Start a photography business

Do you love taking photos? How about starting your own photography business?

It’s easier than ever before to take amazing photos. You don’t even need a $500 camera to do it. You can take amazing photos just using your smartphone.

Download a good editing software from your computer, and you have yourself a great startup to your new photography business.

Make a portfolio

The easiest way to get known is by having a good portfolio. Anytime we have hired a photographer for family photos, I always check out their profile page, and look through all their photos. I want to make sure we will get good results from our session.

When you first start out, you’re not going to have a lot of photos to show clients, so you’re going to have to start offering FREE services to your family and friends, in return for good reviews, and rights to use their images for your portfolio.

After getting a least five different groups, or individuals, you will have enough to start charging for your photos. Remember photo sessions are fun, and you want it to be low pressure for your customers. Have poses lined up, and don’t ask them to pose. Unless they are professionals, having them pose themselves turn out bad in photos. Believe me, anytime a photographer said just pose yourself how you feel comfortable, I always came out looking constipated!

Side income, or full-time income

Starting a photography business can be a great side income, or full-time income if you get the right clients. A very good friend of mine landed a job at National Geographic because he took really amazing photos of animals and bugs.

One of the ladies who took our photos rented a storage unit with AC for her studio. I was a little apprehensive when I pulled into the storage lot, but she had it decorated really cozy, and it was two units put together, so there was a lot of space. She had a nice cozy chair to sit, with a mirror, and even a tiny play area for the kids. Then on the other side was all her camera equipment and backdrops. It was honestly a very inexpensive way to have a studio set up. The photos she took came out great.

You can get creative with this type of business. You don’t have to have a studio. You can take photos on location. I personally love the way those photos come out way better than being in a studio. And without a studio, you have no overhead.

Just use what you have to start

To start out, just use what you have. Use your smartphone, take great photos, and invest in a photoshop or a good editing software.

At first, you don’t even need a website. Create an Instagram account and a Facebook business page for your photography and add your photos there. Promote it and see if you can book some sessions. Once you start making some money, then invest in a website. As you continue getting business, buy better equipment. Let your clients buy your supplies so that you won’t have a big up-front investment.

As time goes on and you get better known, then invest in Facebook advertising. You can customize the market you want your ad to show to and bring in the clients you want.

This is a great hobby, side income, or could become a full-on business if you want it to. Find your niche and go all in or do it all. There are so many adventures to roam with photography. You can shoot weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, babies, animals, bugs, wildlife, plants, headshots, the list goes on and on.

Get creative, and make it happen. Stop thinking about it and do it! That’s the hardest part… Doing it!

Jobs you can do on your schedule!

Working around your schedule.

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A question I seem to be getting a lot lately is about jobs you can do around your schedule. So not necessarily a home-based job, but jobs where you can be flexible and create your own hours.  Believe it or not, there are quite a few jobs like this out there. Here is one that I did.

Kindermusik

Back when I was pregnant with my son Dominik, who is now 2 years old, I started a music class. It all began when I was working as a Preschool assistant teacher. Every Friday I would do ‘Music Time with Ms. Sheena”. The kids loved it and even some of the teachers who heard me singing would come in a sit for my music time. We had fun singing nursery rhythms, tapping on the floor with our feet and hands, or pretending to be animals. The Preschool teacher came over to me after my singing class one day, and said: “Why haven’t you become a Kindermusik teacher?”

I had never heard of Kindermusik, so after that day, I went to trusty Google and started searching. When I saw all that Kindermusik was, I realized I was already doing this with my classes. So, while I was pregnant I spent my days working 6 am to 6 pm at the school, and my nights going to online music classes.  It took about 6 months to finish the course, and by that time I was almost ready to pop. But, it worked out perfect because, by the time Dominik was born, I was ready to quit my day job and launch Kindermusilk with Ms. Sheena.

The response to this new music class was amazing. I scheduled the classes around Dominik’s nap times and did a family class (all ages) after the girls got home from school. The first 5 months were perfect. Dominik was a newborn and loved the music. He would have tummy time with the other infants and even to this day, he loves music.

Before I finish this story let me tell you a little bit about Kindermusik. Taken from www.Kindermusik.com Kindermusik is the world’s leading provider of music-based education for children from birth through age seven. We use the power and joy of music-making to help children learn and grow during the years most critical to brain development. Since 1978, Kindermusik has helped millions of children around the world build a strong foundation for a lifetime love of learning.

