A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

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A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

Our Family of 4 and Our Journey to a “Frugal” Living.

Some might say we’re crazy and others completely understand where we’re coming from. We first started talking about really buckling down when we noticed how often we’d be left with only a little at the end of the month. This talk started a little because of this blog actually. I was so determined to shove this puppy all the way up to 100k pageviews per month in a short amount of time that I was literally doing anything I could, and that meant spending money.

I had to slow my roll. And, frugal living started looking more and more appealing to me, but it was also super hard to even consider. Mostly because I’m not used to it at all!

I’m used to being able to buy things when I need or even want. All that was about to end though.

It was time to start frugal living!

We had bought Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University kit about a year ago but never did anything with it. I mean, we’ve watched one or two of the videos, but that was the extent.

Then, the other night my husband and I were talking about how we wanted to start massively saving our money so that we could build our savings account. Dave’s FPU came up again and we talked about trying to implement that again.

Sometimes you need a push to get going.

I wasn’t too excited about cutting back on certain things (hello sushi night out) and I know our kids are going to be feeling “deprived” soon when their hibachi runs are canceled for a little while.

However, I do think that we need to cut back some. It’s ok to have a once in a while sort of trip out, but once or twice a week was a little excessive. Especially considering the fact that we seem to always have a pretty high bill when we eat out.

Frugal living doesn’t have to be hard (or does it).

My virtual work was slipping (more so from me than anything – huge shift in desires) and so money was getting tighter. But, it was really only getting tight because we spent a good bit of what we earned haphazardly each month. A lot of times it was on buying things for the kids, clothes for them, excessive food from the grocery store (mostly things that were expensive crap food) or some gadgets we don’t need in a camper.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out ways that we can go about saving money and living on less, not because we absolutely need to but… well, we still kind of need to.

My husband and I have never really been ones to want a whole lot of things anyway, and most times I’m the one that gets trapped into the idea that I need things (my Achilles heel are courses and trainings because I love to learn). That’s coming to an end for now unless my business makes the money to pay for it. That’s the idea at least. We’ll see how it goes as far as putting it into practice because there’s an herbal course I want to take at the moment. -_-

Having kids changed me…. not all for the good.

Part (or a lot) of where our money gets spent is going out to eat. This started because I would be so tired that I wouldn’t want to cook, but eventually, it got to where I just didn’t like cooking at all. It was very problematic and started eating our budget because we would end up eating out 2-3 times a week and not even batting an eye.

This alone is enough for us to consider a more frugal living lifestyle!

We’re Shifting To Frugal Living In Steps

What does that mean exactly? Well, frugal living isn’t something we’ve exactly been accustomed to doing or even trying to do, so we imagine it will be a bit hard at first. Therefore, we’re going in steps versus just diving right in and getting to where we’re overwhelmed.

First: Identification

We’re going to identify our leaky pipe areas. The areas where we’re basically letting our money just flow out of our account without a second thought. (hint: one of those is our eating out habits) We’ll see what’s happening in our life and budget so we can make a plan to fix it to where we’re saving rather than spending.

Printing off our bank statements will be the very first thing we do. We’ll also have our highlighters in hand!

Second: Highlighting

We’re going to highlight all the areas where we are spending money that doesn’t have to be spent. For instance, eating out, unnecessary trips to the grocery store, buying things we don’t need, etc., etc.. This will give us an accurate representation of where our money is going and where we can tighten up our spending.

Third: Tackle the easiest

Identifying what areas to tackle first are the next thing we’re going to do. Some things seem easier than others to start trimming down on so we’ll identify which areas would be the easiest. I think slowing down on the eating out is a top priority.

To help us know which task comes next on our spending trimming we’re going to create a list. As we make it through the list we’ll be marking it off. I might even make a pretty list to make it fun. If I create on I’ll post in my next update (or sooner).

Fourth: Accountability

This one is all about accountability, so I’ll be holding myself accountable right here on the blog. I hope to write at least once a week about how we’re doing.

I’ll be holding myself accountable to making more things from scratch and attempting to use up everything we have in the camper before buying more things. Check out this post on how you can save money each month and spend less at the store to feed your family.

Alone, the post above sparked my desire to spend less while shopping. It just shocked me that someone could spend so little and yet feed a family of 4!

