Category: Employment

5 Tips for an Extrovert Working Alone

Are you an extrovert working from home or in an introverted field? That’s exactly what I’m doing. I think out loud (really…I talk to myself if I have to). I feel sluggish when I’m alone too much. I’m a “people person” in general. As a writer, however, I spend a lot of time alone. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world for me to do. Lucikily, I’m more of an introverted extrovert, so I can take alone time in semi-long doses. But being alone daily tends to make me off-focus.

Do you consider yourself an extrovert? I’ve come to this conclusion about myself by taking several tests based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests, and I pretty consistently score as an ENFP (the “E” stands for extroversion).

I also really enjoyed this article about introverts, which really made it clear to me that I am, indeed, an extrovert.

So what’s an extrovert working in an introverted job to do? Here are some tips I’ve compiled from “expert” extroverts I know.

  1. Recharge your battery every couple of hours. Call a friend, go for a walk, or chat online with a friend.
  2. Find a buddy who has a similar need. Make time throughout the day or week to chat in person.
  3. Consider working in a new location with new people around. If you work from home, try working at a local coffee shop a few days a week.
  4. Go grocery shopping. You’ll be sure to find someone who can help recharge your battery.
  5. If you can’t find someone to talk with or hang out with, try listening to talk radio or watch a short clip of an action-packed movie.

What tips do you have for other extroverts who work alone?

Don’t quit your day job

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You’ve heard this advice before, right? I definitely have, especially when I decided to start my own business. There are certainly those who can handle jumping into entrepreneurship headfirst, but the reality may be that you need to have a regular job while you grow your business.

Recently I started substitute teaching, but I found that market a little over-saturated. So I finally decided to work full-time, and made a serious effort to find a good job.

If you’ve been reading Crayon Writer over the years, you know that staying home with my daughter was a huge factor in deciding not to work full-time as an employee. Now that she’s three years old, I’ve found that we both enjoy time apart.

My new job as a secretary at an accounting firm is a perfect fit! Having a steady income also makes me more at ease, so I’m able to think about freelancing without the panic of, “I need a client NOW!”

Getting used to this new routine has taken some time, but I’m finding it incredibly enjoyable. At the same time, I’ve gotten requests for my freelance and blogging services…self-employment will make a nice side income.

Bottom line: as you start or advance in your entrepreneurial venture, continue to evaluate how things are working for you. Then make necessary changes, and see how that works out. Nothing is set in stone.

Have you re-evaluated your business lately? What kinds of changes have you made?

The speed of life

Working toward being a self-sustaining business owner is definitely not for the faint of heart. My journey recently included starting to substitute teach again. The goal? To make some steady money while not forgetting I really want to solely be an entrepreneur.

So far, it’s been pretty rocky. My last part-time gig was as a call center representative, and my poor throat has never been the same. Working with a classroom full of kids has made my throat injuries flare up again, so this gig may be short-lived. High school kids are easier (I just shut up and let them work), but the jobs aren’t steady yet (still early in the Arizona school year, though).

Though my 3-year-old likes her preschool, we miss being together, so we taken a few field trips during the week anyway.

It’s tough. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up, so remember that it’s the journey that counts…not the destination. Life is a highway.

Three is the charm

Running a business is hard work, as we all know.

Coupled with single parenting and attempting to work solely from home, I’ve had to make some tough choices. Now that my daughter’s three years old, we’re giving daycare/preschool a second chance, and it seems to be working. She likes the teachers, she asks to go to school, she hasn’t gotten a cold yet (knock on wood…but she’s been there 7 days), and now I have my time freed up a bit.

The great thing about her new school is they don’t run it like a typical daycare or preschool. The kids have a general structure, but then they’re allowed to decide what they want to do. The teaching style is Reggio Emilia, and is similar to Montessori schools. I think that’s one reason she likes it. Also, her main teacher “got” her immediately.

The next tough choice was whether to pour myself into my businesses, or work on a part-time job. For now, I’m going to work as a substitute teacher to take off some financial pressure. In my free time, or days when I can’t find an assignment, I’ll be blogging, freelancing, and/or working my direct sales business.

My goal? Besides raising a happy and healthy girl, I still plan to be an entrepreneur only. I’m just taking a detour for now.

Have you taken a part-time job while still pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams? Share with us!

New business venture

Freelance writing is definitely still part of my life, and I’ve recently decided to add another business to my life.

I strongly want to have a flexible schedule so I can spend time with my daughter. So a home-based network marketing business is a great fit for me right now.

I might have to start another blog now, but the next few months are sure to be an adventure.

Without going into much detail about the business (I’ll save that for another post or another blog), I would like to direct my loyal readers to the Donation button in the left-most side panel. Starting a new business takes a little capital, and I don’t think I’ve ever directly asked for folks to take notice of it.

