Homepreneurs is fortunate to meet interesting and successful people in various industries that run a home business. We caught up with April C., a ghostwriter with the business name “ghostofawriter”. Ghostwriters are writers who write books, articles, stories, reports, or other manuscripts that are officially credited to another person. Celebrities, politicians, and executives often use ghostwriters to create or edit magazine articles, blogs, autobiographies or similar. Ghostwriters have varying degrees of involvement in a project, from rough draft editing to a full work under other names.
I admire April very much. She is a go-getter, successful as an independent, and had the courage to take the self-employment plunge. April is very talented and I am pleased to tell our readers about her “success story.”
Homepreneurs: Why did you start your own business?
April: In January of 2012 I suddenly found myself laid off. I had almost 20 years of experience in my field, however I had never completed my degree, and because of that a lot of companies were ignoring my applications. The few offers I did get were such a low salary that it was laughable.
After reading some news articles and various blogs I realized that my command of the English language was considerably better than many who were making money at it. So, I decided I might as well give it a shot.
Homepreneurs: How long has your business existed?
April: I officially started thinking of this as a job at the end of February 2012. That is when I made my first blog post and decide to step into the arena.
Unfortunately things took off like a rocket for me and I immediately picked up a good customer. This made me a little cocky and when things slowed down a few months later I was greatly discouraged. It took me a while to jump back in.
Homepreneurs: What industry is your business in?
April: Writing. I will write just about anything. I prefer to stick with technical and engineering based, as that is what I was doing for 20 years, but I have recently expanded into parenting articles. I will go where ever the money is. If you do your research you can write on almost anything and sound knowledgeable.
Homepreneurs: What are the greatest challenges you face?
April: Myself. Because I am home all day I really have to avoid the temptation to do things around the house. I have to force myself to think of this as a job, and stay at my computer. Unfortunately I sometimes carry that too far and forget to take lunch or breaks.
My other obstacle is family and friends, they know I am home and frequently want me to do things for them or they want to talk. It’s hard to convince them that this is my job and that I need them to treat it as such.
Homepreneurs: What are the advantages of self-employment?
April: Well for starters, I don’t spend nearly as much on lunch as I used to, which is a big cost savings. At the office I was always going out for lunch, working from home I either forget to eat or I grab the leftovers. I also don’t need to worry about weather or calling in if my child is ill, I don’t need to make excuses to anyone except myself. I can even continue to work on those days.
Homepreneurs: Do you have any tips/suggestions for those considering entrepreneurship?
April: For everyone it is going to be different. I was lucky, my husband is well employed so I had a safety net. My best advice is to persevere, even when things are slow, keep plodding ahead. Keep good records of everything including the minor expenditures like printer paper and ink, those can be good write offs when it comes to tax time and don’t forget to record your income.
Homepreneurs: Do you use social media at all (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)?
April: Yes, I originally just had a private Facebook account, but after reading so much in the news about how social media activity is being used against people when they are looking for jobs I started a secondary account that was strictly work related. I already had a LinkedIn account that was only for my work contacts. Now, because I need to publicize the blogs and articles I’ve written, I have started to get into the other social media forms. I now have accounts on Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Google +, and Bitly which I am learning and attempting to keep updated.
Homepreneurs: Where do your customers come from? Word of mouth, networking, social media, advertising?
April: Most of my customers I have gone out and collected myself. My first customer was from Peopleperhour and since then I have picked a few through Craigslist, oDesk and Probloggers. When I was still building a portfolio I just did random web searches for writing boards and picked up a lot of very low paying jobs, but those got me started.
Homepreneurs: if you could change one thing when you started, what would that be?
April: I picked up a job way too quickly, if I hadn’t gotten them almost immediately then I probably would have worked harder at it. Instead it took me a while to realize that work wasn’t just going to fall into my lap.
Homepreneurs: What are the rewards of self-employment?
April: Working on your own schedule and getting credit for what you have actually done. You don’t have bosses and co-workers laying claim to your accomplishments. You also know that it is strictly up to you whether you succeed or fail and you are no longer reliant on the whims of shareholders or CEOs who want to line their pockets at your expense.
I think the best part is that I can work from anywhere. I can sit at the park with my son, enjoy the weather out on the patio, or do my work from the beach. It doesn’t matter where I am as long as I have my computer.
Homepreneurs: What sources do you use to fill in your knowledge gaps? Why?
April: The Internet. Everything you want to know is out there, you just have to look. BUT always double check every source to ensure you have accurate information as there is a lot of false information out there.
Homepreneurs wishes April the very best of success in her future endeavors. With talent, wit, and experience, April is certain to have work for years to come. Thanks so much for your time and advice, April!
Image Credit: ghostofawriter.wordpress.com
By Dion D. Shaw
Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
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