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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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!

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!

Scams and how to spot them!

I think it’s safe to say we have all gotten at least one email from someone in another country saying they got a big inheritance and need you to cash the check for them at a Western Union. Then they will give you a few thousand dollars just for your troubles if you send then money to them.

I hope by now you know any email’s like that is a scam. See, the person sending the email is more than likely from another country, and so if you do cash the check then it will be forfeit, and you could actually be responsible for paying the amount of that bounced check. Any email that asks you to cash a check, or send a money gram is one hundred percent a scam!

Let’s talk about some things that are on the borderline of scams, and that I try to stay away from.

Try this product for pay!

Get paid to try this wonderful product! Now, these are not scams exactly, but they are hiding a very sneaky way of getting money from you. These places will ask you to try this product or service for a trial period. You have to put in your credit card information so that when the trial period is over you can be charged. Now, you can cancel this before the trial ends and not be charged.

However, I have personally done a few of these and after doing more than one, you start to forget what to cancel and when. If you could find a good system for knowing when to send back, or cancel the service then I guess you could make it work, but in my experience, it was not worth the time or effort for the amount you got paid. When I did it, I never got actual money, I only got products.

Payment Processing jobs

These have been popping up a lot lately on Craigslist, and I have to warn you to not even consider this. In my personal experience, I’ve never found a payment processing job that was not a scam. How this works is much like the email scam. Someone from overseas will start a company, put some ads up on Craigslist, or other free marketing sites, and hire a few people.

They hire you to write checks with a software, and you write and send checks to the people listed and get paid for it. It might seem great at first, but the problem is these checks are fraud and you are committing a crime without even knowing it. The person who writes the checks is the one who gets charged with the crime. The person overseas collects the money and gets away, while you take the fall in jail, so do not….DO NOT fall for payment processing jobs EVER!

Surveys

I have done my fair share of surveys, and yes there are ways to get paid doing surveys, but all the ones I’ve done always had a hold before you can get paid. I believe when I did it, you had to make one hundred dollars before you’d get a payment.

So, technically you could say this is not a scam, but I did surveys for a few months and only got twenty dollars before I realized this really was way to much work, for no pay. Plus, you are giving out your personal information with every survey. How many kids live in your home, how many pets, all sorts of personal questions. After a while, it started to not sit well with me and I gave up. Plus, you would make maybe five or ten cents each survey so literally pennies.

Seminars

Again, not necessarily a scam but I just had an experience with this one. I was contacted on LinkedIn by a person asking about my marketing skills. He asked how I like my current job, and if I was looking to make extra income doing marketing. I thought why not, doesn’t hurt to listen to what the guy says, so we scheduled a conference call.

When he called, I had a thousand questions. Always ask questions, you guys. The guy was not able to answer my questions and kept repeating his same spiel. With every question I asked he would answer with, these questions will be answered at the seminar on this date, this time. He finally got the hint and had his manager call me the next day.

I was still thinking that just maybe they would be offering me a job. When the boss called me he also kept talking about the seminar, but I was honest and told him, I am a work at home mom with three kids. If I was going to pay a babysitter than I needed these questions answered now, or it won’t happen.

The guy changed his tone, and when I said, what would I be expected to do at this job, he quickly corrected me and said, not a job, an opportunity. This was a keyword and then I said oh, I see, and how much does this “opportunity” cost? BOOM! It was a $500 program to market to these big companies and make a side income. Yeah, not exactly a scam but if someone is not willing to answer your questions then walk away.

Most of these seminars are trying to sell you something. So, if you know that going in and can hold on to your purse, then sometimes you can bring knowledge home from these, but honestly I just stay away from them all together. 

Opportunity

A lot of companies will use the word opportunity to sell you on owning your own business, but in reality, you do all the hard work for next to nothing, while the owners of the company make all the money. You go out and advertise for them, you sell their product or services, you do all the hard work just to get a percentage of the profits.  Meanwhile, the owners sit in their penthouse eating lobsters from your hard work.

This is not to say that all companies selling you a “great opportunity” are full of it because we all know someone out there making an income from direct sales. I am only stating that you have to read between the lines when you see the words opportunity. Really do your research!

Envelope stuffing

To be completely honest I’m really surprised this is still around, but I kid you not I just saw an ad in my paper for this today. I actually did this when I first wanted to start working at home. I was sent a letter in the mail saying if I addressed the same letter to the list I was sent I’d get five dollars per letter.

