Self-care is essential for mental and physical health, but with the hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to find time for you. By prioritizing yourself, you are caring for your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Practicing self-care can help 

  • reduce stress
  • improve mental health
  • boost immunity 
  • increase productivity

To lead a content and meaningful life, it is vital  to take care of yourself. Investing in your well-being will  pay off in the long run and help you live a happy existence.

The Benefits of Creating a Self-Care Routine

Creating a self-care routine is an effective way to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to look after yourself. It can help you to stay on top of your mental health plan and provide you with the self-compassion that you need to get through tough times.

A well-crafted self-care plan will enable you to 

  • prioritize your needs
  • set achievable goals
  • practice self-compassion
  • reduce stress level
  • improve overall well being

Self-care planning is an essential tool for managing your time and resources. It provides structure to help you prioritize tasks and make the most of your limited resources. By creating a consistent schedule, delegating tasks, and setting realistic goals, you can take control of your time and resources. 

Introducing the Self-Care Planning Kit

The Self-Care Planning Kit will help you invest in yourself and plan for success by prioritizing what matters most! It can be difficult to stick with a self-care routine due to the demands of everyday life but the Self-Care Planning kit has strategies built in to ensure that you are taking care of yourself on a daily basis. With 33 specialized pages that are available as a printable or digital planner, this Self-Care Planning Kit makes it easier than ever to find balance in your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

Our kit includes:

  • a daily plan with space for today’s focus and self-care checklist
  • appointments, 
  • a daily journal 
  • stress tracker
  • confidence goals
  • movement planning/tracking
  • progress tracker
  • mood tracker
  • triggers
  • anxiety log 
  • and more

This kit provides the tools you need to plan, monitor, and track your self-care efforts. Harness the power of self-reflection, tracking, and planning to make your life more organized and intentional. 

Here are 5 ideas that can help you stick with your self-care routine and make it part of your daily life.

5 Proven Techniques to Make Your Self-Care Routine Stick for Good 

1. Set Realistic Goals That Are Specific & Measurable 

Taking on large tasks can quickly lead to feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things that need to be done. By breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, tasks are completed quickly, keeping you focused and showing your progress.

When setting your goals, utilizing the SMART goal setting technique will ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The SMART technique fosters clear objectives and tracks progress in order to reach desired outcomes. 

2. Celebrate Your Wins 

Rewarding yourself for completing each task or milestone can also be a great way to stay motivated. Celebrating your wins, no matter how small they may be, can help keep you going in the long run. It also helps reinforce the idea that you are capable of achieving your goals and that progress is possible.

3. Make a Schedule and Stick To It

Time management is an essential skill for everyone, whether you are a student, professional or a business owner. Having a schedule and sticking to it can help you stay organized and productive. 

With proper time management, you can achieve more in less time and have some extra time for yourself. Try planning out your day in the morning or the night before to make sure you stay with your routine.

4. Connect With Others Who Have Similar Goals & Interests

Support systems are a strong way to stay motivated and on track to achieve your goals. When being supported by others who have similar goals, everyone pushes and cheers for each other’s success. 

Accountability partners, mentors, and friends can also be invaluable resources when it comes to helping you stay on track.. With their help, you can gain insight into alternative techniques, strategies, and problem solving. By connecting with others who are in the same situation as you, it is easier to stay motivated in the pursuit of your dreams.

5. Discover What Works Best for You

Knowing yourself and what works best for you is an essential part of personal growth. The journey of self-discovery can be a long and winding one, but it’s worth it in the end. 

Tracking your progress along the way will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can make informed decisions about how to move forward. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be better equipped to take on any challenge that comes your way.

Start Practicing Self-Care Today for a Better Tomorrow

To live your best life, you need to pay attention to physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Achieve this with the Self-Care Planning Kit.

Order yours today!

We hear the words freelance writer, copywriter, ghostwriter thrown around a lot. But who’s a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter writes copy—can be anything from books, blog posts, articles, speeches, newsletters, web copy, etc. but is not credited for the work. When you work as a ghostwriter, someone else puts their name on your work. The client who outsources the work to you owns the copyright for the work you did for them and has the right to edit it. 

Now, the question is, why would one hire a professional ghostwriter? Here are some of the most common reasons for hiring a ghostwriter:

  • The client’s business is expanding so fast that there is no time to write their own content.
  • The client has a wealth of ideas and stories, but does not write well.

Ghostwriting is not a new concept—it has been around for time immemorial.

I have worked as a ghostwriter for years on various client projects and my assignments involved the following:

  • Editing a rough manuscript, adding content where required and “fleshing” it up, finetuning it to create the final product.
  • Transcribing from rough notes to a final document or presentation. I once transcribed three notebooks from French to English and then had to create a report out of it.
  • Writing a series of blog posts for a single client for their business.
  • Maintaining a business blog by writing posts in the client’s voice and style.
  • Working on a nonfiction/fiction ebook based on an outline and table of contents provided by the client.
  • Researching and writing white papers based on a brief provided.

And much more. Ghostwriting can be anything from polishing a document, editing, to writing from scratch. Since there’s no byline for the author, freelance ghostwriting can be quite a lucrative business idea if you want to work from home. I can certainly endorse that the work is very interesting.

