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Did you jump into a career path after school and now you’re not sure if it’s right for you?
Or did you follow in your parent’s footsteps to become a teacher, lawyer, or public servant even though that profession doesn’t really suit you?
We make huge decisions at a very young age, and it can sometimes feel like we’re stuck with them. But we don’t have to be! You can quit teaching or quit being a lawyer or ditch your public service job and create your own business.
Today on the blog, my friend Brittany Long is sharing how she quit her job as a science teacher and started her online business. Brittany excels at a variety of roles (I know this because I work with her 😊) proving that you don’t have to stick to just one skill when you’re starting a business. You can build up an arsenal of highly sought after skills and solve a variety of problems for your clients.
Take it away, Brittany!
1. Hi, Brittany! Tell us a little bit about you and your business. What’s your work-at-home job?
Hi! I’m a former science teacher, and about a year ago, I started working from home full time. There are two aspects to my job: first, I’m a contractor. That means I work for someone else and do a variety of tasks. Some of those tasks include writing copy, ghostwriting, building funnels, helping troubleshoot tech on the website, blogging, completing administrative tasks, some affiliate management, team management and … I think that’s it. 🙂
Beyond the contractor work I do, I also have my own business too! I help teachers identify the marketable skills they already have and show them how to use those skills to earn money at home! It’s what I did myself, and it’s so fun to help others make that a reality too! Coming in October 2019, I’ll also be launching the Teacher’s Side Hustle Academy: a course for teachers who want to work from home within 12–24 months.
Related Content: 17 Small Business Ideas That’ll Allow You to Work from Home
2. Wow! You’ve built up so many different skills. Why did you decide on this line of work and how did you get started?
I actually wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I started. In fact, I tried sooooo many things — I guess that’s how I decided on the line of work I wanted to do — I tried a TON of different work-at-home jobs and responsibilities to get a feel for what I loved and what I didn’t love. It opened up a path for me that brought me here — and I really like “here.”
I got started on my work-at-home trek when I was working at my alma mater nearly 10 years ago. I knew I didn’t want to work there anymore, but I didn’t know what else to do. I started with photography — I loved (love) it, but now I do it on an “as I want to” basis — definitely more of a hobby. It wasn’t something I wanted to do full time, and I loved it when I didn’t have to do it for a living.
From there, I tried my hand (pun intended) at hand-painted signs that I sold on Etsy. Again, I enjoyed it, but as I started to get more orders, I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to do long-term — it would be another hobby too.
After that, I tried graphic design. This was the most appealing of the bunch, so I stuck with it. Then I had the opportunity to take on more roles as an independent contractor. I had to learn everything very fast, and it ended up being a huge blessing. Instead of second-guessing myself and thinking “what if I can’t figure it out?!” I had to figure it out — not figuring it out wasn’t an option.
This showed me that I was capable of so much more than I ever thought — and that I had been previously using a ton of brain space on “what if I can’t.”
(Psst — If you find yourself stuck or not starting, you might be giving too much brain space to “what if I can’t/what if it’s not good enough?!” too! You don’t have to! <3)
3. I struggle with the “what if I can’ts” as well! It’s comforting to know that you felt this way but pushed past it. Did you need any training or experience for this job? Did you take any courses?
Oh yes — I first studied at the University of Google … ;P But seriously, when I started I relied heavily on YouTube and Google. I’ve taken some really great courses since then — the Digital Gangsta from Julie Stoian, Work-at-Home School, Elite Blog Academy, and Self-Publishing School, to name a few!
Related Content: 8 Online Courses That Teach You How to Earn Money from Home
4. Talk us through a typical workday.
I normally start the day by sending an encouraging email to my email list. Then, I do a Facebook Live sometime between 7–8 a.m. After that, I work out from 8–9 a.m. I like routine, so knowing that every day I workout during that time period helps me get my workout done and ensures that I have a more effective day.
I begin doing my contract work around 9 a.m. and work on a variety of tasks until 12:30. First, I try to check my emails to make sure there’s nothing that needs an answer right away. Then, I work on anything I need to ghostwrite as that often takes me the longest and I feel most creative in the morning or super late at night. I try to keep my contract work to during the day so I work on my own projects at night.
From 12:30–1:00 p.m. I have lunch with my husband — he works at home now too!
Then I work from 1–6ish p.m. Many nights I work until 7 or 7:30 p.m., but I’m as a recovering workaholic ;P I’m trying to set up systems so I’m not working quite so late.
We have dinner around 7 p.m. (or whenever I finish working) and hang out for a bit. Around 8 or 9 p.m., my husband is a gamer and plays some video games, so I take that time to work on my own endeavors. Around that time of night I get really creative again — probably because I’ve had a chance to take a break.
I try to work out in the evening as well — normally not a very hard workout, but something that will get my heart rate up. I have Type 2 Diabetes and am determined to get out — and stay out — of the diabetic range. That means making sure I’m eating healthier and working out. It’s annoying right now because it takes a bit of time to plan ahead and it means eating far less convenience food, but I’ve seen a HUGE increase in energy, so without a doubt, I see it as time I’m investing into myself, my business, and the work I do as a contractor.
