How to Have a Thriving Business as A Freelancer and Mom
This week our founder April Iannazzone had a chance to chat with freelancer and mom, Josie Schreiber of The Momillennial blog. Josie is a stay-at-home freelancer and mom who struggled for a long time trying to figure out how she wanted to spend her life, career-wise.
After giving birth to her daughter, she had the urge to get back into blogging. She recently did a little soul searching and realized that blogging is how she wants to spend her life. Writing has always been her passion, she just hadn’t been able to find the right platform until now.
She’s written hard news, feature news, editorials and blog posts. She now realized that blogging is where her strengths are. So she built a thriving business doing what she loves while being a freelancer and mom!
Below in the post, I have laid out all the great tips Josie shared about being a freelancer and mom. Enjoy the interview! 🙂
Have a thriving business as a freelancer and mom. It is possible.
As a freelancer and mom, I can say with certainty that it is possible to thrive as a freelance blogger and mom. You can make some extra money from home. And, you can live out your passions while being a stay-at-home mom.
I would even go so far as to say that being a freelancer is one of the few career paths that allows moms the flexibility to grow our careers and not miss out on the precious time we have with our kids while they are small.
I started The Momillennial a little bit after my daughter was born, about a year ago. With that, I also started writing on another platform as well where I share a lot of my parenting experience. I write about children’s books too because I focus a lot on early literacy in my writing.
What made me do that? I’m a bookworm myself so raising my daughter to be a bookworm was a high priority on my list. I’ve been reading to her from day one. I can already tell that she would much rather play with a book than a toy. That’s something that makes me proud.
There’s so much a Super Mom can do.
Share Your Experience
I have an ongoing series on the blog platform that I write for. I highlight some of my favorite books with different topics. I’ve reviewed the best books for girl power and the best books for going green.
On my personal blog, I write a lot about Zolie’s milestones. I just wrote about her first birthday. I have a couple posts to highlight more about how that went and more about how she’s developing these last couple months. It can be easy to get ideas being both a freelancer and mom.
Follow A Morning Routine
I usually wake up around nine o’clock. That’s when Zolie wakes up. We eat breakfast and relax for about an hour. Then three or four times a week we’ll go to our local library. There, I can get ideas from a million books available. Obviously, I also get more books for my blog posts.
Then once we get back, she takes her nap. When she wakes up, dad’s home by that time. She gets to go to him and I get a lot of writing done while she sleeps.
Getting into a regular morning routine will save you from a lot of stress, a lot of headache, and a lot of worry.
Practical Tips On Building Your Career
I usually work when my daughter’s napping. As you’re working from home it’s inevitable that your children need you the minute you need to get work done. Being a freelancer and mom it’s going to happen often.
So, how can you separate personal life and work? Or should you let your children dictate the times of when you’re going to work?
It depends. A freelancer and mom career is something where you can create your own schedule. But the schedule should be built around your family’s activities and your family’s life.
For the most part, I let my daughter dictate my schedule.
One of the things that a lot of the entrepreneurs say… I work from home and I’m an entrepreneur which means that I don’t need a schedule. And, I used to be like that. But it ended up backfiring on me.Now, I feel the exact opposite. You need to schedule more because you’re more inclined to just say, “Hey! I’m at home. I’m just going to watch this TV show,” instead of getting stuff done.
Check out April’s tips for organizing your Mompreneur Schedule
Ask For and Accept Help
My fiancé watches Zolie and play’s with her while I’m busy working. It’s very convenient because he gets to have time with her and then I get to have time to do the work that I want to do. That’s the life of a freelancer and mom.
I know a lot of women that don’t do it well. I met many moms who don’t want to ask their spouse to help them because they want to boast that Super Mom status. But, being the Super Mom also means you know when to ask for help.
It also gives you more freedom when you have supportive family.
Income and Stability
Although I have stable jobs, for the most part a lot of my money comes in from freelancing.
But being a freelancer, it is equally hard not knowing when the jobs are going to come in.
I think that if I’m doing what I love then it’s not a big deal how often the money is coming in. Because freelancing is a place where I’m able to actually do that. For the most part money comes in spurts and it works out that way.
The biggest thing for me is keeping a planner and a notebook. Because, obviously, I only have so much time after she falls asleep. I’ll maybe have two or three hours before she wakes up and then two or three hours before I want to go to bed.
Also, I use the recorder on my phone a lot because when I drive I’ll have this great idea and I’ll forget about it. If I use the recorder on my phone, I can go back and listen to it.
Should you create a separate workspace for yourself? Is there anything that you need to have in that space?
Wherever you work it’s important to bring your personality in.
For me it’s important that I’m in a bright space because we’re sitting here every day working. But, for the most part I’m on my couch watching TV and writing at the same time.
Take That Risk
If you’re thinking about starting a blog or getting into a freelance writing career then honestly I suggest jumping into it and taking the risk.