After 5 months, the place where I was renting the room, decided they no longer wanted to rent out their space, so I was in a pickle to find a place to do my classes in less than a week. I ended up holding a few classes at local parks, but being the kids were so young most of them just wanted to play on the playground. Then I got a contract with a local bounce house letting me rent out their party room. It was perfect. The owner even gave my students a discount if they wanted to bounce after class. A match made in heaven, but as with most small businesses, the numbers began to fade, and pretty soon I was paying more in rent then I was getting paid.

It lasted a little over 1 year, and I would not trade those days for anything. I made some great friends and lasting impacts on kids in my town. I’m still known as Ms. Sheena when they see me, plus it was a lot of fun. Here is a video of a very pregnant me in one of my practice classes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSUCGiAzSfA

 

So, if you are thinking of doing something outside the house, on your own schedule I recommend looking into programs like this one. There are so many to choose from. Here are just a few.

https://musicwithmar.com/
https://www.zumbini.com/
Mommy and me classes – check local listings
https://kidsmusicround.com/

Signing Time

I also considered doing signing time, I almost signed up for this one after closing the doors to my Kindermusik classes, but I didn’t want to invest more, after losing money. However, I do highly recommend Signing Time, and if not to teach, perhaps check out the videos for your kids! Very educational for teaching sign language to kids. https://www.signingtime.com/academy/certification-details/

Just do a quick Google search of your area, and see what programs are already around. Then think of your skills. Are you good with kids, do you like to sing, dance, play? Would you like teaching sign language? Whatever it is you’re good at, you can find a class to teach, or just create your own.
I can’t tell you enough, how rewarding my time doing Kindermusik was. It was the perfect job to be able to balance a new baby, 2 older girls, and all the extra stuff we do during the weekdays.

It is possible to find jobs on for your schedule, these are just touching on a few that involve kids. But there are a wide variety of other niches out there.
If you would like more information on other programs like these, in a different area of expertise, subscribe to my blog, and send me an email. Or you can always find me on my social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Patreon. 

Direct Sales MLM – Worth it or not?

Almost every day, a friend or family member of mine asked me to buy something from them. I get it on text messages, on social media and even over the phone. I’m sure you can relate to that feeling of, “oh no it’s Sally calling again, she’s wanting me to buy Avon”. We’ve all been there, and we all know someone who is selling something. To be completely transparent with you, I have done about 5 of these direct sale companies myself.

Mary Kay:

When Keira my firstborn came along I was determined to be a stay at home mom, so I joined Mary Kay. You pay $100 for the starter kit, you get brochures, a bag, and sample products to use at parties, plus your website is free for 3 months. You do have to sell so much within a 3-month span to keep you active as a consultant.

I did okay at first, but back 11 years ago the internet was not like it is today, and I had to do a lot of house parties. It cost me a lot of gas, and in products because I had to have the products to sell them. Needless to say, I could only make it about 1 year before I called it quits. I still love Mary Kay beauty products but the high price keeps people away.

Avon:

I needed to make extra income so when my second daughter Sasha came along I thought I’d try going with Avon. My mom had sold Avon, and I was familiar with a lot of their products cause I’ve used them all my life. When I joined Avon it was $25 to join, you had to buy your campaign books every two weeks, and had to sell a certain amount to stay active each month. The website is also free for three months, but you do pay $10 a month after that.

Now, I am not going to lie, I actually did really good with Avon. I got a downline and began making money even when I wasn’t selling due to the people who I signed up. I had regular customers, and even became the lead for my area. I really loved selling Avon, and it didn’t hurt that I also loved the products as well.

We ended up moving and I lost all my regulars. I actually did Avon for about 3 years before we moved, but it never was a full-time income. It gave me gas money but that’s about all. Needless to say, after losing my regulars, my business died a quick death.

Now Avon offers you 3 start-up kits. One that cost $25, one that’s $50 and one that’s $100. Funny thing is, I still get calls for Avon and I have not been active for over 5 years now.

Juice Plus:

After I went to work outside of the home when my youngest daughter turned 3, I worked in childcare. I was the pre-school assistant teacher and moved up to be in charge of the extended care department. Being around all those kids took its toll on my health, and I got sick a lot. One of the teachers suggested I start taking Juice Plus.

She said since she started taking the vitamins she hardly ever got sick. So, yet again I signed up to sell another product and this time it was Juice Plus. It cost you $50 to join but you do have to enroll in monthly shipments of the vitamins as well. I was okay with that being I needed them for work.

