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Celebrating 18 years working from home, being self employed


It was 18 years ago today that I sent out my first magazine query, laying the foundation for a long and incredible career as a writer and blogger.

My daughter will be 18 in September. When I was pregnant with her, I decided that I wanted to work from home. Before being pregnant, I always thought I would have my baby and then head back to work, putting the baby in daycare. But as the weeks and months drew closer, I knew there was no way I would do that. I was 33 years old and had gone through years of infertility. I couldn't fathom the idea of daycare. However, we are a two-income family, and I want a career, so I had to figure something out.

I began researching ways to stay home and work. I needed something that would allow me the flexibility to care for my baby and would still allow me to make a decent salary to contribute to our household income. I went to the library and checked out every book I could find about working from home. I brought them all home and began sifting through to check the ideas. As I flipped the pages of possible work-from-home careers, I knew the one I wanted as soon as my eyes read the title. "Freelance writer" was right there across the page, and I immediately saw myself in that job.

In high school and college, I wrote for the school newspaper. I had taken college classes in newswriting. My prior jobs included working in marketing, where I did a lot of writing. I loved writing! I didn't know that I could have a career doing it from home until I saw it in that book. I looked no further, knowing that was the right choice for me. My focus turned to getting books on how to become a freelance writer. I spent months researching the field while still working as I continued to work. I planned to finish the school year substitute teaching and then start working for myself as a freelance writer and blogger. However, about a month before school got out, I was anxious and started sending out queries to get work. Once the school year ended, I plunged into my new career from home, being my own boss.

I spent that first summer being pregnant, establishing my work-from-home business, and loving every minute!

Fast forward 18 years now, and I still love it! It has been so wonderful. Not every mom wants to work from home, and that's fine, but some do. I will say that it's easier than ever before for those who do. Today, many companies will allow you to work from home, and then there is the route I took, which entails becoming your boss and doing your own thing. There are pros and cons to each path, trust me. Working for a company you may get benefits, for example, whereas working for yourself you have flexibility. It all comes down to determining which route works best for you and your goals.

If you are interested in working from home, determine if you want to work for someone else's business from home or if you want to have your own business from home. If it's the first route, start finding those jobs that allow you to work remotely. I know numerous moms who work remotely for companies and it works out great. If you wish to own a business from home, then make the plan to get started. If you have an idea of what you want to do, then great! Research it, write up a quick plan, and take the necessary steps to make it happen. If you have no clue what you want to do, do what I did. Get several books (or use websites) to research the many types of careers you can do from home. As you read through them, notice the one(s) you can see yourself doing and then research those more to narrow it down. (Avoid work at home job ads online that seem too good to be true, because they probably are.)

One thing that is necessary for doing this is to believe in yourself. There was not one minute that I doubted myself. I always thought that this route that I took would work, and it did. I like to say that I used the laws of attraction before I knew that was what they were called. There are many ways you can make money from home, so if it's a route you want, keep a positive attitude and start exploring your options. My kids are going on 16 and 18 and I've worked at home since they were born and loved it!

- Jacqueline Bodnar

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