Besides, you can get started easily. Even if you just want to make, let’s say, an extra 50 bucks a week. $20 to $50 a week is sometimes all you need. And being a freelancer and mom, that’s helpful.
Check out Josie’s Blog
A little more about Josie and being a freelancer and mom …
You can read the full transcript of the interview below:
April: Hi! It’s April Iannazzone here. I am joined by Josie Schreiber a freelancer and mom
Josie has a blog called the ‘Momillennial’. I actually met Josie on a freelancing site when I was looking for contributors to Mom’s Life Hacks. She has supplied us with some awesome posts and I really liked the way her voice came across.
When we started doing this video series I knew I wanted to actually connect with her in person, via video or even on the phone at first, because of the fact that through the freelance site we can’t really talk to each other. We could just send messages back and forth.
I wanted to bring her on because she is really working well with making some extra money from home. She’s living out her passions while being a stay-at-home mom.
Welcome Josie. Good to see you. How are you doing?
Josie: Hi! I’m good. How are you doing?
April: Very good. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Josie: Oh yeah, definitely.
I’m a first-time mom. My daughter Zoey just turned one year old, two weeks ago on March 5th. We had a Mickey Mouse party because that’s her favorite!
I started The Momillennial a little bit after she was born, about a year ago. When I started that I also started writing on another platform as well, where I share a lot of my parenting experience. I also write a lot about children’s books too because I focus a lot on early literacy in my writing.
April: What made you want to do that?
Josie: I mean, I’m a bookworm so raising my daughter to be a bookworm was a pretty high priority on my list.
I’ve been reading to her from pretty much day one. I can already tell that she would much rather play with a book than a toy. That’s something that makes me proud.
I have an ongoing series on the blog platform that I write for. I highlight some of my favorite books with different topics. I’ve done the best books for girl power, the best books for going green, and just different articles with topics like that.
April: I love it. Tell us a little bit about your day as a freelancer and mom?
Josie: I usually wake up around nine o’clock. That’s when Zoey wakes up.
We eat breakfast and relax for about an hour. Then three or four times a week we’ll go to our local library. We have like a million books around us which is super awesome. Today was one of those days.
We just spend a couple hours in their children’s section. Obviously I get more books for my blog posts.
Then once we get back, she just takes her nap. When she wakes up, dad’s home by that time. She gets to go to him and I get a lot of writing done while she sleeps.
April: Perfect! Do you do some work when she’s napping?
Josie: Oh yes, definitely. That’s probably the only time I can do it – when she’s napping, and also when she sleeps at night.
April: Wonderful. Does Zoey come through a lot in your writing? Do you talk about her in your different posts?
Josie: Oh yeah! Definitely! On my personal blog I write a lot about her milestones that she’s reached.
I just wrote about her first birthday. I have a couple posts to highlight more about how that went. I’ll also have more posts about how she’s developing these last couple of months.
April: That’s great.
So, working from home … I’ve also always pretty much worked from home myself.
Even when I was in the corporate world. Probably most of the work was done at home. Or in a car visiting restaurants and hotels. But my kids have always been there. They’re wonderful kids and they usually listened well.
But somehow it’s inevitable, when I need to get work done, that’s when they need me: that one minute!
I actually see them walking in a little bit as I’m doing this video because they’re off for spring break now. So I’m trying to squeeze everything in.
I know you’re not really on the phone with people, but how are you able to keep it separate? Or do you just let her dictate the times of when you’re going to work like most freelancers and moms do?
Josie: It depends…
For the most part she dictates it but there are other times where I say, “Okay. I need to get this done so you’re going to play over there for right now. Just for five minutes.”
But for the most part she’s definitely my boss.
Being a freelancer allows you to set your own hours around your family life.
April: That’s how it should be. I always say now that I own my own company, I can create my own schedule.
But my schedule is built around my family’s activities and my family’s life. That’s really awesome.
How does your fiancé feel about you doing this extra stuff? Does he mind watching Zoey and playing with her while you’re busy working?
Josie: No not at all! He loves spending time with her!
He works pretty much all morning and all day so when he gets home he’s like, “I missed her and I’ve been gone all day. I need to play with her.” It’s kind of convenient because he gets to have time with her and then I get to have time to do the work that I want to do.
He’s been really supportive as well. I used to work in a few different newspaper environments. I loved writing and working there but I would have much rather been home with my baby.
April: Perfect. And I have a side note on being a freelancer.
You have some stable jobs, but for the most part a lot of your money comes in from freelancing, right? Is that hard for you not knowing when the jobs are going to come in?
Josie: Yeah. But I also think if I’m doing what I love then it’s not a big deal how often the money is coming in.
Because we’re in a good place where I’m able to actually do that. It makes me thankful because not a lot of people are.
I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about the money too much. But for the most part the jobs come in spurts and it just happens to work out well that way.
April: Do you have any tips that you can give to other moms that are trying to make some money at home? Find that quiet time? Or anything you think a mom should know about working from home?
