Just two years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined working for myself. I was completely focused on how to resume my career on some kind of scale that would allow me to still be around for my kids.
My entire thought process was centred on how I could make the system change to meet my needs. The whole work-for-myself gig was a secondary thought. An in-the-meantime thing. Something I dabbled in while I was still thinking of other opportunities.
I never really committed to the business idea. Too many doubts and not enough focus.
A couple of years of trial, error, failure, stops, starts, perseverance, doubt-busting, massive learning, and a large dose of clarity later and I’ve come to realise there’s no better place to be than right where I am (which happens to be sitting in my car in the school car park, punching out some blog posts with the lap top … in my lap … because I had to be at school in the middle of the day and there was no point going home and coming back again. Flexibility in the workplace at its finest).
// In amongst all of that learning, I finally pieced the puzzle together.
We are at a perfect time in history to be able to work for ourselves, from home, and create a life of freedom, flexibility and finances.
// The internet has made anything possible when it comes to creating a presence and income from home and in flexible hours.
1. It’s a ready-made market place
The internet has given everybody with access to it, the ability to search for the information and support they need. They’re out there googling their problems, looking for answers, shopping and downloading, all in order to live a better life in some way.
People are now used to doing business online, so the market is there.
2. It’s a communication vehicle made for women
Women are also natural-born communicators. They love to connect, dissect, discuss. The web is MADE for them. Right time, right mode of transport.
For women who want to use their expertise in a way that also allows them to be a present parent – and when the corporate world isn’t accommodating them with flexibility they need or want – for those women motivated, committed and enthusiastic enough to try, the online world can be their golden egg.
At this year’s Problogger event, there were around 700 attendees. About 15 were men. Not exaggerating here. There was definitely a hormone imbalance going on.
Hundreds of women of varying ages were giddy with excitement, learning and talking about their blogging and business opportunities. The few men there were no doubt also giddy with excitement, but perhaps for other reasons.
// I saw this flood of females at Problogger as further evidence of a theory I’d had for a while: that blogging and online business has opened up a world of opportunity for women that they have been lacking.
Women are still the minority when it comes to being in business – but there is a shift underway, and the internet is pushing it along.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that there is definitely a trend of increasing numbers of women starting small businesses, and almost half of them were mothers of dependent children (described in this article as mumpreneurs looking for greater flexibility to be with their kids).
Added to this is the continuing rise and rise of technology and communication channels shaping the way people do business and work. It’s only making it easier to work remotely or do your own thing.
As nurturers, carers and humans who sometimes struggle to assert themselves in a career or work sense, online blogs and businesses give women the opportunity to communicate and create in a more passive or comfortable way.
That’s not to say it’s easy or they don’t struggle with it – self-doubt is a killer online as well as in real life when it comes to promoting yourself and your message.
// But there are literally no boundaries when it comes to building an online presence and business, even if the entrepreneur or blogger is an introvert or unsure of herself.
It gives them a chance to showcase their expertise where once they would not have had the opportunity.
Or even if those issues were not relevant – the online space gives them the opportunity to work for themselves during hours that work for them and their family.
// It’s a life-changing, world-changing shift we’re seeing right now.
This work option won’t, and doesn’t, suit everyone. There are definitely advantages to working for someone else and going into the office or workplace. But there is now an alternative that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
So my tips if you want to give this online mumpreneur thing a shot:
- research … look at what others in your industry do online. Take note of the bits you like, the bits you don’t. Then promptly stop following them and focus on your own stuff.
- ask questions of those who have gone before you.
- decide early whether you will be a blogger or be in business – the two are different.
- look at how you can make money – services, products etc so that you might have some confidence about what you will work towards.
- determine who you want to work with – what problems will you help them solve? It’s a big space out there, it helps to know who you want to connect with.
- think about what you want to be known for – a particular area or issue that you really want to make an impact in, and then create your business plan around that.
- consider working with a coach – a good one – to help you get going.
- start before you’re ready. Start now. You will learn far more as you go than by trying to figure it all out beforehand.
- understand you will make mistakes, and that is a good thing. It’s how you work out what you need to do to succeed.
- blog. Share your message. It will take time to build a following, so the sooner you start the better.
- refine refine refine.
- understand this is not easy. If it was, everyone would do it. But it doesn’t have to be impossible either.
The old rules no longer apply if you’re game enough to break them!
What advice or tips would you add to the list? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.