Fifth: Repeat as necessary

Just keep repeating until we’re all fixed and saving more than ever! Our main goal and deepest desire is to buy land outright that we can build a house on. That means lots of money saved!

To help boost our little savings other than slashing our spending habits I’m also going to be shoving in money I make from working at home.

  1. I opened an Etsy shop where I’ll be selling leather goods (making things now to fill it)
  2. I’m going to create printables, because who doesn’t love those.
  3. I’ll be adding a new service to create Shopify stores for people
  4. And, I’m contemplating creating a course.
  5. Using Ebates to get cash back on purchases I already make (they have an app for in-store purchases now too).

We’ll see how these things go though for sure. They may or may not work so great, but I’ll keep you updated as we go!

A Family of 4- Journey to Frugal Living

Have you made a journey to frugal living? Share your favorite frugal tips in the comments below!

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5 More Ways to Make Money From Home

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5 More Ways to Make Money From Home

If you’re like me, you’re probably always trying to find more ways to make money from home. It doesn’t have to be bringing in 100k a month (yet), but bringing in a little extra goes a long way to help.

Did you miss the first iteration of this where I listed 7 ways to work from home virtually and make an income? Check it out here if you missed it!

5 More Ways to Make Money From Home!

Working from home doesn’t have to be hell and it doesn’t have to be hard.

You don’t have to work for pennies either. It’s not fun and your time is worth more, so it’s always best to think of things that will both make you happy and be worth your time. For instance, sometimes it might seem awesome that you can post a gig on Fiverr and get work, but then you’re fighting others for jobs that would pay less than $5 an hour (which to them is awesome).

So, be careful what you choose as ways to make money from home!

I realized there was one important thing I left off of my last post and it hit me like a sack of potatoes that I didn’t include it. Then, not 10 minutes later, another hit me and I thought to myself, “why didn’t you think of these then… they’re kinda obvious!”

Needless to say, that’s basically what prompted this post.

Here are 5 More Ways To Make Money From Home (not get rich quick mind you)

First Way: Blogging!!!! (the one that hit me)

Why this wasn’t the number one way on my first post about how to make money from home is beyond me, but here it is!

You can make a living from blogging. Want an example? Check out Michelle from Making Sense of Cents and Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. This woman now makes over $100k from her blog =O! I’m astounded every time I read her monthly report.

She is someone I look up to as far as blogging and making an income goes. My goal isn’t really that large. At least right now it isn’t. I’d love to retire my husband from his job, but I’m not solely going to rely on blogging for that. I’ll be building this blog up so that it can take the main stage and my Virtual Work can slow down.

Ultimately, I want to blog, create leather crafts (bags, spur straps, reins, saddles –when I learn– and much more), and tend the land we are going to buy.

Imagine if blogging could allow you to do the things you love too!

Second Way: Amazon FBA

Did you know you can source products, ship them to an Amazon warehouse AND then list them on Amazon to be sold BY Amazon? Oh, and to top it all off, Amazon does all the heavy lifting with shipping the products, customer service, and refund stuff?

There is an awesome course my husband and I will be taking called Amazon Bootcamp>> you can find it right here.

In the course, The Selling Family will teach you the art of Retail Arbitrage (buying low/selling high) and how using Amazon FBA can help you replace your current income.

Sounds pretty cool huh? We thought so too! Not only can you make money from home doing this, but you can do it with your family too. If your “home” happens to be on wheels you can find all sorts of things from all over to include in your inventory.

Third Way: Affiliate Marketing (another one that hit me)

This one can go hand-in-hand with blogging, but you can also do it outside of blogging!

Fourth Way: Dropshipping

This one is pretty cool! You don’t need to have your own store that holds inventory. Instead, you can open a Shopify Store and make money from home by drop shipping items all over the world!

You don’t hold inventory and you don’t deal with shipping a million items a month. You are basically the middleman.

Fifth Way: Facebook Group Manager/Moderator

With the craze of Facebook Groups there comes a need for Facebook Group Moderators. Sometimes it starts as a volunteer thing and sometimes it’s paid. It really depends on who you contact and what group you’re wanting to moderate.

