This post is part of the series Follow Your Dreams
Other posts in this series:
I am pleased to share with you the second in a series of interviews with featured bloggers, entrepreneurs, and independent ministries. Today I will be chatting with Lydia Samson of The Unchaotic Life.
Welcome, Lydia, to A Heavenly Home. To start off, please tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my titles are wife, mother, financial blogger, author, social media manager and insurance agent and financial consultant. At my core, I am really just a girl who has found trust in God at an early age and who is trying to build that faith every day in little ways. To me, this means decreasing stress and creating peace and order in my home and helping people learn to do the same thing through my writing.
Read Lydia’s article From Total Desperation to a Little Hope.
You sure do wear many hats! What motivated you to start your own business and transition to working from home?
I have always wanted to have my own business. When my husband and I got married, he pushed us both to believe in working for ourselves and we have been working four years toward that goal. We just recently had our son and we decided to use my paid maternity leave to push our businesses to full time.
It is great to have someone in your life to motivate and encourage you. By the way, your little son is adorable! How do you balance family and your business?
Balance is a daily struggle, and I spend most time feeling more off-balance than that I am maintaining my balance. However, for me, I found that I can sort-of keep balance by creating priorities and schedules. For priorities, my husband and son come above anything, so if a discussion is needed or my son needs to be held, then I put away my work and focus on them. That’s the key – choosing to be intentional in what we are focusing on.
I have to be very strict with my schedule. It is incredibly important to create time for work, even more so when you are a stay at home parent. I found that when I switched from working my 9-to-5 to being at home, everyone I knew wanted to spend time with me and our son. I had to be the one to set the boundaries and stick to using my time efficiently.
Most days, I am awake at 6 am and go until 8 or 9pm. I have a few hours to write and run my online businesses before my baby wakes up. Once he is awake, my focus is more on him than on my business. I schedule face-to-face appointments in the afternoon and evening. I try to keep boundaries against working at night when my husband is home so we can spend time together.I have to be careful not to allow other people's opinions of me and my own opinions to get in the way of my businesses. - Interview with Lydia of http://theunchaoticlife.com Click To Tweet
One thing I have noticed is that I have to be careful not to allow other people’s opinions of me and my own opinions to get in the way of my businesses. What I mean is that I can self-pressure to have a perfect house or to spend more time with family/friends or I can relax and use my time the way it is scheduled.
To do this, I literally have to put chores, family and relaxing time into the schedule. This takes some of my stress away, because I know I will still be able to do those things as well as running my businesses.
Excellent points! It is important to remember that a work-from-home job is still a job and needs the proper amount of time dedicated to it to thrive. On your entrepreneur journey, what challenges have you experienced so far?
The biggest challenges I have had is in my own head. It is even harder to believe that God gave me a dream to write and is going to bless it like I believe He will. It is hard to believe that my blogging is going to make a difference or that I can make a full-time income with it. It is hard not to read other blogs or watch other businesses in comparison to where I am.
In hindsight, would you do anything differently?
In hindsight, I would take time to listen and learn from experts more. For my blog, I would have started out on my own website instead of a free site, since I lost all my followers and audience when I made the switch from free to my own site. I would have focused on following the social media rules from the beginning, instead of learning three years later. And I would have been listening to prayers, motivational speeches and reading self-improvement books from day one instead of waiting until the last few months to do that.
You mention how God gave you the dream to write. How does being a Christian affect or influence your work?
Well, if you are reading my blog, you will see that my faith isn’t front and center. Actually, my blog is about bettering finances for small businesses and families. My insurance agent and financial consulting business do not scream “Christian” either. I pulled my businesses away from the Christian label so I can reach more people who may not allow me in their influence if my writing was faith-based.
However, my faith is very real, my prayers are strong and people who are close to me know I truly believe in a loving, gentle God who is by my side no matter what is happening. I once read a quote that said: “A Christian shoe-maker does not change the world by writing John 3:16 on every pair of shoes, but by being the one who always makes the highest quality shoes.”
That stayed with me for years, and every day I pray that I am the Christian whose works are bringing people to God as help people learn better financial management and give them the best quality customer service and resources that I can.
What advice would you give someone who wants to follow their passion but might be nervous to do so?
Oh goodness, let me tell you, I have made all the mistakes and worked through my issues slowly (over 3 years!). My advice is to start part-time, prove to yourself that the dream you have you are actually committed to. If you can grow a business, a blog or create a movement only after work or on the weekends, you can make it going full time. I know that we have had several ideas of good businesses, but we found that we if weren’t dedicated part-time to it, it wasn’t really a big enough dream to quit our jobs for.
Actually, don’t quit a good job until you HAVE to — until the dream grows so big that you have no choice but to follow it! There is a lot of stress that comes with starting a business, and one of those stressors is no longer having a steady paycheck and benefits. Stay with your job until your dream needs full-time attention.
Read Lydia’s article 6 Easy Changes to Make When You Need Extra Money.
My second advice is that if you decide to quit a career for a dream, you will not be successful unless you are willing to put the time into it. This means go FULL TIME! Work 40 hours a week at your dream, not part-time or weekends or when it is convenient. Treat it like it is a 9-to-5 that you can be fired from and you will see it growing quickly.
That is wonderful advice! It has been great chatting with you today. Before we say farewell, is there a Bible verse or passage that encourages and motivates you that you would like to share with our readers?
Amen! Thank you, Lydia, for taking time to be with us today.
Dear friends, you can hear more from Lydia at her website and social media channels.
Continue reading this series: