Shifting from a Freelancing to a WAHMeo Mindset

I’m currently a part-time employee, part-time freelancing WAHM. I have a part-time job as an editor of a small magazine, and at the same time, I have a freelance creative media sideline that serves a roster of clients who regularly tap me for copy and consulting. I’m loving it, but this year, I feel the need to really step up for a big change.

What kind of change exactly?

That of establishing a full-time business, doing these things that I enjoy doing for my clients on a full time basis.

I began working this way out of necessity. I was coming from a job where I lacked a sense of purpose and direction (ergo, it was destined to be a dead-end job); no one was investing in me (the company directors had no intention of supporting my continuing education); and, the compensation for what I was doing was just, well… you know.

Yeah, I was ready for a change.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucious  — This was my adage.

I left my former full-time teaching job and secured part-time employment at a media company that lets me keep my own schedule, work via a telecommuting/home-based arrangement, and leverage my creative writing skills towards editorial projects. I also began freelancing, mostly through my mommy blog, Dainty Mom.

From one client that I “met” through Craigslist, I progressed to several other clients, all of whom I “met” through my blog or in freelancing platforms online. I’ve been doing a mix of social media work, content creation, and editorial management. I enjoyed the fact that I could “switch on” work whenever I wanted to, and work in a way that could help me have more time for my family.

Still, there is a part of me that wishes to create a business of my own, one that I can run full time. Yes, I enjoy the security of employment and the fact that I can still provide a service to others. However, there’s a part of me that still desires to take a bigger leap towards a business where my heart and mind are aligned.

Redefining my role

Transitioning to full-time entrepreneur (or as we like to say, “WAHMeo“) means that you are ready to take on a business of your own, independent of any type of employee arrangement. It’s taking freelancing to a whole new level: You start thinking like a business owner, even if you are technically your sole “employee”. You are, essentially, the CEO, finance officer, marketing director, creative director, et al of your own business. You are a solopreneur, a one-woman business owner.

wahmeo description

This is where I am currently at a crossroads.

I am at a point where my freelancing will soon catch up with my employment income. I have several things to set into motion. Things like a solid business model, overhead costs, cash flow, accounting, billing cycles, possible employees: The list is long. Making the shift to full-time WAHMpreneurship means setting up a working home office that can operate on the cloud effectively, too, so that the business can be run from virtually anywhere there is connectivity.

Being entrepreneurially-oriented

I’ve been working since I was 18 years old. I have known the security of marching to another’s drum beat; I have had my fair and full share of being the employee. I’ve seen what environmental and psychological triggers boost my creativity and productivity. As a creative freelancer working from home for the past three years, I have also seen what “triggers” help me find that productivity jive that (1) keeps me motivated to do my best, and (2) serve my clients in the best way possible.  

Think about your setup: What things do you need to change, if you intend on making the leap from freelancer to business owner, “WAHMeo”? It could be as simple as creating a dedicated and orderly space to conduct your business. My friend Marge of VA Support Pro knows the value of this space, as do her kids:

“When mom is at her workspace, she is “off limits,” says Marge, who has mastered the art of creating a “business boundary” around her WAHM space at home.

Thinking entrepreneurially could mean finding your stride with a schedule. You need to calendar the time periods where you’ll work on your business. It might not be the 8-hour workday you used to have when you were employed, but they key is that you must be completely focused on your business during time time. (For me, this sometimes means doing my writing — like this blog — when my kid is asleep!)

Other things like Internet speed, the proper hardware and tools, a business website: All these things should be part of the overall “setup” of thinking entrepreneurially.

Count on your WAHM network

One of the biggest challenges I had early on in my WAHM journey was the lack of a network that supported my decision to work from home. Let’s say it: “No WAHM is an island,” right? As homebased working women, we need other like-minded women to connect with. Not just for support alone, but also to share leads, bounce off ideas, and form meaningful connections.

It’s also important to start being known for what you bring to the game. 

Remember, there are thousands of freelance writers, of virtual assistants, of consultants, transcriptionists, and other types of service providers. How will you position yourself so that you aren’t just part of a big pool? The benefit of this is that your WAHM network can help in referring you to potential clients, based on your expertise. I’ve had fellow WAHMs who’ve been able to grow their freelancing business, just by positioning themselves clearly and being aligned to a particular expertise, myself included.

WAHMs who want to be WAHMeos need to start building up a brand for themselves, a brand that clients can easily identify with based on their most pressing needs. Know who you are and what you do; be known for that service, that product that only you can offer.

That is when you stop becoming a freelancer, and where you start thinking like a WAHMeo.

Have you thought of making the shift from a telecommuting employee/freelancer to a full-blown WAHMeo? What are your thoughts, maybe uncertainties?  

 If you’re interested in learning how to become a WAHMeo, we have an upcoming workshop on just that! Learn more about our WAHMeo Series with Manila Workshops, here: wahmderfullife.com/2013/05/16/new-workshop-brand-and-build-your-online-biz-wahmeo-series/

Comments

  1. Thanks for your inspiring article. You’ve always been a driving force for Filipino WAHMs. I’m also at a crossroad right now, wanting to transition from a WAHM to a WAHMeo. The problem is where or how to start branding myself. Another fear is if I’ll be able to juggle my time if I decide to be a WAHMeo, and still be able to keep house and homeschool my 3 kids.

    • Martine says:

      I’m right with you, Noemi. I’m learning (from my business course, which I’m taking now) that we CAN achieve the lifestyle we want, we just have to get clarity on the kind of business that will support this. Pioneer Woman, Simple Mom: These are examples of WAHMs who’ve created a lifestyle business, something that supports their philosophies, marrying their passions with their business. (They are bloggers, full-time.) Other good examples are Blessie of Escrive.com, who manages a writing business and hires writers so that she can still homeschool. There is a way to marry the elements. We’ll look more into this during our WAHMeo Workshop in July, so I hope you can join! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Shifting from a Freelancing to a WAHMeo Mindset [...]

  2. […] My only wish (as in final na talaga, Lord!) that one day, maybe before the year ends… I can be my own Wahmeo. […]

Speak Your Mind

*