More and more often now Facebook Groups and communities are getting built up to the point where people just need help moderating them and keeping them “safe” from all the a** hats that might try to rain on someone’s good parade.

This is generally not a lot of pay, but it’s also not a lot of hours. To top it off, you’ll get paid to do things you normally do anyway… Be on Facebook! Can’t beat that with a stick if you ask me.

There you have it! More ways to make money while staying home with your kids (or furbabies).

We’re getting all cracked up over here at Momma Works Too. If you have anything you’d like us to focus on in our articles please leave me a note in the comments or you can email me here.

I can’t wait to share more goodies with you all so that you can start making money from home to help out around the house, earn extra fun money or potentially help replace income in your house.

The sky is the limit!

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

Have you found other ways you can make money from home? Let us know in the comments!

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The Best Ways to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

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The Best Ways to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

More and more these days women want to find ways to work from home so they can be with their children. A lot of times it can be hard to find something you can make money with. When I was looking for something myself, someone once said, “Why don’t you get started as a virtual assistant?”

And, to be honest, I shrugged it off for so long.

I ended up taking loads of different types of courses from a life coach training, Squarespace design training, to info-product training. It was kind of crazy, to be honest.

I was kind of crazy about taking courses. I wanted to find the best one that would push me in a direction that would make me money.

Along the way, though, I picked up some super valuable knowledge. And that knowledge is what I use today to make a living as a virtual assistant.

The Best Ways to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

I get asked all the time about what the best ways are to get started as a virtual assistant, and this can be such a hard question to answer based on what someone knows how to do or is willing to learn. So, I’m going to try my best to give you my best ways to get started as a virtual assistant in this post.

You can try them all or you can just try a couple. There’s no right or wrong way to get started. The best thing to do is just start and grow from where you are.

#1 Find Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups

When you search Facebook for Virtual Assistant groups, you’ll find a ton of them.

If I were starting over I would get in about 5-10 different groups and start immersing myself in the world so that I could learn from those that are already doing this kind of work.

You want to get into these groups and start interacting with them. Ask questions, but don’t be overly obnoxious. Learn from them.

When you start becoming more and more active in groups on Facebook, you’re allowing yourself to become known for something. This is what will enable you to create a following of people who will know you for what you do as a virtual assistant.

Once you’re promoting yourself, these groups will be your place of refuge. You will be able to ask questions about how to promote yourself best, where people are finding their clients and possibly even find your first customer.

#2 Look at What Virtual Assistants Are Helping People With

It’s best to get an idea of what’s possible before you get started trying to do a million things. There are SO many types of things you can do as a virtual assistant, but it’s best just to pick a handful.

Random things Virtual Assistants can do:

[one_half]

  • scheduling blog posts
  • scheduling newsletters
  • graphic creation
  • writing blogs
  • editing blogs
  • social media posting
  • social media scheduling
  • newsletter template creation
  • landing page creation
  • replying to blog comments
  • replying to social media comments

[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • email autoresponder setup
  • customer service
  • you can manage marketing tasks
  • manage social media accounts
  • maybe manage projects
  • create power points
  • worksheets in Word documents
  • create excel spreadsheets
  • design PDF’s
  • and so much more

[/one_half_last]

This list isn’t comprehensive. Do your research and figure out what you would love to be helping other entrepreneurs within their businesses.

If you don’t know or don’t have the training, then that leads us in to #3, which is to get training!

#3 Get Training

This probably should be number one on the list, but not everyone has the money to go out and get training (even though I would definitely say getting a loan for THIS would put you leagues above everyone else).

When looking for a training you want to make sure that the person teaching you can back up their methods. You want to ensure they’re actually profiting from their business and not just trying to sell you something.

The best way to know if they’re legit is to look at their business.

  • Do they have clients?
  • How are the testimonials?
  • Can you speak to past clients?
  • Are there people who’ve taken the course that are doing really well?
  • Are there individuals who didn’t like the course? If so, why not?

Dig deep and figure out all the details before you actually invest your money and time into a program or training.

#4 Connect in Facebook Groups That Have Virtual Business Owners

Earlier we talked about finding Facebook Groups that were for Virtual Assistants, but now I want you to go out and find Facebook groups that have virtual business owners in them.