The letter read something like, I have to share this awesome opportunity with you. If you can seal a letter you can make five dollars, please print and send this letter to these twenty people on the list. So, I did it and was supposed to be paid cash in the mail and never saw a dollar.

Another way I’ve seen this advertised is make twenty dollars by placing an ad in the paper. The ad reads if you want to make money place this ad in the paper. It’s like telling people they will make money if they pay you twenty dollars. Then the other person asks the next person for twenty dollars. It’s very shady and a huge scam.

Virtual Assistant

Now, a virtual assistant is a real job, and a great way to start making money at home. However, I have seen an increase in the scams using this title as a cover for a false job. I was on Facebook Marketplace a few months ago and I saw someone offering a virtual assistance job, no training needed.

Being the investigator that I am, I had to know more. So, I chatted with the person over messenger. She was offering to teach me to be a virtual assistant for only one hundred dollars. I said, okay what will you be offering? She said I would make a website using a free service like Wix, and write virtual assistant in the title and I would start getting clients. As simple as that! 

So, I went to her website, and I kid you not, she did exactly that. The website itself was all pictures of her kids and nothing professional at all other than the words virtual assistant at the top.

Needless to say, this lady was just taking your hundred dollars and pocketing it, because you have to know a thing or two about this type of work to offer those services.

Never give your information out

The scammers are always coming up with new ways to make an easy dollar and unfortunately, all of us are their targets. We have to start getting educated on what to look for. If someone is selling you an amazing work at home opportunity, but won’t give you details until you sign up with your name, email, or phone number, don’t do it.

Your information is valuable. They can sell it to a company wanting to sell you stuff. They can use it to harass you with endless sales calls, or just get information on you and your friends.

Also, if someone is asking for your information on Facebook messenger then you know that is not a legit company.

I need money now

I am going to be brutally honest here, but I see it every day and it frustrates me to no end. If you post on groups with, I need money now, or please tell me how to make fast money, you are asking to be scammed.

You are the target person for a scammer. Someone who wants fast money is someone who is not willing to do research, and educate themselves on the person offering the job.

Anyone who shows photos with them holding stacks of money is a scammer. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a real rich person holding his money out for display? Don’t fall for those click bait type of job offers.

Be smart because as a ten-year veteran in the work at home field, I have never found fast cash or easy money from home. The only way that’s possible is if you’re willing to become the scammer yourself.

If you want real ways to make an income at home, and want to work for your money, I have a program just for you.

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. 

How Podcasting can help you in your career!

I got the privilege to speak with longtime podcaster and social media queen, Ileane Smith. She has been podcasting for over 9 years and pours her heart and soul into all of us who may not be tech-savvy. She teaches you how to start a podcast, blog, youtube channel, and so many other things.
You can listen to the entire interview right here.

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You might be wondering how podcasting can help you in your career. Well, the truth is, by podcasting you start to build an audience. People will start getting to know you, and want to buy your products, or support your cause later on. Just by me starting my podcast 9 months ago, I’ve made so many wonderful connections, and built friendships with people all over the world, including the amazing Ileane Smith, that we heard from today! I even just sent girl scout cookies to one of my listeners in Ireland.

Anchor.fm is a great place to start. Now, Anchor is not your normal podcasting platform. Think of it more as a social media. With the traditional podcast, you record your voice, and that’s it. You get no interaction or feedback. With Anchor, you have to listen and comment, and call into other stations to get yours heard. So, if you just record and never listen, then you won’t make connections, and chances are your podcast won’t get heard. Now, with Anchor, your RSS feed gets sent to Itunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket cast.

This app is used primarily on your smartphone. You can listen to segments on the computer if you know the URL of the person you want to hear, example: www.anchor.fm/wahmradio,  or www.anchor.fm/freepodcasthost  but to podcast your own episodes, you will need to download the Anchor app. If you want step by step details on how to do this visit: Anchor Boot Camps.

A great way to get a nice looking podcast is to have podcasting art. Ileane tells us about Fivver, where you can pay someone to design that for you, or do it yourself using 1400 X 1400 pixel and 3000 by 3000. Having nice looking podcasting art is a great step to adding visualization to your audio.

