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Side Gigs & Starting Over

Homesteading is about being self sufficient. Here at SAJES Homestead we raise chickens for eggs and hatching, garden, preserve, and try to be prepared. But we still do grocery store runs and such. For me it's about having the skills and knowing how to do it. I have not had to hunt but been blessed with friends and family that have provided deer for us. I love having things we have made that I can barter for food and meat.

I do live in such a way that I live within my means. What I mean by this is that I do not require the fanciest vehicle or home and in return means I do not have the payments that go with it. I have a lovely home and we have two acres which is plenty for us to keep up. Now please hear me if you want the fancy cars and big house that is ok. I just choose to have a little more freedom from the rat race of having to make a certain amount to pay those monthly payments. It is a personal preference for me.

When I first started again five years ago I had been out of the work force for years. I was a home school mom and military wife from 2003 to 2017. I began researching mom skills and how they could be transferred to the work force. We moms have skills that are super handy in work place situations. We can multi task. We have learned to work well with others because we have multiple children we referee daily. We keep a household running and working. We are excellent planners because after all we plan meals three times a day and 7 days a week. We schedule multiple people and their activities also. I began to notice I had a lot to offer. When you have to start new like this it can be overwhelming and super scary. I learned that people pay for the job I used to do for free. If you are at the starting line, hang on it's going to be ok. I learned that if I showed up and was consistent I could out work most people. We moms are used to waking up early and working far after dark. In times like now it's hard to find reliable employees in this world. As a mom we have to show up everyday and quitting isn't an option. So you got this in spades girl.

I took any and every job I could find to provide for my family. I had four children at the time at home and it was all on me. Yes, I had child support at that time but with high conflict divorces such as mine, child support was held over my head a lot and then stopped altogether. If the kids wanted extra it would have to be up to me to save and be prepared. I was determined to get out of debt and have a nest egg for my family. So I took dog walking jobs, elderly caregiving, I even babysat for parents with sick children so they didn't have to use their PTO, I commercial cleaned some nights, I took classes at H&R Block and did taxes at night after I worked full time as a customer service representative, I delivered car parts for a time, was a substitute piano player for a church, and I chicken sat (instead of babysat). I started my homestead and started selling eggs and built up to hatching and selling chicks. I helped my dad and mom with their garden and grew food for my family. We put up food for the winter. I would glean fruit from those that had an abundance and didn't want it to go to waste. I made jams and jellies and began to later sell those. I held jam classes and taught people how to make jam not the dancing jam. I rented a space at my place for a RV hook up. Sold crochet pumpkins and mushrooms. Learned how to do pottery and sold that also. Designed websites for people, managed websites, photographed for money, and social media management. When I say I never turned down an opportunity to provide for my family I'm not exaggerating. And anyone that knows me knows I am a hard worker. And yes, my friend there will always be those that say the opposite of that. But you know what? They can go suck on those eggs we sell. We know the truth and so do those that see your hustle. And so do our children who see us working our booties off.

Let me tell you, those little jobs added up. They helped me pay bills, kids extras (field trips, the mom can i have $5 -$20 for this at school), and helped me get out of debt that I brought from my divorce. Every time I had a need there were opportunities. All I had to do was say yes. I look back at that lady and wish I could tell her it was all going to be ok. Take a deep breath. But I learned a lot. I began to know my worth. I began to understand that I didn't have to kill myself. I paid off debt and could be picky about what jobs I took. I decided that if possible I didn't want to work late nights and miss out on being with my kids. I had flexibility with my schedule and more time with my kids.

I also learned that there are jobs out there and if you are willing and ready you can find work and you can provide for your family. I used for my caregiving jobs. Once I was established I had more work than I could do. There is plenty of work out there to do. If you are at the beginning of building again, it's possible. You can do this.

I believe in you! You got this my fellow hustler! - Love, Sue

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