5 Tips That Will Help You Keep Your New Year’s goal of being your own boss

New Year's Goal Be Your Own Boss

It’s a new year and a great time to make changes, but if you’re anything like more than 40% of the American population, you won’t even keep your New Year’s goal of being your own boss past the first month!

It’s true!  Studies show that most people never achieve what they set out to at the beginning of each year. And while the statistics are a little sad, that doesn’t have to be you. There absolutely are ways to ensure that you reach your New Year’s goal of being your own boss, and maybe approach them from a new perspective.

Whether your goal is to lose weight (the #1 New Year’s resolution made) or reach your goal of being your own boss, this blog post is going to give you some actionable objectives to take with you into the coming year.

Are you ready?

1.    Choose Your New Year’s Goals Wisely

Before you even think about setting a goal, you need to take the time to decide what is truly important to you. I’m assuming that being your own boss is one of your main goals this year.

I always recommend setting very few New Year’s Resolutions. Focus is key here. If you can set one big New Year’s goal (such as being your own boss) that could change your life, you can devote all your energy to that and be more likely to stick with it.

An example of mine would be the year I decided to become a full-time freelance writer. That year, I focused all my perseverance and determination on that one goal. I also achieved it WAY ahead of schedule!

2.    Review the Previous Year

This is important. Take inventory of the goals you set last year. Write them all down and decide which one or two were the most important. Did you achieve them? Are they still important?

If you did achieve a New Year’s goal, decide if it’s something you can build on. For example, when I achieved my goal of starting my own business, the next goal would be to grow that business by a certain amount.

On the other hand, if you failed at sticking to that goal, is it something you need to revisit, or is it something you need to move on from?

Taking inventory can help you gain better insight into what keeps you motivated and what is and isn’t important.

3.    Write Them Down

It sounds simplistic and you’ve probably heard it more than once, but people who write their goals down are 50% more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. Our minds are powerful weapons. Don’t neglect this simple yet powerful step!

4.    Break Them Down

Breaking your goals down into actionable steps is crucial and I have a little secret weapon I use.

I prefer to live by the 12-Week Year. You can read the book for yourself if you’d like, but basically it’s just a way of breaking your year up into quarters, so that you are more likely to stick to them.

You see, it’s very easy to put your goals off when you know you have an entire year, but if you give yourself 12-week deadlines, you won’t have time to waste. This doesn’t mean you have to achieve every big goal in 12 weeks. If it’s a huge goal, you can break it down into quarters.

Of course, you don’t have to use the 12-week year plan. You can simply break your goals down into daily, weekly or monthly segments. Whatever works for you.

5.    Keep Them in Front of You

Finally, don’t let those goals out of your sight! Keep them with you everywhere you go. In your wallet. On your mirror. In your car. Wherever you will see it every single day to stay motivated.

I’m a big fan of vision boards, but if that’s not your thing, just read over your written goals at least once a day. Don’t let yourself forget!

Stay Motivated

Motivation is hard. It’s not a constant, and it’s something we have to work at every day. You’re the only one in charge of your motivation, but these simple keys can help keep you on track. The bottom line is to make sure you do what needs to be done to achieve your New years resolutions and goals no matter how you feel.

I believe Zig Ziglar put it best when he said, “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”

Will you achieve your New Year’s goal of being your own boss?

15 free resources that has helped me as a freelance writer

Freelance_Writing

1.    Freelancing 101

In this free 7-day course, Sagan Morgan walks you through the steps to begin your freelance writing or editing business. She covers how to avoid common pitfalls and how to land your first client.  If you starting out as a freelance writer, this is an invaluable resource.

2.    Get Paid to Write Online

I can’t say enough about Elna Cain. I’ve taken both her free and paid freelance writing course. It’s what kickstarted me as a freelance writer and allowed me to work from home! Her 6-day free course covers everything you need to know to get started with your own biz, and then some!

3.    Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator

All Indie Writers has this pretty cool hourly rate calculator that lets you plug in the number of days you want to work and the amount you’d like to earn, helping you determine how much you should be charging as a freelance writer.

4.    Canva

Even if design isn’t your thing, you will have to create blog graphics for some of your clients or for your own blog. Canva is an excellent tool for even the most design-challenged writer.