Josie: The biggest thing for me is keeping a planner and a notebook. Because obviously I only have so much time after she falls asleep.
I’ll have maybe two or three hours before she wakes up and then two or three hours before I want to go to bed.
I don’t have the time to sit around and say, “Oh! What am I going to write about now?” I need to have a list of topics that I’ve already thought of. I also ask for help from other people. If you have family say, “Hey! You want to watch him or her for a couple hours while I get this done.” I’m sure family would be more than happy to do that.
Joisie shares her story as a Freelancer and Mom
April: That’s important, being open enough to ask for help and say, “Hey I need to get this done.” I know a lot of women that don’t do it well.
And I have met a lot of women who don’t want to ask their spouse to help them because they want to boast that Super Mom. But being the Super Mom means you know when to ask for help.
Josie: I was like that for the first couple months too.
“I don’t want to ask him. He’s been working all day. I don’t want to put that on him.”
But then once I realized, “Hey! He’s here too. It’s his daughter too. He would want to spend time with her as well.”
April: What about your workspace, do you create a separate spot for yourself? Is there anything that you need to have in that space?
Josie: We have a spare room that we want to use as an office. We’ve just recently moved so we’re still kind of squaring everything.
Eventually that’s where I’m going to have all my work stuff. But for the most part I’m just on my couch watching TV and writing at the same time.
April: Very nice. Well, you can see I’m in my living room. We have a three bedroom house so there is no room for me to have an office.
I’m going to show it to you really quick. This is how my house looks as working as a freelancer and mom. I have my Post-It notes on the wall. I don’t know if you can see them! This is my office and I have an assistant that’s here during the day because we’re pretty busy now. She’s a salesperson.
But being in my office, even though it’s in the house ,I still think it’s important to bring my personality in. Because we’re sitting here every day working.
I see you have some gorgeous light in your house. For me it’s important that I’m in a bright space. We’re actually even thinking about moving in a couple years when my husband retires.
I don’t know if I want an office now. I don’t know if I even want a spare room because I’m so used to this big open space.
Josie: I feel like by the time we get everything all cleaned out I’d still work by my couch or in the kitchen anyway!
If you work a full-time job you can start freelancing a couple hours a week in your spare time.
April: I love what you said about having a notebook and your planner because that’s so important!
I use the recorder on my phone a lot because I’ll be driving and have this great idea, I’ll forget about it before I can write it down. If I use the recorder on my phone I can go back and listen to it. Or if I have a great idea for a blog and I want to send it to someone like you to do re-grading, I create the memo.
Josie: Exactly, I can’t live without my planner and my notebook. I would go nuts!
April: I’m like that with my schedule. Every single thing is scheduled.
The one thing that I also wanted to touch on is what you said when I asked you to tell me about your day … You pretty much have a routine which I think is very important for not only the entrepreneur at home, but a new mom.
Getting into a regular routine will save you from a lot of stress, a lot of headache, and a lot of worry. It’ll help with deadlines too.
You must be super organized to be a freelancer and mom working from home!
Josie: I know. If I’m not on that schedule I feel like everything’s out of whack. I struggled with anxiety for a long time. So having that structure in my day definitely helped me to keep control of everything.
April: One of the things a lot of entrepreneurs say … “I work from home and I’m an entrepreneur which means I don’t need a schedule, that’s why I do what I do.” And I used to be like that. But it ended up backfiring on me.
Josie: Yes exactly. You need to schedule everything because you’re more inclined to just say, “Hey! I’m at home. I’m just going to watch this TV show instead of getting stuff done.”
April: I absolutely agree with you. Is there anything else that you want to leave our viewers and listeners with? Any other tip?
Josie: If you’re really thinking about starting a blog or getting into a freelance writing career, then I honestly suggest just jumping into it and taking the risk. It’s been the best thing for me and I’m so happy that I was able to do it.
April: You can get started easily. Even if you just want to make, let’s say, an extra 50 bucks a week. $20 to $50 a week is sometimes all people need.
There’s Upwork.com and there’s Fiverr.com. It doesn’t have to be writing. You can freelance other work, whatever your specialty is. For example, I use freelancers from both these sites.
Josie: I’m only on Upwork so I don’t really know of the other freelance platforms.
I mean I’ve loved Upwork since I started with it. I love it because there are so many options for different things to do. They don’t just have writing opportunities, they have social media marketing and graphic design, and all different kinds of freelance work.
April: You set your own price there too, what you want to charge, so that’s perfect.
Guys, I want you to definitely go check out our featured freelancer and mom, Josie the Momillennial! Josie, where can they find you?
Josie: You can find me on my blog . Or also on my MCXV author portfolio where I do a lot of my book reviews: MCXV.com/author/themomillennial.
April: I’ll put the links below. Everybody can go check you out. Thank you for spending a few minutes with us!
Josie: Thank you for giving me this opportunity!
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