Hint: You don’t have to look too far. If you ask in groups you’re already a part of for names and links to entrepreneurial groups; you’ll get so many to choose from.

You’ll want to do the same thing in those groups that you did in the Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups.

  • Get to know the types of businesses people have and everyone in the groups
  • Share tips and tricks you’re learning or have learned
  • Be helpful
  • Ask questions
  • Share wins
  • Watch others ( to learn)
  • Give more than you ask

#5 Use a Site Like Upwork or Fiverr to Get Started

If none of those suits your fancy, then you can always try places like Upwork or Fiverr. Both of those sites are where you can offer your services and showcase your abilities. These are great ways to find clients and get started as a virtual assistant.

There are tons of entrepreneurs each day searching sites like these for people to help them in their business.

How to get started on Upwork or Fiverr:

  1. Sign up for an account
  2. Fill out your profile
  3. Be prepared to offer less than what you’re seeing people charging
  4. Build your brand
  5. Get rave reviews
  6. Build your clients
  7. Promote. Promote. And, promote some more.

You have to have a bit of patience with these sites, though. There aren’t ways to interact and communicate with the audience. Instead, you can talk about what you’re wanting to do and are doing on places like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Network and build up your clients one at a time.

DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR TIPS FOR MOMS AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO GET STARTED AS A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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8 Steps to Finding More Time in Your Busy, Frantic-Filled Day

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8 Steps to Finding More Time in Your Busy, Frantic-Filled Day

You have a problem. Your days are long, work-filled and you’re tired. You’re worn out so much from work with no real time for yourself. Finding more time in your day allows you to do the things you love.

You don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do, but you want to have more time.

That’s where time management can help you turn your days around.

Time management can be one of the most irritating things to someone who isn’t super strict or even a little strict with their schedule. Heck, if you don’t schedule your day it all, it can be an asinine thing to start. But, it’s the ultimate fix for finding more time in your busy, busy day.

You don’t need to be afraid of scheduling your day. It’s actually quite liberating if you embrace it.

Why Time Management Will Liberate You

Time management and scheduling your day can lead to a feeling of liberation. You’ll feel more relaxed, at ease, happy and free.

“How can it be liberating?” you might ask, and my response would be that it liberates you by helping you to find the time you’re craving.

8 Steps to Finding More Time in Your Busy, Frantic-Filled Day

Step 1: Start Finding More Time for Yourself

This, in my opinion, is non-negotiable. You have to make time for you. So many of my clients come to me worn down and with barely enough time in their day to even think about themselves, and this is not acceptable.

You are the most valuable asset in your business.

If you are run down, tired, worn out, sick all of the time and barely able to keep up with anything how can you expect your business to flourish?

When you flourish your business flourishes too. It’s a direct reflection of your state of well-being.

This is where a schedule really comes in handy. When you’re finding time in your day, you’re allowing yourself to be more creative and free.

In order to make time for you, it needs to go on your schedule. So, carve out time specifically for this in your schedule before you schedule work items. This ensures that you’ll have time for you and your well-being.

Step 2: Have a Clear Understanding of Your Goals

You want more time in your day, but what do you want more time for?

You absolutely have to get clear on your goals.

Is it self-care, reading, being with your family, taking vacations, (insert your goal)?

Maybe it’s just freedom to sit and watch the sunset without your brain going to the work that’s due tomorrow.

Having an idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to the subject of “having time” will help this process along.

Step 3: You evaluate/assess how you currently spend your time. (Identify the ‘time sucks’)

First things first, you want to take an inventory of your day. Generally, when a client comes to me and has an issue with time I have them take an inventory of what they’re doing over the course of the day for three days.

So, break out your pen and paper.

  1. Your goal is to take an inventory of your day for 3 days
  2. Each day when you start you’ll need a pen and a pad of paper to keep notes on
  3. Set a timer for every 15-30 minutes (depending on how strict you want to go) and when the timer goes off jot down exactly what you’re doing. If you’re eating potato chips then you write, “Eating potato chips.”

You can also check out something like Harvest or Timecamp.

This can be very shocking to some people. They think they’re working 8-10 hours a day, but in reality, there are tons of gaps in their day where time is filled with other meaningless things (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, reading blogs, watching TV, on the phone, doodling, etc.).