Honestly, I have to say they did work. When I was regularly taking Juice Plus, I hardly ever got sick. As a matter of fact, I was being called in to sub for the subs who had gotten the funk going around, and I was healthy as a horse, while everyone else was sick around me. Juice Plus is all the servings of vitamins and veggies your body needs in a day, put into a capsule. My kids even loved the vitamins gummies they have.

Overall, I never made a penny with Juice Plus. Not a cent! I bought it for myself, and my kids but ended up spending a lot of money on it because the cost of the vitamins were about $50 a month. Yes, they work. I did not get sick and did feel better, but honestly, that’s high way robbery in my eyes. $50 a month for vitamins! The worst part was that I could not sell them to anyone, no matter how hard I tried. Epic fail as far as virtual franchises go!

Jamberry Nails:

I told myself I was done with direct sales and didn’t want to have anything to do with them again. Well, my friend Joann called me and invited me to a girls party at her house doing our nails. I thought sure why not, sounds fun, plus I had never heard of Jamberry Nails before so I was curious.

I went to the party and had an absolute blast with all my mom friends. The nail wraps were so pretty. You cut them to fit your nail, then used this cute little heater to heat them up. Then you press them on and they stay on your nail for a few weeks. It was adorable and you can guess what happened. I was sold and ended up joining the team of my friend who had the party.

I have to admit, selling Jamberry nails was by far the easiest MLM I’ve ever done. The designs are so cute that they really sell themselves. Plus, they are very inexpensive. The nail wraps only cost $15 and you can do your toes twice & nails twice with that one sheet. The startup was $100 but you got a ton of stuff. I never did a house party with Jamberry nails, I did all my parties on Facebook and I did okay at first.

As far as perks go, Jamberry Nails is where it’s at. I got so many free wraps that I still have some to this day. It was short lived though, the fad died after only 5 months of me selling it. I think it was also my fault because I started getting aggravated that my hair would get stuck in my wraps while I was taking a shower. I’d get so frustrated that I’d tear them off and it started damaging my nails. Again, my fault, but it was pretty annoying.

Scentsy:

After yet again swearing I was done with these MLM things, I got introduced to the amazing smelling world that is Scentsy. I am a sucker for nice smells. I love candles and always had them burning in my house until my younger daughter burned her finger by putting it in the hot wax one day.

After that, I threw out my candles and started using plug-ins. That was until I was invited to a Scentsy party with a lady from my church. I was hooked from the moment I walked into her house and smelled the baked apple pie scent.

The warmers never get hot enough to burn little fingers, and the wax has no chemicals. I promised myself I was not going to join another MLM so instead, I bought Scentsy from her. I think I was probably her best customer because I bought a lot of Scentsy. After a few months, she says to me, “you know Sheena, as much as you buy from me it would be worth it for you to sign up and be a consultant so you can get the discount and just buy from yourself.” Lightbulb! I bet you can guess what happened next!

Yep, I signed up and am still currently selling Scentsy. Although I only made money during Christmas, the rest of the time I just buy from myself. Plus Scentsy, as much as I love the products, makes it really hard to ship. In order to get free shipping, you have to make $200 in sales. So, if you have a party that only makes $100 in sales, then your host has to cover shipping, and I just think that stinks. Plus, you have to pay for shipping for the catalogs, and any marketing materials you buy.

The perks are not good like others I’ve seen, and the warmers can be as much as $50 or more, for one warmer. So a little on the costly side in my opinion. I honestly just love the scents and how my house smells every day. I’ve tried other things and Scentsy has the best smelling scents by far. That’s really the only reason I still sell it. However, I have not made my quota this month, so I will probably lose my consultant status come next month. I’m honestly okay with that, I think I’d rather buy from someone else then have to spend $200 every three months.

Pros and cons:

So, why did I tell you about these experiences?  I wanted you to see that I have done many multi-level marketing sales. It’s true you can make money doing them if you hustle. Yes, I know people who drive the pink Mary Kay car and have opened an Avon store. Even the lady who I signed up for Scentsy with is a director now because she’s made so many sales. She’s been on two cruises just last year paid for by Scentsy, so yes it’s possible to make money doing these businesses.

Pros:

  1. When I was doing these MLM businesses, It did teach me how to market my products, and how to conduct myself as a businesswoman.
  2. I gained some great people skills and learned to speak in front of a group comfortably.
  3. Confidence and excitement about the products kept me going.
  4. Learned a lot of skills on what to do and what not to do.
  5. Direct sales gave me a goal to work towards.