5.    Pixabay

Speaking of images, Pixabay has some great ones and it’s a totally free resource! If you’re not ready to buy your stock images yet, this is where you’ll want to start.

6.    PicMonkey

PicMonkey is another image design tool with a simpler layout than Canva but not quite as many options.

7.    Tiny PNG

This website has a tool that allows you to compress your images and create zip files to send to clients. Optimizing your images is a necessity for bloggers and your clients will appreciate the extra effort.

8.    Skitch

Skitch is hands-down my favorite app for capturing screenshots and adding graphics like circles and arrows. However, it’s now only available for Mac users, so if you’re using Windows, you’ll have to choose another app such as Greenshot, which is my second top pick.

9.    Greenshot

Speaking of…yes, it has to have its own place on my list! J

10. 52 Headline Hacks

Jon Morrow is one of those bloggers that we all aspire to be like. He has the market cornered on creating content that draws people in. In this free resource, he teaches you a few tricks to writing eye-catching headlines like a pro freelance writer.

11. Evernote

Evernote is a great place to store all your research for freelance projects. It lets you bookmark or save pages, articles or websites for future reference and will sync with all your devices.

12. Contently

Contently is a free portfolio site for freelance writers. You can store your published works here where companies are always looking for writers. You may even land yourself a gig or two!

13. The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs

Sign up for Sophie Lizard’s mailing list and get her awesome list of 75 blogs paying $50 or more. While you’re there, stick around for some of her tips. She has some amazing advice and courses.

14. Alexis Grant’s Database of Freelance Bloggers

It can’t hurt to be on too many lists! Fill out her short form and she will add you to her database. She sends out email blasts occasionally when gigs are available.

15. 100+ Freelance Writing Questions Answered

Carol Tice is pretty much THE go-to guru of the freelance writing world, and in this book, she answers almost any question new freelance writers might have.

Bonus: Freelance Writing Blogs to Follow

Each and every one of these has something great to offer for all levels of writers.

In Conclusion

Don’t get stuck wading through piles of useless information. Believe me – there’s a ton of it out there. Instead, try sticking to this list to begin with and learning all you can. And don’t forget to check back here often for all our best tips and tricks.

Happy writing!

3 home business tasks that I don’t like to do. So I outsource.

Outsource your business task

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably bootstrapped most of your business ventures. This means that spending extra money on outsourcing your business task is out of the question in the beginning stages, but there will come a time when it’s an absolute necessity.

So, how will you know?

A good example is my recent attempt at electrical work. My wife and I are in the process of finishing a bonus room above our garage, and a few weeks ago, I spent most of Saturday and part of Sunday afternoon trying to wire a 4-way switch. I mean, how hard could it be?

But even after watching numerous YouTube videos and reviewing diagrams and instructions, I couldn’t make it work. Finally, I swallowed my pride and contacted an electrician who had it fixed within an hour. It was worth every penny of that $190 service fee.

My only regret was that I had not called him Saturday morning. I wasted hours and hours trying to do something that I already knew was not my forte.

What’s my point?

When you own your own business, you are inevitably going to have tasks you don’t enjoy or you’re not good at. It’s just part of it. But little by little, it’s essential to find people who excel in the things you don’t and outsource these business tasks. Otherwise, your business will never grow the way it should and you will quickly become burned out.

But how do you outsource on a budget?

When you’ve finally started earning a little cash and can see that your business could benefit from hiring some extra help, it’s time to start looking for some assistants. Believe it or not, it’s probably a lot less expensive outsourcing than you think. If you know where to look, you can find quality freelancers on even the tightest budget. Just remember to try them out before investing too much or agreeing to contracts!

3 Popular Marketplaces to Find Freelancers:

  1. Fiverr: Fiverr jobs start at $5 for a basic gig. You will find all kinds of freelancers from SEO work to blog writing.

Fiverr Outsource

Some of the gigs that I have purchased on Fiverr were useless – not even worth salvaging. But I have also had some good results, which makes it worth the small risk. Several of the freelancers that I now use for graphics and editing, I found on Fiverr.

Tip: Once you find someone that does quality work, tip them with each job so that they’ll be motivated to keep producing quality work.