Many publishing houses hire ghostwriters for some of their book series as well as for their authors. These come with their own set of rules and specifications.

What skills do you need to get started as a ghostwriter?

Depending on the kind of writing you intend to do, you need to develop the specific skills needed. If you want ghostwrite fiction, you need the skills based on the brief and outline provided to you. If you would rather blog for a client, then you need to have the expertise to research and write in such a way that the client meets their goal. Take a look at the types of writing out there—and decide what you would like to focus on. Then practice.

What basic equipment do you need?

Here’s what you need to start working from home:

  • A computer or a laptop with a stable internet connection
  • Editing software like MS Office
  • Typing skills
  • Space to work peacefully and without distractions – can be your home or even a coffee shop
  • A smartphone
  • Discipline

I’ve just listed what I started with. You’ll figure out the extras you need depending on the kind of work you do. Fortunately, most software programs you need or their alternatives are available for download online.

Build your profiles on social media. I recommend LinkedIn where you can post a strong resume listing your skills.

What you need to be wary of

Starting your freelance work as a ghostwriter can be so exciting that it can be easy to lose track of time. There are days when you end up working way past your working hours. Once in a while this is okay when there is an emergency deadline. But if you make it a habit you face the risk of burnout. All that screen time, brain strain and sitting can become stressful. Make sure you have a comfortable desk and take breaks. Eat on time, get exercise. Make time to do what you enjoy.

Which niches to consider?

The most popular writing niches today are blogging for businesses and bloggers. Yes, many bloggers make a full-time income through their blogs and as they focus on growing their blogs, they need ghostwriters. Look around at the topics that interest you the most and look for work in that area. Browse blogs and business websites to pitch your writing. Now is a good time to do the research and create a portfolio and services package with details of what you can offer along with pricing. 

How Do You Get Paid?

Gone are the days when the check is in the mail! The easiest ways to get paid is online, the most popular being via PayPal. Some clients use Stripe and wire transfer. If you don’t have a PayPal account, create one right away. Ensure that the payment terms are clear before you accept work.

I know we’ve just touched the tip of the ghostwriting iceberg, but I can tell you that ghostwriting can be a steady freelance business since businesses are always looking at quality content writers. Also, self-publishing is something many authors are opting for today. When you connect with prospective clients, even if they only have ideas or outlines, you can use your skills to make their dream—and yours—a reality. Don’t forget to let your friends and contacts know you are in business! If you haven’t launched your business yet, be sure to grab our how-to guide and workbook to plan your business. Learn more by clicking here.

Working as a freelance writer is a great option if you want to work from home. Flexible schedule, taking on what you can handle, being in control of your income, balancing work and life—all this is possible.

Choosing to work as a freelance writer can be lucrative if you have what it takes. I started putting out my intention to do freelance writing work in 2003, and started working with a content marketing agency soon after, once I cleared a writing test. I worked with them for more than a decade before I built my own client base.

Of course, as with any type of work, there are several pros and cons. If you plan to launch into a freelance writing career, here’s what you should know to be successful:

·       What it takes

·       How to get started

·       Pitfalls to avoid

What does it take to be a freelance writer?

When I began my freelance writing career, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I didn’t need a writing degree. What I did need was an excellent command over the language, the ability to understand the client’s brief and write in a conversational tone to appeal to the audience that would be reading my work.

The question foremost on your mind is probably this: How much money can you make? This depends on your clients and the type of writing you decide to do. I enjoyed writing articles, long form content, and ebooks specifically but was open to any kind of content and topic. This enabled me to take on a variety of work and kept me busy enough.

How do you decide how much to charge for your writing? There are many resources available online. Depending on the client’s project, your pricing can be per hour or per word. Or you could charge a package cost for the entire project assigned to you. Most projects require research, so you will need to factor that in, along with the time you expect to invest in the work. That said, you could end up making anything from $20 to $1000 a page based on your client’s niche and the deliverables expected by them.

It goes without saying that you must set yourself a schedule based on how much time you can set aside for the writing and for pitching to clients. I prefer to work alone, but I know freelance writers who outsource the writing by hiring writers and editors when they start receiving more work than they can handle alone. It is completely up to you. 

How to Get Started

Once you decide you want to get started as a freelance writer, the first thing you want to do is take stock of your skills. If you want to begin as a basic content writer and know how to research, and write a 500 to1500-word article about the topic required, that can be your starting point.

But for more specialized copy that goes into sales pages, landing pages, press releases, and advertisements, you would need to learn those skills and develop experience. The good news is that specialized copywriting means higher pricing, even though finding clients can be more challenging, at least initially. But as you build your reputation, your referrals will grow and so will your income. 

I remember my first assignment which required me to write ten articles. One of the instructions, besides the usual grammar, punctuation, and language was this: the article must be easy for a seventh-grader to read and understand. Oh, easy, I thought. It took me practice before I could get into that flow!

I’ve found that it is more common for website owners to look for content writers to deliver 30 articles every month consistently. Specialized content such as landing pages or sales pages is rarer. 