Cons:

  1. Didn’t really make enough money to make an impact.
  2. You become THAT person that everyone hates to talk to.
  3. Friends start avoiding your calls, messages, and text.
  4. You spend more money on products then you sell to keep you at consultant status.
  5. You are your best customer and sometimes the only customer.

But let’s break it down for a minute.

You pay $100 on average to join this MLM company. You become the representative or salesperson for that company. Then it’s your job to market the crap out of it to make a sale. Now this MLM company is getting FREE marketing because you’re doing it for them. But wait, then after you make a sale, you don’t get to keep that money…nope, you only get to keep a small percentage of that sale you just did all that work for.

Some of the companies I signed up for, were as little as 10% of my sales. So here I am, working my butt off, taking time away from my family to work this MLM business to make my sale so that I can stay in the representative status for a lousy 10%! Let’s think about this for a second. The company has all these people all over the world selling their products, having you do all the work, and then asking you to pay them for it!

Let’s go even further, you are not only doing a lot of work for very little back, but you also have to buy a certain amount of products each month to stay active. Or you have to sell a certain amount of products to continue having the consultant status. So, you pay to join the company, and pay to keep selling the products, while only making a small amount back, does this still sound like a good business plan for your future goals?

When you join these companies they sell you on a business idea. You’ll be your own boss, leave your corporate job behind and have freedom. But, what you’re not seeing is they are getting rich from your hard work, while you are only making pennies.

Anytime you join these companies the first thing they tell you to do is write down 20 names of people you know right now, that you can sell these products to. That might be okay at first, but I know from experience that I avoid those friends now.

True story, I had a really close friend who I adored, started selling a diet product and would only call me to ask me for a sale. After a while, I stopped answering her calls, and sadly we hardly talk anymore. It happens with family members as well. You don’t hear from someone in a long time, and they message you out of the blue, you get all excited, just to realize they want you to join their jewelry company.

I was that person, I got blocked by friends who were tired of me pitching my products. I get it, I hate that as well, and when you join these MLM just understand you will start to be disliked. You will upset your friends, and you might even lose some friends due to it. So in the simplest terms possible, before considering this type of thing, ask yourself, do you want to be hated?

I have a solution if you are still wanting to have your own business. I’m putting together a mentoring program where I will be coaching you on how to find work at home jobs, or how to start your own! If this is something you’d be interested in here is a short survey for you. As a bonus, if you leave your email address, you’ll be among the first to be notified when the program is starting.

 

 

 

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Finding your passion!

This is harder than you might think. When I was a child, my mom used to always tell me that whatever I dreamed of becoming as a child was God’s way of showing me what he wanted me to become as an adult.

I don’t know how true that is because now that I am an adult with my own children, I am not doing what I pictured myself as a child. However, I do think she was on to something.

When I was a child I loved to sing and perform for anyone who would watch me. I was called little “Dolly Parton”. She was and is, after all, my favorite singer of all time, and I would even dress up to be Dolly on Halloween. Oh, you should have seen the big stuffed boobs and blonde wig I had. I thought I looked amazing… HAHA ?! I told everyone that one day they would hear me on the radio singing country music. As time went on I sang a lot throughout my life. My friends and I would go karaoke every Friday night, and by the time high school rolled around I joined choir, band, and sang in church. The biggest accomplishment I ever had with my singing was being asked to sing at my high school graduation. I was so nervous. I had never sung in front of that many people before. I even cried when telling my best friend about it. Being she was my singing partner she encouraged me to go for it and so I did. I dedicated the song to my mom, the song was (26 Cents). I never thought that I would lose my mom so early in life, and how much that song would mean to me now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpFBNBFuFw0

Singing took a backseat for a while, but my love for it never faded. I even started my own music class. Music with Ms. Sheena. I had children ages 0 – 7, and I would sing, and dance with them. It was so much fun, but with most small businesses it faded after only one short year. I did marry a singer however, he does not sing for a living but did go to college for it and even got his BA for musical performance. We share music with our children and often sing them to sleep at night. So, music for me was a passion, but not one I ended up doing as a job.  Because, after all, we have more than one passion, but we just have to find the right one to focus on.