So if you’re so inclined, click on it and donate away! Any amount will be a great help so I can hit the ground running. If not, no worries.

Just keep reading Crayon Writer, comment when you feel the urge, and enjoy!

Have you ever worked in a network marketing/direct sales business?

Working and blogging

As you know, I just started a temporary full-time job a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned for more on that. The temp job is over this week, so I’ll post a bit about the promotions I’ve done and how they work (generally).

Wow. I found out that when you’re used to being able to blog anytime, any place, it’s a huge adjustment to have full-time work that takes you away from your computer.

So here’s a quick question for you.

If you have a full-time job and you also have a frequently updated blog, how do you do it? Do you write all your posts for the week on the weekends? Do you carve out time during the week when you get home?

Daycare, work, and WordPress 2.5

Daycare is work, let me tell you!

After just three part-time days a couple of weeks ago, my daughter got a knock-out cold. Not wanting to stress her out (being in a new place while sick), and not wanting to expose her to more germs while her immune system was compromised, and not wanting to get others sick, I kept her home.

Week one came and went. The doctor said she had a sinus infection. So I’m stuck home another week with not only a busy, play-with-me-all-the-time toddler, but a sick one too. On top of that, I got the lovely cold the second week. It knocked me out for the count too. Lovely.

On the bright side, I did land a temporary gig that will allow me to focus on getting a permanent “day job” without worrying about money for a minute. If you’re a freelancer looking for a part-time or temporary thing, try promotions work. The gigs are usually pretty easy, and if you go through the main company (rather than where they outsource), they can pay pretty well. I’m working on a promotion with AMP Agency.

So things are looking up. And I have enough energy to blog again, now that my cold is on its way out.

Oh, and I finally upgraded to WordPress 2.5. Not bad. I got my visual editor back, and I get to play with a new toy. I love new programs. They keep me on my toes.

Do you blog well when you’ve got a cold? Have you upgraded to 2.5 yet?

Brick by brick

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November was my month for marketing my freelance writing business

I did a bit of cold emailing (as time permitted, considering I have a very busy toddler), and I have a few warm leads as a result.

I also started a new blog, Marana Unwrapped, both because it’s an interesting topic and it’s a more specific niche. (I consider Crayon Writer to be a more personal blog that also has some universal appeal.) Hopefully the exposure in my community will help me gain more clients, and the niche should attract advertisers also.

So December is my month of looking for freelance gigs, while I also continue looking for another day job.

What’s a freelance gig? Projects I find not by marketing myself, but by perusing freelance sites. Right now I only use Craigslist. With access to cities across the country (and the world, if I choose), I should be able to find some nice side work.

If you’re a single parent or sole breadwinner, how did you get started with your freelance business, and how do you keep on keepin’ on?

Writing as a WAHM

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I’m back to writing and blogging with a vengeance.

My day job as a call center representative didn’t last very long. Who knew that talking too much could be bad for your health? My throat is still recovering, even after having taken a two-month leave.

So that’s over, and I’m relieved. I’m back to being a work-at-home-mom. Kind of scary (I was enjoying a paycheck every couple of weeks), but great too (I missed being with my daughter).

I obviously think staying at home with my daughter is the best thing for her.

So I was pleased to accidentally find an inspiring, heartwarming post about WAHMs at Making Sales Making Money, a site about home based business opportunities. I found it on MyBlogLog (join my community)!

The author is also sponsoring a cool sweepstakes. So he recognizes the importance of WAHMs, and he’s trying to put money in folks’ pockets. What a find!

Part of marketing is letting people know you’re in business. So, listen up. I’m back in business! If you need a writer, I’m your gal. I have samples here on my blog, and also on my main website.

Spread the word!

In other writing news…

I’m renewing my efforts to get my writing business off the ground. It will still be slower than I like, since I will continue working a ‘day job,’ but I’m not taking my eyes off the prize.

So what’s been going on in my writing world?

I’ve taken on two cool projects, both with the same company. I’m a substitute court reporter, standing in whenever the main person is unable to make it (very rarely, actually). I go to the local courthouse and gather civil cases that subscribers are interested in. Then I write short summaries about them.

And the company, Courthouse News Service, is starting an environmental law digest, and I’ve been asked to write for it. I’m assigned several court cases to read, and I have to write long summaries/articles about them.

Having some law school under my belt is coming in handy!

I’m also applying for writing jobs, possibly to replace my current job as a call center representative. I’m not sure what I’ll decide, though. I like the relative flexibility my job offers, but I’d like to do work that uses my many skills.

Finally, I’m beginning to get calls from contacts I made months ago, so my business isn’t dead. I’ll just keep putting hooks out there and see what bites.

My advice for other people venturing into the world of writing: keep trying, even when things aren’t going your way. Don’t give up!