Are you in a race to make ends meet? Do you feel like your demanding career is robbing you of precious time with your family? I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been there, and I'm here to tell you that the journey to a six figure salary doesn't have to feel like an all-or-nothing rat race.
First, a little about me:
My career in healthcare spanned two decades – culminating in my promotion to Director of Nursing. With every promotion I found myself working longer hours and spending even less time with my daughters.
I was driven to perform, which meant working longer hours, often 7 days a week. The adrenaline rush that came from achievements in my career was something I thrived on – pushing me to work harder and harder every year.
I didn’t realize it right away, but I had fallen into the career trap that so many working mums experience.
Once I started to feel like my daughters were growing up without me, I made the difficult decision to change course. I finally gave up the job that I loved and all the perks and income that went with it. It took me another decade to completely transform my approach to my life, my finances and my business. This included a Less is More Challenge.
By adopting a growth-mindset, I was able to leave a stressful career and pursue a more balanced, rewarding life that empowers me to spend more time with my family and friends.
The six strategies outlined below will help you calibrate your approach to building wealth and achieving a healthier work / life balance.
If you take the information presented here to heart, you won’t need to invest a decade of your life in order to get this right.
I’ve consumed countless self-help books, listened to hundreds of audiobooks / podcasts and tested multiple ideas meant to improve my life. Some worked, some didn’t. What I’m laying out here is a culmination of a decade of trial and error.
Let’s dive in! Today could be the day you commit to building your best life.
You’re going to invest a part of yourself into this business. Finding the right framework is important. Ideally, you want to find an opportunity that provides you with all of the tools you need to succeed, with minimal upfront investment.
These are the stores and shops you see all around you. A retail storefront requires significant upfront investment. You’ll need to cover things like:
Total startup cost will depend on the unique needs of the business. $20,000 – $50,000 is a reasonable range. But keep in mind that you’ll probably incur debt as you bring in your initial inventory to stock the shelves.On the plus side, you’re giving your customers a physical location where they know they can find you when needed. Some customers still prefer to do business the old-fashioned way.
The ecommerce industry is comprised of thousands of websites where customers can complete their shopping online. It’s a booming market. Amazon alone generated more than $141 billion in sales last year (2018).
You can build an ecommerce website for a few hundred dollars, although you should be prepared to spend more than that if you want all of the bells and whistles. Hosting costs depend on the size of your site and the amount of traffic you generate.
The really expensive side of ecommerce is advertising. A single click on your online ad can cost a few dollars. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re paying for every visitor to your site, those clicks can really ad up (pun intended).
To generate $100,000 in online sales, you might need to spend upwards of $10,000 in online advertising. Your cost per click (CPC) and conversion rate will have an impact on your return on investment (ROI).
Let’s unpack a few of those terms – they’re important:
Do you have a skill that’s in demand? Have you considered freelancing to generate some side-income? The internet makes it so easy to offer your services to the clients that need your help the most.
There are a few pros and cons to freelancing.
The franchise market is really hot right now. According to IBISWorld, franchisees will generate more than $181 billion in 2019 – employing nearly 600,000 Australians.
Those new to business love franchising because it can provide them with a proven blueprint for success. But there are risks, and the startup costs can be substantial.
McDonalds, one of the world’s most popular franchises, requires that their franchisees have at least $750,000 in their bank account. This does not include the additional upfront costs for equipment and construction – ranging from $955,708 to $2.2 million. Source: FiscalTimes
Network marketing is an exciting opportunity. It allows busy moms to dip their toe in the water without the high upfront costs associated with other startup options. Instead of going it alone, network marketers band together to share strategies and tactics that help everyone succeed.
But, a word of caution. Not all network marketing opportunities are created equally. You need to carefully vet the products and the people associates with a network marketing opportunity.
Here’s what I look for before joining a network marketing team:
Powerful network marketing teams work with products that the public needs. Their products are different from the competition in meaningful ways. They don’t solely rely on massive downlines (the people beneath them on the organization chart) to generate income. Their primary focus is on selling high-quality, unique products. If other people join their team, that’s additional income – not the sole source of their income.
When network marketing teams rely on their downline (the people they bring onboard) to generate their profits, without investing time to sell the product themselves, that’s a big warning flag.
Once you’ve vetted the people and products offered through a network marketing company, it’s time to decide if it’s right for you. The cost to startup should be less than $2,000. In return for signing up, you’ll receive coaching and a starter kit of products to demo to your future customers.
This is a great way to have fun, learn about the building blocks of entrepreneurship and build an organization that generates ongoing, passive income for you and your family.
In some of the business models outlined above, your parent organization takes care of national marketing campaigns for you. But there are always opportunities for you to increase brand awareness and drive business growth in your local community.
Here’s how you can market your products without sacrificing valuable time with your family:
According to AdWeek, more than 80% of shoppers will google a product before making a purchase. It’s never been more important to be easily found online.
You first need to build a website where customers can learn more about you, your brand and your products. Your job is to educate them so that they feel confident in making a purchase.
A strong website will have:
I highly recommend reading this beginner’s guide to SEO. Search Engine Optimization will help the content on your website generate traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo. When your customers search for information about your products, or the problems they help solve, you want your website to be one of the top results they see.
Imagine a funnel. At the top, the opening is very broad – allowing a lot of people to start on a journey. Then, as your customer proceeds down the funnel, they become better qualified – the content becomes more specific to your niche. Those visitors that aren’t interested in buying will move one, but your target customer will become more excited as they find exactly what they’re looking for.
At the bottom of the funnel, your customer reaches the shopping cart. They feel fully informed and ready to make a buying decision. Your brand has become their trusted resource for solving their problem.
