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The freelance movement. What is it? What does it entail? Is it a scam? Why did you do it? How did you do it? Can this work for me?
Those are questions I get asked repeatedly each week.
As I am becoming more and more open with what I do, how I got started, and why I got started, I am finding that more and more moms (or non-moms — freelancing is NOT just for moms) are interested in exploring if this lifestyle could work for them and their career and family goals.
So I wanted to address these questions in one post, so that when a mom joins my Facebook group and asks, I can send her this post! I think it helps to see someone’s personal story and their journey of how and why they did what they did and got to where they got.
Maybe this should have been my first post? Oh well — you live and learn.
What is the freelance movement?
Freelance (as I understand it for myself and my business) just means you work for yourself, you are your own boss, you are an independent contractor.
You provide some type of service to small businesses and online businesses (in my experience, only online businesses) to help them successfully run and/or scale their business.
As a freelancer you are free to work with who you want, when you want, where you want, and how you want.
What does it entail?
It entails setting yourself up as a business owner and with that there are a lot of steps.
I go in-depth with this process, setting yourself up as a business owner, in weeks 1 and 2 of my Jumpstart your Freelance Career Virtual Workshop.
But at the very basic level you need to:
- Pick a business name
- Develop a business brand
- Determine what services you will offer
- Plan your packages and your pricing
It entails lots of hard work.
You may have to learn new skills.
You may have to go out of your comfort zone.
You have to think of yourself and current skillset as valuable.
You have to hustle every month to find clients… (where do you find clients — read up here).
You have to juggle being a mom, being a wife, most likely a 9-5 (while you are starting out and trying to grow), taking care of yourself.
^^^ but you have to do that with any career or life choice anyway.
It entails uncertainty.
Will I find work?
Will I be successful?
How much will I make this month?
But doesn’t every job?
It entails people not understanding what you do.
I got a lot of people asking what I do, but not getting it. Even my own family. My husband still doesn’t fully get it.
For the longest time, even once I started making $1500-2,000 from freelance work, which was equal to my part-time teacher salary and then eventually grew to more than my full-time teaching salary, my dad (love him, but he is a traditional entrepreneur) kept telling me I should just go work at a corporate job.
There was one specific instance, I was pregnant with my son George, now 5 months old, we were out to dinner as a whole family: my mom, my dad, my husband, my daughter, and 3 brothers.
I tried to start explaining to them what I do.
Keep in mind I am pregnant. I am emotional at this time. Everyone (all the 21+’s) were enjoying wine, beer, martinis. I had a boring old glass of water.
At this time, it was around Christmas, I had been a freelancer for 6 months, just invested $1500 in a course to grow my business, and was making around $1,500 a month from client work, I truly felt successful.
To me success just meant making what I made part-time teaching.
So when my family, mom, dad, brothers start asking questions, and didn’t “get it,” I lost it.
My perspective was they felt like it was a joke, that it was a scam, that is was not truly sustainable.
I started crying (I was pregnant) in public at a restaurant.
I ordered a “shot of wine” and the waiter brought it as fast as I have ever seen a drink delivered at a busy restaurant. I just sipped a few sips — don’t worry.
And I just had to let it go. People are not going to get it. Some will and that is awesome, but some won’t. And that is why networking and forming friendships with other freelancers is so crucial to your success if you choose to give the free life a go.
As I am switching and transitioning to growing my own online business from scratch, teaching others to start their own freelance business, I still get the people who don’t understand what I do, why I do it, or what the real true options there are out there for freelance work.
P.S. Freelance work is NOT new, but the online business world is newer. My MIL freelanced in the 90’s while she was raising her kids.
Also, freelance work does not only have to be online.
If you choose to start your own freelance business, or a blog, or an online business, be prepared for those not in the online space to not understand.
Is it a scam?
Short answer = no.
Long answer = yes and no.
There are some people out there who may try to scam you for free work, so it is important that you take specific approaches in order to prevent that. I teach this in week 4 of my course 🙂
No freelancing is not a scam.
There are endless opportunities out there. Online business is growing. It takes a lot of time to run and grow an online business. It takes a lot of different pieces. It is very rare that one person has enough time and or skill set to do everything themselves.
As I am growing my business I have hired freelancers — branding experts, web design experts, tech-team, Facebook page strategists, and blog strategists.
There are also endless opportunities locally in your community, you just have to learn what they need and how to position yourself to offer those services.
The different jobs I have had as a freelancer include:
- Admin assistant
- Graphic designer
- Social Media manager
- FB Community manager
- Pinterest manager
- Landing page design
- Ghost writer
- Copy editor
- Blog manager
- Customer service
What I have not done:
- Web design
- FB ads
- Complete funnel building
- Course creation management
- And lots lots more.
There really truly is a freelance job out there for everyone. I fully believe that.
Why I joined the free life.
In my situation it made 100% no sense to stay at my job. I’ll explain why later.
First, I loved teaching. I loved my students. I loved my coworkers → English department shoutout!! We were the best team and brainstorming buddies, and I miss those connections every day.
Teaching English is a lot of work.
Teaching is a lot of work.
That is all I will say for now about the “what I did not like about my job section.”
I worked so hard as a teacher, I spent my summers researching new lesson plans, new strategies, and prepping for the school year (don’t tell me teaching is a great job because you have your summers off — BULL HONKEY).
I loved it, I truly did.
Until my daughter was born.
Suddenly EVERYTHING changed.
I was in the operating room, shaking uncontrollably (thanks pain meds), sobbing, and staring into the most beautiful baby girl’s eyes that I have ever seen in my life. \
So staring into her eyes, just in awe of what my husband and I created, I knew I could never leave her.
