Last week, I left you hanging in the Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom series at the point where I’d just found out I was pregnant. Let’s pick up from there…
Those two pink lines changed my life forever. Not only because they meant I was going to be a mom, but they also were the impetus for me to become a work-at-home mom.
It’s easy to say that becoming a mom also propelled me to become a work-at-home mom, but believe me, it wasn’t anywhere easy. In fact, I had no idea just how hard it was going to be.
I was sick from week five to week twenty-one in my pregnancy. I never had to be hospitalized for dehydration, but there were days when I could barely get out of bed because I was so nauseated. I wanted to be a mom more than just about anything in the world, but I had no idea how miserable morning sickness was going to be!
Needless to say, my jobs as a mother’s helper were abruptly ended. And therefore, our income was drastically reduced as well. When I was working four days a week as a mother’s helper, we were scraping by, without that income, it seemed impossible we could ever pay all of our bills.
I remember how helpless I felt so many times during those long weeks of my early pregnancy. I knew there had to be something I could do to earn an income from our little basement apartment, but what? I wracked my brain for days and weeks on end. I prayed, I worried, I cried, and I prayed some more.
As thankful as I was to be pregnant, I couldn’t help but also wonder and fret over how we were going to eat and have a roof over our heads. And I couldn’t even begin to try and figure out how we would pay for the extra expenses of having a baby, too. How would we survive for two more years of law school?
At that point, I had no idea. But I did know one thing: God was watching over us. He had called us to step out in faith and get married, move to Topeka, KS, and God had clearly opened up the doors for Jesse to go to law school. I also knew that God had given us this precious baby and He was going to take care of us.
And you know what? He never failed us or forsook us.
Oh yes! I worried many times when it seemed there was no way we were going to be able to pay all of the basic bills for the month. But somehow, someway, every necessary bill always got paid.
God called us not only to step out in faith and trust Him, but we also knew it was our responsibility to do everything we could to be wise stewards of the gifts, time, talents, and resources He had given us.
Since the beginning of our marriage, Jesse and I spent long hours talking about and tossing around ideas of possibly starting our own business. When we found out we were expecting, we knew that it was time to act on these ideas.
But where to start? Jesse was gone long hours at school and I was stuck in bed or on the couch much of the day feeling very sick.
I decided if I were going to be sick all day, it wasn’t going to make things any worse if I tried to use that time to learn what I could about possible ways to earn money online.
So I took the laptop and dug in where I was at. I spent countless hours scouring the internet, I signed up for Yahoo! Groups on entrepreneurialism and small businesses, I emailed anyone and everyone who had any clue about anything when it came to internet businesses or running your own business, and I read stacks of books on starting a small business and online marketing from the library.
Little by little, I came up with different ideas. I began with small things–mostly things I could do straight from the couch! Here are just a few of the things I tried during those long weeks of morning sickness that produced at least some positive results:
::Half.com–I listed and sold a number of books we were no longer needing or using (especially Jesse’s old textbooks) through this website and ended up making at least $1500 over the course of a few years. I tried my hand at buying used books at the thrift store and reselling these but I never had much success with that.
If you’re interested in reselling books, I’d recommend that you start by looking around your home and finding books you no longer need or use and see what the going rate is on Half.com. I’d suggest check out Cash4Books.net, too, as they will pay you immediately whereas on Half.com, you have to wait for a buyer to purchase from you.
If Cash4Books is going to pay you somewhat similar to the going rate on Half.com, definitely go with Cash4Books as you won’t have to sit around waiting for a buyer. Instead, you’ll get the payment immediately.
There’s a great article here on reselling books which gives some more detailed advice if this is something you’re interested in. Some folks actually make a living doing this full-time. I’ve heard the market is more saturated than it used to be, but it’s still something to consider–especially if you have some decent books around your home you’d like to part with!
Online Surveys–I had no idea what I was doing when I signed up for online survey companies and I quickly found out that most of them are much more work than they are worth. However, I definitely don’t think they all should be discounted.
::MyPoints–this is a site that rewards you points for online activity such as reading emails, taking surveys, signing up for offers, and so forth. I mostly just read the emails and clicked on the links and slowly accumulated points. You won’t get rich quickly doing this, but you can earn enough points by reading emails to get free gift cards each year. We paid for our few and far between law school date nights mostly with gift cards I earned through MyPoints.
I was encouraged to see money start trickling in from these things. It wasn’t enough to pay our bills, but it was something–and something is better than nothing, right?
As I started feeling better and I researched more ideas, I got braver and branched out to try other things. Most of these things flopped royally, but I learned a great deal in the process. I’ll tell you more about these in Part 3.
…To be continued
If you haven’t taken a chance to read through the comments on Part 1 of this series, be sure to do so here. There are dozens of great business ideas and tidbits of wisdom shared there!