  1. Upwork: The freelancer who currently adds products to my store, I found on Upwork. Like Fiverr, there are a lot of low-quality freelancers, but I usually hire two or three freelancers to do a test job and hire the one who meets my criteria.

Upwork Outsource

Tip: When choosing a freelancer, don’t automatically go with the cheapest bid.   Sometimes that will cost you more in the long run. I found this out the hard way when I hired a writer whose articles I couldn’t use. I now use a freelancer who is a writer by profession.

  1. 99designs: For quality graphic design, 99designs is a great website. Here, designers compete for your business. You submit a detailed report of what you need designed, pick your package, and then designers can pick up the job. They will all submit their designs to you and you pick the one you want.

99designs-outsource

Which tasks should you outsource?

This answer is a little different for everyone, but in general, I always suggest delegating tasks you hate. As your business grows and you’re making more money, you can begin delegating more of your work until all you’re left with is what you’re best at.

For example…

Three Tasks I Always Outsource:

  1. Editing

I would be embarrassed for you to read my posts prior to having them edited. I love to write and share my thoughts but editing is part of the process that I do not enjoy, so I outsource it.

Every article that I write for the Work at Home Inspiration blog and every description on my ecommerce page is edited by an excellent editor.

  1. Mundane Details

When I started my online store, I spent hours upon hours adding products. It was tedious work, and many nights, I was up until 3 a.m. doing the mundane task of adding specifications, product images, and dimensions. It was mind-numbing!

It was during this process of the business that I questioned if starting my own business was worth it. But thank God I stuck with it, because owning my online business has changed my family’s life!

Through many trial and error, I finally found a guy on Upwork who enters all of my product descriptions, which frees up my time to do the things I enjoy and excel at.

  1. Accounting

I actually still do my own accounting, but one of my goals for 2017 is to find the right person to take over this task. It’s just not something I enjoy and feel it would be best outsourced to someone else. If it’s not a strength of yours, you will want to consider handing it off to a professional as well.

Outsource Wisely

Bottom line – outsourcing tasks wisely will make and save your business money in the long run, but be sure to vet your freelancers well. Test jobs and small tasks are always a great way to begin a relationship with a prospective hire.

Check back soon for a future post on the many outsourcing services that are available.   And if you need help finding a freelancer, please email me and I’ll be happy to take a look at your project and recommend someone.

In the meantime, what tasks would you love to outsource?

What Should You Charge as a Freelance Writer?

Should a freelance writer charge by the hour, a flat rate or by the word?

What to charge as a freelance writer

As a freelance writer, I get asked all the time how to structure prices for services like these. I see it in the forums and I hear it from people just starting out. And I used to ask the same questions.

It would frustrate me to no end when successful freelance writers would say things like “You have to find what works for you,” or “Decide what you want to make in a year and calculate your hourly charges accordingly.”

It was frustrating because I would love to make a million dollars a year, but let’s face it, nobody in their right mind was going to pay a freelance writer $500 an hour to write, especially starting out!

Here’s my take on it (and I first heard it from Brent Jones): Some money is better than no money.

Right?

It all depends on how you look at it, and now I know why those other freelance writers give that advice. It really does depend on what you’re comfortable with.

As a freelance writer, I started out making $25 for a 500-750-word blog post. I never went below that, but I know many freelancers who did.

The bottom line is if you are comfortable making $8 for a blog post starting out, don’t let anyone else bully you into not taking the job. Think of it as practice. In fact, you will most likely write many blog posts for free during your career to get exposure by guest posting.

But on the flip side of that, if you are appalled at that rate, don’t let anyone tell you that you have to take it either!

So what rates can you reasonable expect as a freelance writer?

Let’s take a look.

Hourly Pay

It’s completely true that you don’t want to underprice yourself so much that you’re making $1 an hour, but you’re probably going to be much slower at your job when you first start out, so chances are, you will work for lower pay at first.

I rarely use an hourly rate unless I’m doing admin work, but some freelancers charge this way, and it’s perfectly okay.

As a new writer, you need to take into consideration what others are willing to pay you, along with what you’d like to make. In my experience, it’s not too difficult to get $15-20 an hour as a freelancer, as long as it’s not taking you 6 hours to write 500 words.

