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Becoming a WAHM: What Are Your Passions, Skills, and Gifts? – Part 4

Once you have determined you’re willing to put in a tremendous amount of effort in order successfully work from home and you’ve streamlined your life and developed organization, and started living on a budget, you’re now in great shape to pursue planning and preparing for setting up your business.

There are thousands of possibilities out there so where do you begin? I recommend you spend some time praying and seeking the Lord for direction, talking things carefully over with your husband, and doing some in-depth evaluation of your own heart.

What are your goals for working from home? How much time do you want to invest? What kind of income would you realistically like to be making?

After considering your basic goals and guidelines, take a few weeks to map out your ideas. Don’t worry about being thorough and organized at this point, just get your ideas down on paper. Just for the fun of it, I encourage you to also write down what your dream WAHM job would be.

Hopefully by the end of a few weeks of thinking through this, you’ll have a fairly large list compiled. Take this idea list and think about it in terms of what your life goals are, what your abilities are, what you are passionate about, and what your likes and dislikes are. If you are married, ask your husband for his counsel and input. Also, ask your close friends for their thoughts and ask other home business owners for input.

It is very important you take your time when thinking through all of these things. The last thing you want to do is to be hasty in your decision-making and end up rushing into something which you quickly find out was not at all what you enjoy.

At the same time, though, don’t get so caught up in the planning and preparation that you never do anything. You’ll never go anywhere if you never do anything, so don’t get stuck in a rut of spending months or even years planning your new business venture and then end up never doing anything. A month or two of planning and thoughtful decision-making should be plenty.

For those of you who currently work from home or own your own business, how did you first decide to do what you are doing? What has been your greatest source of inspiration and how have you meshed your passions and gifts into a marketable skill or business venture?

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24 Comments

  • I started out blogging and really liked that for several months until I discovered an even greater passion – photography! When I saw that I had made $100 in about 6 months of blogging and then saw that I would make that same $100 in a one-hour photo session, my pursuits changed a bit. 🙂

    So I’m still enjoying blogging but photography has taken priority now.

  • Eden says:

    I came across my opportunity thanks to my sister who had a friend already doing it. We transcribe raw footage for reality television shows. It attracted our attention because there was such a low start-up cost (buying a foot pedal and having high-speed internet). What I love about it is I pick which tapes I do, how many I take and when. Once I pick a tape, I am expected to meet it’s specified turn around time (generally 48 hours) and follow any specific instructions. After that, I work when I can – during naps or after the girls bedtime.

    I am paid by the lines I type so it doesn’t matter how fast or slow I type (but I make more per hour of my time by working faster). If I have 5 minutes to work, I can work for 5 minutes then do what I need to do and come back later. No one is looking over my shoulder or at the clock.

    The biggest downfall is there is not a constant flow of work. I have no control over the amount of work available. Television is very cyclical. We have times of too much work and we struggle to keep up and other times when no shows are posting. This works with me because my income is extra. We live off my husband’s income and use mine to pay down debt (debt-free in August 2008) and then saving towards special projects (siding and windows) and to build our full emergency fund. This may not be good for someone who was dependent upon a steady income.

  • Trixie says:

    Well for my husband:

    He used to perform maintenace and remodling for years as an employee. He is really good at it and enjoys it. Starting his own business was a way to do what he loves to do without all the headache and lack of control that comes with being an employee

    I’ve always done taxes and enjoyed bookkeeping and working with money in genera. I started my own bare bones business while in college. I’ve learned a lot along the way and have always enjoyed the freedom of owning my own businesses.

    Take Care,

    Trixie

  • Lorrie says:

    I have always stayed home with my kids, but in the last year we have decided that I either need to go back to work full time for 1-2 years or I need to find another way to bring in some extra income. My husband makes plenty for us to live on, but we are on Dave Ramsey’s plan and need to pay off student loans quickly.

