If you heard about a stay–at–home mom that was struggling to make ends meet and then started making $2,000 to $3,000 in extra income each month, would you be interested in learning more about her story?
A few days ago, a Passive Panda reader reached out to me and said that she had done just that.
Here’s what happened…
From Struggling to $3,000 Per Month
A few days ago, I received an email that said the following…
I wanted to thank you for your post about side hustlin’.
This one: http://passivepanda.com/freelance-writer
The two links provided in that article have brought me about $2,000 to $3,000 in extra work per month. I run a few businesses and was in the middle of rebranding one to better present it to the world when my income dropped.
If it weren’t for the writing gigs I found through your post, I am sure my family would be living in a cardboard box under a bridge … or worse, with my mother–in–law.
Thanks again, I really appreciate your insight and help.
I love hearing success stories from Passive Panda readers for two reasons.
First, it makes me feel good to know that I’m making a difference and positively impacting your life.
Second, every time I hear about someone’s success it’s proof that the principles and strategies that I share on Passive Panda actually work. In other words, when you read Passive Panda you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re being pitched some weird scam or a useless tactic.
Readers like Dani are proof that the ideas I share will work for you. All you need to do is put them into action.
Even better, when people are using Passive Panda’s free content to make an extra $3,000 per month, you can’t help but wonder how much you could make with our premium strategies.
In other words, when I offer premium training (like The Remora Method for example), you know that it gets results. You don’t need to worry about whether or not it will work, you just need to decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Alright, let’s get back to Dani’s story.
Earning More Money is Difficult
But knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things. Many freelancers struggle to get going – even when they know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Dani was no different. After her initial email, I asked for more details and what she told me revealed some important lessons about boosting your income.
Here is what she said about her journey into freelancing…
I spent 8 years working a corporate job in IT while living in Charlotte, NC.
We sold everything we owned to move to a smaller town in the mountains and I took on a part–time, lower–paying IT job to get me through learning how to start freelancing. The whole point was for me to not have to work 24/7 like I was in IT.
I felt freelancing would give me the flexibility I needed to stay home with my 8–month–old daughter and earn enough to take care of us.
My spouse was in college and I was our sole income. I worked my day job and hustled for about a year working at night to build up my clientele so I could just dump the day job. I would stay up until 4am every night and then get up at 7am to go to the day job.
I thought all this hard work would have to pay off … right?
Notice how hard Dani is working? If you’re reading Passive Panda, then I bet you fall into the same category.
You’re not lazy. You’re not stupid. And you’re willing to do what you need to do to make it happen.
But it’s frustrating and exhausting when you don’t get the results you deserve. It’s always hard for me to hear about people battling through this cycle of struggle because everything seems overwhelming at this stage.
Let’s see how Dani deals with it…
So about a year ago I left my part–time day job and took the plunge to full–fledged freelancer. (Part–time. Ha! 37.5 hours a week so they wouldn’t have to give me benefits.)
We only had one car so this decision meant that my spouse could go from online school back to physical college to pursue his dreams of being a Paramedic.
Everything was fantastic until I realized I was doing it all wrong. I was charging too little and slowly the crappy income began to catch up to me. No longer having the steady day job paycheck really made me open my eyes. I was working super long hours and barely making any money. I realized I needed to rebrand and dump my cheapskate clients and somehow find clients who were willing to pay for my expertise.
We were falling behind on our bills for the first time in our lives. I kept thinking I was going to have to get another day job and admit to everyone I failed.
But we only had one car, lived too far to take public transportation, and my spouse was using the car to go to Paramedic school full–time, plus interning at the hospital.
What was I going to do to gain more income from home?
If you have ever battled through the initial phase of working for yourself, then you probably know how Dani felt at this point.
Or perhaps you fear the situation Dani describes so much that you’re terrified to get started at all. In that case, I recommend starting with small steps. Or you could watch this interview on overcoming fear.
At this point, I think it’s important to clarify a few things.
First, you’re not a failure if you try something new and it doesn’t work out. In fact, I would argue that you’re a success either way because you now have the courage that most people don’t have.
You see, many people avoid working hard for something difficult or putting their neck on the line for something new because they are afraid that if it doesn’t work out, then that means that they are a failure.
