Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home caretaker, having a career that balances time and money isn’t some all-or-nothing endeavor. You don’t need to leave your life at home to have a job, and you don’t need to quit your job to spend more time at home. Thousands of mothers are finding new ways to build careers from their living room and making good money in the process. But more importantly, they’re doing it without sacrificing the most valuable resource: time.
Know Your “Why”
“The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss stresses the importance of “why” when you pursue a new job or career path. Let’s say your goal is to be an online writer and you want to gain a large audience. Tim would ask you, “Why do you want an audience?” You might respond, “To sell ads on my website and make more money.”
“Why do you want to make more money?”
“To travel more around the world.”
So your “why” becomes less about a blog audience and more about your ultimate desire to travel more. Now that you know this, you may discover it’s easier to travel by volunteering for an international non-profit or joining an overseas study program. Always challenge your “why” to find out what you really want.
Explore New Options
It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mother or have a full time career away from the house, exploring new ways to make an income or transform the source you have doesn’t have to require a sacrifice of your time. Many working and stay-at-home moms join network marketing companies like Amway to make extra money and discover new opportunities. Options that let you work from home are great ways to adjust your work-life balance without giving up too much.
Discard Old Notions
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s one or the other: you can build a career and have time to stay home with your family if that’s what you want. The notion that you have to work until your 60s and retire is outdated and just plain false. In fact, as uncertainty builds behind social security and work pensions, traditional retirement is something harder to obtain by 65. Most people don’t save enough for retirement and are forced to work into their 70s, but if you change your attitude about work and retirement in general, a new world is open to you.
First, you should always save for retirement. But instead of the light at the end of the tunnel, think of your retirement as an emergency fund for the time when you can’t work. But if you can take small sabbaticals throughout your career (month-long or more vacations), the weight of your career won’t be so heavy on your shoulders when you turn 65.
Time vs. Money
If you could make a million dollars in one year but had to work 20-hour days, would you do it? Probably not. Time is your most precious resource and while money comes and goes, the freedom to own your time is a career perk no 9-to-5 job can truly offer.
No one can tell you the perfect balance between work and free time; that’s entirely up to you. But you should recognize the line when the amount of money you make is no longer worth the time it takes to make it.