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When you’re a mama, launching a business of your own doesn’t affect just you. Every single member of your family will realize something different is going on. And, they may not like it. They may even resent the time you spend on your business…
Unless you take time to purposefully get your family on board with your new business. Here’s how I did that…
Back in the summer of 2015, I took this course and launched my freelance writing business. The first few months were rough.
I went from being a full-time stay-at-home mom to being a part-time work-at-home mom. My availability went down, and the kids were like – hey, why is mom spending SO MUCH TIME on her computer?
They rebelled a bit and whined a ton. One of my little ones even hit the power button for me to shut off my PC once (or twice…or three times…ugh!)
After getting really frustrated and trying to figure out what was wrong with my kids – I was just trying to earn some extra money this was going to benefit them – I realized my mistake.
I started a business that was affecting everyone. But I never bothered to explain it to them. Oops!
I went from being totally accessible as a stay-at-home mom to working part-time as a work-at-home mom. And my kids didn’t understand what it all meant for them. They were kind of in the dark about it all.
So, we had some meaningful conversations. And I did some experimenting to see what worked and what didn’t.
6 Steps to Getting Your Family On Board with Your Business
In the process, I learned six critical strategies when it comes to helping your family embrace your new business. Here’s what I did…
1. Explain the Changes
When I started my business, I had seven kids ranging from 6 months to teenager. They didn’t all need the same explanation, but I did need to talk to my kids about my business.
I wanted them to know that I:
- Would be spending more time throughout the day on my computer, writing for clients
- Might need to take an occasional phone call to discuss things with clients
- Would still be available for them when they need me
The bottom one was important for my younger kids. That’s what they really cared about – spending time with me. And having me ready to put a bandaid on an owie or something.
You can’t accomplish this all in one conversation. We talked about my business and upcoming changes frequently.
2. Share Your Why
So why was I starting a freelance writing business in the first place?
Well, it was so I could help our family financially. But not all of my kids understood what that meant. They needed to hear some tangible reasons I spent more time on my computer.
In a family meeting one day, I shared some reasons I was starting a business. I talked to my kids about some of the things we hoped to do as more money came in. These included:
- Having Daddy take a closer (lower paying) job so he could be home more (And he eventually went from that job to an even more flexible one!)
- Doing some longer travels (hotel pools are fantastic when you’re a kid!)
- Having money to buy more _____ (I shared some specific examples I knew my kids would care about – art supplies, board games, fun cooking things, etc.)
- Getting to do fun things, like going roller skating or to the zoo
By putting the why into kid-friendly terms and talking about what they cared about, the kids were more open to the idea of me working. When I sat at the computer, I reminded them I was doing this so we could spend more time with Daddy or pay for our next trip. Or putting it on our student loan debt so we could continue on our journey to become missionaries. (Which we also accomplished, back in 2019)
When we use the money I earn to do these things, I thank the kids for their help in allowing us to do this. By giving me time to work, they’ve played a part in the success.
3. Talk About Your Business
Your business has a vocabulary of its own.
If you’re a blogger, you might talk about pageviews, plugins, or freebies.
Freelancer writers might talk a lot about pitches and gigs, and rates.
All these new words will sound funny to your kids. They won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Which is why it’s essential to talk to your kids about your business.
When you sit down to work, share what you hope to accomplish.
When everyone is gathered around the dinner table, discuss a problem you solved. Use the words naturally, and offer explanations when appropriate.
Your kids won’t always understand everything. But they’ll feel more included when you talk to them about what you’re doing.
4. Integrate Your Family
Work-life balance is a lie when you’re working from home. You can never achieve perfect balance. Instead, think of it like a balance scale. Some days, your work will tip a little more. On other days your family will.
But one way to spend more time with your family while still accomplishing your business tasks is to ask your family for help
Find ways they can help that utilize their strengths. Then, work together as a team.
You can find more information on this topic in the following posts:
5. Write Together
If you’re spending time writing for your business, add Family Writing Time to your schedule. You’ll add 2.5 hours to write every single week, and your kids can learn to work quietly on tasks they love.
Have a different type of freelancing business that’s not writing? Could you have a quiet work time instead? The kids could tackle their homework, read a book, or do an art project while you work on something you need to accomplish.
Follow the same principles as Family Writing Time, just call it something different if you prefer!
6. Celebrate Together
Does your family know what your business goals are?
Do they offer encouragement and support along the way?
Your family can be a tremendous motivating force to drive you closer to your goals if you let them.
But they can’t support you if they don’t know what you’re working toward. So talk about your goals and track them together.
For instance…Do you want to find three new clients this month?
Add three blank pieces of paper to the wall behind your desk and let your kids color in each one as you find a client. When the last paper is colored, celebrate!
Do you need to raise your monthly income to $1500?
Put a giant thermometer on the wall and let your kids color it in along the way. When you reach the top, celebrate!
No matter your goals, let your kids help you track them and encourage you. If you make the reward something they care about, they’ll be more likely to remind you to work.
Rewards don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to be special.
Simple, Inexpensive Rewards
- Eat dinner while you watch a favorite movie and enjoy some popcorn
- Take a picnic to the park and spend an afternoon unplugged and playing
- Go hiking
- Have a family game night (try these fun writing-themed games!)
- Buy everyone a bottle of bubbles and have a bubble-blowing party in the yard
- Turn on your favorite music and dance
- Take a day trip to check out a local attraction
- Make a fort in the living room and let the kids camp out
- Eat dessert first
- Make a celebration cake and decorate it together
The possibilities are endless. Think of things your kids would enjoy, and go for it. Let them know what goal you’re working on, how you’re tracking the progress, what they can do to help, and what you’ll do when you reach it.
Then step back and let your family be your loudest cheerleaders!
Get Your Family on Board with Your New Business
When everyone is supportive of your business, you won’t feel nearly as guilty taking time to work on it. And you’ll grow faster because you’ll have support.
Ready to start a freelance business of your own? I can’t say enough good things about 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. It’s the course I took back in 2015, and it’s been expanded so much since then.
- What you need to start your business
- Where to find clients
- How to tackle negotiations and contracts
- What quality content looks like
- How to build a freelance writer’s website, and much, much more!
Most importantly, you’ll learn exactly how to make money from home as a freelance writer.
I’ve been using the material from this course since 2015. It’s still relevant(and gets updated!)The benefits from it have changed our lives completely.
Back when I first started, I brought in between $500-1000. Then I decided to grow a bit, and got to where I was making $1000 every month.
I’ve averaged $3200/month for all of 2019…and even more in 2023… (Read my freelancing story here…)
What could you do if you believed in yourself and decided to start? You can start your own freelance writing career today!
Sign up today!
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Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.