One thing that I never realized that I did daily as a teen, that I noticed recently was all of my journals. I wrote in my journal every day of high school. I have 4 years of books with nothing but my thoughts, my stories, and my deep emotions that I had hidden away. Even though I pictured myself as a singer, my actions were saying something else. Yes, I sang with my friends all the time, but every chance I got, I would write. I have a ton of stories that no one will probably ever see, mostly because I was young when I wrote them and wouldn’t think anyone would actually want to read them. So, here I am in my thirties, with three kids, a husband, both parents in heaven, and searching for my true passion in this crazy thing called life.

Being a mom! That has to be my true passion, right? I have always wanted to be a mom. I dreamed of that since I was young so that…that must be my true passion, so why do I still feel lost?

When I had Keira, my first-born child I was 23 years old. Young, newlywed, and clueless how to raise a baby. My mom was a huge help in this department and believe me I called her for everything, but as most new moms do, I fell into a postpartum depression. I was not hating my child, but I felt a loss for my old self. I could no longer go out whenever I wanted to be with friends, and I went from working since the age of 16 to now being a stay at home mom with no interaction with people. Do you know what got me out of my depression? Blogging! Yeah, I have a personal blog that maybe 5 people have read, but I wrote down my thoughts, just as I had in high school. I wrote down the good, the bad, and the ugly and I finally got a grip on my reality and stopped being down. Here is a link if you care to see my raw and very personal blog (my adult diary).

http://sheenadiane.blogspot.com/2009/

I am just discovering this now, as I started this new blog how much I love and actually missed writing. So, I have found my passion! It’s writing. It always has been, I just never considered it a passion because it was something I was just good at and liked doing but never thought of it as a career. Now that I have discovered writing again when I am working at my day job, I find myself thinking about my next topic on my blog. This is something that sparks a light inside me like nothing else has and I didn’t even see it until I stopped writing and found it again. I honestly did not know writing was my passion until I started doing it again. I took action, and everything else just fell into place. Sometimes thinking will get you frustrated because our brain does not like to shut up, so I encourage you to do it! Feel your way to what it is you love. Art, music, writing, cooking, photography, whatever it is… let your heart walk for you!

So, the point of my story is to get you digging deep into your own soul to find out what you are truly passionate about. Think about you as a child, what you always thought about, what you wanted to be when you grew up, and what you spent most of your time doing. The answer lies somewhere in those memories and hidden somewhere in your actions.

I know a close friend of mine who always used to play Doctor when we were little. She had a doctor kit and would pretend to do checkups on everything that was alive in her house or mine. She loved Band-Aids and every time she would come over she would be covered in colored Band-Aids. Not because she was injured, but because she had given herself a checkup and wanted to wear one to represent the pretend shot she gave herself. Do you know what my friend is doing now as an adult? She is a nurse and loves every minute of it. I call her still to this day and she always raves about her job and how she got to save a life. I love her heart and the fact that she knew what she was meant to do from such a young age. Most of us are not that lucky, and we go through life questioning our purpose.

I can’t answer this for you, and the only one who has that answer is you. So, this is where you have to go back in your memories, think about little you. Think about the times that made you happy and when you felt the most fulfilled. Then write those moments down, and read them over and over. Then take action. The answer is within you, and it may not always be visible right away. Just like with my story, my passion was hiding beneath my voice. But I can reach way more people through my writing than I ever could through my singing and that’s how I know this is my true passion and purpose. Everything about it gets me excited and makes me feel alive. Ask yourself these 13 things. 

  • What is your passion? Dig deep!
  • What makes you happy?
  • What gets you excited when you think about it?
  • What makes you pace back and forth with ideas?
  • What did your heart tell you as a child?
  • What keeps popping up in your head right now?
  • Stop pushing those thoughts out, because you think they seem crazy!
  • What do you love to talk about? 
  • What pretend games did you play as a child?
  • Visualize what feels right. It’s not always the easiest path, and you have to hush your brain when you start telling yourself you could never make money as a dancer.
  • Stop the chatter of your rational self, and just let your mind be free to discover your happiness.  Once you know what it is, make a point to have time for it.
  • If you can’t make this dream a career, make time to do it on weekends.
  • Make it a hobby if nothing else, but above all make it a priority!  

God gives us the desires in our hearts for a reason. He plants the seed, and it’s up to us to make it grow or let it die. But when we let that passion die, we never feel fulfilled. We keep looking for the next thing, for something to fill the void. Stop searching! Sit down in a quiet place and give yourself space to think. To dream, to meditate, and to see your true self. 

I want to help you find your happy place.

So, let me ask you again, what is your true passion?

