This is Kate Burnett’s story. Kate has a gift for words and always wanted to make money writing. But she was worried that this would mean low pay and long hours.
When I first met Kate, I immediately felt a connection. We have a lot in common – we both love writing, are introverts (INFJs) and are determined to stay home with our kids.
Kate wanted a business that gave her the freedom to be present with her family. Her love of writing led her to start a freelance writing business.
I find Kate’s story inspiring for so many reasons – but what I most love is how she overcame her doubts and found the courage to call herself a writer. Here are some of Kate’s highlights:
- Created two websites in just five days.
- Overcame her fear of putting herself out there by declaring “I am a writer”.
- Landed four freelancing clients (who all wanted to keep working with her).
- Earned $2,300 AUD (approximately $1,600 USD) in her first full month as a freelance writer.
You can find out more about Kate on her website: wordartistry.com.au
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
I’ve always had a passion for words. My earliest memories are filled with books, my father’s ‘made-up’ bedtime stories and notepads with chunky, childish handwriting.
Growing up in a chaotic environment, stories of other peoples’ worlds were my haven – my window into another world. It should have been obvious, but it took me 20-odd years of trying various jobs and becoming a mother to give myself permission to follow my dreams.
Why did you decide to start this business?
Children have a way of changing everything. Mostly, they changed my priorities. I was done dealing with petty office politics and sacrificing my values for the sake of somebody else’s profit.
But more than anything, I didn’t want my kids to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at a long-hours daycare facility (that reduced my take-home pay to virtually nothing). I also really wanted to finally do something that I loved!
Was there anything holding you back from starting your business?
Yes! Mostly my belief that writers are ‘starving artists’ and online entrepreneurs are slaves to their businesses, clocking unsustainable hours while putting their family on the back burner. I didn’t believe I could make money writing.
Setting up a website was also challenging. I was torn between two career paths – blogging and freelance writing.
I got so stuck trying to figure out whether to start a blog or freelance writing business, who my target audience was etc., that I ended up taking a break from that decision-making process. I signed up for a blog building bootcamp that provided the shove (via a deadline) I needed to get unstuck.
I built two websites (blog and freelance writing) in five days. In the process of building both websites, the niche for my blog became obvious.
Then, with Sally’s guidance, I decided to relax into the freelance writing and let myself discover through trying different styles of writing, which direction I preferred.
(Note from Sally: This happens to many people. You feel like you can’t pick one direction to move in and so become paralyzed with indecision. I’ve been there and so have most of my clients. The answer is to pick one idea and go with it. You can always pivot later. It’s through action that you find clarity).
How did you find your first freelancing clients?
I found my first two clients via ‘Airtasker’ – an Australian online task bidding site, similar to ‘Task Rabbit’ or ‘Fiverr’. My other two clients came about after having the courage to tell people “I’m a freelance writer”.
A friend’s sister owned a PR firm and offered to connect us which turned into a freelance job offer. Another friend became a client. Starting your own business is hard, but I think the toughest part is putting yourself out there and declaring “I am a writer”.
In my first full month of freelance writing I earned around $2,300 AUD (approximately $1,600 USD).
I haven’t proactively sought further work, but my original four clients keep returning with more opportunities. So, I must be doing something right!
What are you looking forward to in the next 12 months?
I’m really looking forward to seeing where this takes me. I’d like to grow my writing business at a pace that’s sustainable for me and my family while also having fun on the journey.
Thanks to Sally’s coaching, I now believe this is possible. I CAN have a profitable business that fits around my family life.
What about you? Are you ready to make money doing what you love? If so, check out the Work-At-Home Resource Library. You’ll find a supportive community and a library of resources on blogging, publishing, freelancing, coaching and more. For more information click the image below. We’d love to meet you!