Flat Rate Pay

For that reason, I like the flat-rate model better. When I first started, it honestly did sometimes take me several hours to write one piece because I had no idea what I was doing and I wanted it to be perfect.

I based my prices on how long I thought a piece should take and the average rate people seemed to be offering freelancers on the job boards. I mean, yes, I was making terrible wages once in a while, but I was getting clients, exposure and practice. That’s worth a lot!

Specifically, after my first few assignments of $25 each, I started charging a flat rate of $40 for a 500- word blog post and $70 for 1,000 words. I actually still have a couple of $40 per blog post clients. Oh the horror!

Why?

Because they pay the bills, they are very quick and easy for me to write, and they are super clients I’m not ready to lose! Keep in mind these are blog posts that typically take me less than an hour to write, and $40 an hour is a perfectly respectable and comfortable rate as far as I’m concerned.

By the Word

The third way writers charge is by the word, and this is something I kind of figure in when deciding my rates each year. Some writers say you should never charge below $.07 per word, but again, it depends on what you’re comfortable with. As you can see, my rate hovers around that mark, but I didn’t start out there.

If you like this model, use it! A lot of writers do. I simply prefer the flat-rate model to protect my clients from unexpected charges. I rarely go under the word count, but I often go over. In those cases, I would have to re-calculate their fees, and I find my clients are much happier when they know what to expect.

Wrapping it Up

I hope this gives you a little insight into how other structure their pricing. It can be really frustrating just starting out when you can’t get specific answers, but the truth is, you will find what works for you, and when you stop getting clients, you know you’re charging too much for your level of expertise.

Stay tuned for a future post about how to raise your rates!

10 Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

What it takes to be an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

I’m not going to sugar coat it…being a entrepreneur can be hard. Yes, it’s fantastic setting your own hours, creating your own income and not answering to a boss, but the truth is, you need to either currently possess or hone some skills to make sure you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

When you first quit your job to do what you love, the feeling is euphoric, but if you’re not careful, you can end up binging on Netflix for a month before you realize your cable is about to get shut off.

So, how do you decide if you’re ready?

There are 10 characteristics most successful entrepreneurs possess. If you don’t have them, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be an entrepreneur. It just means you’ve got some stuff to work on.

Ready to learn?

1.    Discipline

This one should be obvious. If you lack self-discipline, you’ll end up at the movies with friends instead of buckled down at your laptop. You’ve got to be able to stick to your schedule and get something done every single day.

Discipline is not an easy skill to develop, but if you’re motivated enough, you can find a way to train yourself!

2.    Unafraid of Risk

There is ALWAYS risk with entrepreneurial endeavors, but to be honest, there is with any job. Your secure bank job is only as secure as the customers supporting it. Huge corporations go belly-up all the time. You just have to decide for yourself whom you’re willing to take the risk on.

3.    Decisiveness

Life is hard when you struggle with making your own decisions, and being an entrepreneur is even harder. You won’t have a boss to turn to for answers when facing a huge decision. You will just have to buck up and take responsibility yourself. The faster you can become at making them, the easier it will become. Trust your gut!

4.    Self-Control

If you’re bootstrapping your business and starting out on a budget, it can be difficult to know what you need to set aside and what you can spend. The bottom line is that you’ll probably need to reduce your spending to ensure you have enough to cover taxes and business expenses the first year. Get control of your finances and find out what’s coming in and going out.

5.    Dreamer

That’s right. Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit has usually envisioned his or her success in his mind long before they ever took the first step. While daydreaming instead of working can be detrimental to your success, a healthy vision is a necessity for future success as an entrepreneur.

6.    Positivity

Let’s face it, any endeavor has its ups and downs, but it can be especially true when you go it alone. It’s easy to get down in the dumps and forget to see the big picture, but if you keep a positive outlook, things will go a lot smoother for you!

7.    Self-Confidence

Along with a positive outlook toward your new venture, you also have to believe in yourself enough to know that you have what it takes to accomplish your goals. Without it, you’re likely to crumble at the first sign of adversity!

8.    Flexibility

Almost nothing goes exactly as planned, and that’s okay. One of the best qualities you can have is the ability to roll with the punches and adjust accordingly.

