D is for:
Doing Something Different
Like most people I started work upon leaving University. I worked then until we had our first baby and I’ve not yet gone back (after having a second). I had always assumed that when my children were old enough to start School I would then go back to work, but I was also aware from watching various colleagues that they often struggled with their childcare when their children were sick or during school holidays. It was one of several issues that needed to be considered but as that was not going to be for a few years, they went on the back burner. I’ve recently begun thinking about work again, as an OU course I was doing has recently finished, so I wanted something to occupy my mind and our youngest baby will soon be finishing breastfeeding, so my flexibility during the evenings will increase.
I recently heard about an e-course called Mumpreneur in a Month and as it was free I decided to join. This was a really useful course delivered into my inbox which suggested ways in which you can begin to build a business at home, working around your children either in the evenings or at nap times. Some of the advice was quite simple, but was just acting as a spur to get you thinking in a different way about work and earning money. There were examples how to earn from home and around you children, including setting up an eBay business, or starting a Blog and using sponsored links, posts and advertising to generate an income. This advice was great and led to my setting up this blog – I certainly don’t expect to generate a hefty income from it yet, but am trying to get it to a stage where it has the potential to do so. I am also selling various things on eBay, which has generated a good sum of money (and also decluttered a bit!). But more importantly it has made me think that I might be able to create an income by working from home and remaining flexible to the needs of our children.
The next step up from Mumpreneur in a Month is the Become a Mumpreneur e-Course (sponsored link), which teaches some of the same lessons about changing your mindset and creating opportunities from your contacts, but it goes into much greater detail about the mechanics of starting your own business. It has a full membership website on which you can seek advice from the course creators (Antonia Chitty and Erica Douglas) and also from other members of the course. The course costs £19.99 per month which at first glance seems a bit steep, but the aim of the very first e-lesson is to help you earn £20 in your first month of membership, through whatever means you have at your disposal. As I said, I used eBay, MusicMagpie and various paid survey websites to earn probably £50 in the first month and more in the second month so I have more than covered the fees, with some to spare.
There is also the opportunity to take part in live web classes with the course creators in which they answer any questions you may have about starting to work from home. I recently took part in a class about freelancing and creating a freelance business, which was a bit of a ‘lightbulb moment’ for me – I realised that I do have skills from my working life that I could use to attract freelance work, so my current goal is to get that going – you’ll hear more about that as I go I’m sure!!
I’m still only halfway into the beginner stage of the course (it also had intermediate and advanced levels) so I am by no means an expert. To find out more about the programme, take a look at the Become a Mumpreneur website (sponsored link) and perhaps sign up for the free course first – if it’s not for you then you’ve lost nothing but a bit of your time.
I’m a total convert (as you can tell) as the course has got me thinking differently about things, even down to thinking that selling stuff on eBay must be better than it lying around in the garage, but I had also never considered working for myself or working from home. I can’t say I’ve ever had any entrepreneurial spark, but I feel now that I could build an income and help provide the little luxuries for our family but still be available for my children when they need me. The idea of not having to work hard and benefit someone else seems quite attractive too!
I believe registration for the programme is currently open so if you are at all interested and you do decide to sign up and mention that I sent you, it certainly wouldn’t do me any harm either (wink, wink).
If you want to go for it, I wish you the best of luck in your new enterprises!