I never wanted to grow up and get a job. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to be a mom. My own mom didn’t work while I was growing up, and I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to send my kids to school with a hot breakfast in their tummies. Clean the house from top to bottom while they were at school. Have hot cookies ready when they came home. Sit at the table and help them with their homework. Read stories with them before they went to bed. But that’s not as easy, or realistic, as it sounds, and my life didn’t exactly work out that way.
I got married super young and my husband was still in school, so I had to get a job to help out with the finances. When my oldest was born, I couldn’t imagine leaving her with a babysitter for the day to go to work, so I quit my job and made the decision to stay home with her. It was the best decision for me, but it wasn’t easy. I knew I still needed to bring in some income, so the hunt for a job I could work from home began.
Over the years, I did so many different jobs from home to help contribute to the family finances:
- I addressed envelopes
- I did data entry for UPS on the graveyard shift (This made for one tired mama!)
- I did data entry entering coupons online
- I sold scrapbooking products on eBay
- I learned all about Forex market and traded foreign currency
- I wrote for a local online magazine
- I was a blogger for Prevention magazine
- I wrote a novel and got it published
- I captioned college courses for deaf and hard of hearing students
- and now I am a blogger and online wellness coach
Each of these opportunities taught me something and helped me grow as a person, but none of them has been more fulfilling than the work I’m doing here on Sublime Reflection and as a Coach. I’ve met some of my best friends through coaching, and the incredible women I work with every day bless my lives in ways they don’t even realize.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a work-at-home mom, I encourage you to stop dreaming about it and start doing something about it. It will change your life!
Here are 5 tips to help you build a successful online business:
Brainstorm what type of business you want to create
With the internet, there are so many ways you can start a business! My personal favorite, of course, is blogging. I get questions every week from readers who want to start a blog but can’t settle on a topic. My advice is to think about what you’re good at. What do you love to do? What type of advice do you constantly find yourself handing out? What topics do people ask you about? I heard one of my favorite bloggers, Regina from ByRegina.com, say that you should pick a topic that you could talk about for 100 hours without having to learn any more about it.
I accidentally stumbled into a health and fitness blog because I started it simply as a way to have some accountability on my own weight-loss journey. It’s amazing how one thing leads to another. This blog has brought some amazing opportunities into my life that I never would have found on my own.
I’m a strong believer that we all have something to offer the world. Often we find that through hardship. What have you experienced and overcome in your life that you could share with others? It’s been amazing for me to watch my business unfold and see the people and relationships it has brought into my life. It’s a humbling experience to have your struggles and hardships sanctified and used as a learning and growing experience for another.
Join a community
Once you’ve settled on a topic, find a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to join. Facebook is one of the best places to do this. There are so many awesome groups on facebook where fellow entrepreneurs support and help one another as they grow their business. Simply type your topic in the Facebook search bar and you’ll be surprised by what you find. If blogging is part of your business plan, there are some very helpful blogging groups you can join. Here are a few of my favorites:
You can also find specialized niches. For example, in the health and fitness niche, these are some great groups to join:
One of my favorite things about being an online fitness coach is the amazing community that surrounds me. I work very closely with my team of coaches to help them be successful as they grow their own businesses, and I have mentors who do the same for me. These women have become like a family to me, and I’ll be forever grateful that coaching brought these relationships into my life.
Take a step—any step!
One of the things that makes starting so hard is that there’s so much to do. It’s overwhelming. So just pick something—anything—and do it. If you already have a business idea, come up with one major project to focus on, then brainstorm and write down every single step that will be required to get the project done. You’ll feel good that you finally got started and be encouraged to take another step forward. It’s amazing how big things can come from small, simple steps taken daily.
Focus on YOUR journey
Being an online business owner can be distracting, because it’s easy to get caught up in following what everyone else is doing and comparing your business to theirs. Don’t do it!! I promise, this is the fastest path to failure. Stay focused on your own journey. Your path will not be exactly like someone else because we are all different and have different life circumstances. It’s perfectly okay to get inspiration from others, but be very careful to abandon your own plans trying to chase after something that works for someone else. I’ve made the most progress by focusing on my own goals and not comparing where I am to others.
If you win your days more often than not, and take small steps forward, success will come.
Look for ideas outside your niche
So, I know I just told you to not get caught up in what others are doing, but there is one thing I highly recommend, and that is to look for ideas outside your niche. Chances are, bloggers and business owners within your niche are all doing the same things. In most areas of life, fitting in feels important, but in online business, standing out from the crowd is what will make you successful. I get some of my best business ideas from following other bloggers who are not in the health and fitness industry.
One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com. She has been blogging for ten years and has created a business that supports not only her own family, but a team of people who help her. Through her blog she has also been able to help build classrooms for children in South Africa. It’s so inspiring to see her using her blessings to help others.
I was lucky enough to get picked to be on Crystal’s launch team for her new book Money Making Mom. Today is her book launch day, and I’m so excited for her!
If you are already a Money Making Mom, or if you want to be, I highly recommend that you check out this book!
The book will teach you how to:
✓ Brainstorm money making ideas
✓ Set long-term financial goals
✓ Identify clear priorities
✓ Use your unique knowledge, skills, and passions in your business
✓ Overcome fear, insecurity, and worrying about what others will think
✓ Use your gifts to make a true difference in the world
✓ and much more!
If you have any interest in learning more about what I do to make a full-time income from home as a blogger and online fitness coach, you can learn more here.
Also, if you’re already a blogger and would like to learn more about how to monetize your blog, read my post about how I make money blogging.