Once you know where your time is going on a daily basis you can begin to whittle away at the things you’re doing that aren’t necessarily what you’re wanting to be doing.

Step 4: Say ‘Yes’ Only to Things You WANT to Do

After we find the time sucks in your day it’s easy to sit down and write out the things you do and don’t want to be doing on a daily basis.

For instance, it might look like this:

[one_half]Wants

  • I want to work from 9 am to 3 pm
  • I want to spend the evening with my kids
  • I want to delegate things that are taking too much of my time

[/one_half][one_half_last]Don’t Want’s

  • I want to get them active in cooking
  • I don’t want to be on social media for 4 hours a day
  • I don’t want to clean my house
  • I don’t want to wash my dishes

[/one_half_last]

Once you have your list of things that you want to say “yes” and “no” to you need to separate them into two lists and allocate your time.

Once you have a clear idea of where you plan to dedicate your time it’s time to start budgeting it up accordingly.

              Note: know how much time you’re working with

How many minutes or hours will each item be given? Since you know how many hours you’re awake each day it shouldn’t be hard to start allocating time for each item. If you have too much time at the end of the list, then you know you’ll have to go back through and see where you can shave off time from certain things or see if you can move them to another day.

You’ll do this for every day of this week.

Step 5: Time Management is Just Another Name for Delegation

Delegation (like to a virtual assistant). Ah, this can also hard for people to start doing, especially if they’re a bit on the controlling side of the house. It’s a good thing, though, even for small things like scheduling your newsletter to go out, putting your blog up on your website, sourcing images, posting to social media, etc., etc.

One of the best ways to see that delegation can be a good thing is to add up the number of hours each day or week that you are doing all of those tedious tasks and then multiply that by what you charge hourly.

Is that number greater than what it would cost to pay someone else to do it? More than likely the answer is “yes”.

If you said yes, then chances are that it would be cheaper for you to outsource those items to someone else and free up your time to do things that actually generate you money. Outsourcing is a great way to find more time when you’re in need of more time and less stress.

Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

This is a big one for a lot of people. Being able to say “no” and be ok with that decision.

Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you insensitive to others desires, but it makes you own the time you have to work with and define what is a priority and what isn’t one.

This one can also be considered “having boundaries,” because saying ‘no’ is a way of forming boundaries for yourself as well.

Your action item here is to make a list of things you are no longer saying “yes” to and stick to it.

Step 7: Schedule Your Day

Now that you know you need to carve out time to take care of yourself, you know what you’re saying “no” to, what you’re saying “yes” to, what you’re delegating, and what you’re keeping– it’s time to make your schedule.

Google Calendar makes this super simple because you can view and edit your whole week online. It will send you notifications based on the selections you make, which makes it easy to stay on task. You can add notes also if you need to remember anything or remind yourself of things (like phone numbers, addresses, URLs, etc.).

Step 8: Pulling it all together

In a nutshell:

  1. Finding more time in your day – finding the gaps and “time sucks.”
  2. Say “yes” only to things you want to be doing
  3. Delegate, delegate, delegate
  4. Say “no” to things that aren’t serving you or necessary
  5. Make time for you
  6. Use a scheduler

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start to notice there is more and more space in your days. Especially once you get the hang of saying “no” to things you no longer want to do or things you don’t necessarily need to do a lot of (think free calls that aren’t really benefiting the growth of your business).

After you finish this exercise, I would love for you to tell me about your revelations. Leave me a comment and let me know what you uncover.

GOT ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR TIPS ON FINDING MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY TO DO THINGS YOU LOVE? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Online

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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Online

When I started working online back in 2013, I was super green (but aren’t we all in the beginning – maybe not everyone). I fell for so many tricks, marketing tactics, gimmicks, and craziness that goes on out there.

Silly me.

I’d like to say that I’ve learned a thing or two since then, but sometimes I still catch myself falling for some crazy ass stuff. Que super slick marketing copy here. It’s very tempting to get caught up in the Shiny Course Syndrome that so many people who work online have.

I’m getting a little better at all of this, though.

There are still some things I wish I’d have known before I started working online, though. The thought flowed through my mind a couple of times as I was questioning if working online was right for me (note: it is and always will be, but that’s another post).

Let’s get started, shall we?