My suggestion would be to begin with one type of writing for a client. As you gain experience, add more services to your portfolio. This will help find your footing in the market and prevent overwhelm. Once you figure out what you enjoy writing best, do set up a web page or a website to advertise your skills and your services. Show them samples of your work. Build your presence on social media platforms. One that really worked for me was LinkedIn.

Pitfalls to avoid

As I mentioned earlier, every profession has its dos and don’ts. Here are some things to be wary about:

·   Avoid clients who are not the right fit for you. It can be easy to accept work that you really don’t enjoy doing but take up anyway because of the pay.

·   Avoid clients who try to cut down your rates and underpay you. They will promise consistent work just to negotiate. Be firm.

·   Avoid clients who don’t respect you and your time. The worst kind.

·   Make sure your terms of service are clear to the client, especially when it comes to paying you.

That said, working as a freelance writer can be fulfilling work. It is wonderful to work from home, setting your own hours and enjoying what you do. And remember, it will take time, consistent effort and patience to establish yourself and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Are you ready?

If you have experience working in a specific industry or with an online business-related platform, you can quickly turn those skills into working remotely as a virtual assistant.

If you look at the world of work, you soon realize that people who specialize make more money than those who don’t. This works in all aspects of our society. If you’re a primary care doctor, you make a lot less money on average than if you specialized in something such as oncology, or even podiatry. This is also very true for virtual assistants.

Marketing yourself as a VA who specializes in a specific industry or skill is always going to help you make more money in less time than if you generalize. You’ll also want to create a package of services instead of offering yourself hourly because it’ll help you control your time better plus help you avoid scope creep.

For each of the ideas below, think about the things that potential clients need completed that they don’t have time to do, and then create a package for the things you are skilled at doing.

Some industry specialties for virtual assistants to consider:

A virtual assistant often performs secretarial work for business owners at a distance using technology. A VA can really work for almost any type of business owner if the tasks they do can be done virtually.

  • Real Estate VA (REVA) – Real estate agents need someone to help them list properties, promote them on social media, and other office-type work such as checking email, writing letters, and so forth. While you don’t need special licensing to become a real estate VA, you might want to consider getting your real estate license in order to be more competitive or investing in a REVA certification.
  • Legal or Paralegal VA – If you have legal secretary or paralegal experience, transitioning to a virtual assistant will not be hard. Most of the work you do here doesn’t need to be in the office or in a location, although you may need access to specific databases and other information via your clients to do this job properly.
  • Research VA – Many people, including scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others, need people to conduct research for them. If you are good at research, understand how to find scholarly works to back up ideas, this can really be a fun opportunity for you. You’d do it from your computer and just need a good internet connection.
  • Coach and Speaker VA – Many coaches and speakers need an assistant to help find speaking gigs, answer customer service emails, create their marketing materials, and keep them organized and ready for their clients and speaking gigs. Sometimes you might even get to travel if you work with speakers, if that’s something you want to do. It’s not required as you can do it fully, 100 percent, virtually.
  • Author Assistant VA – Many authors who work with publishing houses or on their own need help with all the things authors have to do today, from editing to marketing. If you have experience in publishing, you can help organize your authors with packages from websites, to social media, and more.
  • Local Small Business VA – Many small businesses in your area have plenty of administrative things that need to be done, but often they either don’t do them, or they burn the candle at both ends because they don’t realize they can hire a VA part-time to help them. You can work for daycare centers, restaurants, beauty shops, and more.

Some platforms that are popular right now:

As you think about the platforms and systems that are popular right now, and what you’re good at doing, and who you want to do it for, you should be able to narrow down some very specific services for your customers based on the platform and your experience with it.

  • WordPress VA – You can set up WordPress for your clients and help them add blog posts and other content to their website regularly. You don’t have to build the entire site, but instead, the web designer creates it, and you just update it with the content provided by your clients. You’ll make sure it looks pretty, all the links work, and that the SEO is working.
  • Mailchimp VA – It doesn’t have to be Mailchimp. Of course, it can be any email marketing autoresponder platform. If you know how to use it very well and can help customers get more out of their use of it, then that’s what you should market to them. Most people don’t know how to use any software fully, but if you do, you can really knock it out of the park by helping your clients get the most out of it.
  • Instagram VA – Many popular Instagram stars get busy after they become popular. It makes it hard for them to have time to publish their images, edit them, and promote their work. You can help them with that and help them build an audience from the ground up too. If you know how to do that, market your services to the people you most want to work with.
  • YouTube VA – Many people want to start YouTube channels, or they already have them, you can work with newbies, or you can work with only platforms with 500K subscribers, it’s up to you regarding who you want to work with and the services you put together for them based on their needs as a YouTube Star.
  • Facebook Marketing VA – Do you know something about how to run ads on Facebook to help your clients make more money and sales? If so, you can become a Facebook Marketing VA. Many people who help companies run ads charge a percentage of sales, a percentage of ad spend budget, or a flat rate for each campaign.
  • Pinterest VA – Many businesses like to set up shoppable pins on Pinterest but don’t know how to do it or don’t have time. You do. You can help your clients set up the best pins and get more engagement on their pins.
  • Kindle Publishing VA – Being a self-published author isn’t as hard today as it used to be, but if you know something about publishing on Amazon Kindle, you can help guide your customers through the process. You don’t have to be an editor or anything, you just need to know people that can help your clients, and you’re golden.
  • Marketing Funnel VA – Everyone who has a business needs an online marketing funnel today. It’s a high-level skill set that any business owner needs. All you need to do is set up a package for creating a marketing funnel for your customers, and you can make six figures plus.
  • Project Manager VA – Every business owner who manages contractors and employees needs help doing it. No CEO does everything alone. They always have a smart and organized assistant that does all that for them. That can be you. If you’re good at setting up processes and steps to achieve goals using project management software and working with individuals, you can do this.

