Most nights you will find me seated on the couch, feet up, laptop open and working away on this little on-line business I started, taking breaks to nurse a baby as needed. And generally, I am loving every minute of it. I started this blog 4 years ago now, without the hope of making a penny and although the growth has been slow, it has turned into a bit of a business for me. A business that challenges me and asks me to re-invest and grow and educate myself and network and pay taxes. It’s small, but it is a real business, and it’s exciting.
But blogging is not all that I do. In fact, blogging is very little of what I do. I am so grateful to be the mother of 4 little ones. Our oldest, Gus will be 5 in a few week, Bernadette is 3 and a half, Dominic will be 2 in June and Josie just joined the crew a little over a week ago. Most days if I get a chance to crack open my computer it is only after they are asleep, the dishes are done, and I’ve caught up with my husband.
And yet, I am determined to continue to grow my on-line business, even through these busy baby years. Even with a new baby, even after a product tanks, even through the technical difficulties and confusion of working online, I am determined to keep plugging away.
I have found a lot of happiness blogging during these busy years of diapers and screaming and I felt inspired to share a bit about it. So, I’ve put together a little series of posts on growing a business through the baby years. I’ll post one a week and hopefully by the end the 4 weeks you will have a better idea of why I blog (and maybe why you should too).
So, the first installment of Growing an On-Line Business Through the Baby Years:
Why I Do It.
Blogging and selling on-line is fun and the quite possibly the cheapest way to start a business ever, but it can be a huge pain. Dealing with code and rude comments or (worst of all) no audience at all, is really tough. I’ve been through all of these things–and will cycle through them again. But for me, there are 2 larger, more important factors that have transformed me into a passionate on-line business woman.
1. The Modern Stay-At-Home-Mom Community is On-Line.
Or maybe the whole mom community is online?
Either way, the motherhood discussion has moved from kitchen counters to blogs and Facebook. And not only that, great people, doing the same lonely job that I am, are actually quite close–just on the other side of my screen, eager and willing to share stories and advice and friendship. And for that I am so grateful.
One of the greatest blessings of my blog has been the friendships it has forged. I met Nell and Laura through blogging and together we have written a number of Scripture Studies (seriously, these girls are the dream team), but beyond that, I love these girls. When Laura went through loosing twins this winter I felt like my sister was going through those loses. I can’t tell you how grateful I am we got tangled up on-line. And since our friendships were never that dependent on face-to-face time, the move to Kansas hasn’t really damaged them.
And, believe it or not, blogging has made my transition to Kansas so much easier. When I announced that we were moving to the Kansas City area a number of wonderful Catholic mothers reached out to me and invited me to play dates. I’ve gone and been introduced to a remarkable and vibrant community here–and it all came about because of this silly little blog. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the connections I’ve made to real live wonderful people through my time blogging. Makes all the time I’ve spent doing this totally worth it. And this isn’t the only benefit I’ve reaped from blogging.
2. Blogging and Business Growth Keeps Me Happy
And for my husband and children’s sake, it’s important that this mama stays happy!
Since I was a girl I have always loved working on a project. In fact, I have come to realize that I NEED a project to be happy. I need something that is mine, something in progress, something challenging and something that is headed somewhere. I love creating and so often my projects are crafts or embroidery. This is why I originally got into blogging, to share my little creations and tutorials for others to follow. That cycle of creating and posting got a little old after awhile, however, so I branched out to pattern creation, mom reflections and eBook writing.
When I ventured out of my crafty comfort zone all sorts of challenges awaited me. I had to invest in new programs and, more difficult than anything, learn how to use them. I had to do all sorts of soul searching trying to decide what I was good at, what I had to offer the world and how to put it together. Some of these questions I am still wrestling with, but I love the struggle! I love inventing my own business, deciding how to run it and than actually doing it.
I love every part of being a (very small) business woman.
The beauty of on-line business, and the only way I am able to do these things during the baby years, is that the risk is low and the pressure is almost non-existent. If the whole family gets knocked down with the flu and a product doesn’t get finished or the blog is silent for a chunk of time, that’s fine. I can release a product and write a blog post when I have time. If I decide to radically change course half way through the year, that’s fine too. Everything here is mine and I make all of the calls. Doesn’t get much better than that!
It’s a wonderful thing, the freedom of running a little business when and how I want. I am so grateful to be a mother now, in the age of on-line businesses.
I spend a lot of time blogging and selling digital products. Too much, maybe. But all of this keeps me happy and I love to see how things are continuing to grow.
So, that’s why I blog and work to grow my little business. And why, even with little one #4, I will continue to.
Next week I will be sharing about What I Do and Don’t Do for My Business because, let’s be real, I already have a full-time plus job (being a mom) so I can’t do everything!
Thanks for being here–and if you have a little on-line business yourself, please let me hear about it and why you keep it going, even amid the craziness of life.