By Barbara L. Nelson
From candle making to Cajun gifts to angel cards to eBay, Bill and I did marketing research on our home based business for nearly a year before launching our freelance copywriting and content creation business.
What we kept being drawn back to was our advanced skills in business communications. Between us, we have produced thousands of pages of copy for newspapers, magazines, manuals, brochures, press releases, websites, blogs and social media throughout our careers.
However, it didn’t happen overnight or without a lot of false starts, frustration and wanting to throw the towel in several times.
Bill and I had achieved great success in our careers. Bill as a software engineer and product manager and me as a professional journalist, publicist and marketing and communications director. However, in recent years, jobs for middle-management executives had disappeared, especially for professionals in their 50s.
There comes a time in every professional’s life when you don’t want to accept that your career as a paid employee is over. However, we both reached that point in the Summer of 2015 when we didn’t find positions that were commensurate with our years of experience and “over qualified” was the common feedback from prospective employers when we tried to take a lesser position.
So necessity being the mother of invention, we sought to open our own home based business. We came up with some pretty hair-brained ideas, which were immediately eliminated.
However, for over a year, we researched viable business ideas, while working part-time jobs. We thought candle making might be fun, but the cost to produce was way too high. The materials and our time didn’t equate to even a marginal profit. We looked into repackaging and selling Cajun spices online, but after some deep discussions, we didn’t feel it represented where we wanted to go businesswise. We also tried eBay and still have our e-store open, but neither one of us like to shop or garage sale, which is a requirement to source inexpensive products to sell.
We also worked together to launch my angel card reading business and got my website Following the Light up and running in 2015. But after four solid months of creating content, video readings and Social Media advertising nothing materialized as far as paying customers. I still do readings, but by donations only now. Please see http://followingthelightangels.com/
In keeping with our overall goal, which was to be able to work from anywhere on the globe and still make a living, we thought about helping small businesses create their own websites. Although both of us could create websites, since we had already launched Following the Light, we weren’t experts at it.
After both of us feeling like abject failures at being successful business owners and not being able to find meaningful work, it just happened. One day we just decided to start working on the creation of the Nelson & Nelson website and see where it took us. We were able to pare our services down to what we both have already been successful at in our careers – writing! Voila, and when I saw the finished website, I couldn’t believe it took us that long to come to the same conclusion. This is what we’ve done all our careers, why hadn’t we thought of it earlier?
If you find yourself in a similar situation wanting or needing to start your own small business, it will be helpful to ask these questions. What do you enjoy doing? What comes naturally? And what do you lose time doing? Therein should lie your answer. It’s not something you’ve never done. It’s not something that you think is going to make you a lot of money. It’s the thing you do best and would do for free even if you don’t get paid. And don’t feel like a failure or give up as it may take you awhile to find out what it is you can contribute to the world while making a living. It will come. Trust the universe.
So there you have it, I hope you follow us on our continuing journey. And please feel free to contact us. I would love to chat and help you along your own path to fulfillment and freedom of owning your own business?