You get the idea. It’s a good idea to specialize so that you can command higher rates. Plus, when you specialize in what you do, you set the tasks that you will do for them, as well as the rates, so you automatically know what you’ll be doing for them each day throughout the year instead of waiting for them to tell you what to do.

Remember to create an entire package instead of just charging hourly for the services. Packages ensure that you have time for more than one customer and that you produce consistent results.

Starting a business from home is easier than many realize. You may think you need to invest thousands of dollars, but you really don’t. I started my business from home 12 years ago as a side hustle to my regular 9 to 5. I didn’t have a website or an office. I was 6 months pregnant and working a couple of hours per night and on the weekends from a little table in the nursery. Being the most technical among my friends and working in an advertising-related industry, a friend asked me to build a website for his new company. I did take HTML classes some ten years prior so I figured why not? I would learn as I go. He had no budget so there was no deadline. I did some online research, bought some books and TAADAA! the website was up before the baby was born! 😛 A handful of referrals came from building the site but most importantly I gained skills that complemented my education and career experience. Two years (and another child) later I started my own fulltime business from home via a mom blog. Today I own two web-based businesses and co-own a local business. You can use your skills, experience, and talents to start your own business too!

Owning your own business is a great way to take control of your life. You are 100 percent in control of when you work, how you work, and who you work with. Some who own their own business may disagree with that but IT IS absolutely up to you how much of that control you want to give away to clients. You can have 3 day weekends. You can schedule to have an online class in the middle of the day to learn that new skill that can help you earn more money. You are in command of how much you get paid. You choose the rate, not the customer. Also, since you’re just you, you can often end up charging less than a huge corporation and still end up more profitable as your expenses are lower. You are in control of your choices and your destiny.

Owning your own business does not require you to work from home. You can literally work from anywhere. For the purpose of today’s article, we’ll discuss 25 businesses you can start from home.

1. Mobile Hairdresser

I’m listing this one first for two reasons.

1. During the current Covid19 pandemic there is not one hair salon open in my neighborhood here in NYC. Forced me to give myself a dye job. It did not go well.

2. Fifteen years ago when I was a single working mom of a 6 and 8-year-old, (I am happily remarried and have 4 kids now) I had no time to sit in a salon. A local woman would come by my apartment twice per week to blow dry my hair straight. She charged the same as the salon but she came to my home which saved me 3 hours a week. I could check homework or watch TV with my girls while she attended to my hair. Whenever my daughters and I had an event to attend, I’d book a few extra hours that week so they could get something special done with their hair too.

How did she get started? She just introduced herself to harried-looking moms that she met at the supermarket, in the playground, at the laundromat. She kept a list of references and photos of the work she’s done in her flip phone to show people. Eventually, she made 5×7 postcards depicting some of her work and handed those out. A social media account and a listing on Google Maps would have done wonders for her business. Gosh, Google Maps didn’t even exist then!

2. Mobile Make-up Artists and 3. Mobile Pet Groomers

Similar to Mobile Hairdressers. All you need is talent, skills, experience, the applicable tools, and the confidence to start up conversations with strangers. An active social media account and a Google Map listing is a must these days.

4. Blogging

Blogging is a competitive industry but you CAN make money. When I started blogging over a decade ago, all I needed was a website and a computer. Now? All you need is a website and a smartphone! As a blogger, you can earn money from online ads, by being an affiliate, selling merchandise, selling digital downloads and by charging for premium content. It’s true, you do need a lot of traffic, so understanding SEO and social media is crucial. You also need a super-fast website with an SSL certificate (I am an affiliate of WP Engine because they rock for startups who don’t have a webmaster on payroll). Successfully creating an income via blogging is not easy and requires dedication and some investment, but that’s how we get started with any business, right?

5. Caterer 6. Baker 7. Mixologist

Caterers and Bakers are lifesavers. Forget fancy events. Think family reunions and birthday parties. These can be stressful for any host. Having someone show up with pans of chicken and ribs, side dishes and fancy cupcakes and layered cakes is just amazing when you have a full-time job, a full-time family and have to host a party. As for Mixologists, they’re the life of the party! An experienced Mixologist will create drinks to align with the dishes and desserts being served. But how do you get started? I would recommend a Facebook Business Page with lots of photos of your dishes/desserts/drinks and a Google Maps listing. I would have friends and family who’ve had my incredible offerings leave reviews and post photos. I would host a tasting party for people I know where they can try some of my dishes and we can take lots of photos for promotion. Be sure to ask your guests to refer you to friends, neighbors, and co-workers!

