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The Entrepreneur Life

You can start a service-based company literally from nothing. All you need is the drive and passion to make it work.

At age fifteen, my aunt hired me to help her clean houses. The only other thing I could find at that age was a job at a fast food Restaurant making $3.80 per hour. I noticed right away that my Aunt made an average of $55 per job and we were able to do at least two houses per day.

Realizing the income potential, I started asking around to see if the people I knew needed their houses cleaned. Before long, I was cleaning regularly. I would have had to work about 13 hours a day at a fast food job to make the kind of money I was making cleaning one house a day.

I didn't understand why anyone would hold a minimum wage labor job when there were so many better financial opportunities out there. As I got older, most of my friends cared about having a title they could be proud of. I cared about flexibility, freedom, and my bottom line.

This is where my entrepreneurial spirit began.

At 15 years old, I sat down and wrote out plans for my business and how much I needed to make. If I could get two steady housecleaning jobs per week, that would match the weekly income I would’ve had at the fast food place.

The best perk was, I would only have to work about 4 hours a week to get the same pay as a 40 hour a week fast food job.

I then figured up what my full-time income would be. $550 a week was good money back then. Fewer hours? More money? Sold!

I know, I know. It was only house cleaning. A maid’s job. But the difference in the money was worth it to me to not be able to brag about my job at school. Most of my friends were not even working at that age.

The flexibility to be able to make my own schedule and have the rest of my day free was pretty awesome. Keep in mind, I was only 15 and having freedom to hang out with my friends was important.

As I aged, the importance of having that kind of freedom and flexibility increased as I had children and a home to maintain. I wanted to be able to go on their field trips, be a room mom, and take them to the park after school. I also wanted to keep them out of daycare.

I did home health care because it was also flexible and it was easy to find full-time work. In the meantime, I worked on a side gig and built my skills.

Then I started a decorating business. I almost always had a full-time business and a side gig to be sure I had enough income and something to fall back on during slow times.

I increased my pay every so often by increasing what I charged. I charged above what I felt my current income would have been if I were working for someone else, to cover expenses. I developed different skills over the years and offered more and more services.

I eventually added on organizing as a service. This was useful in the cleaning industry and brought in a lot more money. My clientele immediately increased and I saw the potential to turn my business into something more than just a maid's job. I was sometimes making an entire week’s income off of one organizing job.

My point is, you have to start small. Start with a side gig and work your way up. Don't jump head first into charging outrageous fees that you don't have the skills to justify.

Don't forget to take into account what other people are making, inflation, taxes, insurance, expenses, and payroll taxes.

Over the course of about 12 years, I worked my way up to a little over $100,000 a year. My ex and I worked hard to make that kind of money but found the secret to not having to work so hard was in hiring employees.

The difference between being an entrepreneur and being self-employed depends on who is doing all of the work. If you are doing all of the hard work you are just simply self-employed.

An entrepreneur hires help and then moves on to make money in other areas.

Even as a self-employed person, the best perk is getting to be your own boss and setting your own schedule.

Starting a side gig is a great idea, but your full-time job is your ace in the hole. Don't quit your day job until there is a need to manage your business full-time. The only reason I didn't need a full-time job when I started my side gig was because I was so young and still living at home.

I didn't have my first child until I was 25. I had time to build my business over the years before I had children. If you have people depending on you, the best solution for extra income is to work a side gig.

Then if you're blessed enough to turn it into full-time, go for it!



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