    This summer I have been watching a little boy which is not my favorite thing, but it is extra money. I have always loved to cook and wished that I could turn that into a business. The little boy I watch has been eating things at my house that he would not usually eat at home because I often hide them or serve them in a different way. We also try to eat only organic and whole foods. The mother of the boy could not believe the way I cooked and fed my family. She mentioned that I should cook meals for working mothers and have them ready in my freezer to pick up when they pick up their children. She said that working mothers want to feed their children healthy meals, but do not have time. I have decided to start advertising at home daycare centers and see what happens. I hope to eventually add breakfast food, breads, and possibly baby food. I would like to cook whole foods that children will eat. We will have to see what happens.

  • Michaelle says:

    I started my home business as a Partylite consultant 10 years ago when my son was 6 weeks old. I just couldn’t go back to work at my job in cosmetics at the mall and leave him at daycare. It turned out to be such a blessing as we found out later that he has autism and I really needed to be at home for him. And we have never looked back either. Now, I homeschool all 3 of my kids and they are flourishing.

    Why did I pick Partylite? First of all, I LOVE candles and decorating! Secondly, one of the big things was that there were no startup costs. I had sold a few other things before and had always had to buy a kit and/or inventory. With Partylite, they gave me a no cost kit, I didn’t have to buy any inventory, and I didn’t have to deliver anything. Truly, this is the first company that I have EVER made money with!

    I could keep going forever! That is how much I love my business! It really has become a passion!

  • Charity McMullin says:

    Dear Crystal: Would it be possible for you to put me in touch with Eden, who posted the comment above about transcribing for reality shows, etc. I have just read an ad on Craigslist for this type of work and am VERY interested in it. I would love to chat with Eden to pick her brain a little more!

    Thank you,

    Charity
    Travelers Rest, SC

  • kendra says:

    I started my site after having my first baby. I was deep in the thick of ‘baby-ness’ and it only seemed natural to start a baby oriented site. I also am a graphic designer, so I have a business doing that too. I love being a mom and I love good design so it only seemed natural to develop those two loves.

  • glenda says:

    I do medical transcription out of my home. A group of women had came to our college campus at a job fair and talked about working out of your home. I knew it was something I wanted to do when I was pg with our son. I have been doing it for 11 years now. At one time, it supported our family while my husband was back in school. Now it is used towards our debt reduction.

  • Tiffany says:

    I became a medical transcriptionist the beginning of this year, and I truly love it! I work part time as an employee for a company out west. This also enables me to pay down debt and use our husband’s income to live off of. Before I became an MT, I looked at what my strengths were and whether they would work as an MT. I have always loved editing, proofreading, words in general, and I am a research junkie too! I have also been typing at a fairly good rate for a number of years, so it all just seemed to fit! I really wish I had started this when my oldest wasn’t even born yet…but I am glad that I found my path!

  • Cindy says:

    I’m a writer for a film company. I worked it out with my employer to work two days a week at home.
    People think I’m crazy for trying to get work done with a toddler at home- but with some strict scheduling and a lot of flexibility, I actually get more work done at home than I do at the office the rest of the week. At the office I have twenty other people coming into my office to distract me. At home I just have one little girl. It works out.

  • Nicole says:

    When we started having children, I quit my public school music teaching job and started teaching privately in my home 2 nights a week. It’s been a great way for me to contribute to our income, it gives me 8 hours break each week from being on kid patrol, and I’ve been able to keep my skills current and my foot in the door of my career.

  • First thanks for all the hard work that you put into this blog!I LOVE reading it weekly! I am a true believer that you aught to be doing what you love and what you are passionate about! I have five children..15 – 6 and I love being home with them and schooling them as well. A few years ago I had lots of young moms who wanted to “pick my brain” I love to do this but I do not always have the time. I began to pray and ask the Lord to help me minister to these young moms without taking away from my first ministry…my own family. The Lord is so faithful! He opened a door for me to speak at a homeschool convention here in the Atlanta area. I do all of my preparing at home and then I speak limitedly but I get to touch hundreds of women at a time as opposed to just a few. I also blog which gives me an outlet to reach women as well. This really isn’t a business so much but it is all about following your passion and Jesus giving you the desires of your heart! Michele

  • Janet says:

    I just started the first steps to being a WAHM- I opened up a little cake business, it took off with a bang but has died down. So my biggest struggle is advertising!