8. Copywriter

One of the 2 most impressive writers I’ve ever met is Vidya Sury. She has an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing and a Diploma in Training and Development. She also graduated with a B.Sc. in Zoology, Chemistry, and Botany. WOW, right? She currently, and for as long as I’ve known her, works from home as a Writer, Editor and Business Blogger. Clients find her through her LinkedIn Profile and hire her for copywriting, blogging, and manuscript editing. Want to start a business as a copywriter? Build your LinkedIn profile and an Upwork profile. You can search Upwork for openings and bid on paying projects.

9. Social Media Manager 10. Virtual Assistant 11. Virtual Bookkeeping 12. IT 13. Marketing Campaign Manager 14. Software/Platform Specialist

The other most impressive writer I’ve ever met is Angel Austin. She is also a fabulous singer, the owner of a media marketing business and of a mobile concierge business, and a heart-centered activist. Angel has a BA in Public Relations and Mass Communications and currently provides Social Media Management and Consumer Engagement services to a multi-million dollar company, from home. Angel left the corporate grind years ago so she could pursue her dream of a work/life balance where she calls the shots!

How did she get started? Through personal recommendations in her community working with local businesses. Executive assistants, ITs, software/platform specialists, marketing campaign managers, and bookkeeping administrators can also start their own business by offering their services. Reaching out to your network and local businesses is a good way to start. You can also offer your services on upwork.com.

15. Mobile Masseuse 16. Reiki Practitioner 17. Massage Therapist

If you’re trained and certified as a masseuse, a massage therapist, or a reiki practitioner, you can build your own mobile business where you travel to your clients. Groupon is a good platform to offer deals on your services when first starting out. You will definitely need somewhere online to direct people to read reviews and learn about you. That could be a website, a social media business page or a free About.me page.

18. Custom Art Commissions

My very talented artistic daughter, pictured in #1 above, is now a 21 year old Art Major in college, who started her own business painting on sneakers and clothing. How does she gain business? She wears her personal projects! People stop her in the train and on the street to ask about her boots and jacket. Friends and past clients recommend her too! And of course… Instagram, cause what 21 year old isn’t on Instagrram?

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19. Launderer

No, you don’t need your own laundromat to make this one work. Have a car? Know how to separate whites from colors and fold clothing? I’d pay good money to have someone pick up my laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it back to me all within a day. Take in several orders a day. No website needed. Hit the pavement and use social media.

20. Photographer

This is one of my favorites. I’ve come across women with an amazing eye for photography. Some who trained professionally, some who it comes to naturally and grew up with a camera in their hands. AMAZING photographers, i should know, I worked in the imaging industry for 12 years with photographers. Guys who make big bucks from name brands. I know when a shot is breathtaking. When the lighting is right. When the picture is retouched or the real deal. Take that camera, build your portfolio, build a search engine optimized website offering your niche of photography (family photographers are the best way to start) to local customers and go for it!

Design the Life You Really Want to Live

The truth is working too much is not suitable for your life. If you really want to have a happier and fulfilled life, you need to build balance into it. You need to be able to schedule family time, friend time, work time and YOU time. As a business owner, you are in control of that schedule and can live a more fulfilled and happy life by managing your time to include all parts of your life.

Owning your own business also provides you more security, more options, and generally more money than working hourly jobs. You can stop trading hours for dollars and work with the people you want to work with, in a way that enables you to have more flexibility with your family and your life. There really is unlimited opportunity out there if you’re willing to invest in yourself. You can start small with a side hustle and seriously plan to scale to your own business.

There were a lot of financial promises made at the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, including stimulus packages, support for small businesses, pandemic relief, food programs, temporary rent relief, and so much more. I hadn’t seen any of this promised financial assistance until this week, when Facebook approved my small business grant of $2500. I probably won’t see it for another few weeks, but I’m grateful to know help is coming. Many people all over the world can’t say the same.

Working and living in NYC was not easy during the months of April, May, and June. So many people suffered physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially financially. One of our two major streams of income vanished into thin air. My husband and I own a HVAC company. We provide air conditioning, heating, and ventilation services to NYC restaurants. They were completely shut down. Clients who owed us money requested extensions and we granted them because of the pandemic. We realized that we were all struggling together.

NEW YORK - APRIL 22, 2020: The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue by Kristen Visbal in front of the New York Stock Exchange wearing a surgical face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic By Jennifer M. Mason

Six weeks in, I became nervous. We are a family of six and there was no temporary rent relief or help with monthly household expenses available to us. Three of our children were distance learning from home and groceries were hard to come by initially. When the supermarket shelves were stocked again, nothing was on sale. Our grocery costs that usually amounted to roughly $250/week had gone up to $400/week when shopping at local supermarkets. Food prices remain ridiculously high. We also had to pay out of pocket for virtual doctor appointments because we couldn’t get in contact with our insurance company. I’m still paying for health insurance.

Now that the worst is behind us (temporarily, at the very least), I count my blessings. This pandemic is huge. It’s something I’ve never seen in my lifetime. Thankfully, I had a safety net that was established 12 years ago and because of it, we didn’t financially struggle during this unprecedented time.