But I had to.
And it was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
Drop my helpless 3 month old baby off at daycare with a stranger, while I went to work to make pennies, but work my butt of for those pennies.
I started to become bitter and resentful.
So bitter and so resentful.
Towards my husband, myself, my students. It was not healthy.
I wallowed for awhile. Told my husband he had to make more money. Blamed everyone else.
Until finally, I stopped complaining and started doing.
Extremely long story short, I found freelancing.
Early August, 2016 my freelancing career began before I even knew it.
And now, I have learned more than I could have ever learned in a college classroom, studying business and marketing.
And I say that confidently, not cockily, and not knocking college or education, but there is something to be said for real-life experience and on-the-job training.
How I did it.
It started with complaining, but then I did something about it.
I started telling people what I wanted.
“I want to work at home and make money.”
I had so many friends and family members on the lookout for work from home jobs, but everything came back scammy or was low paying and would require me to have a quiet work environment and be tied to my computer desk from 8am-5pm.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Finally, I told the right person.
My husband’s cousin told me about an online job sourcing board.
I checked it out.
It turns out it is a job sourcing board where small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs can post virtual jobs perfect for stay at home moms.
I paid $30 for a 3-month subscription.
6 months later, I had a client. 2 weeks later, another. 2 weeks later, another.
I was making $600-$800 a month. From home, while my daughter slept.
IT WAS PERFECT! I was in heaven.
But, it got me thinking… If I found 3 clients, there has to be more out there and this has to be a “real” thing.
So I did some research.
And found out that I was living in my tiny little bubble world, unaware of the world of online businesses that need virtual support to thrive.
In December/January of 2016 and 2017, I officially launched my virtual assistant, social media, digital marketing support business to online business owners.
I invested in a course, invested in myself, and read every blog post out there about digital marketing, social media marketing, and boss-momming.
I changed some habits. No more wasted time. No more complaining without doing something about it.
I did this all while still teaching part-time, raising a toddler, growing the cutest baby boy ever, and being a wife, all with little to no daycare.
Since then, I think at one point or another I’ve tried all the freelance schedules I covered on Instagram.
- Building my business while still teaching: I utilized every free second in my schedule. I would get up before Mclaren and work from 5-7 AM. During my lunch breaks and planning periods, I would network and connect with potential clients. After Mclaren went to bed at 7 PM, I would work on the couch beside Colin. Not gonna lie…this was hard. So I hustled super hard to make sure it was temporary & I could replace my income ASAP.
- The nap time grind. Once I quit teaching, I kept up with the 5-7 AM work schedule because it worked for me. I added in the naptime 1-3 block and then would use my nights for any additional networking or working on my own business. This was more than enough time for me to hit my income goals, but eventually the back and forth between work and mom mode and work and mom mode was just too much for me. I felt I would be more productive with a more consistent chunk of time.
- Part-time help. As Mclaren grew older and started attending preschool multiple days each week, I felt comfortable bringing in a college student with a consistent class schedule to help out with Mclaren and Thomas 2 days a week for 3-4 hours at a time. This gave me that solid chunk of time I needed to focus on growing my business, manage my team (which adds way more hours back into my day!), and keep me on-task. That worked great but as my business and family continued to grow, it was apparent we needed even more help!
- Consistent, weekly nanny. Currently, I work Monday-Thursday 9-2 PM while our amazing nanny watches Thomas and Caroline (and Mclaren if she’s home from school!). This gives me more than enough time to run everything here at MQHQ. Usually, I “unplug” for the weekend on Thursday nights. I try to take the kiddos somewhere fun during the day on Friday and spend my entire day focusing solely on mom life. I don’t check emails. I don’t post on social media (unless I want to share what cool thing we are doing or give you guys an update on my gardening journey!). Those Friday “field trips” set the tone for our entire weekend, and really helps me flow into the weekend feeling well-rested and in complete “mom mode.”
By the time Sunday night rolls around, I am usually full of new ideas to share with my team and just super-excited to see what they’ve been cooking up behind the scenes at MQHQ! Every week brings new challenges but I’ll be honest…I’m usually pretty excited to get those Monday Voxxer notifications and dive in. I say it all the time but it’s worth repeating… I love to work when it’s work that I love!
Does that mean I found a perfect, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime unicorn career that is just all butterflies & rainbows 100% of the time? Of course not! I make mistakes. I have bad days. I have tasks that I still dread.
But at the end of the day…I love what I do. I love guiding & supporting women on their paths to success. I love transforming big dreams into big plans that actually happen. And…to be perfectly honest…I love bringing to life ideas & programs that exist outside of my home. That’s not to say I don’t love doing all that for family…I think it’s pretty obvious that I do. I’m saying that you can do both. And if you want to…or need to…you absolutely should have that option.
When you freelance- you call the shots. You work where & when you want. You set your rates. You decide your clients. Heck….you even decide what services you offer! You will create a career that ignites your passion & reinvigorates your life- & you’ll do it all with your babies on your lap. You can have it all.
If you’re interested in freelancing but you’re just still not 100% sure how to find the time to get started, download this fast action Makeover Your Time guide to map out exactly how much time you DO HAVE to build your business! [it’s free!]
I pulled this guide STRAIGHT from the Live Free Academy…so all those amazing success stories and wins you see each week from LFA alum…it all started right here. With this same time exercise!
Cheers to a lifetime of work you love!
What is it?! Send me a message, follow me on facebook, send me an email, or if you are comfortable posting it below, go ahead!!
What is the #1 thing you complain about?
Your job, your husband, your kids, your weight?
Name that thing out loud…
And either do something about it or stop complaining!
If it is something else → make it a priority to change.
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