This June marked Inspired Budget’s two-year anniversary. That’s right. This little online business of mine is officially two years old and I feel like one proud mama. I’ve spent the past 730+ days pouring into this space and building a place where people can learn how to budget better, make saving second nature, and pay off debt.
And although I like to think that Inspired Budget has helped change people’s lives, it’s truly my life that has changed the most. There have been so many good things that Inspired Budget has brought me, but I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t any headaches along the way. I’m sharing with you how building my online business has truly changed my life…for the better and worse.
The Positives of Building My Online Business
Thankfully, the pros of building my online business far outweigh the cons. But to be perfectly transparent, the pros didn’t always outweigh the cons. It took time (oh precious time!) to reap the rewards of building this online business.
I’m in my element.
I built Inspired Budget as a full-time teacher. It was during my 8th year of teaching when I launched this business and before that, I always felt like I was meant for something different. I knew that I enjoyed teaching. And to be honest, teaching was a talent of mine. I had the ability to capture the attention of ten and eleven-year-olds like nobody’s business. I could make dividing fractions FUN. But there were times when I was just so over it. I would constantly google search “what other jobs can I get with a teaching degree?” I was always looking for the next thing I’d do.
When I was in the dreaming stages of Inspired Budget, I just knew this was what I had been searching for. It was the perfect way to take a talent of mine (teaching) and combine it with what I was passionate about (personal finances). I felt like I was in my element when I was working on Inspired Budget. I felt as if it was what I was called to do. Teaching people how to budget and live on less has brought me so much joy and happiness.
I learned dedication like never before.
I can hands down say that building Inspired Budget from the ground up might be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever taken on. It taught how to be dedicated to something that was just a dream. No one else could see where I wanted to take my business, but I had a vision. I would work on Inspired Budget day in and day out. I’d stay up late and wake up early to write blog posts, create products, and work on my website. Those first few months were the hardest. I had barely any pageviews (they mostly came from my mom) despite all my efforts. That’s the moment when I could have given up. That’s the moment when I wasn’t seeing the fruits of my labor. But I kept going. I was dedicated and I just knew that Inspired Budget had the potential to help so many people change their financial future!
I’ve met so many new people.
I’ve been lucky to form friendships and relationships with people that I would have never met prior to building my online business. I have dear friends all over the country that I check in with weekly and encourage me to keep working toward my vision. These great people would have never been in my life if it wasn’t for Inspired Budget. When you’re starting an online business, sometimes it feels as if the people around you just don’t get it. Some of them don’t understand why you would put so much time and effort into your business. That’s why I love having people around the world that DO get it. They are also working toward success in their business and have huge goals.
I have flexibility.
When I was a teacher and one of my kids got sick, it was such a hassle to get everything in order to be gone. I’d have to find a sub, go into school early to write sub plans, and come back to a MESS in my classroom. Sometimes my husband and I would debate over who would need to take off next for a sick kid.
Now I have flexibility when it comes to my job. I get to choose my schedule and where I work! I can literally work from anywhere (as long as I have internet access)! When one of my kids is sick this year, I’ll be able to stay home with them. No sub plans. No docked pay. Just me being able to be the mom that I want to be for my boys.
My potential for income is limitless.
We all know teachers are way underpaid. Not only are they underpaid, but typically there is no room for income growth if you stay in the classroom. Those that become principals or work in administration usually make good money, but the teachers that stay in the classroom for their entire career are stuck with their income.
I love the idea that I have direct control over the money that I make with my online business. I’m not stuck with a pay scale and 1% raise each year. The harder I work, the more money I will make. My potential for income is determined by me. And I was able to fully replace my teaching income in 2 years while working on my online business AND teach full time. I cannot wait to see what I can do now that I’m working on Inspired Budget full time!
The Not-So-Great Aspects of Building My Online Business.
I want to be fully transparent here. Building an online business has not been all sunshine and rainbows. There have been days when I feel like a failure, want to give up, and wonder if I’ve wasted my time. Every person’s journey is different, but I’m sharing the parts of building my business that just flat out sucked.
I was exhausted.
I spent two full years working 45+ hours each week as a teacher, coming home to cook dinner, tend to my kids, and then work on my own business. No matter how much coffee one consumes, you’ll get exhausted doing that. I was exhausted ALL. THE. TIME. I gained weight because my health was put on the back burner. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know how much longer I could do that. I knew that I had to take the leap and leave my full-time job because I couldn’t keep going at the same speed that I was operating at.
I became hyper-focused.
When I would work on Inspired Budget, I’d become so hyper-focused that I would ignore everything that was happening around me. That included my family and husband at times. It was so hard for me to find time to do it all. How could I be a good wife, mom, teacher, and business owner? This is where I failed. I wasn’t always good at all those things. There were times that I was good at some of my roles and failed at others.
I’m still learning how to have a healthy balance between work and family. I have to give myself working hours so that I don’t let my business bleed over into my family time. It’s HARD because I want to get all the things done with my business! This is still a struggle for me and one that I have to work on daily.
My kids and husband were affected.
One day my son and I ran up to the grocery store. We were walking back to the car and my 6-year-old boy asked me why I worked on Inspired Budget so much. He asked me why it takes time away from him.
My heart broke.
It’s pieces scattered on the parking lot of a Kroger.
My immediate reaction was to be defensive. But then I paused. You see, I was still working a full-time job. I was a wife, mom, teacher, and business owner. So I told my sweet boy that I love him very much. I told him that I work hard on Inspired Budget because it brings me joy. I work on it because it allows me to help others.
The truth is that sometimes Inspired Budget took me away from my family. I would multi-task to a fault. But I also want my kids to know what hard work looks like. And that you can work towards a goal that others tell you is impossible. So I cried on and off that night. But after he was in bed, I found myself at my computer working on my business late into the night. Because one day that sweet boy is going to ask me how I reached these goals of mine. And I’ll tell him how I defied the odds.
I’m taking a risk.
I know that leaving the comfort of my full-time job and secure paycheck is a risk. And for someone who craves security, this was a BIG leap for me to take. Even though I’ve replaced my teaching income, it’s still scary. This business is now my bread and butter. I make a living from it and that carries a weight that I hadn’t felt before. I don’t take it lightly and it terrifies me to this day! But thankfully, I know myself. I’m willing to put in the work and effort to grow Inspired Budget.
No journey is perfect. Building my online business has not been easy. There have been headaches along the way. Despite those challenges, I can 100% say that my business, Inspired Budget, has changed my life. I’m in my element. I’m doing what I love. And I’m helping others. I am so thankful that I took the leap to start this business. If someone asked me if I’d do it all over again the answer would be “Yes. One hundred times Yes!”