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Online

#1 That I’d Be Stressed A Lot

Ok, most of this is self-induced, but still. I tend to stress out easy anyway, and working from home hasn’t changed that at all.

It might seem glamorous to be able to set your schedule and wear what you want, but news flash – it’s not. There are days where I might not even get out of my pajamas or wash my hair (gasp!). Other times I might neglect work, even when work needs to be done, simply because I’m the boss.

I learned something along the way, though:

Automation is a big thing I needed but didn’t know about until way later. I wish I knew about it at the beginning. By automating certain things, like social media, it can save you a whole heap of time and sanity.

My stress levels have dropped slightly, but it’s a daily struggle. For real.

Check out my post here on the top tasks you should outsource.

#2 That I Would Change Business Ideas a Million Times

Before I started working online I wanted to be a school teacher, but that changed when I started substituting at an elementary school.

Since starting online, I may not have changed my business idea a million times, but sometimes it feels damn close.

I keep having people tell me, “your business is a living breathing thing, and it evolves with you.” And, to that, I say, “I must be one evolving mother effer!” (excuse the language)

Seriously, I’ve gone from Yoga Studio Owner/Teacher, fitness coach, life coach, Squarespace designer, WordPress Website Setup Maven (still do this btw), and Virtual Assistant (my gig now).

This isn’t to say that I haven’t considered doing a million other things – because I have!

You know the whole “the grass is always greener” thing? Yeah, I’ll tell you more about this later, but it totally messes with your brain when you see others rockin’ out with their socks out, and you’re over here dilly-dallying with the rest of them.

I’ve gotten used to it a little by now, but there are still times where I’m like, “OOO, I can totally make money doing that!”

Is that just an entrepreneur thing? They’re all about making money from different avenues, right? I like to think so at least.

#3 That I’d Become Addicted to Courses (my fault)

A mentor and good friend of mine, Megan Hale, had me sit down and list out ALLLLLL of the courses I had bought over the past 3-4 years. To say I was surprised was an understatement. Probably the understatement of the year.

What’s bad is that the list of “have not finished” far outweighed the “finished” list O_O. Not cool man.

It’s an addiction that started when I started working online and is slowly stopping now. I could have stopped it sooner, but I was in denial.

Not only that, she challenged me to complete them and not invest in anymore. (Sorry Megan, I failed at the not buying challenge!)

There are so many courses out there now, and what’s bad is countless more keep cropping up. Don’t fall into the course buying rut. Please! Take it from someone who’s been there and is being more and more cautious with course buying. Truly, I am. I only buy it if I know it will drive my business forward.

  1. Email marketing help
  2. Social media growth help
  3. Traffic growth help

Those are the categories I’m looking at, and if they’re regurgitating what I know it gets left behind.

Pick your top 3 areas (no more) that you want in regarding your business. Start there and then expand once you’re golden.

#4 That It Would Be Life-Changing

Wowzers! Working online is like entering another dimension. I swear it’s amazing to me all the different things that go on in a virtual business and how they compare to a brick and mortar company.

Did you know that you can make $15-$50 an HOUR working virtually?!? It’s crazy!Of course, you’ll have to pay for your taxes, but you can also write things off.

Of course, you’ll have to pay your taxes, but you can also write things off. That’s a plus in and of itself. Business write-offs make working from home super awesome.

Working in pajamas and on my own time is nice too.

But, those don’t top the biggest life-changing thing – the community.

Some amazing people work virtually around the world. They’re kind, amazing, helpful and so much more than I ever expected.

You’ll still find your bad eggs in the virtual world, but more times than not they won’t be around long. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you. Plain and simple. If you’re not making sales, then you won’t be around long. Again, plain and simple.

You’ll also grow along the way. I started growing in my first year working virtually. The expansion was crazy hectic, scary, and amazing all at the same time.

#5 That I’d Feel Like I Was On A Roller Coaster Ride

The roller coaster is more emotional than anything. I also didn’t know I’d have two kids on this journey and that during the first year of my second child’s life that my husband would be deployed. Kinda threw me for a loop.

There have been many ups and downs along the way, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The high points more than makeup for the low points, because during those low points I’ve been carried and helped by some of the most amazing women I know.