Can I share with you how I created it? It’s something important for you to consider.

In 2008, the economy was in a downturn and my employers were in constant meetings about the continual drop in sales. I started a side hustle because I had a baby on the way and needed a backup plan. I utilized my experience in graphics, design, and marketing to offer website designs to friends and their business associates. We all chased our entrepreneurial dreams without any startup money. All we had was our skills, experience, and talent. I remembered very little about HTML from college, so Barnes & Noble was my best friend. I did extensive research and learned so much about CSS, online marketing, and WordPress blogs.

In 2009, with another baby on the way and my employer downsizing, I started a blog to put what I was learning about online marketing into practice. I became an avid social media user, a SEO superstar, and I networked with people online to learn what they needed. I discovered all the ways bloggers could make money and I tried these tactics myself. I succeeded very quickly because of my past work experience.

By 2010, the US economy had been in dire straits for almost three years. My husband and I were both laid off. My side hustle kept us fed and provided diapers and baby formula for our babies. It kept the lights and internet on. It didn’t quite pay the rent and we were always behind, but we had a great landlady who worked with us. With my husband’s skills as an HVAC technician, we didn’t expect him to be out of work for long, so we both decided that I should work the side hustle as a full-time business so I could also care for our small children and be there for our tweens while I helped him build his HVAC business. I started offering design and marketing services to other bloggers and then eventually to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

It’s 10 years later and the economy is in the dumps again due to the COVID19 pandemic. As I mentioned earlier, because his clients are in the service industry, my husband couldn’t work. I could and I continue to do so. Work has not slowed down for me at all.

Who knew in 2008 when I feared for my job, starting this little side business would save us in 2020? I did look for other work all those years ago, but trying to find employment in a slow economy while pregnant meant my options were limited. I stayed with my corporate job as long as I could before being laid off because I was afraid to let go of the paycheck. The moment I decided to not return to the workforce and to turn my side hustle into my actual businesses, I secured our future and created a safety net for this current pandemic.

The world is changing and the future is uncertain, but we know what we know. We know what we’re good at. We know what we enjoy doing. We can use this knowledge, our experience, and our talents, to generate additional income and start a business. If you’ve ever considered starting your own business or creating a side hustle to have another income stream, don’t let fear hold you back. Get a side hustle plan in place and work the plan. To get you started here are some free resources:

20 Businesses You Can Start From Home

15 Specialized Virtual Assistant Businesses You Can Start From Home

Tips On Getting Started As A Freelance Writer

Tips On Getting Started As A Ghostwriter

You can also sign up here to receive new free resources by email as they’re published.

What do super-successful coaches and small business owners all have in common?
It’s not experience.
It’s not extraordinary skills.
It’s not even a powerful drive.
Although all of these things can definitely help your business grow, they’re not a prerequisite for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive.
The one thing that does make a difference, though, is your “why.”
Why did you decide to become a coach?
Why do you spend too many hours in front of your computer every week?
Why do you stay up too late and get up too early, just so you can work on growing your business?
The “why” is what ultimately drives us to success, but here’s the thing: it’s different for everyone. Your why is not my why, and my why is not her why. It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.
For example, a survivor of domestic abuse might happily spend 60 or 70 hours each and every week mentoring other victims of abuse, or counseling couples on how to break the cycle. Her big why is a strong desire to prevent other women from suffering in the same way she did.
A mother of small children may be saddened at the thought of sending her kids to daycare just so she can go to work to (barely) pay for it. Her big why is a drive to spend as much time with her kids as she can, while still supporting her family.
A young, fresh out of school entrepreneur might resist taking the same path her parents took, working for a corporation for 40 years, only to retire and find themselves with barely enough to live on. Instead, she dreams of having the income (and the time) to see the world while she’s still young enough to enjoy it.
So what’s your big “why”? It might be the freedom to travel, the option to spend time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for a sick family member, or even to earn enough money to support a charity that’s close to your heart.
Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take. When you’re deciding whether or not to take on a new client, ask yourself if it’s aligned with your “why.” When you’re setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why. Thinking of branching out into a new business venture? Make sure it’s in alignment with your big why, and success is suddenly much more attainable.

If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.
She’s got good systems.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.

No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:
• Work faster and produce more
• Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
• Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do

The Magic of Templates

How many times do you answer email from potential clients? What about responding to customer complaints? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?
All of these tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.

Checklists Prevent Mistakes

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.
But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.
You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.

Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.

First, let’s get real about this starting a business from home deal.

It can be more convenient and your schedule can be more flexible, yes.

Having your own business rewarding, yes.

Easier than working for someone else, outside the home, doing the commute, punching a clock…

No, not easier.

Starting your own business (no matter where you do it) and being responsible for bringing in the clients so you can bring home the bacon…very hard.

Now try building that business when there’s leg huggers fighting over your right leg – when clearly you’ve got two and they can have one each…since they actually MUST hold on to your legs. There’s also a house to clean, dinner to burn, NYTimes calling to sell you a subscription – the list goes on.

Again, very hard.

But not impossible.

I’m proof.

I’m living my WAHM dream of being with my kids while running a business.

