a two-year-old home with me while I work you might hear crying in the background while I make that important business call. The dogs start barking when I am trying to close a sale, the doorbell rings.. the list goes on and on. Dealing with distractions is a huge struggle to me. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest, sure does look nice after answering emails for the last twenty minutes. Or the TV has been off for a while, let me see if my show is on! Nope… don’t do it. That five-minute break turns into an hour and then you end up getting behind. Keeping your head focused and on track is a huge hurdle in the work at home life. I can give you some tips and tricks that have helped me overcome some of these distractions in another post.
  8. Keywords – There are many ways to find jobs you can do from home & a great tool to start with is Search Engines. I use Google for my keywords and it always gave me great success at finding side jobs here and there. Going back to the freelance writing career, I used the keywords ‘Write for pay” or “paid writers”. This would bring up things that were paying people to write. I actually found one of my favorite writing jobs this way. I found a pet sitting blog that needed a writer to give her weekly articles on pet related things. This was perfect for me because I am a former Veterinary Technician and had a lot of knowledge on this subject. If you were looking for transcription work, for example, you’d want to search out “Insurance transcription jobs”, or “movie subtitle transcription work”. These types of keywords can help narrow down your searches. Plus you can find a ton of YouTube videos on your given interest and the best keywords to find that particular job!
  9. Direct Sales – A lot of people have asked me if direct sale or MLM (multi-level marketing) businesses are worth it and being I have done my fair share, I can give you my honest opinion on them. I have sold Avon, Mary Kay, Mark, Juice Plus, Jamberry nails & Scentsy. When I first started selling these I did make money. Not a lot but enough to cover the products I wanted to buy & to keep my website going. If you are really serious about making these businesses work you absolutely can be successful doing so. However, you have to have a solid base of friends & family that can help you get started, then after that, it’s up to you to grind & hustle to get new customers each week. If you don’t have a solid network of friends or customers then these type of businesses will fail rather quickly. Each one has its own set of rules and amount you have to make in sales each month to continue selling their products. When the sales slow down, you end up paying out of pocket to keep the business going & it quickly turns into a money taker, rather than a money maker. Yes, It can be done & I have many friends who have climbed up to the top of these ladders, love their jobs, have a great team under them & make a great living doing this. It takes effort & time to make this type of job a successful one. I did not have enough drive to make it work for me, but maybe you will. If you are interested in this I can provide you with more information on these as well as a few contacts to get you started.
  10. Invest in yourself – You are worth it, and just because something costs money does not always mean it’s a scam or not worth it. There are so many webinars, podcast, and books out there to help you on this journey. Knowledge is power! There are some awesome remote jobs that may require a small investment. As a matter of fact, the transcription job I did was doing insurance claims, I had to buy my equipment. I had to buy a transcription pedal, software, and headphones. Now I would not drop a hundred dollars to a company on things that were not for me. Meaning, if they ask me to sign up for this amazing opportunity for only $100 but I get no products/supplies in return, then NO NO NO red flag. But if you are starting a job and you need tools for yourself to do that job then, by all means, invest in yourself, so that you can do the job the best way possible. Having a work desk, a good computer, a nice chair, and the know-how to do the job you choose are all things that will make the transition into the work at home life easier.

I hope this gets you excited about this new journey you are thinking of taking. I am here to help guide you along the way to your work at home life. I have been living the work at home life for many years. I have had many side hustles in the past 11 years, and have been a work at home mom full time for the past few years. I would love to hear from you and feel free to ask me questions about working at home.

 

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