Lynn Terry is the owner of ClickNewz and has been working full time from home since 1997.
ClickNewz offers practical advice and detailed tutorials for people that want to start an online business, or promote their business online.
ClickNewz allows Lynn to share her experiences – sharing what works, what doesn’t, what’s new, what to do – and what NOT to do to make money online. And she offers this advice all for free.
More importantly, Lynn also DOES what she teaches – and that’s how she makes her revenue.
Lynn is a work at home mom with two children.
Check out her take on being a WAHM entrepreneur below.
What made you start your business?
I was married at the time, with a combined family of four children: one mine, two his, and one ours. My husband was out of work and we were barely scraping by on my just-over-minimum-wage job.
During my pregnancy with “ours”, I worked up to 50 hours a week. I scheduled her delivery, took off one week before, and was back to work within two weeks total. And going that two weeks without a paycheck was hard times.
I started my first business offline in a market where my husband could use his trade. We did six figures the first full year in business. I started my web based business that same year. The rest is history. :-)
How did you finance your business in the early days?
We had no credit, no savings, and zero to start up. We sold everything that wasn’t nailed down – clothes, furniture, dishes, the kids’ toys, you name it. We ended up with a whopping $600. LOL.
We moved into a small rental house outside a big city that had a workshop/shed. We had no business cards, no sign, nothing – not even a phone line to start. It was a rough start up. And while it seemed impractical and impossible, silly even, all I could think is “What’s the worst that could happen? We’re already broker than broke!” Worst case scenario we’d just have to find another job, right? Something had to give…
What is your average workday like?
Fast forward 15 years and I am a single work-at-home mom. I went through an unexpected divorce just a couple years into the business, which was 12 years ago. In the beginning I worked 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week, while taking care of our family of six ranging from 5 months old to 8 years old.
My own two children are now going on 16 and 21 years old, and my son has moved out on his own. My business has also matured, and I can manage it in as little as 5-10 hours a week. That said, I LOVE what I do and always stay busy finding fun new things to test or get into.
I start early (before sunrise) and usually have my priority tasks knocked out before most people even make it to their desk. After that I take my day as it comes. I may meet friends for lunch, take a long afternoon nap, or take my great danes for a walk. The rest of the day is open to creative inspiration and whatever I feel motivated to work on – if anything at all. But I usually do. ;-)
What has been your biggest challenge as a WAHM Entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge was finding balance, particularly after my divorce, as an entrepreneur and a parent. My children and always have been my highest priority. As a single mother, that included creating a lifestyle for them, and putting food on the table – so my business had to take an almost equal priority in the earlier years.
This is one of the reasons I started getting up early and taking care of priority tasks first thing. I wanted to be available to my children if something came up, or if they just really wanted to spend quality time with me. Those moments are precious, and no task on the list should ever get in the way of going out to breakfast or having a good chat on the back deck!
During my start-up years though, it was definitely a challenge. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day to do all or be all. But I busted my butt to get my business to a point that it earned more money in less time, which was the key to overcoming that challenge…
What has been your biggest success as a WAHM Entrepreneur?
My biggest success, hands down, was raising two children into beautiful well-balanced young adults. I was sure they would turn out crazy growing up in my home office and during my start-up years, lol.
As for business – I did it. I created my ideal lifestyle, and I’m living it. For me it was never about money, it was about peace and happiness. About providing a good life for my children. My business was simply the source for that.
How do you stay motivated when working from home?
They key is doing something you love – something you truly ENJOY. My first business online was service-based, back in the 90’s, and while I enjoyed it then… I grew to dislike it over the years. I found that having clients was very much like having a boss – you just had multiple bosses!
I changed my business model completely, and have been much happier since. I now focus strictly on blogging and affiliate marketing. My favorite phrase these days is “I’m not for hire.” LOL.
When you really enjoy what you do, you can’t wait to jump out of bed in the morning and get straight to work! ;-)
How do you balance your work and family?
This is a tough one, as I mentioned above. Especially if you are a single parent and your business is your sole source of income to provide for your family.
When I home schooled the children I would work early mornings before they woke up, and late nights after they went to sleep. And of course I would cat nap in the afternoon while they played. I did what I had to do.
I was also very open with my children, even when they were younger, and they understood what I was doing and why – what my goals were for us as a family. And they supported that, even more so as they got older. They’ve been very appreciative of what I invested to create a better life for them.
I always put them first. Always. If they needed me, I was there – and I dropped everything to listen, apply bandaids, take them somewhere, you name it. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in work and deadlines… but I reminded myself constantly WHY I was doing what I was doing.
What has been your most successful marketing tactic for your business?
As a marketing strategy, search engine optimization hands-down. You need to be where people are looking for what you offer, at the exact moment they’re looking for it, period.
While other methods and strategies have come and gone over the years, the search engines have provided a steady source of targeted traffic for me without fail.
What is your favorite productivity tip or tool?
My favorite tool at the moment is my mobile device. I use a Droid Razr, but any smart phone is tops for productivity these days. It allows me to work on the go, and I get an amazing amount of work done in the smallest spots of free time. While waiting at the doctor’s office, for example – I can fire off important email replies. Or while traveling, I can draft blog post ideas in my Evernote app while waiting for my flight, etc.
Having my business in my back pocket means I’m not stuck in the office. And since I started using a smart phone… I’m rarely EVER in my office anymore, which is nice!
Who do you admire most and why?
I admire Rae Hoffman aka Sugarrae. She has always inspired me, simply because she worked against difficult circumstances to reach her goals… and never complained, never gave up. She is walking proof that ANYone can start a successful business online, regardless of their circumstances, if they’re willing to go the extra mile.
There are many other people I’ve watched rise above difficult situations to become super successful, and they all inspire me greatly. I love to see people put up a fight, refuse to accept “what life handed them”, and walk out on the other side a winner. Everyone has that option, but it’s a very small percentage that take it…
What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m an introvert. :D
Most people assume that I am extroverted and outgoing, given my online personality and strong social media presence. That said, I am usually at home alone while working – which is where I prefer to be.
While I’m not “shy”, and I do attend events all over the world, you’ll catch me taking frequent breaks and even having dinner alone in my room. And I blush “out loud”. Like three shades of purple. LOL.
Where do you see your business at two years from now?
My business has consistently grown every single year, both in terms of income and reach. I expect it will continue to grow over the next two years. I am also in the process of publishing my first set of books, and look forward to adding “published author” to my list of accomplishments!
What advice would you give to aspiring WAHM Entrepreneurs?
Dig deep and know what you want to achieve. And more importantly, WHY you want to achieve that goal. Keep that in mind every single day.
Also know that being an entrepreneur means going with your own ideas, working on your own schedule, making your own choices and decisions, and turning failures into learning experiences. It can be tough to get out of the “employee mindset” we were all raised with. Don’t look for blueprints or instructions, or guidance. It’s your business, and you’ll do best to run it YOUR way. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about! ;-)