An about me page is OK, but I wanted to share a little more about who I am, my back story and why I started The Freelance Mama, so today I’m doing a “This is me” blog post introduction to The Freelance Mama to give you a bit more information than I could put into my about page.
The start of the journey
I guess my journey to The Freelance Mama started in 2013 when my first son was born. As many of you know, once you’re a mum your priorities change significantly, and I pretty quickly realised that I didn’t want to go back to a full time job any time soon. I still didn’t want to go back to work after our second son as born, but like many families we needed two parents to be working to make ends meet.
I went back to work part time when our youngest son was only a few months old, but thankfully it was a really flexible job and we managed to juggle work hours between us so that we didn’t need to send our boys to daycare until our youngest was one. After that though, I went to part time hours with children in childcare and then, when our youngest was almost two, I went back to full time work.
It didn’t take long after going full time for us to realise that it wasn’t working well for our family. With two parents in full time jobs and two small people who were getting sick constantly, the juggle became too much pretty soon and within about six months I started to research options for how I could work from home.
Work from home options
It wasn’t until I started to research work from home options that I realised how many work from home options there actually are. I started to look into pretty much anything I could do to make money from home, and I put posts up in loads of Facebook groups asking people what they did to make money home.
I don’t know if you’ve done this, but suddenly I was bombarded with messages from loads of people suggesting that I get into selling juices, or make up, or other MLM type things. And while I know this works for some people, I found that pushy sales behaviour uncomfortable and I knew those models were not going to be for me.
I then looked into other models of work from home business – blogging, courses, and selling products. The trouble I had with courses back then is that I didn’t really know what I’d do a course about, so I started to go deeper into blogging and products.
I set up a mummy blog page and started to share mum related content on that. It was fun, and people seemed to enjoy my content, but the difficultly I had with that model was that it was very slow going and I could see that it was going to take some time before I would be able to make any money from it, even I went full on with lots of affiliate links.
Then I looked into products, and I did a course on selling products on Amazon. I started to research products to buy for Amazon, and in the end I settled on making some cute little baby shoes with a supplier in China. They looked good, and they were super cute, so I ordered them and shipped them to the US. This was costly, but I was optimistic.
Around this time too, I saw a little online baby business for sale locally. It was on online business that could be done from home, so I started to look into that too. We’d saved up some cash with both of us working full time, so we had a bit of money put aside to start something (but not a lot). I decided the baby business looked good, and it was complimentary to the baby shoes so went ahead with the purchase and quit my full time job.
Sadly, I was overly optimistic about both the baby shoes and the baby business and even though I gave it a good shot, neither was really making any money.
The real start of my freelancing journey
About six months after leaving my job to start my business journey I was getting a bit despondent. I was working really hard blogging, trying to get Amazon sales working, going to markets with my baby business, and doing all I could to promote it online, but I just wasn’t making any money. And what was worse, our savings were running out.
At around this time, I was approached by a friend who knew of someone who was looking for some casual one-off help with a job that was in my old industry. While I hadn’t really wanted to go back to that kind of work, I was open to it so that I could bring in a little bit of money. While it was meant to be a one off job, the work kept coming and eventually built up to be a really solid income. And what was great, was that it was still part time and still flexible, so I was able to do this work and still do all of the things I had wanted from starting my own business: the school pick ups, the sick days, and just generally being around. Plus the stress was reduced because I was actually getting paid for the hours I worked!
Over time the freelance income build up to the point where it became possible for me to earn just as much as I had been earning in my old job, but still with part time and flexible hours. What an incredible change!’
The great thing
The great thing about the freelance work was that I was able to pick it up immediately, and to start earning immediately. Unlike lots of the other options I explored which would have taken a lot of time to get traction, the freelance income started almost as soon as I took on that first job (I say almost, as I was invoicing monthly). Unlike the other business options, I didn’t have to learn any new skills or buy any courses, products, or equipment. I was able to get started with the computer, phone, and internet connection I already had. I also didn’t have to build an audience or market myself really hard online. I’ve been really fortunate over the years in that I’ve often been approached by other people, either through word of mouth or because people I know have known that I had time available and have asked me if I could pick up some work.
The work I have done over the years as a freelancer has been varied, and the hourly rates have been varied too depending on the kind of work it is, but I’ve always been willing to take things on and give them a go, so it has worked out really, really well!
My goals with the Freelance Mama
I know how hard it is to leave your kids in child care every day and wish you could be there. I know you wish you could go to those school shows and kindy trips on days you just have to work. I know how hard it is to know they aren’t feeling well, and yet you know that you just have to hustle them out the door and head into the office hoping like crazy that you won’t get the call to say they need to go home. And I know how guilty you feel when you leave work to go and pick those sick kids up from daycare even though you know it is what you have to do. It feels like you’re never doing justice to the kids, your work, or yourself!
There is so much guilt as a working Mama, and yet most of us go through these emotions almost every day. I’ve felt this guilt and I knew there had to be a better model. Now I’ve created a model that works and I just have to share it with you all. There truly is a better way to work, and that work can be from home and fit around the needs of your family.
A bit more about me
In addition to The Freelance Mama, I have a couple of other projects that I’m working on – I’m an author and a property investor. In fact, I sometimes describe myself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur as there are lots of things I want to do in my life and I find it quite hard to describe what I do because I want to do it all!
In 2023, I published my first children’s book called “There’s a T-Rex in my tummy”. It’s a story I wrote for one of my boys, who gets a little bit anxious sometimes. Here’s the website for the book if you’d like to check it out (www.trexinmytummy.com). I’m working on some other children’s books so I’ll share those when they are ready too.
My husband and I also have a business investing in rental properties. We’re working on building that business to create financial freedom for our family, and we’re sharing that journey on Instagram if you’d like to follow that journey too.