The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a homeschooling mother of seven children ages 14 right down to 3 months. The next thing you should know about me is that I run a full-time blog, which also includes the development and management of six business team members. My large online platform, which includes my full-time blog, YouTube, two very active Facebook pages (here and here), and Pinterest – plus new product development and more, takes a solid 80+ hours a week to run effectively and is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Newsflash! Blogging is hard work! To have a successful platform, you will pour your blood, sweat, and tears into it. However, blogging is powerful and can I just say that I absolutely love it? Blogging is literally a means to reach the far corners of the earth with your message from your kitchen table.
I started my blog with a $20 investment, a vision from the Lord, and a prayer to make enough money to buy our groceries each month. Instead, I birthed a full-time business that blesses thousands of families as well as my own, including bringing my husband home full-time!
Pushing Through Hard Seasons
If you’re going to build a business, any business, there’s a lot of sacrifice and development, especially in the beginning. There are seasons that are going to be hard. There are many times when you’re lucky to get six hours sleep a night. I’ll tell you that in the beginning I even had nights when I worked all night long. Certainly not a feat I can pull off long-term, but at times it has been necessary.
You have major projects and promotions that you have to pump out. Even if you’ve built a sound business team, there are tasks and situations that only you can handle. After all, this blogging dream is your baby. Now I work 30-40 hours most weeks and have a lot of flexibility. You can read more here about my current work-at-home mom schedule. The reality though is that in the beginning (“beginning” being the first year and a half to two years) I worked 50-70 hours a week while I birthed my dream and honed my vision.
When it comes to additionally managing your family amidst growing your blog, you have to realize that what you’re building now will benefit your family in the long run. If your blog is accepted as part of your family vision for communicating a message, helping others, or even changing the world for the better while also providing an income for your family, then short seasons of family sacrifice will be necessary – there’s no way to hide it and it’s okay.
This means that your family priorities may look different during busy times of growth. If your blog is exploding and needs more of your focused attention to harness that growth for the long haul, then a shift in family priorities will be necessary, but not permanent.
You also need to slow yourself down just enough to be able to come up with a plan to effectively manage both. This is where many bloggers give up. It is hard. There’s no magic formula to take away the difficultly level. This doesn’t mean that those who choose not to push through to blogging success are flawed. It just means blogging may not be worth their time and energy in the long run. That’s a perfectly good thing to realize and move forward in another direction.
The Reality of My Wild Blog Growth Days
In the beginning, when my platform was expanding exponentially, I worked in time blocks throughout the day. At that time we had five children and I was pregnant with our sixth. I got up early, around 5 AM, and worked on my laptop in my bed until about 9 AM. My children all slept in until around 8 AM. They got in a good routine of getting themselves ready for the day and working on a project until I was downstairs.
Once my morning blogging work was done we’d have a focused family time from about 9 AM to 12 PM. We would do school lessons, prepare meals (love my slow cooker!), and other tasks that are normal in our daily family life. I would then go back to work on my laptop at the kitchen table from about 12-3 PM while the younger children napped. My older children would do their independent schoolwork at the table with me or do other projects they were interested in.
Once the younger children were up from their naps we had another 4-hour family block where again we focused on family meals, chores, and special family time activities. Around 7 PM I would be back to work for several hours, get back to sleep, and wake up early to work for another 4 hours in the morning.
We kept up this pace for over a year (actually, closer to two years). Outside lessons, field trips, and activities were kept to a minimum. Every day was a balance between family life and running the exploding blog. I was able to get in a solid 10 hours of blogging work a day, 5-6 days a week at this pace. I had the inspiration and drive to birth the vision for my blog. I knew I had to pay the price to win and be successful. During this time I was also hiring and learning about building a successful business team. This also takes time and is not an overnight push-button process.
I have my business developed to the point now where I can have a full-on 10 to 12 hour focused family stretch most days and it’s a huge blessing! Similar to the Proverbs 31 woman, I’m able to give my “maidens their task,” (those who work for me) that are carried out each day. I work about 3 hours most days either in the mornings before the kids get up or the evenings after they go to bed. I also have one to two fully-focused 12 to 15 hour days each week, usually Wednesdays or Saturdays, or both. On my one or two long work days my husband takes the role of super dad.
I have had to walk out this whole building a business, running a blog and large social media platform, figuring out my daily schedule, still homeschooling my children, and enjoying my family each day for the last four years.
My encouragement for you is to not give up when it’s hard. It’s going to be hard. You are going to have to stick with it and figure things out. After close to two years, my business grew to the point where my husband had to come home full-time in June 2013. Once he was home full-time, although a huge and incredible blessing, that was not a quick overnight fix either. He and I have had to walk out exactly what this whole schedule, family thing, is supposed to look like for us.
I can say now that we have had a solid year of working a system that really works well for our family priorities. You are going to have to test things out and you’re going to have to be dedicated enough to keep trying when what you thought would work fails.
Part of being a successful blogger is having patient endurance for the long-haul. It’s okay if it’s hard because hard experiences more often than not help shape you into the person you want to be: a person with steadfast endurance who can make hard things look easy while accomplishing great dreams and living life on purpose.