Saturday, August 20, 2016

Taking the Plunge

Well folks, here we are. It’s the halfway point in August, children have headed back to school, parents are recovering from vacations, and the population in general is hoping for cooler weather now! (at least where I live, it’s been ridiculously hot.)

As the new school year begins, children are eager to start a new adventure. University students are looking forward to their semester, some with dread (shout-out to the grad students out there!). While we often focus on the New Year as a time for new beginnings, the beginning of the school year is just as much a new beginning as the New Year is.

And I am making a new beginning this month. A big, scary, exciting beginning.

You see, when my summer job ended this month, my husband and I decided that I would not go back to work. Full time freelancing it is! This is a temporary experiment, but if it goes well I will not go back to work full time as a teacher.

Those of you who know me, know that not having something to do is absolutely insane for me. I can’t just sit and do nothing. I’m just no longer working a 9-5 job, with bosses and co-workers and rules and stuff.

I’m full time freelancing. And hopefully it works out. Last year I was able to actually pay rent a couple of months from my freelance income, but being a full time student and having two jobs, freelancing was way too hard emotionally and physically. This girl needs her sleep! So I stopped all my income streams except for one job to focus on finishing my Masters and getting my big girl job.

At the beginning of this summer I slowly began to re-start my income streams. It’s slow going, but of course it was the first time around too. Only this time, it’s lot more scary. I mean, before it was ‘extra’ income to go toward debt repayment, retirement, and savings. Now, it’s gotta pay the bills for real.
He seems awfully cheerful for an octopus...

I once heard (possibly on Pinterest) about the octopus method of income. Meaning, you need to create multiple income streams, so if one has a bad month or quarter, you still have 7 more to fall back on. While I don’t have 8, I do have a few up my sleeve.

Here’s the plan:
  • ·         Editing and Proofreading: I’ve reopened my gigs on fiverr. So far I’ve had a few takers, and they are pretty easy. The difference on fiverr this time around though, is I’m not offering APA specific editing. I did last time around and that was the bulk of my work.  Unfortunately, that opened me up to being asked to write term papers for people, not just edit them. I actually contacted the advising professor of a doctoral student who solicited paper writing services from me. If I had to write all my papers for my degrees, you can suck it up and write them too. The upside to now is that most books are quite a bit longer than term papers, so I get a larger payout per job.

  • ·         Etsy: My etsy shop has been hugely neglected. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I got on there and updated. Now that I have more time, I plan to get a lot of sewing done, and post a lot of it on etsy. I’m convinced that while you really want to do a quality job and post amazing, wonderful creations on etsy, it’s also a numbers game. The more items I get up on there, the more likely it is that people will see my work, the more likely I am to find buyers. Right now this isn’t a huge focus of income for me, but it is there.

  • ·         Teaching Lessons: At the beginning of the year,  I posted on takelessons as a sewing and knitting teacher. I’ve gotten a few students, but these students tend to want to learn one skill and then are good. It’s a good temporary income for me. If I can get a few more students, and have them leave positive reviews, it will hopefully lead to more students. I’ve even had people contact me through this venue to inquire about seamstress services such as hemming and custom making skirts.

  • ·         Writing- I’ve been looking at various ways I could make a little money off writing. I’ve loved writing since I was a very young child and have always done it. Most of my writing is what I would consider “closed door” writing, never to been seen by actual people. But, in past years (thank you university) I’ve found I quite enjoy writing for other people as well. Hence the blog. I would like to move the blog to a better platform, and potentially connect it with a shop so I no longer have to rely on etsy for online sales. I’ve also started drafting some tutorial type articles to post on fiverr, and have even submitted some to takelessons for their blog series. Now that I have more time, I will be researching other venues and start submitting to them in the hopes of bringing in a few dollars here and there from something I already am doing.

  • ·         Arbonne- I’ve become an Independent Consultantfor Arbonne this summer. And I LOVE IT. It allows me socialize, and share about some wonderful products that I use and love as well. It helps my little introverted self meet new people, and it will get me out of my house on a regular basis, because let’s face it, I could sit at home and knit and sew and edit and write all day. No matter how introverted you are, that’s not exactly healthy. And I seriously have fun doing the spa parties. Seriously.

And there it is. The multiple income stream plan. It has already led to some blog posts being written, and I’m sure it will be a grand adventure. It might work out beautifully, and I never have to go back to work, or it might be a bit of a flop and I will go back to teaching in a couple months. We will just have to see. 

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