This week wraps up another full year of working for myself. Another year where I've learned to balance being a stay-at-home mom and work-from-home entrepreneur. Some days it's easy and other days I wish I had another 12 hours in the day -- or at least a daycare to send the kids to.
This year has been my second complete year of working for myself. I've learned to manage my time to a tee. I've learned that movie afternoons are sometimes not only acceptable, they're a necessity. I've learned that the second you pick up your work phone to make a business call, the kids will, without a doubt, need your attention and need it right now. I've learned to try not to feel guilty for ignoring the kids (in other words, letting them play by themself or letting them sit in front of the TV) when I absolutely have to get work done. I've learned to make the most of my days with them when I don't have a lot of work on the go -- or a lull in the work that is on the go. I've learned to sometimes live on less sleep.
I worked hard at my business this year. This will sound strange, and I think I've said it before, but I never dreamed I would be doing this. Aside from the easy part, which is writing and editing, I'm learning to smooze and network, sell my strengths and convince complete strangers to sit down and meet with me. In other words, I'm doing so many things I was never very good at and never had the confidence to do.
All while getting to do my dream job -- which is being a stay-at-home mom (all comments about how some days I want to put the kids on the front deck with signs around their neck that say 'free, take me home' will not be included in this post).
I worked hard this year. Last year at this time, I really only had three main clients, with some odds and ends other work on the side. This year, I have the same three core clients -- two of whom sent a lot of work my way -- and another dozen or so other contacts who have sent work my way. It really has been a word-of-mouth kind of business and I'm certainly not complaining.
And I'm proud to say that I brought in almost the exact same income as last year -- actually $66 more. Although I worked harder for every dollar this year than I did last year -- this year, I took a few jobs which didn't prove to be as profitable as I would've hoped. But I guess I can say that's another thing I've learned. I've learned to try not to sell myself short and to make sure that the job is actually worth the money.
As I move from part-time to full-time in Septemer 2012, my contacts and client roster is growing so I should be in good shape.
And what I'll definitely have by then is time. Because once the kids are in school full-time, I won't have to feel as guilty about balancing my mom job and my job job.