 

10 Tips for staying fit at a computer job

Whether you are working from home, or have a desk job, here are my 10 tips to help you stay fit, and keep your body feeling good.

  1. Move your chair away from your desk and stand – Instead of sitting for hours a day, move your chair away from your desk once in a while. You can also buy a standing computer desk to help your posture.
  2. Put computer monitor up higher – I have a laptop so I am hunched over in a C shape for long periods. However, if you have a monitor put it higher up on a shelf, or on the wall. This helps your neck to not be tilted down all day.
  3. Eat healthy snacks – There is something about being on the computer all day that makes me want to snack. The first thing I want is chocolate. It gives me the caffeine I crave for that mid-day crash and the sugar high, but instead, I am now eating nuts and trail mix. Try fruit, and veggies as well. Good food helps your brain focus!
  4. Drink Water – This is a given for any health post, but a lot of times I forget to drink. I get so caught up in my daily task that all of a sudden, I will get dizzy, and realize all I drank was coffee in the morning, and it’s way past noon. Water is what your body needs, so drink up!
  5. Get up and move – I cannot tell you how many times I will look at the clock, and it will be 4 PM, and I have not moved from my computer. It’s really easy to do when you get busy with business calls, research and emails, so now I set a timer for every 30 minutes. This reminds me to get up and move around. Go to the bathroom, grab a healthy snack. Walk over to check on the baby. Go for a quick jog or pace walk around your yard or neighborhood.
  6. Disengage – This is continuing the getup and move one, but to disengage means giving your brain a break from work.  You actually need stop focusing on work for a few minutes. This is not meaning take 30-minute breaks every few hours, but this means go check your phone messages, call a friend, read the newspaper. Just give your brain a break from the computer screen for a little while. Five minutes or less is perfect for this. One thing I like to do is put on some of my favorite music or podcast. I sing and it helps put me in a better mood. Music is a wonderful mood changer! Need to distress? Put on soft instrumental tunes. Falling asleep? Put on some upbeat music like pop, heavy metal or rock, and get pumped up. Music is the key to how I make it through every day! Need some inspiration? Find an uplifting podcast!
  7. Squat to pick up something – A great way to incorporate some exercises into your everyday routine is when you drop something, squat to pick it up instead of bending over. Another great exercise is putting your back straight on the wall, then once there is no gap between your but and the wall, put your arms up over your head and stretch them on the wall. This is a great way to get the blood flowing to those tired arms, legs, butt, and back, while also stretching your spine!
  8. Stretch & dynamic resistance – This is something I learned from my husband Johnny (AKA Gator Johnny), he is getting his certification to teach DDP Yoga. When you get up from the computer incorporate some stretches, and move your arms with dynamic resistance as if your hands are moving through clay, you tense up your muscles and fight against your own strength. This is a great way to build some muscle while working and it really does not take any extra time to do.
  9. Fresh air & Sunshine – I get to take small breaks all throughout my day, but if you have a good 20 or 30-minute break, go outside and get some fresh air, listen to nature, and get the vitamin D from the sun. Now if it’s cold where you live, go look out your window and enjoy the colors of the trees. Even if you live in the city where nature is not at your doorstep, still take a walk. Get outside if you can. Fresh air and going outside does wonders for your moral and mental state. You will feel refreshed and ready to get back to your sales calls or emails. One thing I love to do when I’m having a difficult client, I will go outside with my adult coloring book and color while drinking some lemon water. It helps clear my mind, and coloring is great for your creativity. Studies have shown that adults who color are less likely to get Alzheimer’s as they get older. So, I say color away!!!!
  10. Eye drops – This one might seem odd, but from experience, I notice that after long periods of staring at the computer screen, my eyes start to burn, and feel dry. So, I have started to use eye drops to moisten them, and it does help. There have been studies done on people who are looking at a computer screen for 5 or more hours a day, and they have found their eyes are dryer than those who do not have computer jobs. So keep your eye drops handy when you start to feel that itchy, dry eye. Dry eyes can cause your vision to get worse. I am having this issue now. I never needed glasses until last year when I started working at home. You can also do eye exercises. No, I’m not making this up! Take your finger in front of your nose and look at it, then slowly move your finger back and forth in front of your face while your eyes follow. Do it down and up as well. Thank you, Jack Lalanne, for that tip, he was ahead of his time, that’s for sure!

