The Road to Solo Mompreneurship


If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to solo mompreneurship is paved with tears, tantrums and sleepless nights…and then there are the kids to look after.

When I first set out on my journey to set up and run my own business, I was full of the joys of life. I’d left an awful relationship. I had years of experience working in a great job, was teeming with ideas and was captivated with the thought of working for myself and being there for my kids at the same time. 

What I wasn’t prepared for was the setbacks, the technical know-how I’d have to learn as I went, the importance of budgeting and the massive attacks of imposter syndrome that would cripple me along the way.

Why Freelance Writing?

In 2009 I decided it was time to get my degree. As an adult returner to education, I wanted to do something that excited me. I thought, “if I’m going to spend the next four years studying, it better be something I love”. I chose to do a degree in English literature and Creative Writing.

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. As a young girl, I was an avid reader and filled with the romantic notion that one day I would grow up, write a bestselling book and be praised for being the best writer in the world ever.

As it turns out, adult me also had somewhat of a romantic notion of what it meant to be a writer (more on that later). I completed my degree well, and my writing was always praised and well-received (yeah, go me). So, what did I do with my new qualification, I hear you ask? I got a job as a lecturer and taught English Literature and Creative Writing.

When I graduated, I had two hungry mouths to feed, not including my own, and the lure of an instant good salary was enough to put me off the notion of hammering it out as a starving artist for years.

But as the years passed and life changed, I wanted more. I didn’t want to settle for a job that was just okay but had a decent salary. I had toyed with the idea of pursuing my dreams for a few years, and when the pandemic struck, it shook me into action. I decided now was the time to make my move. The world seemed to have gone crazy, so I jumped on the bandwagon and shook my life up. The journey to mompreneurship began.

How I started

I began writing as a side hustle online while still working as a lecturer. To start with, I built a small but regular customer base on Fiverr and found that I was earning more than I’d thought possible.

A couple of months after I started, I became more confident in writing for the internet. I began Freelancing for an Adtech client in the UK. I slowly built up more and more clients until, before I knew it, I had a viable business.

My next break came when I was offered a blogger outreach position. I began to see my articles published in online publications with my name on them for the first time. Moving from ghostwriting to investigative journalism was a bold move and incredibly exciting.

By December 2020, I’d quit my job and was surviving solely as a writer. The months went on, and I had more and more success. I’ve now been featured in some of the world’s leading publications, including The Huffington Post. I’m currently writing a travel guide for Fodor’s travels in Barbados, which comes with some incredible perks.

The challenges

For me, one of the biggest initial challenges was changing my writing style. The average internet reader has a short attention span, and coming from an academic background to the internet was a shock to the system.

The romantic notion that the young me had held of writers quickly dissipated when I discovered the level of work, time and commitment involved. I gave up a full-time job working 40 hours a week and now worked on my business around 75 hours a week; the one perk was that I could work from anywhere with my little one in tow.

Telling people I ran my own business made me feel like an imposter. It took a long time to realize that business models vary from person to person and business to business. Working on one project at a time as a solopreneur earning money is still a business and takes a lot of hard work.

Shiny object syndrome

Another major challenge for me was setting up my website, deciding if I should branch out from writing into podcasts and personal blogs. Another avenue I explored and took a while to find some success in was coaching.

The trouble with diversifying and doing so much as a single parent running a solo show is that you can quickly become sidetracked and overwhelmed. And boy did I ever. At one point, there was at least a six-week gap in between me earning any money at all. This was probably my most significant learning curve of all. Overdoing it overdoes it, and then nothing gets done. I’d diversified too much too soon and hadn’t saved a backup budget to plan for this kind of thing. Cue the screaming, crying and sleepless nights. Luckily my bank was able to help me bridge the gap, and my next client was a big enough job to course correct.

Budgeting and marketing

Marketing is a must for diversification. It was a lesson I learned the hard way. You can offer the perfect service, but if you can’t get in front of the right people, you won’t get clients. A marketing budget used right can make or break your business.

The takeaway

Running your own business is never going to be an easy road. It’s much easier to show up to a job every day knowing that you have a solid income hitting your bank account every month. The thing is, running your own business offers rewards that you just can’t put a price on even if you fail the first time, even if you forget to budget and suffer from writer’s block.

Every mistake is a learning curve and an opportunity for growth. You don’t have to beat yourself up every time you mess up. After all, isn’t that why you want to leave a toxic work environment. You learn to take full responsibility, build tenacity and resilience. Learning tech and marketing skills as you go. You become adaptable and flexible. But above all, high risk equals high rewards and the sense of achievement you feel in yourself when you start to see the hard work pay off negates every sleepless night and moment of self-doubt.

By Lee


Orignally Published 1/20/2022

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