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As a mom, you go through many different seasons of life. Some are crazy hard and in others you have a bit more breathing room. But, when you’re trying to make money from home, those busy seasons can be a challenge.
Since I launched my business back in 2015, I’ve experienced many busy seasons. During the past five years, I’ve had two babies, dealt with sickness, done lots of traveling, and more.
Experiencing busy seasons makes it harder to find time to pour into your home business. But, it also helps you to double down on what works and make your business more sustainable.
Here are seven specific things I’ve done to increase my ability to make money from home during busy seasons of life. I hope they help you to find more success as well.
1. Evaluate Your Business
I know you don’t have a lot of time when life is crazy. But, a little bit of time spent evaluating, reflecting, and planning can pay off hugely when it comes to your ability to make money from home.
Stop and think for a bit. Ask yourself:
- What am I currently doing to make money?
- What clients do I currently have?
- How much am I currently charging?
- Am I enjoying what I’m doing?
- Is there anything that’s not working?
- How much time am I currently spending on business related activities?
- How much time do I need to save during this season of life?
These questions can help you to make wise decisions moving forward. The worst thing you can do when you reach a busy season is to randomly drop balls and make decisions based on feelings.
Instead, be proactive. Give yourself the information you need to improve your business instead of just quitting.
Once you have some facts, you can move on. But, make sure you take the time to evaluate your business. Now is the time to finish your commitments with bad clients, axing busy work that doesn’t improve your ROI, and doubling down on what is working.
Note: This process may take time. Don’t feel like you have to do it all in one fell swoop when life is crazy. The good news? You can do a lot of thinking on the go – you don’t have to be sitting at the computer when you do much of this.
2. Do a Client Check
Which of your clients take the most of your time? Which ones are a pain to work with? And which ones do you love?
When life is crazy, it’s the perfect opportunity to do a client check. Life is too busy to waste hours trying to please a client who doesn’t value your work.
So think about each of your clients. Ask yourself:
- Do I enjoy what I’m doing for this client?
- Do they pay on time without fuss?
- Am I earning an amount that makes sense?
- Does this work fit into where I see my business in the future?
Getting rid of a paying client is rarely easy. You’re working with them for a reason, and often that reason is because you need money.
But…some clients are not worth what they pay. Especially the clients that make you feel stressed each time they send an email or an instant message.
If your clients are not aligning with where you see your business in the future, now might be the time to kindly cut ties.
A few words of wisdom for dropping a client:
- Always finish any work that you’ve already been paid for
- Give them a little notice so they can work on finding a replacement
- If you know someone who would be a good fit, offer to email introduce the two
- Continue to do your best work until the day you leave
- Don’t bad mouth your client -try to leave on good terms so you don’t burn the bridge
- Don’t blame the client when you let them know – talk about your responsibilities changing or new commitments – these are things that most people understand
- If the client gets mad, don’t take it personally and send off retaliatory responses – ignoring or being calm are better strategies
If you need the money from this client, you will now have more time to pour into finding better ones. Use this time wisely, so you don’t end up with another bad egg. There are loads of amazing people out there – you want to find one of them to work with.
For more information on replacing clients, please read these posts:
3. Create Passive Income Streams
The less active work you have to do to make money from home, the better suited your business will be to continue earning when you don’t have a lot of time.
What can you do to increase your passive income? Here are a few ideas that won’t take a ton of time:
- If you’re a blogger, go back through your popular blog posts and check for places to add affiliate links
- Evaluate the content you’ve created and see if you can put together a quick small product that’d help your target audience
- Use a site like Fatllama to rent out things you own that you don’t really use
- Sign up for a service like My Free Car and use your car as a billboard so you make money for driving (when you get paid to do something you’re already doing, that’s awesome!)
- Look through the services you use and see if any have referral programs. Then spread the word – you can often bring in some income with a few well done social media posts to your network. Just make sure you are transparent that you’re using a referral link! (Rakuten, Imperfect Foods, and The Savory Butcher are some of my faves.)
There are definitely other ways to increase your passive income, such as creating eBooks, printables, courses, and other products. However, many of these take time to set up. So, they may not make sense to do in a busy season of life.
However, when life slows down again, put these on your to-do list to help increase your income streams for the next busy season.
For more information on passive income, check out this post:
4. Evaluate Your Processes
Business processes can help you save time. So can batching.
If life is crazy and you need to reduce the amount of time you spend working, consider creating new processes and procedures. These can help you get more done with less effort.
- Create templates you can use over and over again
- Streamline the writing process
- Work on one task at a time
- Batch where you can
- Eliminate unnecessary or redundant steps in your process
By really focusing in on making business processes, you can speed up your work day considerably. It will take a bit of time in the short term, but will pay off greatly.
