Carrie Wilkerson is a speaker, author, wife, and mom of four who is juggling life. Just like you, she has the demands of health, family, finances, and community. After finding herself over six figures in debt, overweight and overwhelmed, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Being denied for job interviews and feeling hopeless, she started her first profitable business at home.
With no official business training, two little ones at home, a husband traveling with his job and zero start-up capital, Carrie launched a small business that grew to the six figures its first year.
She has founded and sold several companies, paid off every dime of debt, added two more kids to the mix and believes you can create a part-time or full-time business on your terms.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
Wow – this is a huge question :)
I worked in public, private, and even the educational sectors before adopting my two eldest kids. At that point, my life changed, and I decided I wanted to be at home with them, but, I still needed a paycheck. So I devoted my time to figure out a business model, ways to earn income, and most importantly, ways to stay-at-home with my babies.
What did you do before launching your own business?
My last job before starting my business was teaching high school journalism, speech, and English classes.
How did you fund your business?
I bootstrapped every single time. I’ve never taken a loan or sought out venture capital.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?
I work about 25 hours a week on average during the school year and 10 hours a week during the summer. I spend about 60% of my work time in my office.
How were you able to take your business to the next level?
Consistency and studying what was working and what wasn’t. I’m always following a mentor or working with a coach that will challenge me and help me see the cracks in what I’m doing.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Juggling four kids, life, and business is a challenge, but totally worth it. Learning to think like a business owner instead of someone ‘just making money’ is a huge shift–but very necessary.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Have a plan. Follow someone you trust (just 1-2 people, not everyone). Focus on one core idea to cash before you start fragmenting your efforts all over the place.
How do you manage to be a work-at-home mom while running a business?
We run a tight ship. Schedules, checklists, calendars, and teamwork. I’ve also trained the kids (since infancy) that I’m working sometimes and they’ve learned that sometimes is play alone time or watch a show. We have a good balance of boundaries (but that takes LOTS of consistency and discipline from the Mom’s side!) I also realize that my house will not be perfect. Sometimes chores will go undone and my recordings will sometimes have kids in the backgrounds. You learn to roll with it :)
Check out Carrie’s book where she shares all of her wisdom on how to start a lucrative home-based business, The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom.
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