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5 Tips to Start a Side Hustle as a Stay at Home Mom without Losing Your Mind

things you need to know to start a stay at home mom job

Have you been dreaming about starting a side hustle as a stay at home mom?

Maybe you want to contribute to your family finances while staying home with your kids. You think it would be great to help out with the bills, pay off student loan debt, cover soccer season for your kids, or maybe start saving for that family vacation you’ve always wanted to take!

Or maybe, you are looking for a way to get your identity back. Having kids is such a beautiful gift and miracle that we don’t want to take for granted. But sometimes, it feels like you are doing the same mindless tasks over and over again.

You want to use your skills and natural talents to do something beyond the home.

The best way for busy moms to create extra income and use their skills is to start a side hustle at home! Today’s technology, access to internet, and using a laptop or even just your phone, there is opportunity to start a side hustle doing something you love while you are taking care of your family.

Building a side hustle income from home has led many stay at home moms to start their own businesses, create new friendships, network, and even land new jobs!

Here’s the thing, building a side hustle outside of your mom-ing duties is never easy. It takes developing a mindset that sets you up for long term success, prioritizing your purpose, and establishing your role as a work at home mom. Not to mention you will have to get creative when it comes to scheduling the chaos that is kids and work life. This chaos coordinator (work at home mom schedule printable) will help you plan your days and weeks.

Before you start planning to start your side hustle, the very first thing you need to do is conquer your mindset. Your mindset guides your thinking…which guides your actions. Without action you won’t get very far!

Here are 5 things you need to know to start a side hustle as a stay at home mom. These tips will get you motivated before you start and help you overcome the inevitable obstacles that life throws at you!

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5 Things You Need to Know to Start a Side Hustle as a Stay at Home Mom

#1 Where you start isn’t where you’ll end

My first successful online side hustle wasn’t a new business. It wasn’t a super successful Etsy shop. It was working as a search engine evaluator and required NO experience, NO education beyond high school, and I could start or stop any time I wanted. 

It was the first thing I did that made me feel successful. And I thought, “hey, I CAN do this. It’s possible!”

Now I’m running a blog that helps stay at home moms find meaningful ways they can work from home and create a life you love. It’s my passion to help moms take charge of their finances, help them find freedom, and do something outside the home while keeping their family as the number one priority.

I don’t think the blog is my end. I will continue to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, marketer, writer, and supporter of women. Once my kids are all in school, I may use those skills to get a job outside the home or I may use those skills to start another business.

The point is this is a journey with all kinds of opportunities. Don’t limit yourself to believing that if you start a blog or start a customer service job or become a virtual assistant that you will never do anything else.

Use every work opportunity to build your skills, so that you will be prepared for what ever the future holds.

#2 Failure is an opportunity to learn

Guess how many things I tried before I started my blog?! 10 different side hustles! I started an Etsy shop that I couldn’t keep up with. I tried selling for a network marketing business which was miserable for this awkward introvert. I was a freelance writer, a social media evaluator, mystery shopper, t-shirt designer, website tester, social media manager, and blogger.

Every job I did I learned something about myself. I learned skills that I wanted to focus on, and just as important, I learned there are things I just don’t care to do as a job.

Here are a few of my mistakes, and the lessons I learned…

  • Etsy Shop – I started an Etsy shop called Lace and Threads. I made beaded bracelets, crocheted scarves and headbands, and other items that I sewed. I really love being crafty, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t confident in my skills to actually sell products. Also, it took me a long time to make the items in my shop, which left me earning about $3 – $5 an hour after business expenses. Mostly I realized that crafting is a hobby that I love, it’s not how I want to make money! 
  • Network Marketing – This is so embarrassing! I started selling health shakes to family and friends. Somehow, I talked my brother into joining under me and a family friend to join so that I could earn my first bonus. I actually ended up paying back both my brother and family friend for joining with me. I had a few people buy from me out of the goodness of their heart. I set up a few “parties” to offer my drinks to my teacher friends. I actually couldn’t even bare to have them come to my office, so I took the drinks around to them so they wouldn’t be bothered. Friends, that is terrible salesmanship. I quickly realized that I am NOT a sales person. It was miserable! 
  • Designing Shirts on Merch by Amazon – So I was already growing my website when I started Merch by Amazon. I really didn’t take the time to learn how to research topics, design t-shirts, or use keyword research to sell shirts. I think the program is amazing, and if I wasn’t already making money with my website (or I had more time) I would definitely put more effort into this. As an introvert, I think it’s one of the coolest ways to make money online without having to actually make sales. Here’s the lesson I learned, I don’t have time for every great idea!