    I love it because it allows me to fulfill my first lpassion of being a wife and mom, then my creative side gets to flousish. A huge challenge for me is/was budgeting- we are Dave Ramsey groupies as well, and it is hard to keep from using other envelopes for business things when needs come up– I am learning discipline!

  • I started selling on eBay after a divorce and losing my job at the same time. I started selling things from around the house to pay the bills, then realized eBay could be very lucrative and went after an eBay home business with a vengeance.

    The biggest plus for me is the flexibility and control over my life and schedule. I work 10 times harder for myself than for another person, but the rewards are so much greater – I get the fruits of my labor, no one else can claim them. I can take a day off when I want, and don’t have to grovel to my boss when I need to stay home with a sick child.

    I don’t think I could ever go back to work in a conventional setting!

  • Carol says:

    I have over 18 years of experience in the administrative assistant field (in several capacities) so it was very “natural” for me to begin my Virtual Assistant business three years ago.

    It was (is) very important for my husband and me that I say home with our children (so far, child). Being a Virtual Assistant allows me the flexibility to work when it is convenient, do work that I love, and bring in extra income while being home for my family.

  • Lorrie says:

    Crystal, would it be possible to get Glenda’s email. I had been working as a medical transcriptionist out of my home when the company I worked for no longer had work coming in. I am not sure how to find more work at home and not on site. Thanks

  • Jackie says:

    Hi Crystal! This is a reminder for everyone that the snapfish.com deal ends today July 15th. This is where snapfish is offering 50 prints for $.50. The coupon code is Jul4penny08. I just ordered my pictures for $.50 today!!!!!

  • Tiffany says:

    Crystal, I think you put the name Glenda as the writer of my post, and my name on hers. I am telling you this because someone asked for my email addy about medical transcription, and I don’t know that Glenda will know how to answer any MT questions! Thanks!

    *****************
    Money Saving Mom here: Actually, it’s somewhat confusing to people because in Typepad, the commentor’s name is *below* the comment, not *above* the comment as it is in Blogger. 🙂

    Oh and just so everyone knows, I don’t give out anyone’s email address without permission. If an individual wants to share their email address, I encourage you to share it here or visit the commentor’s blog (if they have one) and leave your contact information there. As always, be sure to “mask” your email address (leave spaces or something) so that spam robots can’t pick it up.

  • Tara says:

    I just wanted to thank you (again) for your blog. I appreciate this series. I am blessed to work from home (not my own company), and just saving time on the commute allows me more time with my precious family.

  • kayla says:

    This not really a job but a ministry….We foster parent….with the per diems and allwances I have some money to put in my savings account each month. I am about to adopt my way out of this ministry….six children is the limit in my state:). It was a huge blessing when my children were toddlers and my husband made less money. People are always blessing us with clothes, food, event tickets, and numerous other things. We are going to the Atlanta Aquarium on Thursday with free tickets and money for lunch compliments of a local company. We went to the Rodeo free on Saturday compliments of another local company. We have been fostering for eight years. This is something you have to be called to do……

  • Linda says:

    I work with a home party plan called At Home America. I have always loved country decorating, and this company has helped me decorate my home for Free, as well as help other women get beautiful products for their homes as well. It has also given me an opportunity to make so many new friends, and help other women start their own business. This is a christian company that firmly believes you put God first, then your family, and then work your business. What a blessing it has been to me and my family for over 13 years. Feel free to email me for more details. Linda
    lpetty_cpca@hotmail.com or go to my website at http://www.athome.com/lindapetty

  • Shelbie says:

    Did I miss part 4? I saw it went from 3 to 5. Wondering where 4 was. 🙂

    ******************
    Money Saving Mom here: Oops, that would be my bad. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I’m not a WAHM but would like to do some part time work to earn extra money. I was wondering if you could pass my email along to Eden regarding the TV Transcription. I would like to talk to someone already in the business to learn more.

    Thanks
    Jessica
    jessica6903@comcast.net

  • Davonne says:

    I’ve noticed several people asking for e-mail addresses on this post. That takes your personal time to do, so if you receive those requests often maybe you could charge a small fee for that. Then they can get what they need, and you’ll be paid for your time 🙂

    I’m eagerly waiting for part five of this series!

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