In August (when Joe and I moved from Minneapolis to Iowa) I decided to make a big career change and transition from working in the corporate world to working at home in a couple different capacities. The biggest question I get these days is “What do you do?” and it’s always a tough question to answer because I’m doing quite a few different things!
Working multiple creative jobs is a little nutty at times, but it’s also been the biggest blessing to our family. I’ve had the joy of spending more time with Ainsley than I did previously, but I’m still exercising my creative talents and passions while bringing in an income.
Currently, I see my jobs falling into the following categories:
1. FLYJOY // As most of you know, I work for FLYJOY Ancient Grain Energy Bars part-time managing their social media, marketing and blogger outreach. My cousin founded the company a few years ago and our move coincided with the company’s need to expand the team.
2. Espresso & Cream // I have been blogging 6 years (?!) but it hasn’t been until the last year that this blog has become a legitimate source of income. I’ve mentioned before how I make money blogging, but I’ve also expanded that to include recipe development for various brands and companies now that I have more free time. I take on a few recipe development projects each month, depending on my schedule.
3. Beautycounter // I joined Beautycounter four months ago on a bit of whim. I was using their products religiously and loving them, so I figured I would join as a consultant to get the discount. What transpired really surprised me! I developed a huge passion not only for the products but for sharing the products with others and have had such a great time building a business and team of consultants. I’m now to the point where I consider Beautycounter a legitimate money-making income source that contributes to our family’s financial situation. Interested in their products or becoming a consultant? E-mail me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As you can see, that’s a lot of irons in the fire. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s made scheduling and managing my time important. Here’s what works best for our family!
1. Childcare // I can’t begin to express how important this one is! When Ainsley was smaller/slept more it would have been more realistic to think that I could get work done with her around, but as she is getting older and more mobile/sleeping less, childcare is a necessity. I get childcare for Ainsley 20 hours a week, usually on Monday-Wednesday. When work gets really busy or I pick up another project, we have a college girl come to our house on Thursday or Friday for a handful of additional hours as needed.
When it’s all said and done, I work more than 20 hours on my various jobs, but being able to count on that 20 hours is so helpful, especially for tasks like conference calls, trips to the post office, writing, packing up samples, etc. Could I have Ainsley at home more hours? Probably, but I think it’s better for me to be fully invested in my work for a set period of time rather than being distracted around her, trying to get work done while she is awake at home.
2. Scheduling // I started waking up early, around 5 am, to get work done each weekday morning. It’s been a necessity for me to settle into my day and get off to a good start before anyone else in the house wakes up. I get about 1 1/2 hours of work in first thing in the morning, along with my quiet time and a slow breakfast with Joe before he leaves for work. It’s wonderful! It’s always difficult to get out of bed first thing, but I’m always happy that I did so. Morning time is when I work on my blog and Beautycounter business.
3. Nap Time // On the days when Ainsley is home with me I totally maximize nap time. I’ll photograph recipes for my personal blog projects, respond to Beautycounter e-mails, share a beauty tip on Periscope or manage my blog or business social media pages. Of course, sometimes nap time turns into cleaning the house time, exercising time, paying bills time, etc. I try my best to create structure in our days while also enjoying the freedom of having a flexible work schedule and having additional time to spend with Ainsley.
4. Night Time // More often than not, I try my best to avoid using the time after Ainsley’s bed time to work. I’ll occasionally respond to a handful of e-mails or blog comments, but I really try to limit that. My time with Joe is valuable and we don’t stay up super late, so it’s precious and protected time for us as a couple. We have, however, started using the time after Ainsley goes to bed as workout time! Sometimes Joe heads to the gym for a quick workout or outside for a run while I do my video at home. It’s hard to squeeze in exercise with all the other responsibilities we have, but it’s important to both of us so we make the time.
I think that covers it! If you’re still with me through this post, kudos! It was really wordy, I know, but I wanted to make sure there was enough background and substance for it to be worth reading. I’m still learning how best to manage my schedule now that it looks so different than it once did, but it’s been a fun challenge and I’m always left feeling creatively inspired and filled up!