Now, I’m not a millionaire.

My business isn’t set it and forget it and watch money roll in as people click that Buy Now button.

Though I did try that approach with internet marketing for a bit, my heart wasn’t in it.

I wanted a real business. I wanted to make a name for myself.

I wanted to change the world by helping others and by providing a top notch service utilizing my strengths of being creative, analytical and having the ability to decipher and teach any topic that I truly love.

It wasn’t easy. I stumbled a few times. I tried things because the “business gurus” said it was THE way to get things done.

“Set your business goals first and build a 5 year plan”

Based on what goals exactly? People stumble over this every time. Now don’t confuse this with personal goals.

A personal goal is what you want for yourself. A business goal is what you want for your business.

It’s bad enough in job interviews when you’re asked, “where do you see yourself in 5 years” and you really see yourself taking the interviewer’s  job but you can’t say that. Now imagine having to sit down and set a goal for a business first. A business that you have a vague idea about.

“I want to be my own brand”

“I want to have a striving business”

And then you have to build a plan to get there?


How practical is that for a mom who wants to start a home business?

It took over a year to find my groove. To flesh out what works for me.

To find the perfect business for me that was satisfying while being profitable.

That’s THE hardest part, ya’ know.

Deciding what kind of business to start, what kind of service to offer.

You can’t just decide you want to start a business and then build a 5 year plan for it.

And I know there’s a lot of info out there on the www about how to start a business.

But that’s not what you need yet.

You need to decide what kind of business to start.

And yes, internet marketing makes it seem easy. There are lots of “passive income” stories.

But even if passive income is what you want, you still need to determine what you can do to get that.

“Pick a product everyone wants, sign up as an affiliate and create a business around it. Put up a Blog and SEO the crap out of it.” – Bullshit.

It’s not long term. I don’t care how evergreen the product is.

I’m talking about building a business you can grow. Put your name on. Be proud of. Be known for.

And since I’m all about sharing my experience, here’s the strategy I used.

11 Practical Steps To Choosing Your WAHM Business

  1. Evaluate your strengths.
  2. Pick what you love
  3. Research your market.
  4. Define your market.
  5. Determine the services your strengths provide that your market can benefit from.
  6. Research those services to learn if they are in demand/profitable.
  7. Outline the tasks required to get the business started.
  8. List what the business requires for production.
  9. Project your available investment amount.
  10. Define the time you have available to invest into running a business.
  11. Reanalyze the services you want to offer. How much of it does your schedule and budget allow for?

I know it seems daunting.

But this is the exact strategy I used. Though I didn’t think of it as a strategy – it was just an outline at that time – I’ve used this same outline for multiple clients.

And I can tell you, going through these steps brought me to a place where I was finally confident in what I’m doing, what I am offering.

I can tell you I’m happy, both spiritually and financially.

Now along with my personal goal of being a work from home mom, I also have business goals and financial goals and being organized and practical is the key.

That’s why I’m offering you a download of my strategy outline and projected expense checklist. So you can see exactly how I fleshed it out and go forth in creating your own with confidence and practicality.

It’s okay to be afraid. If you weren’t then I would fear for you. Be afraid and then do it anyway.

Though I did make a good income in the past from blogging, it was never enough income to support my family. If it were not for my design and marketing skills, I would have been back to the corporate grind a long time ago.

Feeling disenchanted by the whole blog business/passive income dream? Whether it be from lack of income or your heart just not being in it – I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone girlfriend.

Many bloggers are tired of chasing stats and blog hopping their day away in return for a few adsense dollars.

Do you feel as if you’re selling bits of your soul in exchange for enough to buy a mani-pedi and a mocha frap grande?

If you’re a blogger who wants to build her business, this post may get your gears turning and ideas brewing.


First, let’s get this out of the way.

Work at home does not mean some cheesy sleazy get rich scam that costs a barrel of money and then doesn’t work.

I can’t number all the ways moms can work from home and build an empire of their own, but let’s start with an even dozen.

These are a few work-at-home, mom-run businesses that I find:

  • have potential
  • are easy to start
  • need a small investment
  • getting started can fit into almost any mom’s schedule

1 – Traveling Hairdresser

When I lived in Brooklyn, there was a mom of 3 in my building who was once a hairdresser. The chic could do wonders with a blow dryer, a handful of bobby pins and a brush. Even with her 3 kids, all under 5, tugging at her legs. I worked 2 hours overtime one Wednesday and had a meeting the next morning with potential clients. My hair was a mess to say the least. When I griped about my hair, she pulled out the blow dryer and followed me to my apartment, all kids in tow.

For the last 6 months that I lived in Brooklyn, I never saw the inside of a hair salon again.

Never had to rush home to get to the salon before it closes.

And? She was less expensive than the Salons.

Never had to rush home to get to the salon before it closes.

And? She was less expensive than the Salons.

I would have to pay for an extra hour of babysitting AND pay the hairdresser $40 to wash and blow dry my hair straight. With Leanna scheduled to drop by at 8pm (while her kids were with her hubby), I had lots of time to feed the kids, get ’em settled and wash my own hair.