When I started working online the roller coaster became something I would try to analyze and anticipate. That doesn’t always work though. Sometimes you just have to sit back and try to enjoy the ride as best you can.

Best thing to help? Self-Care!

#6 That I Would Meet Some Amazing Folks and Some NOT So Amazing Folks

I’ve been in some of the most amazingly active communities around the internet the past 3-4 years. Some of the most helpful, positive, radiant, generous, kind, loving and awesome people you could ever want to meet.

But, there are also some not so awesome people I’ve met along the way. Some are still in business, and some I just quit following.

It’s amazing to me that some people would love nothing more than to trample on the successes of others. This is not the way to act, and they’re only hurting themselves in the end because others take note of that and will remember.

And those amazing people, they will help you out whenever you need it. The.Best.Feeling.Ever.

Find a community of people who are doing what you’re doing or want to be doing.

#7 That People Try to Rip You Off With Crap Products (shouldn’t this be common sense for me by now)

You’d think I would know before I started working online that people can be ripoffs! Maybe I’m just oblivious, though.

Online, everyone thinks their course/eBook/audio/product is a gift to the world, and that people should pay for the perceived worth of the course/eBook/audio/product. It’s not a bad thing until it is. The sad thing is they’re not all created equal, and not all products are great and worth their price tag.

I’ve bought some things that far exceeded the cost associated.

I’ve also bought things that were highly overpriced. This is probably why I’m still procrastinating on creating a course or eBook.

Sure, no one would have my unique spin or knowledge tidbits, but I also don’t want to regurgitate what others are saying for the sake of making money.

Don’t hop on the creation bandwagon if it’s regurgitated!

#8 That Life Is Only As Great As You See It (“grass is always greener” kinda thing)

The grass is always greenest where you fertilize it. I learned that the hard way.

The grass may very well be greener on the other side, but it’s probably because they fertilize.

When you start comparing yourself to others (because it happens to the best of us) just remember that you don’t know everything they’ve done to get to that point. You may not know the entire story – even if they “tell it.” I’ve found that very few people will disclose the hard parts of how they got to where they were.

All those failures that lead up to the breakthrough are there hiding in their mind, but they’re not ready to admit them. It might have taken me a while to realize this, but once I did it was so much easier to start fertilizing my own grass.


Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

WHICH THINGS DO YOU WISH YOU’D HAVE KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED WORKING ONLINE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

You Might Also Like These:

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7 Easy Tasks You Should Be Outsourcing in Business

image of a work desk with a computer, cell phone, coffee and milk

7 Easy Tasks You Should Be Outsourcing in Business

You’ve heard about others telling you there are tasks you should be outsourcing in your business, but you’re not sure where to start.

If you aren’t meeting your income goal yet, it can be scary to think about paying someone to take things off your plate. Questions crop up, and you start thinking about things like:

  • What happens if they mess up?
  • What if they don’t do things how I want?
  • What happens when they miss a deadline?
  • What should I do if my graphics start to suck?
  • If they upload a blog post, and it’s not edited how do I handle that?
  • Is there a way I can legally protect myself?

Believe me, once that train gets rolling it can pick up steam really quick and drive you nuts. It’s better to create space to deal with the mind gremlins, acknowledge them and work with them rather than have them run rampant in your brain.

That’s why these easy tasks you should be outsourcing.

When you’re capable, and it may be a stretch at first, to start outsourcing some of these tasks just pick one. Once you see how much time you have left to attend to things that actually need your time to generate income it gets easier to outsource.

Each step in outsourcing frees you up to create amazing content your audience can’t wait to devour.

#1 Creating Graphics for Your Blog

Not everyone is great at creating graphics, and when you’re not great at this task, it can eat up hours of your time. Seriously, think back to when you were creating a graphic. Did it take you 15 mins? Or, did it take you an hour or more?

When you’re considering the amount of time it took you, be sure to include any time you went and re-edited the image because something wasn’t quite right.

If it took you longer than 15 mins to create then, that is a sure-fire sign you should be outsourcing this task.

Graphics should be crisp, clean and appealing to your audience and you shouldn’t be wasting valuable time you could be using to create content instead.

#2 Scheduling Any Clients or Calls

You should never resort to emailing back and forth with clients or potential clients. It should be smooth sailing, easy breezy, and seamless on both sides.

