By Stephanie Spillmann 9/6/17  This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here


Grief and Money: Life Doesn’t Stop When Someone Dies


It’s a long road to recovery in every area of life when you lose a child, a spouse, or other loved one unexpectedly. Grief can be especially hard on our finances as we try to balance the time we need to process and heal with the expectations of earning money and continuing to work.


Life doesn’t just stop when grief makes it hard to breathe. I wanted to yell and scream and make scenes in public places shortly after my daughter died. Is nothing sacred? How can this world go on with business as usual and expect me to operate in it in the normal ways?


One of the biggest anxieties for me after her death was the money issue. The plan for that year had been to attend a university in Denver and finish my bachelor’s in English.


I was only 11 classes from graduating. That kind of loss, a couple months before the semester began, did not lend itself to commuting downtown, serious study on someone else’s timetable, or much of anything for that matter.


Daniel and me in Switzerland


Trying to Find My Place

I ended up interviewing for a teacher’s assistant job in a third-grade classroom. My friend was willing to offer me the job, reluctantly. She could see that I was worried about money and contributing to our monthly finances, but it was clear I was nowhere near being okay to work.


Tearfully, I turned down the job — which had been a decent-paying offer. My husband put his arms around me and told me to just wait, and rest.


We would be okay dipping into savings for a while. I kept looking on and off for jobs I could do. Reluctantly, I perused the internet for work-from-home jobs. We all know where some of that crap can lead.


An Internet Opportunity That Was the Real Deal

One thing caught my eye, and my heart pounded at the possibility that it could be legit. Caitlin Pyle’s Proofread Anywhere course was begging my attention, so I signed up for the free, 7-day introductory course to learn more.


I also called local court reporting agencies to see if proofreading court transcripts is a real thing. It certainly is — and one lady said to call her when I’d completed the course.


computer on desk with coffee


For almost six months, I woke up early, poured my coffee, and worked my butt off. It was certainly a stretch for my brain most days. There are times in the healing process when you have absolutely no control over whether you’re able to put together two rational thoughts. This extreme brain fog never announces itself, it just settles in for the day (or week).


Working at my own pace, while studying the intensive grammar and punctuation books, and preparing for the regular testing that came with the course, was paramount. It was not easy, and it pushed me to my limits some days.


After five months, I took the final exam and completed the final test transcript — and passed. This accomplishment meant the world to me. I made it through the first year of my daughter’s death not only with my mind still intact, but with a business of my own. And the money stress faded just a bit as I held to the hope that I would be successful.


sunflowers in Italy up close


Stepping Into Entrepreneurship

That was the beginning of Sunflower Proofing LLC. It has since led to Sunflower Media Solutions and this current blog, Healthy, Savvy & Wise. What a ride!


Caitlin’s excellent marketing modules gave me the know-how to make over 500 LinkedIn connections in my proofreading field and gain many happy clients who have raved about my work. Above all, this experience introduced me to the world of the work-anywhere life.



ipad on table in Switzerland


You really can proofread anywhere — and here’s the proof. This was in Switzerland last summer, with my iPad and notes, after finishing up a small job for a client.


These days, I’m proofreading part time while expanding my larger business ventures. I can’t say enough about what Caitlin’s course did for me. It saved me from despair and relieved some pretty serious money stress.


Is it Right For You?

The General Proofreading course is great for people whose stomachs churn at the sight of spelling and grammar errors. It equips you for proofreading opportunities with authors, websites, company newsletters, any type of published works, and all other written material.


The transcript proofreading course is a bit more specialized, and is a great fit for detail-oriented folks who enjoy court-related topics and the challenge of correcting verbatim speech. It’s not for the faint of heart.


Caitlin also has a brand new course hitting the market at the first of the year. I hear it’s still in the beta test stage. I’ll check back in with you guys and spill the beans on her most exciting business-building opportunity yet, as soon as I have the all-clear.


In the meantime, please explore this amazing opportunity for yourselves. The General Proofreading course   offers a fantastic free 45-minute seminar for anyone who would like to know more and see if it’s something you’d be truly good at.


I’ll give you a hint — word nerds who cringe at misused words, misspellings, and horrible punctuation are often on cloud nine when they discover they can make real money doing this.


Grief and Money: Life Doesn't Stop When Someone Dies


More Opportunities

With the right mindset, no matter your background, entrepreneurship is within reach for anyone who wants it badly enough. My initial proofreading pursuit served as a springboard for a freelance writing career, a hunger for expanding my marketing and finance skills, and expanding my business goals.


I have since taken three other amazing courses. Once I discovered my love of freelance writing, I honed my skills and learned valuable lessons on how to pitch to clients and build a great portfolio with Holly Johnson’s course, Earn More Writing.


After setting up this blog, I learned everything there is to know about affiliate marketing from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by Michelle Gardner. I have never seen such a thorough course, and it was worth every dime and the studying!


I knew nothing about Pinterest when I started dipping my toe into the social media marketing arena. Precision Pinning by Tracie Fobes is the best $25 you can spend for 9 years of blogging and social media expertise. This ebook takes your Pinterest strategy to a professional level.


Adding new skills and being willing to learn from my mistakes has been paramount in my success as a freelancer. If you decide to become a lifelong learner, you’ll never go wrong.


Read my post, The Power of Coffee and Routine Saved My Life, for my personal story of hope after the biggest loss of my life.


Please share this post to encourage others. Thank you!


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