I love learning from other successful freelancers and online business owners.
And from what you’ve told me, you do too! So each week (almost), we’re going to interview someone new for us all to learn from.
Today, we’re chatting with Holly, the solopreneur behind the successful blog The Work at Home Woman.
Holly shares the tasks that she would like to outsource, and two very important pieces of advice for freelancers. Let’s get to it!
What do you do and how long have you been in business?
Hi, my name is Holly Reisem Hanna, and I’m the publisher and founder of the award-winning blog, The Work at Home Woman.
I started working from home in December of 2007 as a marketing assistant for a friend’s publishing company. However, my journey to finding a legit work-at-home job was long and confusing. So in March of 2009, I decided to take what I learned along the way and share it with others through my blog. I’ve been blogging for seven years now, and I absolutely love it!
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
In my previous career I worked as a nurse, and let’s just say it wasn’t my passion.
So when I got pregnant with my daughter, I immediately started planning for my transition from full-time employee to stay-at-home mom. I saved a good sum of money for this change, but my savings didn’t stretch as far as I thought they would.
I knew that I didn’t want to re-enter the traditional workforce and leave my daughter in the care of someone else, so I started looking for work-at-home jobs.
Like I said above, I started working remotely completing marketing tasks, and then later I launched my blog. I never thought I’d work as a freelancer, but one thing lead to another, and now I couldn’t be happier in my career.
I honestly didn’t have any expectations, because I fell into this career.
I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes, but I wouldn’t change a thing because each mistake and misstep has taught me a valuable lesson.
What has been most challenging part of solopreneurship so far?
Time is my biggest struggle – there’s not enough of it.
No matter how much you get done, there is always more you can do as a freelancer. Each day I focus on what’s most important. I keep myself on task, and I stay true to my office hours. Because at the end of the day, I want to spend quality time with my loved ones, not be tethered to my business and to my smartphone.
Did you ever want to quit or give up?
When I started out, I just wanted to make an extra $500 – $700 a month, and I was able to do that within the first three months of launching the site.
I also had my freelance marketing gig as a safety net, so in the beginning that helped with income peaks and valleys. As time went on and my daughter went off to school, I was able to put more energy into the business, and now it’s my full-time career. For me, it’s been the perfect blend as I’ve been able to flex my time according to what’s going on in my life.
If you could pay someone to take some tasks off your plate, what would you outsource?
From the start, I’ve used a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks and a web programmer to help out with the technical stuff. But I would love to hire a CPA to do our taxes because taxes are such a pain. And maybe a personal chef because I hate cooking. (One can dream, right?!)
What task in your own business would you like to do more of?
I enjoy finding new ways to make money, and if possible, I like to test the opportunities out before I write about them. So I’d love to have more time to test, research and write. I like for people to have a realistic idea of how much they can really earn.
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
In the past year, I’ve been able to increase my blogging income by 151 percent.”
This definitely tells me I’m on the right path with what I’m publishing.
While I obviously work to earn money, the primary purpose of the website is to help women achieve their career goals. It’s so rewarding when a reader emails and lets me know that they’re able to stay at home with their kids because of a job lead or idea they found on my site.
What are some specific strategies, tactics or pieces of advice that helped you grow?
Keep pushing forward.
Every freelancer goes through ups and downs, but what separates the thriving from the non-thriving is persistence. You can’t throw in the towel because of an adverse outcome; you must continue to forge ahead. If something doesn’t work, modify it, drop it, or try something new.
Don’t make decisions based on fear.
All too often, fear keeps you from moving forward and it slows your growth. Often the things you’re most afraid of are the aspects that need immediate attention.
So try and embrace the fear and conquer it head on. Not only will you find a clearer path to success, but you’ll find that the obstacle was a lot smaller than you made it out to be in your head.
What are you most excited about for your business in the future?
I enjoy working with companies on a personal level.
This year my goal is to continue to nurture and build these relationships and to bring my readers more up close and personal information they can use to better their careers.
Holly shares a lot of work-from-home opportunities on her blog. What opportunities would you like to see more of? Which ones are you taking advantage of?
Holly is the founder of The Work at Home Woman, named by Forbes as one of the top websites for your career. Holly is an advocate for telecommuting and home-based businesses that empower women to balance life on their own terms. You can connect with Holly via Twitter.