Sparkplugging represents the work-at-home community. We make things happen and work hard but also cherish other aspects of our lives. I am delighted to be a part of the resource that Sparkplugging offers to home-based businesses and the inspiration it exudes for those who have aspirations to fulfill their work-at-home dream. In addition, it is with great pleasure that I am able to share individual stories of awesome home-based entrepreneurs.
Today we’re recognizing and shining a spotlight on one of our terrific contributors, Stephanie Watson. Stephanie is a content strategist, writer and owner of Barry Publishing.
Please enjoy Stephanie Watson’s work-at-home profile which will give you a glimpse of her home-based business and the entrepreneur who runs it.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first decided to start a business from home.
Back in the early 1990’s I had little children at home and was expecting another, which would make our total of three girls quite expensive to put in daycare. Since my husband was in the Army and I didn’t have that many skills, I started a childcare business. During that time my husband got me a computer. I had never used one before other than a Commodore 64.
I took to it right away and quickly figured out I could make money. I taught myself HTML, and by the mid 1990’s I was managing online communities, building local HTML websites, and doing virtual assistant work for local non-profits. It was the best thing in the world. I was no longer tied down with childcare, other than my own kids.
What is it that you do and can you share an interesting fact about your business?
I’m a content strategist, content writer, and dabble in affiliate marketing. To me the most interesting fact about my business is how long I’ve been involved with working from home, which was really since 1992, but finally making enough money to be self-supporting by 1996.
How did you sort through your ideas before you started? Does it align with what you are passionate about?
I am not at all doing today, what I thought I would be doing when I started. If you would have told me you’d spend at least 4 hours a day writing articles I would have thought you lost your mind. But, over the years my business has evolved. As I went back to college and got two degrees I learned that I was good at writing and research. So, it fits and now I could not be happier. Before I found content strategy and writing, I was still looking for that “thing” that was right for me. Now that I’ve found it, I know this is what I was meant to do all along.
Do you offer a signature program or package? How did you decide to put this offer together?
My main package, which I suppose can be called a signature package, is that I offer a 10 pack of original articles / blog posts at a super discounted rate for those who have joined Solo Masterminds through Solosmarts. I give them more than 50 percent off my normal prices. I figure being in a group like that where we help each other makes it worth it. I’m proud to do any work for them because they are all so supportive and helpful of each other.
What do you love and find rewarding about running your business from home?
I love that I didn’t have to leave my kids in childcare. I love that even when I got a divorce I knew I’d be fine. I love that I put myself through college working from home. I love that the center of my life is my family and not my work. Work is important, of course, but work is supposed to allow us to do fun things outside of work with family and friends.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of running your business?
I pretty much have it all together by now. But, I used to find it hard to convince other people that I have a job at all. My ex, and even my current husband have not always respected the fact that I work too. My current husband has learned though and is now very supportive since he watched as I paid off 50,000 worth of debt, saved for a down payment for a house, and bought him a bunch of wood working equipment.
What is some advice you wish you knew before your started your home-based business? Do you have any tips for someone considering a home-based startup?
I wish I knew it was a real career choice. I’ve watched others become much more successful than me over the years who started well after me. I just didn’t take myself seriously and so no one else did. I’m ashamed to say it took until 2011 for me to actually accept that this is a real career, this is my career and my business is unstoppable now. I would advise others to realize this is a real career choice, and honestly it’s more stable than jobs because you get out of it what you put into it. Unlike most jobs where you can work harder but you won’t make any more money.
In terms of your business, what is your vision and hopes for the future?
I have started Monthly Content Helpers. It’s a brand new baby that I need to nurture for the next year or so and build up with content and help for people who are creating content for their own business. I’ve increased my income over 20 percent each year and I am planning to do that again this year. I want to increase my income by 1500 a month, which will be applied to my house loan to pay it off fast.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Sparkplugging community?
The most important thing I can share is finding something to do to make money that makes you feel good about yourself. Stick to that one thing until you make money or determine it to be a flop not because you didn’t try, but because you gave it everything you’ve got and it still didn’t work.
If you would like to learn more about Stephanie Watson’s home-based business please visit barrypublishing.com.