9.    Humility

Nobody can do it all on their own, and even if you start out that way, there WILL come a time when you need a little help. Be it advice, assistance or just a shoulder to cry on, don’t be too proud to turn to people you trust!

10.  Self-Awareness

All of these qualities really boil down to self-awareness. Be willing to see the bad with the good in your own character and make the necessary changes to succeed.

Get to Work!

If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, don’t give up hope. All these skills can be learned and developed with a little hard work. That’s why so many entrepreneurs start their endeavors as side hustles and hone their skills before they leave their day jobs.

What’s the old saying?

“If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!”

7 reasons why I have kept my day job while owning my own business

Does starting your own business mean you should quit your day job?

Owning your own business

Like you, I stay busy. I work a full-time job, operate a thriving online store and run the blog workathomeinspiration.com, all the while being a husband and dad.  The question often asked is,  should you quit your job while owning your own business?

I make as much money from owning my own business as I do with my full-time job, but I have yet to put in my two-week notice and don’t plan to anytime soon.

Why do I continue working a full-time job?

1. Base Income

I view my day job as my base pay and my work-at-home businesses as commission. I pay myself a regular salary every two weeks from my ecommerce store. The rest of my profit, we save or pay off debt. Having that base-pay buffer eliminates some of the stress that can come with owning your own business.

2. Insurance

The company that I work for offers excellent insurance at an affordable premium. Two summers ago, one of our sons had to be rushed to the emergency room, and two weeks later, our other son had to go to the emergency room. We would have been out several thousand dollars if we had not had excellent insurance coverage.

3. I don’t dread my job

If I had a job that I dreaded going to every day, I would probably take the risk and quit. But I work with great people and my job is not stressful. While I work, I am able to listen to podcasts and audio books that help me grow own businesses.

4. Meet financial goals earlier

Several years ago, we purchased a brand-new car and were able to pay it off within a year, thanks to the fact that we could pay at least $1,000 a month from my online business.    My wife and I are working toward paying off our home early. This goal is obtainable because we have several streams of income as business owners.

5. My wife can be at home

At one time in our marriage, my wife was working three days a week, cleaning an office and teaching on Saturdays. I hated it because we had always desired her to be at home as much as possible with our kids. Today, she only works two days a week and one of those days she is able to pick up the kids from school. I do not want to jeopardize her having to work more than two days a week.

6. Retirement

The company that I work with offers an excellent 401k plan. They match dollar for dollar. This benefit has the potential of being worth several thousand a year. Right now, I put in 5 percent of my salary, which is the maximum they match. Of course, if I was making $1,000,000 annually with my work-at-home business, then this benefit would not have as much holding power.

7. Security

I have worked for the same company for over 20 years and realize there is no security working for “the man”. My wife, however, feels more financially secure with me having a corporate job. I would not leave my job without making sure that we had enough in savings to last for at least six months and all of our bills were paid off. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Like many of you, I would love to work full time on my own businesses. But for now, I am satisfied doing what I am doing. I have certain financial goals that will need to be met before I quit my day job.

For those of you that work a job as well, what keeps you from quitting and owning  your own business full time?

Just take a step!

Michael

Starting out as a freelance? 7 Best Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

freelance writing jobs

When you’re just starting out looking for freelance writing jobs, it can be hard to know where to look.  I mean, all these other writers seem to have more work than they can handle, right? So where do you start looking for freelance writing jobs?

1.    Freelance Writing Job Boards

You probably already know about these, but it bears mentioning because it’s still the fastest way to find clients. They are actively searching freelance writing job boards looking for writers, so why not go to them. You will find some very low-paying jobs that may not be worth it, but you will also find some lucrative jobs there. It’s still my number one way to source new work! So, which freelance writing job boards should you use?

Here are a few places I trust to find legitimate freelance writing jobs:

Problogger

Blogging Pro

Indeed

2.    Cold Pitching

Ick. I know. Cold pitching reminds us of cold calling sales which makes us break out in hives. But truly, typing up a letter and sending it out to mass numbers of blogs or website owners in your niche is one of the best ways to bring in the big bucks. You can find freelance writing jobs by using Limeleads, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google. Find sites in your niche and let them know what you can do for them. I’ve had the most success when I sent out letters with my basic rates. Try it! You might be surprised!