So there you go, those were my 10 tips for staying active while working at home or having a computer/desk job. I hope these tips help you feel better and get you moving! Being active while working at home is key to staying healthy. When I first started working from home, I gained a lot of weight. I went from running around with toddlers at my daycare job, to sitting at a desk for hours and hours. These are some tricks that I learned through my struggles of working from home, and I hope they help you as they have helped me!

12 unique ways you can make money

 

Thinking outside the box

This is for those of you who just can’t get into the flow of your everyday job. Maybe you’ve tried a lot of different jobs and for one reason or another, it just never works out. Your interest always changes, and working for someone else is not what makes you happy.

Well, friend, I am here to tell you that we are living in the best time possible for thinking outside the box, and making money where you never thought possible. We are in the age of the internet, and word of mouth does not have to be from the people next door, you can literally reach millions of people with a click of a button on the internet.

TODAY IS YOUR DAY! MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Here are 12 ways to make money thinking outside the box:

  1. Selling Cow Poop – I know a guy whose dad owns a cattle farm. He sells cows for a living. His son (my friend) was always made to go out and clean the cow poop from the pasture. As this boy grew up, he was still cleaning out the cow pasture, but now instead of dumping all that poop…he sells it. Yeah, he makes money selling manure to fertilizer plants. Yes, it is a stinky job but he is an example of how thinking outside the box can bring you income.
  2. Worm Farming – This is what I am doing as my side hustle. People buy my worms for bait or to feed their reptiles. We are a small operation as of now, and we make about $200 a month, but it’s for worms! If you like bugs you can also breed roaches. Depending on where you live Dubia Roaches are a very popular feeder bug. You cannot farm those in Florida but roaches are even easier to farm if you can handle knowing roaches are in your house.
  3. Busking – A busker is an entertainer who performs on the street, or at a show for cash. You’ve probably seen someone at a beach or park singing with a hat on the ground.  Well, that is a busker. My cousin actually makes a living as a bucket drummer. He is amazing to watch by the way. If you have a talent, why not make a show out of it. Sing, belly dance, be a living statue or make up your own show. You might be surprised at how much money you might make. I even know The Tampa Bay Girl on Fire. She’s from the Tampa area and puts on amazing fire shows, even does naughty body painting as her full-time job! Cool right? I’ll link their info below if you want to check them out later. 
  4. Birthday Party Act – Ever consider dressing up as a mermaid or fairy for a birthday party? I actually know a mermaid performer personally named Mermaid Raquel, and she gets booked every year to come to a preschool & talk about ocean conservation. If you really hustled with this, you could bring in some money during the year. I can tell you from personal experience that I hired two Princesses to come to my daughter’s Princess tea party. One painted faces, and the other read stories. They were teenage girls who got to split $350. That was for only a few hours of work. The birthday party market can bring in cash like crazy.
  5. Fetish Videos – Oh no I just went there. I may not have personal experience with this category but I do know that sex sells & if you are in a pinch for money then maybe this sort of thing might be the answer. Now the good thing about fetish stuff is most the time you don’t have to show your face. You can stomp on fruit, or just walk around the room in heels only showing your feet. You can even just rub your elbows if that is what you want to do. I guarantee you someone will pay to see it, there are plenty of sites that will buy your videos. Along these lines is also sex phone operator. I can’t do this one because I never have a quiet house, plus I’d just feel weird doing it, but I have heard many college girls were put through college being a sex phone operator. It’s definitely outside the box and an easy money maker!
  6. Cleaning Crime Scenes – This is not for the faint of heart, but if you can handle it, you can make so much money with just one crime scene. We are talking thousands of dollars. Now this takes a little more effort on your part, and you’ll need some classes to be up on all your hazardous materials and what not, but talk about big money!!! One or two clean up’s and you would not have to work again for months! 
  7. Rock Painter – This one might take you by surprise but I am a part of a lot of painted rock groups. This is the new craze that has hit just about every town on the map. On one of my local groups, a lady paints rocks and sells them to people on the page. I kid you not! She is an amazing artist and some of the rocks she paints belong in a frame for sure, but I was shocked when I found out she sells some of her rocks for $45! And yes, they do sell at that price. When you consider you can get a rock in your yard for free, this is pure profit, and since it’s the new hot thing to do, right now is the time to jump on this bandwagon.
  8. Yard Sale – Okay, this one may not be outside of the box; however, you can actually make a living by going to yard sales, and reselling stuff online. Ebay, Amazon, Let Go, and Craigslist are all sites where you can sell your stuff. If you buy a really nice product for $1 at a yard sale, but you research it and see it’s selling for $10 on eBay then you just made a $9 profit. This is something you can do on weekends as a side hustle, or turn it into a full-time income. Also, you can make money just by selling your stuff. Need an extra $500 to make rent this month? Do your own yard sale. I know you have crap tucked away that you can sell for a profit if you really wanted to. On that note, you can also do consignment sales. Most consignments sales will give you top dollar for your kids hand me down toys & clothes. 
  9. Twitch – Oh I love watching Twitch streams. If you have not heard of this, go check it out (link below). It’s a place where you can watch people play video games live. You can also draw, sing, whatever you want on the live stream, as long as you keep it PG 13. So, with Twitch you get followers just like other social media platforms, but people can actually donate to your channel. If you have good content and are consistent, people will start subscribing. If you subscribe on Twitch, you actually pay to subscribe to that user, so they get paid for you watching them. It’s actually brilliant, and I watched a girl make over 5 grand in one 12-hour gaming stream. Whoever is watching gets to see the donations pop up on the screen, it was insane but that girl had a ton of money in her PayPal that night. She was pretty entertaining to watch, but the crazy thing is that in one night she made more than I make in one month. 
  10. Emails – Did you know that you can actually make money by checking someone’s email’s and answering them professionally? It’s true. Some big businesses get millions of emails a day and the boss cannot keep up with them all, so they hire people to check their emails and answer them with the message they provide. If you want to find more details on this, you can Google it. There are now sites that the company can hire and you’d work for that email writing company. However, some places would rather work with you one on one, so having a good landing page to tell them who you are could help you start your own email reading business. Worth a shot, right?
  11. YouTube – So many people are making money on YouTube these days. I can actually say I am one of them. Okay, so I have never made enough money to quit my job or anything, but I use Henna in my hair. Henna is a plant used in body art, but you can also use it to dye your hair naturally. Anyway, I have a ton of YouTube videos on it (link below) and have made a few hundred dollars just from my videos. Now, I have not posted a new video in years, but if I would put the time into it as I used to, then I might be able to make more, but I am proof that you actually can get paid from YouTube videos. If you have something interesting to say, teach, or share why not document it! You might just get a following, although most channels do not become big overnight. Like any business, YouTube is a huge commitment, and it will be years before you see money coming in, but if you have the gift, why not post videos! I would love to see them…
  12. Doggy Daycare – If you have space and don’t mind dogs, then why not offer your yard to a few friends as a doggy daycare. A lot of people have to leave their dogs locked up for hours when they go to work, and most owners feel like their dog is like their child. Dogs bring in cash, whether it’s baking dog treats (another great idea) or selling blinged out dog collars, in the right area dog businesses are pure gold. In my town, the #1 food truck is a dog bakery. It’s true. So if you love dogs, why not open your home to a few of your friends or neighbor’s dogs. See how it works out. If that fails, you can always offer to walk the dogs, and even for an extra charge clean up their yard of doggy doo doo! Why not?

