Discovering Blogging, Online Business, and Balance

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” - Dale Carnegie… I only found this quote recently. It wasn’t something that I’d heard prior to doing a complete change of course in my life 3 years ago. But it fits me perfectly.

A little over 3 years ago I became a first-time, totally unprepared, brand new mom. A month and a half into my paid maternity leave, I very unexpectedly lost my job. With a new baby. A full time load of online college courses. In the worst economy that I’d faced in my working life. In a word – terrifying. But after a brief period of freak-out panic {I mean, who doesn’t freak out a bit when life throws a major curve ball?} I decided to jump into action.

I’d worked in retail for over 10 years at that point – I’d covered just about every aspect of it: sales, merchanding, fashion marketing and displays, logistics, and on into store management. It was tough work, but I was good at it; I’m definitely a people person, I love the challenge of meeting new goals each month, and truly enjoyed the creative part of it all. But while retail works ok as a single chick in her early 20′s, it’s not the lifestyle you want as a new mom – crazy hours that change daily, nights and weekends, no predictability, no holidays off. So, I took a huge jump into the unknown, and decided that I could start a blog. Not as a hobby, but as a career. I’d been following a ton of them to learn new tips about motherhood, new ways to stretch my budget, and fun DIY ideas, and figured that I could do the same. So, I bought a couple of books. Did some online research. Bought a domain and hosting, and just threw myself into it all – with no real computer skills, no tech knowledge, just some major enthusiasm to find a way to earn an income from home.

Discovering Blogging, Online Business, and Balance

It worked. So I set some goals for the 6-month mark.

I thought if I could meet most of those goals, then I would let myself continue. If not, my savings would be just about depleted, and it would be time to figure out a new plan. But by the 6-month mark I’d blown those original goals out of the water, which was seriously exciting, since I was totally just learning as I went along. I set new 1-year goals – and beat those too. By a year I was earning almost enough to cover my bills each month {we were living a crazy-frugal lifestyle, so it was helping my limited savings stretch longer.} A couple of months later I was asked to speak at a conference, to share how I’d found success blogging. And from there, things just kept snowballing.

What to do next?

So, since I was constantly being asked questions about what I do and how to get started, and my blogging and business posts on my original site {Sunshine and Sippy Cups} were super popular, I thought it was finally time to share what I’ve learned so far on one dedicated site. My goal here is to be helpful, motivating, and encouraging. I want to share my story to give you inspiration. I want to share tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to give you tools that will help you. And I want to build a community – here, and on my social media – to give you all a way to network and grow with the awesome advice of others.

Blogathon Challenge

This blog is VERY much still a work in progress at the moment – no header design, the sidebars aren’t set up yet… Well, pretty much nothing is set up yet, lol. But there’s no better way to get started then just to DO it. And, this weekend I’m participating in a super awesome event called the Biannual Blogathon Bash, where twice a year we all get together to take time to rock our blogs, share tips, and win prizes. One of the challenges is to write a post that addresses our blog’s mission – which is what pushed me to finally get a post up on here. I’ll be spending the rest of the weekend working on the other challenges, and getting this site presentable!

Happy blogging…. :)

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