3.    Networking

Yes, this still works and there are lots of ways to do it. Find Facebook groups with people in your niche. Network with other freelancers by signing up on their websites and commenting on their blogs. Use your other favorite social media site to connect with other influencers and people in your writing niche.

A great example of networking to get jobs is when I sent an email to a theme developer, praising their product. Because I have “freelance writer” and a link to my portfolio in my signature line, they offered me a job writing email copy.
Tell everyone what you do. You never know who might be searching!

4.    Niche Down

Yep, you’ve probably heard this one at least 100 times. But if you want to charge a premium rate for your services, you are going to have to choose a niche. You can get jobs without a niche. I’ve actually done it a lot because I’ve changed my specialties, but the big bucks really do come from being the go-to guru in your field.

Niching down will help you network, cold pitch and find jobs much more easily.

5.    Tweak Your Profiles

Once you’ve chosen your niche, be sure to customize your profiles to reflect it. Change your social media and website taglines and start adding others in that niche to your friend lists.

6.    Your Website

Your writer website should identify your specialty as well as showcase your best work. It’s also terrific to have a blog targeted to your writing niche, but your portfolio and some well-placed guest posts will suffice until you feel you are up to the blogging challenge.

7.    Guest Posting

Which brings us to the last best way to get writing gigs. Guest posting in your niche will make you stand out among your peers as an expert. Do some research and find out where your ideal client hangs out and interacts. For example, if your niche is personal finance, here are some popular personal finance blogs to try guest posting on:

Seed Time

Making Sense of Cents

Careful Cents

Get Rich Slowly

WiseBread

Shoeholic No More

Pinterest is a great platform to find out which blogs are popular in your niche. Just do a search for boards, people or pins in the niche you are specializing in and you will quickly find out which blogs receive the most repins. Or simply do a Google search for [your niche] blogs and see what comes up. There are blogs about just about everything!

Wrapping it Up

There you have it…7 of the very best ways to land your first, tenth or hundredth freelance writing gig. They’re not the only ways to find freelance writing jobs, but they’re the ones that have worked best for me and other writers I know. The most important thing is to set goals, keep pitching, and let everyone know you’re a writer for hire.

This is a guest post from Cheri Read, a single mom, entrepreneur and freelance writer for hire. You can find out more about her or her services over at cheriread.com.

3 Productivity Hacks to Achieve working for yourself and life balance.

3 Productivity Hacks to Achieve working for yourself and life balance.

It happens to the best of us. First, we reach our goals of leaving the 9-5s.  You are now working for yourself.  Then we spend the next few weeks binging on Netflix and eating pizza for breakfast, only to find we can’t pay the electric bill at the end of the month.

Yikes!

What happens next to most of us is that we spend the next several months locked in the office churning out hours of work out of fear, only to burn out and go back to Netflix.  Who said working for yourself would take discipline?

It’s a vicious cycle…and not one that’s easily broken.

Disclaimer: if you started reading this thinking I’ve got it all figured out, think again. I struggle daily, weekly, monthly to find the time to make sure all my work is done and also spend time with my family. After all, family is probably the main reason you decided to chase this work for yourself dream in the first place, right?

But here’s the rub: even though I don’t have it all figured out, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me get closer to it every day.

Wanna know what they are?

Great!

Check them out:

1.    Start Work at the Same Time Every Day

We start working at home to free up our schedule, don’t we? The problem is if you don’t set a specific start time and stick to it, you’re likely to find yourself settling in with the latest Jon Acuff book instead of getting any work done (entrepreneurs will understand this one!).

The point it to set a specific start time and stick to it as much as possible. Yes, things happen, and there will be times that despite your best efforts, you can’t sit at your computer until bedtime. But make an effort to get something done at the same time every day, whether it’s responding to emails in the waiting room or orally “writing” your next blog post on your iPhone voice recorder.

Your start time may have to be adjusted until you find what works for you, but trust me…it’s important!