5. It’s so interesting to see how other people schedule their day when they work from home. Is this your full-time job or a side hustle? How many hours a week do you work?
My contract work is my full-time job. 🙂
6. What one quality would you say is the most important for your job?
The drive to figure things out. And — something I’ve been learning recently — how to systemize.
I know that’s two qualities … but I’m not sure I could pick between those two. 😉
The first — the drive to figure things out — has helped me learn new skills that most people would have said “that’s too hard” or “I can’t figure it out.” The difference between those who earn a ton and those who don’t is that those who earn more solve more problems. So if you want to start earning more, build the skills to solve more problems, and when a new problem comes along, treat it like a dog with a bone — don’t let go until you’ve figured it out.
The second one — learning how to systemize — is crucial to scaling your business. If you’re not systemizing, you’re doing more work than is necessary, and let’s be honest — nobody has time for that.
7. Excellent advice! What one tool could you not live without?
Google Drive. It’s so simple, but it helps me keep all my projects organized. I have folders for each project and that folder is in a “current projects” folder. I can quickly get anything I need without wasting time wondering where it is.
Related Content: 6+ Online Business Tools I Use to Save Time
8. How do you manage your work/life balance when you work from home?
I don’t (usually) answer emails after 6 p.m., don’t check work things when I’m hanging out with my husband, and plan time we can spend together (and time I can spend by myself) that has nothing to do with work — be it contract work or work for my own business.
Work/life balance is something I’ve never been good at, but something I’m actively working on. After a cancer scare a few years ago, I realized how precious my time on Earth is and became committed to loving what I do while also spending more time with those I love.
It’s been an admittedly slow process … as I mentioned, I’m a recovering workaholic. But slowly but surely, I’m spending a more appropriate time on work and a more appropriate time with family.
Related Content: How to Find the Perfect Work/Life Balance When You Work from Home
9. What’s your favorite part about your job?
I LOVE the people I work with! They are all extremely hard workers, competent, and want to make this the best they can. I love that. I also love that I have multiple aspects to my job. It keeps me on my toes and far from bored.
During one of our last launches, I got to spend a lot of time getting to know our audience by doing Facebook Lives. I LOVED doing that too.
10. As I work with Brittany, I have to say that her hard-working attitude inspires me to do my best each day. What’s the most challenging part of your job, Brittany?
Even though it’s one of my favorite parts of my job, it’s also extremely challenging to have multiple projects I’m working on at all times.
I often feel like I’m operating at such a slow pace because I have my hand in so many projects. To help with that, I’ve started delegating the things that others can do too and trusting others with the authority to do them. As I mentioned earlier, I work with an extremely hard-working, competent team, so giving others authority on projects that they’re well-suited for, would enjoy, and would do well on has been such a joy.
I’ve also started systemizing the things that I can systemize so that after those things are stable, I can see how I can optimize and eventually expand on them. Without systemizing, the optimizing and expanding parts are not possible because there would be too much going on at all times to give any of it a good look.
11. So true. It’s hard to see how you can improve if you’re struggling to stay on an even keel. Systemizing makes that possible. Any advice for someone interested in getting started with this work-at-home career?
Just start. If you start and stick with it, it’s nearly impossible to not make it happen with enough time, practice, and patience. You have zero percent chance of working from home if you never start because you’re afraid to fail and make mistakes. You’re going to make mistakes and the sooner you can be ok with that (and use it to get better), the sooner you can bust through fear. And that’s where you’ll really see some exponential growth — in your skill set and in your bank account. 🙂
12. You’ve created several resources for teachers who want to quit teaching and start their own businesses. Can you tell us about them?
The Teacher’s Toolkit was written to help teachers identify the marketable skills they already have from teaching, and how to use those skills to start their work-at-home career. I wrote this book because leaving teaching is a sometimes lonely transition. There are a ton of books about improving your teaching, but not really anything for those teachers who are ready to transition to another career (and there’s a lot of you!). It has all the practical tips I wish I had known when transitioning from a teacher to working at home from someone who has actually successfully done it.
In October 2019, I’ll be releasing the Teacher’s Side Hustle Academy. This course takes teachers from identifying what they want to do to make their first $10 online, then their first $100, then their first $1,000. It’s going to be great for teachers who want to leave teaching within the next 12–24 months and are serious about making the work-at-home life a reality. It’s not for anyone who’s just considering it.
Hi! I’m Brittany — a former science teacher who now works from home full time. I’m married to my college sweetheart and we have two dogs. I love sporting purple and pink hair, talking about things that matter, and helping hard-working people use their skills to work from home, too. Working from home has given me the chance to see what I’m capable of and find a fulfillment and freedom that I never would have thought was possible when I was a teacher.
I’ve been working with Brittany for a while now, and I’ve always loved her can-do attitude. She’s dedicated to helping people find their own work-at-home path. If you want to quit teaching and transition to a work-at-home job, stay tuned for more information on her upcoming course!
Looking for more work-from-home ideas? Find out how you can work from home as a
- Virtual assistant
- Furniture flipper
- Business management consultant
- Productivity coach
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