Nearly 12 months ago I made the pretty drastic decision to leave my job so that I could spend more time at home and give more of my time to my family (check out the full story here!). It’s been a pretty interesting year and I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on my decision and assess whether I still think it was a good idea!
Over the past year I have certainly achieved my greatest goal which was to spend more time with the children at home. It has been hard work (I didn’t expect it to be sunshine and flowers) but has been incredibly fulfilling being able to take the children to new clubs and lessons after school that I would never have been able to do before. My original business idea of making ‘Gifts in a Jar’ very soon became a hobby rather than a business. Once I realised I was only making an average of 50p on any jars that I sold it didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out I wasn’t going to be able to live on my earnings! A budding Apprentice candidate I am not!
I was fortunate to gain a part time- term time only job in a local school to help tide us over while I decided what route to take next. The job is great but is only a 1 year temporary post so there will be more changes ahead in the next 6 months. I can’t say I haven’t missed earning a good salary, there have been numerous occasions when I have thought about going back and getting a full time position somewhere just to take the pressure off and become financially comfortable again – but there’s always a little birdie sat on my shoulder reminding me why I did this in the first place. I just have to think of all the amazing experiences I have had this year that I never would have had if I was travelling round the country while someone else looked after my children.
This blog has been my biggest achievement, not only in the last year but perhaps in my life (apart from the children obviously!). I was of the opinion that starting a blog just meant writing something and putting it online and Voila! You’re a blogger! Erm…no! I have spent hours, weeks and months researching and reading and learning in order to be able to produce this website and this blog. It is all my own work and I am so proud of it. It might be simple but I have had no help and I am not particularly tech-savvy! Before I started on this path I didn’t know about the hundreds of Facebook Groups out there giving friendly advice and blogging opportunities, I had never heard of a Linky party or a Tribe and I couldn’t have imagined being part of an Affiliate program. Pinterest has been my very best friend the last few months and I have learnt so much and am loving every second of it! Who knew so much work could be so much fun! It really is a ridiculous amount of work and effort just to get one of my posts read by more that 3 people but I am inspired by fellow bloggers that have been through this and are now on the other side earning money from their blogs and getting thousands of visitors to their sites every day.
My biggest challenge has been having time to create good quality content while spending so much time researching how to promote that content. I have given myself a target to write 2 posts a week and intend to increase this to 3 posts a week in 2017 – the more I do the quicker I get and posts like this one are so straight forward – it’s the ones with links that will hopefully one day start to earn me some money that take the time. I say ‘one day’ however just last week I had a very exciting moment when I earnt my first income from my blog. I made the grand total of 75p!! I was ridiculously excited, not obviously because I had earned 75p but because I had made something. It proved to me that it is possible to make money doing this – I just have to experiment with the right content and the right links to get me there.
Once I have got to grips with this blogging thing the plan is to move to YouTube and join the world of vlogging. I’m not quite sure how I feel about moving onto the other side of the camera just yet but it’s something I would love to try.
My main reason for writing this post was to clear the doubt in my mind that I had made the right decision when I left my job a year ago. I am pretty sure it is one of the best choices I have ever made and am convinced there are better times ahead. If nothing else I am teaching my children you should follow your dreams and to do what makes you happy. If you want anything badly enough you can make it happen with hard work and determination.