Those were 12 ideas that I thought could help you think outside the box. Now, I am going to tell you about my own experience with a side hustle that actually has brought in more income then we expected. My husband and I are longtime exotic animal lovers, we have nine lizards. We started spending so much money on mealworms, plus they always looked so small and barely alive when we bought them from the pet store, so we decided to start raising mealworms for our lizards. This way we can feed the worms organically, and gut load them for our lizards. After a year we ended up with so many worms that we didn’t know what to do with them all. That’s when my husband came up with the idea to sell them. We got a local store interested in some to use for bait and then Sunshine Breeders was born. Now we have regular customers each week and the store that buys from us monthly. It does take work to separate the worms, a few hours a week, but considering we only paid for the 500 worms $12 last year and now we have thousands of worms we have already tripled our investment. Now that we are an official LLC I did have to invest in cups, labels, cards ETC… but still overall a small overhead when you consider we feed the worms our food. Like the head of lettuce, the peel of a banana stems of broccoli, all things that would have been thrown out. This is a great example of how you can make money just by thinking outside the box.

Here are some links for you to check out.

Chris the Bucket Drummer – http://www.bucketdrummer.com/

Tampa Girl on Fire – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY8sp0895IM

Naughty Body art – http://www.naughtybodyart.com/

Twitch – https://go.twitch.tv/

Mermaid Raquel – https://www.facebook.com/raquelthemermaid/?fref=mentions

Sheena The Henna Queen – https://www.youtube.com/sheenathehennaqueen

Sunshine Breeders – http://www.sunshinebreeders.com

 

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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