Here are pictures from 2006 of her styling younger teen’s hair for a school party. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have hooked that mama up with a website and a local web presence so people could find her on their iPhones.



2 – ChildCare

Certified childcare giver? You are not limited to craigslist and flyers honey. Moms are always searching online for caregivers and having a solid web presence with reviews and showing off your credentials gives you an advantage over the competition.


3 – Caterer

No you don’t need some fancy shop to sell your baked goods and mouth watering dishes. You need a website, pictures, reviews, a listing on all the major review sites and the willingness to deliver samples to a client’s home or office. When my friend Patty was reviewing caterers for her wedding reception, the running around was the most stressful bit. She would leave work early or on her lunch break to check out some caterer in the city. Would have been a whole hell of a lot easier if she could have visited websites, checked out reviews and ordered dishes to sample and have it delivered to her office.


4 – Holiday Decorator

By: David DeHetre

One thing I can tell you about my old neighborhood, it was always decked out for the holidays – Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween. Shop windows had colorful drawings and there was never a gaudy, blinding house at Christmas. There was a team of two moms and a teen in the neighborhood that had established themselves as holiday decorators. From what my ex-landlady told me, they had a portfolio and catalogs with decoration ideas. The home owner would buy the supplies themselves but the team was responsible for first coming up with a design and then implementing it once everything arrived. Smart. Hell, if they were affiliates for the companies who’s catalogs they used…super smart.


5 – Mommy Assistant

I saw an ad for someone searching for a Mommy Assistant once on Craigslist. Looong time ago. And I thought, is that the same as a wet nurse? But learned it was a mom, a busy work from home mom, looking for someone to assist her with errands, shopping, making lunches and picking up her kids when she was tied up. She actually wanted someone for a few hours daily. Now let’s say you’re a mommy assistant that does errands and pick ups only. You could have multiple clients in the name neighborhood. Where do you get these kind of clients? Offline networking of course. PTA meetings, community meetings, community centers, a flyer at the YMCA or local dance school. Hell if you’ve got local Facebook friends, they could help get the word out too. A blog to place your reviews is optional as long as you have references.


6 – Seamstress

Now, I’m not looking to put the local cleaners out of business, but it’s $15 to hem a pair of pants. Do you know how expensive school uniforms can become when you’re paying $30/pants x 3 plus $15 to hem each? It took the Cleaners 20 minutes to hem all 3 pants while I waited. Forty-five dollars. Sistah, if you’re nearby and can do it cheaper, I’ll leave those pants with you for a week. If you have your own machine, you can find clients in all the same places listed for Mommy Assistant and create a profile on Yelp, Google Places and Foursquare for local customers looking for a seamstress from their mobile phone or desk. Once established, a website with reviews and pictures builds your credential.


7 – Embroider

Custom embroidered bags, tees, jackets. Reach out to your local shops and factories that have uniformed employees. Dance schools, gyms, martial arts facilities and yoga centers usually sell merchandise with their logos embroidered on to them. Seo a website for those services you want to offer but also hit the pavement with business cards and samples.


8 – Editing Services

Anal about capitalization? Write with spellcheck off cause you’re smarted than the auto correct? Girlfriend what are you waiting for? There are multiple niche services you can offer. Copy editing, dissertation editing, proof reading everything from blog posts to website copy to manuscripts. Give out a few freebies in return for reviews and get yourself a search engine optimized website.


9 – Accountant

You were once a corporate accountant and now you’re a mommy at home with twins? Many people offer this service virtually and yet there doesn’t seem to be enough experienced accounts to go around. When I was working in corporate, though we had an accounting department, there was a virtual specialist for tax time. One of my previous clients runs his business out of his home, his accountant is virtual too.


10 – Carpenter

Made to order furniture…does not have to come from a store. Meet Cher of Designs by Studio C. If she were local, I’d keep her busy with orders. Visit her website. She’s doing an incredible job promoting her talents.


11 – Launderers

No, you don’t need your own laundromat to make this one work. Have a car? Know how to separate whites from colors and fold clothing? I’d pay good money to have someone pick up my laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it back to me all within a day. Take in several orders a day. No website needed. Hit the pavement and use social media.


12 – Photographers

This is one of my favorites. I’ve come across women with an amazing eye for photography. Some who trained professionally, some who it comes to naturally and grew up with a camera in their hands. AMAZING photographers, i should know, I worked in the imaging industry for 12 years with photographers. Guys who make big bucks from name brands. I know when a shot is breathtaking. When the lighting is right. When the picture is retouched or the real deal. Mama, take that camera, build your portfolio, build a search engine optimized website offering your niche of photography (family photographers are the best way to start) to local customers and go for it!

Anything based on past work experience that you excel at

Personal sports trainers.

Party planners.


Pastry Chefs. (If you live in the Bronx and make peanut and tree nut free desserts, drop me an email.)

Certified Nutritionists.

Resident nurses.



Secretary/Executive Assistant.

Personal shoppers. (Yes, truly. If you can dress my shape and put the right colors on me, you’re hired.)

You can take your expertise and make a living from home.

Takes a small investment and lots of elbow grease.

But it can be done.

What WAH jobs can you add to this list?

home office By: Fabio Bruna