5. Remember to Take Advantage of Baby Steps
For the first three years of my business, I worked entirely in small chunks throughout the day. Now, I typically work evenings after the kids are in bed.
But, if life is crazy, I go back to utilizing my found chunks of time. They are a solid way to get stuff crossed off your to-do list when you’d otherwise not do anything productive.
In just a few minutes, you can:
- Clear out your email
- Start dinner in the Instant Pot
- Write a pitch, using a template
- Brainstorm blog post ideas for clients
- Outline a post
- Create some new images for a post
- Connect with key people on social media
- Schedule a few posts for your business page
- Research a topic for an upcoming post
- Find potential businesses to cold pitch
And many other things. Don’t look at your time and be like, “I only have a few minutes, so I’m just going to sit here because I can’t do anything worthwhile…”
Change your attitude to embrace the small chunks of time that you have. And have a plan for what to do with them. Right now, make your own list of what you can accomplish in 2, 5, and 10 minute chunks.
Include items for your business and your home. Anything from your to-do list is fair game.
This post can help you with more ideas to fill your list:
6. Drop What Doesn’t Work Anymore
When you did your evaluation earlier, did you come up with any tasks that you do that don’t actually grow your business?
Usually there are at least a few things that we do because some expert said you should. Except, not everything works for everyone. So, those tasks might just be busy work for you.
Here are two busy tasks that I stopped in the past few months:
- Instagram – it was taking a lot of time (I’d get sucked in) and returning less than 1 visitor a month to my blog. Not worth it anymore. (Though I still have my account so maybe I’ll try it again some day when life is less crazy!)
- Most FB share threads (I still have a couple I participate in, but mostly they weren’t leading to traffic so I stopped)
If you’re putting time and effort into something for your business that just isn’t having the results you want, it might be time to change things up. Or drop them completely for a busy season.
Important lesson about this stuff that I learned the hard way:
Do NOT stop marketing completely during busy seasons.
You will regret it once life slows down. That’s how you get stuck in the feast/famine cycle. And once you’re there, it takes a lot of effort to get out.
So always spend at least a little time marketing your business. Just figure out which of your marketing efforts is actually working and double down on that.
Now that we have that taken care of, what can you drop?
Are there social media platforms that pull you in without giving you a good ROI?
Do you have posts that you write regularly for free that it’s time to drop?
I opted to stop writing for a homeschool company last year – I love the company, but I was writing a post each month for free and the traffic I thought that it’d bring never panned out…when my schedule changed and I was struggling to get it all done, it was a task I decided to drop.
There are times when it’s hard to make the decision to stop doing something. But, those decisions can sometimes free you up enough time that life doesn’t feel quite so crazy busy.
And when life isn’t as crazy busy, it’s easier to make money from home.
7. Outsource Some Tasks
If you had more time, could you make more money? Enough money to pay someone else to do something for you?
That’s the premise of outsourcing. You pay someone else to tackle things for you, so you can focus in on your money making tasks.
What should you outsource?
That’s up to you. Think about everything on your plate that you decided not to drop.
Now, what on that list can you realistically pay someone else to do? This could mean:
- Paying your kids to take on more/harder chores (we all work together on regular household chores and they don’t get an allowance for them, but there are some chores that I pay for occasionally)
- Hiring a housekeeper
- Paying for a dinner service/meal kit to save you more time in the evenings
- Hiring a teen to be a mother’s helper to do a little laundry and play with your kids for a bit while you work
- Looking for a virtual assistant to take on some tasks
- Hiring someone to manage social media (my Pinterest presence has greatly increased since I have Yolanda handle it for me now. If you need help with Pinterest, I highly recommend her!)
- Opening up your blog to guest posts – this works best for less time if you know the people who are writing, or they’re at least familiar with your site and you. Being an editor takes time, but it’s different than writing, so it might help.
- Hiring another freelancer to take on some of your work for a slightly lower rate
Outsourcing doesn’t always look the same. It doesn’t always relate to your business.
But, it does mean you get more time. You have less money, yes, so make sure you’re in a place where you can trade money for time.
And then use that time intentionally to grow your business. Pour it back into your business so you can continue to earn money from home. But this time, it’ll be doing work you love without as much as the stuff you don’t.
That can be enough to get you over the mental stuck feeling so you can grow even more.
You Can Make Money From Home When Life Is Crazy
You don’t have to have lots of free time to make money from home. However,you do have to be willing to work and be creative. Streamlining is essential.
And if you haven’t yet started making money from home, this post shares my top 5 recommendations for busy moms. They are businesses you can grow without a lot of time or money, making them a good fit for crazy life.
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.