By Stacey Freeman
Anything a man can do, a woman can do while wearing heels. Or pajamas and slippers. Remember that. Whether you’re currently a working mother who wants more than a dead end nine to five job or a stay-at-home mom who’s trying to get back in the game, anyone, especially a single woman, can start their own company right from home and for little money. I know because I did.
You might be saying, “I have kids. I can’t risk spending time away from them.” Or “I need a steady income, so I can’t venture out on my own for the first time.” Well, I’m here to explain why you’re wrong and why starting a home business after a divorce, even with two teens and a tween, was the best thing I ever did.
When my ex and I split, I’d been home taking care of my children for more than a decade. My husband had been working in Asia for quite a while before it finally caught up with us and we divorced. While this was initially a daunting prospect, it inherently became the jumping off point for starting my company and realizing a long lost dream, becoming a writer.
When it came to parenting my children, having a home business afforded me the time I still required to care for them, especially when they were younger, since I have full physical custody. When one of my kids got sick and had to be picked up from school, I didn’t have to waste money on a sitter or call a relative; I could get into the car and pick them up myself. In a practical sense, nothing for them changed. The mother they’d grown dependant on could still be there like always, making the divorce less scary in their eyes.
Anyone, especially a single woman, can start their own company right from home and for little money. I know because I did.
There are other benefits that come from working from home. It provides flexibility and allows for more control, which, in turn, can make you happier, as it did for me. Since my daily commute consists of walking down my stairs every morning, saving me hours of time weekly, I can still do small chores throughout the day, alleviating many of the family pressures placed on me. What I can’t do can wait until after the workday is over.
Another plus? There are numerous tax breaks available to small business owners. Your finances are about to change just as much as your life will. By working at home, you can save yourself some much-needed dollars. Consider these: office expenses, a portion of your home’s square footage, and your phone bill (or part of it) may all be tax deductible. As long as you’re in charge, you can save yourself money where it really matters.
As for what kind of business to start, it could be anything. So take your expertise and exploit it. Do you love math? Students young and old always need tutors. Have a passion for graphic design? Re-up on the latest technology at the local community college and start a firm. Become a consultant. A comedian! Personally, I loved to write and founded a client-based agency that allowed me to get back into it. Today, I use the income from it to pay my bills and splurge on myself, at least once in a while.
It’s understandable if you’re not quite ready to jump head first into a world of the unknown. If you’re dealing with small children or messy personal life, it might be best to have your business be more of a side hustle at first. After all, your kids need health insurance, and as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to put them or you at risk. Let your side hustle grow until you don’t have the time or financial need for a primary job anymore and your company becomes your main hustle. Baby steps are always a smart way to begin.
If worse to comes to worse and your business doesn’t get off the ground, don’t fault yourself for trying. There’s always the uncertainty you’ll fail, that you won’t have enough money to support your family, or maintain your lifestyle. If this should happen, what you can do, especially moms like me who didn’t work once they had kids and now, as a result, must flaunt the skills they have recently acquired, is put the experience you gained from your latest venture on your resume and show how resourceful you can be. Discuss your business aptitude at your future interviews. Use it to get hired somewhere else. There’s always a Plan B.
The advice I have is to take a chance. Bet on yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. Besides, isn’t the highest mark of success proving everyone else wrong?
About the author
Stacey Freeman is a writer and blogger from the New York City area, a divorced single mom, lifestyle editor at Worthy.com, and the founder and managing director of Write On Track, LLC, a full-service consultancy dedicated to providing high-quality content to individuals and businesses. A respected voice for divorce issues affecting both women and men, Stacey has been published in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Town & Country, The Huffington Post, xoJane, Scary Mommy, The Stir, MariaShriver.com, The Good Men Project, and various well-known platforms worldwide. Stacey is frequently called upon for her expertise and insights on the divorce experience and has repeatedly been quoted in The Huffington Post’s divorce vertical. Stacey holds her B.A. in English, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University at Albany and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Email Stacey today at Stacey.Freeman@WriteOnTrackLLC.com or call 800-203-1946 for a free consultation and proposal. For more information, visit www.WriteOnTrackLLC.com.