There are all kinds of people raising kids right now. Not everyone has the benefit of a wage-earning partner to help out, and some people are in rough situations trying to earn money while still giving proper care to their kids. I don’t want to ignore these folks, but this isn’t the kind of post I’m writing today. I’m focusing on parents who want to work from home, who are not in dire straits. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up work entirely. It will mean that you have to be focused and intent on the work that you do, as kids can take up most of your waking hours. I have two main strategies with how to get the most money out of your limited workable hours at home.
- The Sniper Approach. The sniper approach is for people with notable skills in a single area. If you are a great designer, writer, consultant, or any other thing that lets you work from home for money, you’ve got to leverage your skill efficiently. This means charging a lot for hourly work, then working very fast and well. If your clients can see that they are getting a great product from you without having to wait for days and days, they’ll be willing to pay you a lot for your work. This way, you won’t have to work during all of your waking hours. In fact, you may be able to limit your work to 3-4 hours a day. Some parents work during naps, knocking out assignments left and right while the kids are asleep. This requires you to be pretty focused and effective. How focused and effective depends on how much you are able to charge, or how much a partner is able to bring in through an outside job. Snipers gradually learn to hone their skills so they are making more and more money, with good clients building to even better ones. If you believe that you can pull this lifestyle off, give it a try, and don’t get discouraged at first. If you continually do great work, your efforts will start to pay off in real capital.
- The Shotgun Approach. Turn parenting into your lifestyle. This requires that you bring other people into your home…often little people. I’m talking about starting your own daycare. This may sound intimidating, as there are rules and regulations you’ll have to abide by. But if you keep the operation small, this can be an amazing service to other parents who you may know, who will love to support your business while entrusting their little ones to someone they know. A home daycare lets you be with your kids all the time, without having to worry about finding time away to make money. You can even find free childcare management software, like SkyChildCare, to help with administrative tasks such as automated tuition collection, online enrollment and more. If you don’t want kids in the house all the time, maybe you’d do better with adults! Lots of people make extra money by setting aside a room in the house for boarders, using the familiar home bed and breakfast networks.
There are plenty of other specific ways to make money from home, but they’ll all fall into these two broad categories. You can do it! Take some time and find a skill you can leverage. Once you start, you’ll get way better at it, and you’ll have created a career for yourself from scratch, all the while caring for the kids you love more than anything else in the world.
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