Ultimately, how you look at each of your failures will determine your ability to succeed. Do you look at your failures and learn a lesson then move on? Or do you look at your failures and think I’m not supposed to work at home?

I truly believe that if you want to work from home or have a flexible schedule, it is definitely possible. It may take you some time to figure out where you fit and the right work for you.

Use every failure as a chance to pivot, learn a lesson, and try something different.

#3 Don’t let your season of life get you down

I know you’ve heard that comparison kills your confidence, but it’s so true! Some people get to work while their kids are napping, some people get to work while ALL their kids are at school, and then there is you.

Maybe you only have 1 hour a day to work on your business or side hustle. Maybe you only can work a couple hours a week. 

It’s tough.

Here’s the thing, in my mind I know that I shouldn’t compare my journey to others around me. But it’s really hard not to, especially if they are posting income reports or talking about their latest win in Facebook groups.

My reality is that I came into online side hustles with no knowledge about how to set up a website, how to market, or how to use social media to grow a business. It takes me 2x as long to get my work done, because I have to learn what I’m doing before I can actually do the work!

My kids don’t nap anymore…so I work late into the night or early in the morning when I can.

Remember your reason for starting a side hustle. What is your WHY?

It can evolve over time, but it should always be the thing you use to measure where you are going. Otherwise you will end up chasing MORE or find yourself defeated when you don’t have what other people have.

Are you doing this for your family? Don’t lose sight of your family in all the busy chaos.

Are you doing this to pay off debt? Stay focused on your goal and work towards paying off that debt.

Are you doing this to fulfill for personal meaning? Set boundaries and maintain your priorities.

Make your own timelines and create goals that match your priorities.

#4 You don’t HAVE to be a business owner to make money online

Guess what…

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. That’s ok! There are SO many ways to make money online. You don’t have to start a company, hire people to work for you, or sell products to your friends and family.

You can learn SKILLS to make money online. Companies are hiring more and more remote worker positions. 

Invest in your professional development. Take a course online or at a community college. Earn a certificate that will help you get the job you want.

Here are some valuable skills that will continue to grow over time…

  • graphic design
  • user experience designers
  • content marketing
  • software design
  • website design
  • information technology
  • customer service support

Many online remote positions are beginner type of positions that tend to pay between $9 – $15 per hour. If you are looking to make more and establish a professional income then find a skill that you love and become highly knowledgable. Those types of positions pay more when your skills are an asset to the company.

Invest in your skills to earn more money in remote positions.

#5 You HAVE to take action

Getting started is the first step. You CAN find a way to make money from home whether it’s using apps or surveys for a few extra bucks, starting a business from home, or building online skills to change careers.

The thing is you have to start somewhere! Take an inventory of what you enjoy doing, your skills, and your previous work experience. Use that to help you create your dream job. Then start searching for a path that will get you started towards that position. 

This means that you may start a couple of businesses and fail. You may start a job that only pays $9 an hour. The key is getting started. Learn as much as you can about yourself, about the skills you are building, and business in general.

Taking action isn’t just about taking that first step. It’s also the sacrifices you make every day when you choose to invest in yourself instead of binge a Netflix show or sleep in a little longer. It’s about getting creative when you are faced with a challenge and overcoming obstacles.

You can make money from home by taking action!

Work at Home Workbook

I put together a workbook that is designed to help you work through your mindset, get real about what you can actually do at this point in your life, and then create actionable goals to help you start making money from home.

This workbook is totally FREE and created with you in mind!

I thought about how many times I see ads come across my social media or pop up in Google of people trying to convince me to start a blog or start a small business or take a course so I can work from home. Those things are really great, but if you aren’t ready to get started then you will be wasting your money.

I want you to have a flexible plan. So you can make an educated and thoughtful decision about how you want to start your work at home journey.

Your time is valuable and you matter so much in this world. Your dreams are too important to just throw money at a course that is supposed to set you up for success.

I hope you will download the free Work at Home Workbook and decide if now is the time for you to start chasing your dreams.

I can’t wait to see you creating a life you love!

SmartCents Mom