The Unexpected Road to Entrepreneurship
Dire circumstances led me to start a business from home. 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. But the fear of not earning any money loomed large most days.
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Closed Doors Open New Work Opportunities
I ended up interviewing for a teacher’s assistant job in a third-grade classroom. The administrator was a good friend and offered me the job, reluctantly. Not because I wasn’t qualified, but it was clear I wasn’t ready to work yet, and my motivation was obviously driven by income fears.
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-at-home jobs. We all know where some of that crap can lead. But the thought of being my own boss made my soul feel hopeful again.
An Online Business that Earns Good Money
An online business opportunity caught my eye one day, 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. She now offers a FREE workshop if you’re curious.
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.
For months, I woke up early, poured my coffee, and worked my butt off. It was certainly a stretch for my mind most days. Grief gives you absolutely no control over your brain power.
The ability to work at my own pace, while studying intensive grammar and punctuation books, and taking regular tests, was just what I needed. My hope and confidence grew with each unit I completed.
Six months later, I passed the final exam. That accomplishment meant the world to me. I made it through that brutal first year of grief with my mind intact AND I learned how to start a business from home.
An Official Entrepreneur
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! I’d have never dreamed in a million years that I would end up making money online with a business of my own.
Caitlin’s excellent marketing modules gave me the know-how to make over 500 LinkedIn connections which led to many happy clients. Above all, this experience introduced me to the world of the work-anywhere life.
An online entrepreneur really can work anywhere — and here’s the proof. This was in Switzerland in June 2016, with my iPad and notes, after finishing up a small job for a client.
I’ve now transitioned from proofreading to 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 Working from Home Right For You?
There are now dozens and dozens of work-from-home businesses that are legit and helping people earn incomes they desperately need. You may be in very difficult circumstances and want to explore your options.
I’ll be the first to tell you: No matter where you’re coming from, or what doors have closed to you, YOU CAN WORK FOR YOURSELF AND MAKE THE INCOME YOU NEED! I did it, and you can too.
More About Proofreading as a Business
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.
If you’re a word nerd who cringes at misused words, misspellings, and horrible punctuation, this may be a perfect fit; you can make real money doing this.
Other Work from Home 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 finally blogging as a business.
If earning an income with a blog interests you, Become a Blogger in Seven Easy Steps will show you, in beginner’s terms, how to get started.
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it: Get a piece of paper and write down what you’re good at, interested in, and things you’d like to add to your skill set. I’ve got an amazing list of resources and courses that’s likely to fit one or more things on your list.
Let’s have a look at one of the best resources for exploring work from home ideas, if you’re not sure what direction to take yet:
The Work at Home Super Bundle contains 37 work-at-home resources to help you discover and start your dream business.
For a tiny investment of $47, you get these amazing tools, courses, and eBooks covering dozens of work from home businesses.
- 23 eBooks
- 1 Audiobook
- 9 eCourses
- 4 Printable Packs
The screenshot below gives you an idea of the insane value of this work from home resource bundle.
Specific Work at Home Courses I Have Taken
If you know a little more about the direction you want your home business to take, one of these courses could be a great fit for you. If not, keep researching. Your opportunity to become an entrepreneur is out there…you’ll find it.
I discovered my love of freelance writing with Holly Johnson’s course, Earn More Writing. She shows you from start to finish how to build a very successful online freelance writing business.
- Choosing a writing niche
- Building a professional portfolio
- Perfecting your pitch to gain clients
- How to get wealthy ghostwriting for CEOs … and many more!
- The biggest perk is her Facebook group of really successful grads and students where she answers every question
Making a Passive Income with a Blog
I originally started this blog as a place to house my writing samples for clients. A few months later, I discovered a course about how to make money just by blogging…a lot of money! The writer of this course has made over $300,000 to date on just ONE of the businesses she partners with.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make a passive income with your blog or website by partnering with companies/services and promoting their products to your readers.
Thousands of companies (Amazon, Expedia, Chase Bank …) offer affiliate programs to bloggers and online businesses who then receive a commission for each sale made from their private link. The key is to choose products and services you actually use and believe in. Your readers come first — you’d never want someone to promote a bad product to you, would you?
The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by Michelle Gardner is a whopping 40 units of everything you’d need to know about becoming an affiliate marketer, and how to make a great income with it. I have never taken such a thorough course (besides transcript proofreading), and it was worth every dime as well as the studying!
Michelle has a huge Facebook group that offers tons of support. There are opportunities to promote your blog and to get feedback on anything you need to help you succeed with growing your affiliate marketing income.
The group is full of power bloggers who are extremely helpful, and Michelle is actively involved as well; it’s a huge perk of taking her course!
Marketing Your Business
One of the biggest components of entrepreneurial success is marketing. If no one knows you have a business, you’ll struggle to make the income you need. Marketing can be a bit intimidating, but all it takes is a little practice and a change of mindset to market yourself with confidence.
Social media marketing is by far the most popular and effective marketing strategy for online businesses. Creating Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for your business is a wise move.
I’ve been putting most of my effort into Pinterest these first two years since it’s a powerhouse for driving traffic to your blog or business. I’ve put together a simple to follow free guide for beginning Pinterest business users. Sign up below.
FREE Pinterest for Business Ultimate Guide
Sign up for the HSW weekly blogging and freelancing digest, and get the Pinterest for Business Ultimate Guide as a special thank you bonus.
13 pages of step-by-step instructions + illustrations for Pinterest business beginners.
The best Pinterest course I’ve found brings over 200K pageviews to the author’s site a month! I’ve learned valuable pinning strategies with this one simple course that shows you everything you need to know for Pinterest marketing, pinning, and analyzing your results.
As for Twitter, check out Twitter marketing expert, Madalyn Sklar. She has a podcast on just about anything you’d ever want to learn about marketing your blog or business with Twitter!
There is no better Facebook marketing teacher than Mari Smith. I’ve listened to dozens of her podcasts and seminars and still learn something new every time. Visit her website here, and your Facebook game will never be the same.
Welcome to the World of Entrepreneurship!
In today’s digital world, it has never been easier to start a business and become your own boss. There is job security in your own skills. Believe in yourself, your talents, and your ability to learn new things, and you will knock ’em dead!
Adding new skills and learning from my mistakes has been the key to my work-at-home success. If you determine yourself to become a lifelong learner and never give up, your dream of being a successful entrepreneur will be your reality.
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