One of my favorite tools for this is a scheduling software called Acuity Scheduling*. This site allows you to sync your calendar with Google Calendar so that when someone schedules a time to speak with you or meet with you, it will automatically schedule on your Google Calendar.

On top of that if you block off times on your Google Calendar it will be reflected in your scheduling system so that you’ll never have conflicting times again.

This more than makes up for all those double booked slots on your calendar ;).

Not having double bookings is a win all the way around if you ask me, that’s why this one is probably the easiest one to outsource (and very cost effective too since Acuity Scheduling has a free plan!).

#3 Editing and Uploading Your Blog Posts

If your blog/business is growing rapidly to the point where you’re crunching to find time to get everything done, then this is one that you should definitely think of outsourcing.

It could give you 15 minutes to an hour each week of your time back.

On top of that, it could very well be the kick in the pants you need to actually batch create blog posts for a month or more. Nothing like a little motivation to get things going.

Hiring someone (like a virtual assistant) to edit and upload your blog posts should be a no-brainer You can quickly set up a Username just for that person and also limit their abilities to change things on your website. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you will know exactly what they’re able to change and what they can’t.

#4 Filtering and Replying to Blog Comments (i.e. Blog Comment Moderator)

While staying in touch with your audience is definitely key to cultivating and curating new and loyal followers, it doesn’t need to take you hours upon hours each week.

If you’re answering with some basic replies like, “thank you,” then outsourcing this to a Virtual Assistant would be easy as pie!

Your VA can also help you create a Standard Operating Procedure (or SOP) for replying to comments on the blog just in case the VA has to miss a few days here and there or takes a vacation (because we do that on occasion – hey, we have to have fun too!). The SOP is a guide that someone can use when they’re taking over a position for a few days.

It helps the filler VA to know what to do in certain situations and also how to handle crazy situations. You can’t be too prepared I always say! (or maybe I just like being prepared)

Save time and let this be one of those tasks you should be outsourcing.

#5 Posting on Social Media

Social media posting! Ah, this could be the bane of many bloggers existence. This is another one of those tasks you should be outsourcing. I personally know this takes up a good chunk of time each week (and I know this because I’ve done it for clients and had to track my time). That’s why it’s definitely a good task to outsource to a Virtual Assistant.

If you can pay someone else to take that off your hands, you’ll gain so much time. This is time you could use to create the most tantalizing and mind-blowing content your readers have come to lay eyes on.

Just imagine what an extra hour each week might do for your blog growth (if you don’t squander it).

It’s gold. 

#6 Vetting Your Facebook Group Requests (if you have a group)

Ok, come on now. I know you love to be on Facebook, or you just find yourself on there hours each day “connecting with your audience.” We’ve all done it, but then our eyes catch something, a video, and we have to take a peak. Or someone writes a post and has their blog attached, and it’s just what we needed to read at that particular time.

Going on Facebook can be dangerous. If you’re in a dedicated content creation space going on to vet and approve requests to your Facebook group shouldn’t be a priority. You can find someone to not only vet and approve/disapprove requests, but you can also hire someone to manage the group (a group moderator if you will).

This definitely goes on the “tasks you should be outsourcing” list if you are growing your blog and business. It might be fun to see everyone who wants in your group, you know, so you can get to know them, but it’s a time waster. You can get to know them once they’re in the group.

Having someone help vet and moderate the group also keeps the drama to a minimum.

#7 Scheduling Your Newsletters and Solo Emails

You can keep this one all day long if you want to, and most perfectionists do, but it’s a total time suck. Especially if you’re writing more than one email a week.

Outsourcing this is as easy as writing your email in a Word document and emailing it to your Virtual Assistant. From there they are able to copy and paste it into a preformatted newsletter template (you can have a VA create these as well).

It’s not a hard task, which is why it is so easy to outsource and feel confident it can be done competently and meet your expectations. Some people just can’t relinquish control, though .

There you have the 7 tasks you should be outsourcing!

Which ones do you already outsource? Which ones are you going to START outsourcing as of today? And, if you’re a VA, which of these do you help with?


Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

Leave a comment below and let me know which of the tasks you should be outsourcing you’re crossing off your list.

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