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Family or Marriage Finances & Money

How Freelancing Allowed Me to Be A Participating Mom

By Tisha Kulak

You can probably guess this is a guest post as I don’t have the anatomy to be a mom. This post is provided by Debbie Dragon (who is a writer for, and written by Tisha A. Kulak. Tisha was the first “student” of the make money from writing program. She has since gone on to start and run her own successful freelance writing business.

When my daughter was born, nearly six years ago, we moved in with my parents so I could stay at home with her. We survived for eight months without another income before I had to go back to work. While I fully believe enrolling my daughter in daycare at such a young age was very beneficial to her development, it broke my heart to drop her off at the center every morning so that I could earn a living.

Finding a way to make it work

After several years in daycare and preschool, my only child was set to start kindergarten and I was determined to find a way to put her on the bus each morning and greet her each day. Her dad worked a shift schedule and wasn’t home for either of those times. We didn’t know how we were going to cope with finding and affording after-school care for just a few hours a week since we finally could afford to live on our own. We have no local relatives that were available and we didn’t know anyone in the new town we lived. The cost of after-school care was even more expensive than preschool but we couldn’t live without that second income. We really felt like we were stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

I had seriously been considering starting my own business for many years. However, I had no means to obtain start up money, a business plan was too difficult to put together, and I had no real idea where to begin. I was nearly convinced I would be working 8-5 for the rest of my life and my daughter would become a latch-key kid like I was when I was growing up.

Getting a lucky break, then losing it

I got a lucky break and started moonlighting for a friend, doing marketing work while I continued to work full time. The venture began getting steadier and I finally felt ready to quit my job six months later. Kindergarten would be starting in August and I was ecstatic that I had finally found a way to be there for my child. But just two months later, the bottom fell out. The company ran out of money and I was left without a job or work in the pipeline. I was again almost certain that I would have to go back to a job outside of the house.

Finding freelance work

One night, while scouring the internet, I met Debbie Dragon through an online ad. She was looking for administrative help and I sent her my resume and a brief email. She responded and we continued to exchange several more introductory emails. She was aware of my situation but surprised me by declining my offer to do office-type work for her. Instead, she recommended that I give writing a try, saying I was over-qualified for the administrative work for which she had placed the ad!

While I had always been a writer, so to speak, the possibility that I could get paid for doing it was just beyond me. I couldn’t fathom that I would make a living at it. However, Debbie persisted. She sent me some work. I plagued her with questions. She guided me every step of the way. Before I knew what was happening, I was a full time freelance writer, making a better living than I ever had before. My pipeline of work is steady –sometimes too steady – and I get every opportunity to see my daughter thrive. School functions, parties, parades – I get to see her do it all because I work for myself and have since built a legitimate business that is still growing strong!

What began as a mentoring relationship has since blossomed into a full blown opportunity for others who want a career as a freelancer. Debbie has transformed her methods into a whole program called “Make Money From Writing” and now offers it to other “students” interested in changing a career, supplementing an income, or starting a business. In all my quests envisioning a entrepreneur business for myself, never once did I seriously think I could make a living as a freelance writer. I thought only people in movies did that stuff. Being a parent is my top priority in life and supporting her is a necessity that essentially brought me where I am today. Freelancing was the best decision I have ever made and surprisingly, the whole ordeal was not even half as difficult as I imagined it would be.

Note from Clever Dude

I have posted this guest article so that some of you who think you’re stuck in a 9-5 job can realize that there is other work out there to be had. I do not, however, have experience with Debbie’s program so I cannot endorse it. But if you’re a writer and want to give it a try, feel free to contact Debbie through her site.

About the author

Clever Dude

1 Comment

  • It’s inspiring to read about the real life stories of online writers. I agree, with you Clever Dude—there is other work out there than a day job. I too was stuck with a 9 to 5 job and sad to say, the rewards in terms of compensation and promotions were limited…not to mention the competition that you will have to contend with. Great site clever dude! hope i could contribute my story here some other time.

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