Now, once you get bitten by the podcasting bug, to use Queen Ileane’s words, there are a lot of platforms you can use to start making money podcasting. In the episode above, Ileane talks about Libsyn and has a code from her friend Dave Jackson to get you a free month. SOPFREE. Spreaker is also a great site to host your podcast, and it’s the one I use on my website. You can sign up for free and they give you 5 hours of space, once you use those 5 hours they ask you to pay for the subscription or will delete the last 3 episodes to keep you at 5 hours of content only.

You can also use a site called Podbean, as well as Buzzsprout. These are all great platforms to continue adding content for, and getting heard by, your audience that you’re building. These are free to join but you will need to pay after you get so much content. Honestly, if you see results and engagement on your podcast, I feel it’s worth the investment.

We also discussed affiliate marketing for your podcast, and how a podcast can actually make you money. Among the big companies, like Go Daddy, Amazon, and eBay, you can also make money by getting subscribers. Ileane spoke about her top two places that she is able to have people pay monthly for her exclusive services. I have to say that if you have any questions on how these platforms work, she is the one to ask, and you can support her by donating on her Patreon account. I also have Patreon, and Podbean so you can see how to create your own and you’re welcome to support me there as well!

As you can see, podcasting is a wonderful way to get your message heard. We all have something to say, and someone out there wants to listen. Just like the amazing success story of Nicole Purvy, from Better Than Success who didn’t like speaking in front of people and didn’t want to podcast. However, after some persuading from her mother, she started her podcasting journey, and now talks in front of big crowds comfortable, and has really made a name for herself. She has a wonderful array of Youtube videos to help you succeed.

Ileane Smith has helped thousands of people learn how to create their own blogs, podcast, and youtube channels. If you enjoyed our podcast today, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and her Podcast.

She will also be speaking at The Entrepreneurs and Leaders Conference.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Sell your stuff as a job!

Make money by going to flea markets!

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Have you ever tried to sell your stuff on one of those marketplace sites before? I know I have many times. You get a rush when you sell that item and have cash in your hand. Why not do it for a living?

My children and I stopped by our local K-Mart to grab some coffee pods for my Keurig. I knew the store was closing and thought it would be a great way to get a lot of coffee on sale. I ended up getting a ton of coffee pods because they were seventy-five percent off! As I was looking around the store, and yelling to myself, “Sheena, you just came in for coffee, don’t wonder”, I kept thinking man, I could buy some of this stuff and make a killing on eBay right now!

I have a good friend of mine who actually sells stuff on online as her only job. She goes to yard sales with her husband every weekend and buys stuff. They go to flea markets, and second-hand stores and buy things that they know will sell for more on Amazon, eBay, or a marketplace like Facebook, and she makes a profit from those items. I remember one time she found an American Girl Doll in perfect condition at a Good Will for $5 and sold it for over $300 because it a classic that was no longer being made! That was all profit, and an amazing find I might add!

You’ve come to my blog because you are searching to make money from home. This is a great way to start. Even if you’re not ready to buy stuff to sell, why not go out to your garage or closet and sell stuff that you haven’t looked at in years? Test it out on eBay, and see if your items will sell. Now, my friend has a specific category that she sells in. You don’t have to do that, but it has worked really well for her. She only sells kid stuff. It started out with her just selling her son’s clothes, and toys. Then when her daughter was born she realized just how quickly kid stuff sells and how some toys are worth a lot of money! Her husband has joined in on this and he sells vintage video games stuff. He sells pretty much anything with an old video game image, or the toys, or the shirts, games, anything that has a video game theme he sells it! They have become very successful doing this and even though her husband still works a full-time job out of the house, she has made this her full-time work at home job and only works it on the weekends going to the yard sales & flea markets. After that, it’s just the time it takes to list it and wait for the money to roll in!

There is a lot of potential for this sort of business. If you find you’re having success with selling your own stuff, move on to buying from stores that are closing, or second-hand stores, then start making even more money! Why stop there? Once you get to the point where you know what sells, what to buy, and how much you will make from that item, why not move into manufacturing your own items to sell. You can call manufacturing companies, and buy a product you like in bulk for cheap, then sell it on your store for more. A lot of people do that and it’s made them a lot of money. If you go on Youtube, you will find literally hundreds of videos of people doing just that!

What are you waiting for? Go do your research on what’s selling on eBay, then download the eBay scanner tool as well as the Amazon tool, and start scanning stuff around your house. See what you can sell your stuff for right now. Let me warn you, it does get addicting! But that’s not always a bad thing. Good luck my friends!