I felt lost. I did not know how to start working at home.
Y’know that feeling you get in your gut that there’s got to be something else out there? That’s how my dream work-at-home career started.
This feeling in my gut after a cancer scare — after thinking I wouldn’t be alive to write this — that’s where I started. And that’s almost where I stayed, too.
Because I didn’t know…
- How to start
- What else to pursue
- How I would get insurance if I left teaching
- How I would pay for taxes and retirement
- If there was anything I’d love more
- If I even had the skills to do something else
And so… I googled.
That’s literally what I googled.
And what I got back was crickets.
It seemed overwhelming and a little bit impossible, but I also knew there had to be something else. Here are the steps I took to get started in my dream work-at-home career.
1. I googled, a lot.
Nobody knows where to start or what to do when they’re just beginning, whether it’s a work-at-home career or anything else that’s new. And that’s ok. That’s just how learning goes, right?
You wouldn’t expect a fifth grader to be able to jump into calculus without having a proper foundation in math, right? So of course you don’t know where to start yet — you’re still building your foundation.
And you build your foundation by getting curious. Rather than saying “I don’t know how to do this,” ask yourself “How can I learn this?” As a teacher, I had a ton of skills… I just needed some help in identifying those skills.
I googled questions like…
How do I…
- Start a WordPress Site
- Become a writer
- Use my teaching experience in the work-at-home world
- Create a logo on Adobe illustrator
- Create a logo in Canva
- Figure out what to do next
- Leave teaching
- Start a side hustle
- Know what kind of side hustle to start
Each question I asked got me closer to figuring out what I wanted and how to get there.
2. I sought out people who were in the position I wanted to be in.
Not only did I ask Google a lot of questions, but I also asked people who were in the position I wanted to be in. I found people, people like Yara, who had already found their dream work-at-home life and I asked them how they did it.
Don’t have any friends in the position you want to be in? Find them. I started joining Facebook groups that would have the kind of people I wanted to be and the groups that would have my ideal client.
3. I explored different career paths as a side hustle.
I’m a writer and funnel builder, but I didn’t start that way.
I started with photography, then had a shop on Etsy, then tried my hand at graphic design.
All of that before finding what I really want to do. If I hadn’t tried those, I never would have gotten to this place where I’m writing and building funnels. Heck, I didn’t even know what a funnel was a year and a half ago!
4. I took it one step at a time.
It’s easy to try to jump at the big picture, which for me was leaving teaching, and think “Gosh, I’m so far away from this. It’s never going to happen.” And when you think like that, it’s so demoralizing. It’s so hard to keep at it when you’re telling yourself it’s not possible.
So instead I had to think “what’s the best I can do at this step?”
So when I’m asking questions, I’m like a dog with a bone. I don’t stop until I figure something out. And some days that’s been figuring out the next question to ask, but it’s usually getting a step closer to understanding.
I kept a notebook of everything I was learning – the questions I was asking, the answers I was finding, and how my understanding was changing.
5. I took action - knowing I would make mistakes.
The only people that don’t make mistakes are the ones who don’t do anything.
And really, isn’t that the biggest mistake of them all?
Some people might see my photography or Etsy shop as a mistake or a failure. I see them as a stepping stone to what I didn’t even know I could do or want until I tried those. They helped me figure out what I liked and didn’t like and ultimately sort through some different career options.
Really, the biggest difference between where you are and where someone who’s already successful is… is that they’ve taken consistent action longer than you without giving up.
6. I kept trying.
That brings me to my next point — keep on going. There will be times you’ll want to give up — at least that’s how it was for me. But at the end of the day, if you know what you’re doing it for… and you know someone else that’s doing something similar (like working at home or leaving teaching)… then there is hope that what you’re doing will eventually have that tipping point — the point where you can leave teaching for good because your side hustle is making more than teaching would.
I want you to know that it’s possible…
But you’ve gotta start — today — and stick with it. Even when it’s hard.
Everyone feels a little uncertain and shaky when they’re starting something new. Leaving teaching or beginning a work-at-home career is no different. But if you can approach it with a sense of wonder rather than worry, and create a side hustle that brings in more than you make now while building on the skills and passions you already have… you’re on the right track!
Remember, with enough time, practice, and patience, you can learn to do anything really, really well.
What is one step you can take today to get started finding your dream own work-at-home life? Comment below and let me know, then share this post with a friend who needs to hear it! Join a community of other like-minded people at Facebook.com/lifeafterteaching.
If you’re a math teacher, here are some options to help you get started on your own work-at-home life.