Taking A Leap of Faith
Content in this article is sponsored by Basic Invites
After working for a stream of bad bosses and not having much flexibility after having our first daughter in 2016, Hubby and I decided that I wouldn't work and just stay home with her for a little. He made enough money to support us and we both agreed that it was best for our little family.
However, that lasted about 2 months.
A friend (and Caroline's godfather), offered me a contractor role as a copywriter with the company he worked for. I couldn't pass it up. It was on a need-be basis, nothing too overwhelming, and could be done all from the comfort of my own house. This was the perfect way to make a little money to contribute to the household, while I cared for our baby girl.
Long story short, that opened up a whole new world on employment for me. Self-Employment.
No Risk, No Gain
Never in a million years did I think I would work for myself, but after some trial and error and working out the kinks with Hubby, I did it. I took the leap and started accepting new clients for digital marketing work. So many doors opened, and I was immediately working with 2 great companies on a regular basis.
It was risky - nothing was guaranteed, since I was a Contractor for these companies - 1 being a startup based in Houston. I quickly learned that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to keep a strict calendar, set aside time each day for work and for motherhood, and have a few things set up on my end for ease (Freshbooks and Hootsuite were huge, non-negotiables for me).
Hubby and I talked to our accountant to make sure I was taking the right steps so I didn't get take a hit during Tax Season, set up a home office, and made sure we budgeted properly.
Boy, did it pay off.
I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing companies, honing my skills, and getting to meet a lot of great people in different industries.
While I may decide to go back to work full time in-office somewhere once both (!) kiddos are in school, right now, I've found a really solid balance of all my clients and have learned to say "NO." No - I don't want more clients. No - I can't take on that project. No - I don't have the bandwidth for that.
As much as I like to make my clients 100% happy all of the time, they're very understanding and appreciative of my honesty. If I took on more work, my work would suffer. My client list usually balances between 3-4 clients at a time, and that's a really good number for me. If I didn't have kids (then I wouldn't be in this situation), but I would feel comfortable taking on more and really bumping up my monthly income. That would be amazing, but it's not practical or fair to my clients if I overwork myself and am unable to dedicate time and attention to their current marketing needs.
My work as a Contractor brings in the money, but my blog is where I really hope to see growth and have found a solid network of other working moms and professional women.
#MommyBlogger in the Making
Once I really got a handle of things on a professional side, I started branching out a little. This is when i started my Blog, and really dedicating myself to it.
I was writing a ton and doing so much web design, landing page creation, and marketing for work that I started to lose my love of it all. I used my blog as an outlet to sharpen my skills (in a way that wouldn't affect my professional work) in a fun and creative way.
Not only was I feeling creatively inspired again, but I was able to experience with learning basic coding and script formats that I was pretty uncomfortable with beforehand. Not only was this a cool accomplishment for me personally, but I found it a lot easier to talk with other marketing professionals and sound more professional if I could "speak HTML" to them. A little goes a long way. I didn't master coding, nor would I ever call myself a coder, but if someone needed something basic done, I got you!
Using this platform to network and stretch myself opened up even more doors! I have helped other bloggers and small-business owners create functionalities on their website. I have met so many other professionals in my line of work who are local and moms and I have learned a lot from them (time management being one!).
The network of amazing Mommy Bloggers I have met and befriended have inspired me in ways beyond my wildest belief, and are so encouraging and supportive.
The "R" Word
The best move I did for my personal brand was to rebrand. That word is scary. It's intimidating. And it takes work. But in March of 2018, I rebranded my blog. I switched blog platforms, changed my aesthetic, and even changed my focus to more of a lifestyle brand instead of a mash up of things I felt like writing about. I'm still figuring out my niche and learning what people what to read, see, and learn more about. I feel like every day I'm talking with moms and real life women who are expressing an interest in what they wish they saw more of online, and that helps me so much!
In the past 6 months, I have grown my Instagram followers by 280% (okay, fine - 279.6%). My blog has gotten attention from local TB channels, I've written articles for numerous online publications, partnered with boutiques, local brands, and worked on national campaigns.
My rebrand is far from over. Everyday I am tweaking things, making things coherent, working to improve myself and my brand, and looking for more ways to grow. A rebrand isn't something that happens in a few months. The initial change is drastic, but the forward momentum can't be lost. Keep pushing, keep growing, keep working hard.
Going to blogger events and working with brands really fuels my passion and it's brands like Basic Invite that are helping me grow by using the right tools and having gorgeous personalized business cards and stationary. There are unlimited colors, tons of options for customization, and you can even get custom samples so you can check out the colors, paper, and printing options before making a final purchase!
Basic Invite offers custom business cards with logos that allow you to upload or even design your own logo so your brand can totally speak for itself!
(I know it's still summer, but you've got to check out their gorgeous holiday cards online! They're personalized, perfect for Christmas, Hanukkah, and even New Years)