Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

The unemployment situation is not improving and with more people exceeding the limit of their unemployment benefits, it’s likely that we are going to have to start thinking about alternate ways to survive and maintain our financial health. I believe that in the long run, these changes might actually be good for us as a country, forcing more of us to dig deep and rediscover that innovative part of us that was the foundation of our country.

I walked away from my corporate job in 2007. It has not always been easy, and while I’ve achieved a comfortable level of success, part of that comes from being frugal and careful with our budget to make the money stretch. But knowing that I can’t get fired, that I am in control of my own financial future, that I have the opportunity to build my life around my own schedule – and THAT makes it all worth it.

I take vacation time whenever I need or want to. If my kids are sick, there’s no boss telling me it’s not ok for me to use my sick leave to care for them. If I want to take a 2 hour lunch with my husband, I can. If I want to work through lunch and be done at one in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at the mall with my daughter, I can. Better yet, I can choose what kind of work I do. I love to write, and I love to help others become successful. I have carved out a niche for myself that allows me to do what I love while supporting my family.

My business is focused on writing, editing, and social media management. It wasn’t an accident; I’ve been writing my entire life. My first article was published in my school newspaper when I was in second grade. It is my passion. That’s the secret, of course – you don’t need to be a writer, but you need to choose work that you can be passionate about.

I encourage you – whether you are dissatisfied with your job, unable to find employment, or simply need to make a little extra money, to consider pursuing your passions. I’m including some resources to help – some of them are writer-specific, but many offer opportunities to help you find work at home jobs in any field of interest.

What does it take to be successful (besides a little bit of luck)?

  1. Tenacity. Don’t let those who say no get you down. I submitted articles and bid on projects through Guru and suffered through many more rejections than I thought possible, but along the way, I picked up clients, did my very best work for them, always kept my promises and met my deadlines, and began to build a reputation.
  2. Be committed. If you really want to work at home or be your own boss or open your own business, you need to be professional, treat it seriously, and show up. You can’t just say you’re working from home and then spend the day in front of the TV. I get up and come to my office every single day of the business week; I do not have a TV in my office to distract me, and I don’t spend the afternoon shopping when I have no work – that’s the time you need to spend hustling up more clients!
  3. Get organized. You won’t last long in any business if you can’t keep track of when things are due to clients or what time the conference call is. You may not want to work for a corporation, but you can definitely steal some of their ideas for project management, organization, and logistics.
  4. Give yourself time to succeed. Have some savings set aside before you jump the corporate ship. Be patient enough to let your hard work pay off before you give up. And remember, even (or especially) when you work for yourself, you have to do the grunt work too. Taking the job that isn’t glamorous may lead to 10 that are, and they all add to your experience and credentials.

I’m happy to answer questions about how to work from home successfully, so feel free to get in touch with me at shadra@momsgetreal.com or leave a comment here.

Shadra’s favorite work from home resources:

Work at Home Moms
Guru
Elance
Media Bistro
oDesk

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