This is a classic reason why some students don’t try in school. If they don’t try and get bad grades, then they can simply blame it on not trying. But if they do try and get bad grades, then they assume that they must be stupid. So they avoid it all together and don’t try.
I would encourage you to take a different route. If you’re the type of person who has read this far into this article, then you’re also the type of person who cares about making a change and becoming better. And it’s good that you care.
So don’t do yourself the injustice of acting like you don’t care or avoid what could be a great opportunity because it might not work out.
There is no universal measurement of failure. Only you decide if the time you put in was a success or not. And I’m willing to bet that no matter what the risk and no matter how difficult the situation, if you put all that you have into something, then it won’t be a failure. Even if it’s not the result you were hoping for or the path you planned on walking.
Back to Dani’s story…
As a freelancer I was blogging for clients and writing ebooks for them. I also ran my own Virtual Assistant firm where I had some long–term clients who were paying peanuts because I was too nice. I really had no clue how to run a business and what to charge.
We were just scraping by and in a position where we were about to lose everything. I became the epitome of the term “starving freelancer” … except I had a family relying on me.
I just kept thinking, if I could just find something that paid a little more I could have the life I wanted and my family deserved.
I saw your article and it lead me to a whole new world of gigs and leads. I knew I wanted to write professionally but I was not a professional writer (in my eyes). I had a lack of confidence, but your article gave me motivation to just apply and see what would happen.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to simply try new things. This is as true for life as it is for freelancing.
Many people avoid reaching out or stretching themselves because they don’t think that they are qualified yet or they haven’t done enough.
Guess what? Everyone is figuring it out as they go along.
Dani felt like she had “no clue how to run a business” and a few weeks later she was making $3,000 per month working for herself.
Don’t disqualify yourself by not trying at all. Reach for new clients. Contact people “above your level.” Try something totally new.
If you keep searching, keep working, and continue trying new things, then eventually you’ll find something that will work…
I would say I started earning money within about three weeks after reading your article. In my initial emails, I had sent about 5 writing samples out and two people wrote me back for interviews. Then they asked me to start as soon as possible!
One job is a content idea position where I come up with content ideas for a guest blogging company. So instead of writing I get to be super creative and tease people with potential articles.
The other is a weekly job where I write five 750 to 1000 word articles a week for an IT company and it pays really, really, really well. I make more in a day doing that one job than I did in a week working with those crappy clients for the past year.
That job is only a 6–week contract but it has catapulted my confidence and I’m still using your article to find more gigs.
I can’t tell you how happy I am when I hear stories like this. Dani is living proof that if you work hard and put smart ideas into practice, then you’ll find success.
Think about how easy it would have been for Dani to give up and get a real job. I bet there were weeks on end where she felt stressed and pressured and ready to move on. But she kept at it, kept searching for new ideas and trying new things. And in the end, she turned the corner.
As with most Passive Panda tales, this story has a happy ending…
In the end, dumping my crappy clients and taking on these two gigs to fill their hours gave me 4 times more pay and about 15 more hours per week to hang out with my family.
Previously, I had found some writing gigs on Elance, People for Hire, and ODesk while trying to get more income, but they were low paying just like my crappy clients. Your article lead me to much higher paying jobs than those ever did. I took a risk by declining those lower jobs and taking the time to apply to the ones on the two links from your blog.
Before these gigs I was working day and night at the lower rate like a fool. My family was upset because I told them freelancing would allow me to have more time with them and with my early business model clearly that wasn’t the case. It changed my perspective on hustling and doing it the right way. It also taught me that some risks do pay off.
I’m happy to say that we’ve caught up on our bills, been able to pay out of pocket for my spouses next school semester, and I’ve been able to shorten my workday.
It’s always good to end on a high note.
You can visit Dani’s website at danimagestro.com
What You Should Do Now
I want to hear from you.
Leave a comment below and tell me, “How has Passive Panda helped you?”
This could be big (like earning a few thousands dollars per month) or small (tell me a Passive Panda article that you enjoyed) … but either way, tell me how this site has helped you.
Be as specific as possible. Share your story. Just like you benefited from hearing Dani’s story, others will benefit from hearing yours.
Comments are encouraged. I’d love to hear from you right now. Leave a comment below and tell us, “How has Passive Panda helped you?”