2.    Set a Daily Income Goal

This one’s been a life-saver for me. Rather than setting elusive monthly goals that I’m scrambling to meet two weeks out, I set a daily income goal. If I need to make $3,000 this month, for example, I set a goal to make $100 every single day. This way, I know if I need to free up a Saturday, I need to either make $200 on Friday, or I need to spread out the $100 over the week with smaller assignments or one broken down assignment.

Why this is great: aside from the fact that it breaks your goal into mini goals, which is always helpful, it also frees up time for your family because you know exactly when to stop working. That’s why I don’t say set a stop time every day…just a start time. This gives you the feeling of flexibility, but still gives you enough structure to stay productive.

3.    Set Ruthless Boundaries

It’s hard. Maybe even the hardest thing about working at home. Your parents, friends and kids know you’re working for yourself, so why shouldn’t you be available to run their errands, keep their kids or do their laundry? You may even enjoy doing some of these things, making it even more difficult to put a stop to it.

But they’re not paying your bills. You must figure out for yourself what’s urgent, and what’s not. Sure, we can be good, serving people, but it’s not wrong to set boundaries. You have to pay the rent!

The easiest way to do this is to set auto-responders on your phones, emails and answering machines letting people know your work hours, and that you’ll be unable to respond until after these hours. Tell them ahead of time that you won’t be taking personal calls during that time and that they should tell you exactly what they’re calling for in their messages. That way, you can free up the time you would’ve spent calling everyone back to see what they want.

Don’t be a slave to technology! Instruct those closest to you to text “emergency” to your cell phone if necessary, so that there’s no questioning whether or not to answer.

Conclusion

Working for yourself has its drawbacks. It can be the best thing you’ve ever done as long as you can discipline yourself to work and others to leave you alone. Finding a work-life balance is really about figuring out what works best for you and your family and sticking to the plan. Don’t let yourself get caught on the Netflix binging/workaholic cycle. Remember why you did this and stay on track!

This is a guest post from Cheri Read, a single mom, entrepreneur and freelance writer for hire. You can find out more about her or her services over at cheriread.com

Platform (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012)

Platform  is a great read if you are wanting to build a platform such as a blog.  It will give you guidance as you navigate through the noisy world of blogging.

I would like to share with you my favorite quotes from the book Platform by Michael Hyatt.

 

  • The secret to success in any business is to deliver a great, compelling product.
  • We don’t need more messages or products or services.  Instead, we need better messages, products, and services.
  • If we are going to create wow experiences, we must become courageous.
  • I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure.
  • Marketing is no longer about shouting in a crowded marketplace; it is about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers.
  • Understand what’s Not important.
  • Here’s the question I always ask when I face a daunting task: “What would accomplishing this make possible?”
  • All you have to do is take the first step.  You’ll figure out the rest.

 

 

Blogging Income report – I Made $3600 Writing & Blogging in Sept 2016

Blogging Income reports

I am excited to share with you my blogging income report.  In case you’re new here, I left my full-time day job to work from home in June 2016. Most of my income is from freelance writing, but I am also venturing into making money with my blog. My blogging income is not much to talk about yet because I neglected it a bit over the summer to squeeze in more freelance writing clients.

Anyway, I would  like to share my blogging income reports when I can for a couple of reasons:

a) To motivate others to get out there and do the same.  I want to offer that same inspiration to my readers that I received when I read blog income reports from fellow bloggers.

b) To hold myself accountable for my goals and accomplishments.  There is something about exposing your goals and accomplishments that motivate you to keep moving forward.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for a blogging income report, especially from someone making all their money from their couch. Am I right?

So, here goes…

My September 2016 Blogging Income Report:

Freelance Writing:                                         2,675.00

Amazon Sales:                                                 13.95

VA Work:                                                          825.00

Affiliate:                                                                94.00

Total:                $3607.95              

I expect my income to continue to rise as I increase the amount of time I spend working on my blog. After all, this is the place I love to be. Blogging is a blast, y’all!

If you’re interested in making money from home, I hope you’ll stick around and see all the different ways it can be done!  We will be exploring ecommerce, blogging, freelancing, selling on eBay and all the other many ways you can make money working for yourself.

Full disclosure: none of this would be possible without the God I serve directing my steps!

God bless, and stay inspired!

(Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here)