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Learn how I lost my job and was still able to make a full time income! Just because you don’t commute to a 9-5 doesn’t mean you can’t make money – find out how I did it!
This post was written by Ashli Sweat, the previous owner of this blog. While I do make what most would consider a full time income, I still work at my 9-5 job for the moment.
In June 2015 I had a full-time job that I loved. Yep, I’m actually one of the few people out there who actually loved their job. I had great colleagues, I enjoyed my work and I liked the company I worked for.
And then suddenly, three things happened all around the same time:
- I found out I was pregnant with my first baby (this was planned)
- My husband (who is active duty military) got orders to different state
- The company I worked for announced they were closing the branch I worked at.
Basically, I was going to lose my job.
Each of those things, individually, would have thrown a spanner in the works in relation to my job.
There were certain aspects of my job that were quite demanding, and some days I wouldn’t get home until after 7:30pm. And with a husband who worked a minimum of 12 hours a day and was frequently gone and no family nearby, it wasn’t feasible for me to continue working full time after I gave birth.
Additionally, I knew I wanted to stay at home with my baby rather than putting him in full time childcare.
Related: How to Make Money on Maternity Leave
If you’re not familiar with military lingo, when you receive orders it’s basically the military telling you that you’ll be moving to a new duty station. This could be as close as the next state over or as far as the other side of the world.
In my husband’s case, his orders were from Tennessee to North Carolina (and at the time of writing this, he just received orders again, to Japan.)
Certain aspects of my job required me to be present in person, so telecommuting wouldn’t have been an option.
Related: 21 Online Jobs for Military Spouses
Finally, if there had been some way to work around having a baby and receiving orders, it still wouldn’t have mattered because the branch announced they were closing. This mean that I, and all of my colleagues, were soon to be unemployed.
I Wasn’t OK With This
Needless to say, I wasn’t okay with all of this…
My husband and I were used to being dual-income-no-kids. While neither of us were making what would be considering a “high income,” combined, we were comfortable.
We have always been good at saving money, and had enough money to travel, go on cruises, eat out at restaurants, by things whenever we needed them (without using a credit card.)
If you struggle with saving money, try this 52 week challenge to save $3,000.
Besides the fact that I didn’t want to drop down to a single income and have to stop doing a lot of the things we love, I wanted to feel like I was still contributing financially to the household.
Don’t get me wrong. Raising kids isn’t easy, especially in the beginning. Your days and nights consist of cleaning poopy diapers, making bottles, trying to soothe screams, doctors checkups and late nights googling things like “what is this spotty rash on my babies back.”
But despite all that, I still wanted more. I wanted to use my brain to make money and I wanted to contribute to the household financially.
How It All Started (Making Money Online)
August, 2016 was the month that I kicked things into gear. I’d actually dabbled in making money online before this, doing some freelance writing when I first moved to the States after marrying my husband (I’m Australian born an raised.)
I’d done okay with freelance writing but then I found a full-time job and the freelance writing sorta fell to the wayside.
I considered going back to freelance writing but chose not to because I felt like I was still exchanging hours for dollars and I was still working for a boss, except with freelance writing, I was working for MANY bosses (all of my freelance clients.)
I decided to do some research about other ways to make money online and stumbled across something called affiliate marketing.
I learned that affiliate marketing is basically getting paid to sell other people’s products. When I found out that I didn’t have to create my own products, I didn’t have to deal with clients, customer service, refunds, deadlines and all that other “fun” stuff, I decided that affiliate marketing was the direction I wanted to go in.
My Biggest Lessons
I’m going to be honest with you here (at risk of making myself sound a bit cuckoo.) In the beginning of my making money online journey, I signed up for a TON of training programs, membership sites and online courses.
I don’t even want to add up how much money I spent, but it was well into the thousands.
I learned that you have to spend money to make money. You definitely don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, but you DO have to be willing to invest SOME money in your education and products and tools that will help you succeed.
I also learned that being part of a community of people who are all working towards the same goal (creating passive income streams online) is absolutely invaluable.
And I also learned that I’m not willing to promote a product or service just because they’re paying me a lot of money. For example, I just got offered close to $1000 to promote artificially colored popsicles. I don’t let my son eat artificial colors and I’m not willing to promote something I don’t agree with/like for a quick buck (or $1000.)
How I Did It (Made a Full Time Income Online)
After a lot of hard work, persistence, implementation and investing in myself, my education and my online business, I started to make some money.
I’ll always remember the day that I logged into one of my accounts and saw that I’d made my first 7 cents. I excitedly called my husband into my office to show him my screen. And while he found it a bit amusing, he could see how excited I was, which made him excited too. (And this past Christmas, he gave me the most thoughtful gift – he got 7 cents framed!)
My income grew substantially from that point on, and within about 5 months I was making more money every month than I’d made at my full-time job.
Now, it only takes me a few months to make more than I made in an entire year at my old full-time job. And my entire business is run from my laptop, meaning that things like my husband receiving orders to Japan have no impact on my ability to make money.
Every time I hear someone say that it’s impossible to make money online or “I wish I could do something like that” I always tell them that
a) It’s 100% possible, and
b) You can
It takes work. I didn’t stumble onto some “get rich quick” scheme. I worked hard, I invested in education and tools. I didn’t just buy a program, never go through it, never implement what I learned and then say “it didn’t work.”
NOTHING will work unless YOU do the work.
How to Get Started Making Money Online
There are countless ways to make money online (there are even some money making hobbies out there!) – it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money online.
If you’re not entirely familiar with what affiliate marketing is, here’s an excellent definition from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income:
“…affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
Affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative when you know how to do it right. In the image below, I’ve taken a few recent screenshots of some of my affiliate payouts, just to give you an example of kind of money you can make.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t as easy as just slapping up an affiliate link or leaving spammy comments on Facebook or YouTube (that’s a perfect example of what NOT to do as an affiliate marketer.)
If you want to learn the RIGHT way to do affiliate marketing (so you can, you know, make money…) then I recommend learning how to start affiliate marketing for beginners.
This post dives into two recommendation for getting started with affiliate marketing. One is a community called Wealthy Affiliate that is a great way to learn about affiliate marketing and getting started with what is basically a team of mentors.
Over 1.4 million people from 195 different countries have become a member of the community, which is one of the most respected place to learn affiliate marketing, especially if you want to learn how to build a long-term asset (and not some fly-by-night, churn and burn “business.”)
The second is the online class Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Shroeder-Gardner. I’ve taken this class and it is a wealth of information. I HIGHLY recommend it.
How You Can Make Money From Home
For me, affiliate marketing has proven to be the perfect fit for my lifestyle.
However, it’s important to note that affiliate marketing is not the fastest way to make money online. If you need to make money fast then I recommend checking out these stay at home jobs that pay well, many of which are hiring right now.
Do you make a full time income from home? Leave a comment below and let me know if you have used any of these methods to make income from home!