I used to clean and repair old used shoes to make money from home.
I also painted used furniture…
… sold children’s clothes and toys at consignment sales …
… and repaired and resold various goods—all to scrape in some extra money to help my family stretch our budget.
I remember the nights I spent ironing, hanging, and tagging clothes for consignment, watching Friends while my family slept.
I still remember how grossed out I was when I scrubbed Lord-knows-what off of the bottom of used shoes, feeling the soapy gunk flick onto my face and clothes as I worked new life into them.
Those early days of motherhood were dang hard, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Why? Because they taught me something only life could teach me—resourcefulness.
I learned how to make a buck out of nothin’ and how to see income-earning opportunities all around me.
I learned that I could use my resourcefulness to help other people get what they needed (clean shoes, repurposed furniture, affordable children’s clothes and toys, etc.) while helping my family along the way.
I am so grateful for those early days.
Without them—without the gross shoe gunk and the paint-stained clothes—I never would’ve had the guts to get to where I am today.
Because of those days, I discovered a hunger in myself to learn new creative ways to earn an income from home so I could continue to be available to my family—a hunger that propelled me forward to learn new skills.
I was able to recognize the needs that existed all around me—needs I could be meeting.
Because of those early days, I was able to work my way through many different types of side-hustles, which ultimately helped me find what really worked for me (and what didn’t).
I realized I didn’t like flinging shoe gunk in my face for a few dollars here and there. (You’d think I would’ve started wearing a mask or something, but nope. I opted for grit, in more ways than one. Ha!)
I realized I didn’t like our apartment being packed to the brim with consignment inventory and used furniture for painting.
I realized I didn’t like battling paint fumes, sander dust, and cleaning dirty paint brushes.
But I did like helping people. I liked that a LOT.
So I started taking a deeper look at the needs around me, specifically the needs around me in the online space. I knew I wanted to make money from home, and I knew if I wanted to do it without having to deal with messy inventories, I would have to do it online.
That’s when the opportunities started to shine!
I started recognizing needs in the online business world that I could actually meet with skills I already had!
“Need help managing your inbox? Sure! I know how to navigate Gmail!”
“You need help writing your email newsletter every week? I’d love to learn how to do that for you!”
“Oh, you need help managing your Facebook group? Please let me know what you’re looking for. I’m happy to give it a go!”
A whole new world of opportunity opened up for me because of that one thing I learned in those early days. Resourcefulness.
I learned that if I didn’t know how to meet a need, well, I sure as heck would learn how. Because even if I didn’t know how to do something, someone else did.
I resolved to find the person who knew what I didn’t, and learn from them.
And so I did! Over and over and over.
I learned I friggin’ LOVE working for bloggers, podcasters, and other content marketers to help them grow their businesses one project at a time!
For 4 solid years, I have not. stopped. learning.
And now, today, I have developed a skill set that has drastically changed my family’s future. I was able to go from earning a few bucks for a pair of used shoes to doubling my family’s annual income within a few years.
Not because I’m all that or have found the secret sauce everyone’s looking for.
Not because I have nice hair, a good online presence, or even excellent social skills (I can be horribly awkward if I’m totally honest. ;-)).
Not because luck favored me and I hit the work-at-home lottery.
It’s not because I’m anything special that I was able to carve my path. It’s because I learned how to be resourceful.
I have a feeling you have the same resourcefulness.
I mean, you’re here aren’t you? Reading this post. And if you’ve read this far, something must be clicking for you.
Maybe you’ve been trying thing after thing trying to find a way to earn a living from home that works for you.
Maybe you’ve got that same grit that has led you to get your hands dirty and find a way to make it work.
Maybe you’re looking for someone who knows what you don’t so you can learn from them and carve out your own path.
Whatever has led you here, friend, I want you to know that I understand how hard it can feel when you’re trying to reach a goal alone—especially when that goal is working from home.
Because making money is all about meeting the needs around you using your own gifts and skills, after all.
Have you done any weird or wild things in pursuit of your work-at-home goals? Leave a comment below and share! I love a good story about grit. 😉