Here is an excellent beginner’s guide to building a sales funnel. Remember, everything you create online can become part of your funnel – including social media posts, tutorials, podcasts and videos.
Social media is a huge opportunity for marketing your products to your network of friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than a random ad on the internet. More than 80% will make a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation (Nielsen). A social media post can be a public recommendation of a product to friends and family.
There are both free and paid social media advertising opportunities. To understand how this works in more detail, please read through this beginner’s guide to social media marketing.
I added this section because it’s a question I get a lot during seminars and webcasts. Attraction Marketing is a term that describes how individuals and brands attract customers that already want their products. They don’t need to tell their target audience that they have a problem. They already know their issue, and they’re actively seeking a solution – your product.
Attraction Marketing involves seven steps:
If you can learn to do this well, your products will sell and sell. It’s a constant process – incorporating every aspect of marketing that we cover in this guide.
Building your own business takes time, patience and skill. If you are willing to be patient and invest your time wisely, the skills you need will naturally develop.
The problem that many mums have is they fail to set clear boundaries on their time. Just like you can’t ignore your family, you also can’t afford to ignore your business. You have to find time for both, without letting one gobble up the other.
Here are some of the strategies I use to hone my skills as a Chief Executive:
Learn to delegate. There are things you can outsource to other people that have more skill, or more time than you. Time-eaters aren’t worth delaying the things on your list that can take your business to the next level. And if you can hire someone with the skills you need, you can save time in the short-term, and probably create a better outcome.
Have you ever noticed that some people have the ability to get things done in record time? When things blow up, they remain composed and leverage their resources to overcome the problem and keep going.
The secret is a phrase we’ve all heard before:
“It’s not what you know, as much as it’s who you know.”
When building a business, it’s critical to build relationships of mutual gain. Friendship is great, but when you can help each other solve problems, you’ve stumbled into a working relationship.
The key to building working relationships is becoming invaluable.
If you walk around looking for people that can help you, you’re missing the point. Start with the people you know already. How can you make their life better? Maybe it’s something you can do right now for them. Maybe it’s something that you can plan to do in the near future.
The point is to first seek to serve others, before asking for help in return. You won’t always achieve reciprocal value. They might not come through for you in the end. But once you become known as a “helper”, it will be much easier to knock down barriers and meet new people.
Join groups that speak to your passions.
Get involved in your local community. Find groups of people doing things that you’re passionate about. Join them. Offer your wisdom and expertise. Before long, you’ll find that the people in these groups may have needs that your products can solve.
No need to hard sell. They know you. And as long as they know what you do for a living, they’ll look to you first when they need help.
The tricky part is balancing the donation of your time and energy to the group, with selling your products to individual members.
If I get a call from someone in the group that isn’t a close personal friend, I listen to what they need. Then I offer to take care of their issue. I’ll often offer some sort of discount – and I make sure they’re aware I’m offering a discount.
Other times I’ll eagerly work with them to understand their needs, and then make product suggestions. It depends on the nature of the relationship. You have to decide where the line sits with you between discounting and giving your business the fuel it needs to grow.
While you’re out there hustling, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are your business. If you improve, so will your business. I’ve learned that taking time for myself has a dramatic impact on my business’ success and growth.
Busy and successful are not the same thing. You need to take breaks. If you can leverage those breaks to absorb a powerful audiobook or podcast, BONUS!
I love taking long walks in the afternoon sun. It breaks up my day. I’m already up to speed on most of the things I need to complete during the latter part of my day. The time outside gives me vitamin D – invaluable for boosting mood and energy – and allows me to process how the day has gone so far, and how I want the rest of it to go.
It’s funny how the moment the mind settles, solutions to complex problems come more clearly into focus.
Besides going for afternoon walks – something I learned after studying the success of Apple’s Founder, Steve Jobs – I also recommend:
Invest in online learning. It has never been more convenient to learn a new skill. Think about the things that you wish you knew how to do. What could you learn that would supercharge your business? Even if you still delegate your promotional art, wouldn’t it be great if you could become a more informed supervisor?
A mentor is someone that is further down the path than you are. They will help you cut through the noise and focus on the things that truly matter. You’re going to experience challenges and setbacks. If you can pick-up the phone and ask how they would handle the situation you’re in, you’ve gained a powerful strategic advantage.
Don’t take the decision to engage a mentor lightly. They need to be significantly more successful than you are. It’s your job to uncover why they’re more successful and apply their strategies to your daily grind.
Network marketing makes this part easy. It’s one of the reasons I’ve invested so much into it. Ideally, you are paired with a leader that is much more successful. It’s in their best interest to help you succeed – because your success contributes to their bottom-line.
That’s a good thing! You want to surround yourself with six figure mentors that benefit from your success.
If you’ve chosen a different operating model for your business, then you need to start working your personal contacts. Join social and professional organizations that bring you into the orbit of successful people in your industry.
You may want to consider offering a small amount of equity in your business to a potential mentor. Again, if they financially benefit from your success, you know you’re getting their absolute best advice.
But be careful – once you give someone equity, you’re tied together for the long-haul. Business divorces get really ugly, so don’t offer equity unless you are absolutely certain that this is a person you want to associate with.
Your six figure mentors should provide you with a reasonable amount of time on a regular basis. This might mean a quick coffee once a week, or a regularly scheduled meeting that could last more than an hour. Both your and their time is valuable. If you don’t have specific questions ready, you’re not trying hard enough. It’s your job to focus their generous investment of time on the things that can help you move the needle.
Keep in mind that there are many ways for busy mums to earn money. These jobs for mums can help you get a jump start.
And once you're ready to really kick you efforts into high-gear and unlock your six figure salary, I'd love the opportunity to help you! Us working mums need to stick together. Click here to get in touch with me!