When you have a baby there is a lot of life-changing things that happen. One of the biggest ones is the focus of your feelings on this tiny child.
As moms we have this massive heart for caring for our children, then six to twelve weeks later we are expected to leave this tiny soul and send them to someone else.
Society tells us this, in many ways. That to be financially healthy you have to have two working parents. That being a stay at home mom is not as progressive as being a working mom.
I personally believe that every mom should be able to do what she wants in regards to who takes care of her kids.
You want to work? Yes go girl, do it. You want to stay home? Yes absolutely do that.You may think that there is no way this is possible, but you just might be selling yourself short.
Sarah Titus was once a single mom who was homeless, and she used her need to stay at home with her children as fuel to build a massive online empire.
I had the pleasure of asking her a few questions to give you all a glimpse into EXACTLY what she did then and now to achieve such crazy success.
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What made you want to work from home?
I had been a stay at home mom all my kids lives, but suddenly, my then-husband abandoned us and left us homeless.
As I got out of the homeless shelter and into my first apartment, there was a lady across the hall from me.
She had no ambition and worked and left her kids with a babysitter all day. The man that was babysitting, her and he became romantically involved and there was a lot of trouble. Physical fighting, I would hear glass crashing against the wall, yelling, etc.She was a single mom like me and I just…didn’t want that kind of life.
They would do drugs and party and that was their life. I wanted something different. I wanted a better life for my kids than leaving them with a stranger and dealing with potential problems like that.
So, I started collecting free things to fill my small apartment with. Yard sale leftovers, and free Craigslist items. I started being able to get good stuff. Stuff I could sell.
I started splitting things three ways. One for our own family’s needs (to keep more of my little income in my pocket), one for the homeless shelter to help them with things I knew they needed, and third, selling things to cover my tithes.
The selling portion became more and more. I was able to provide for all three needs, and then took the excess as income.
That rolled into a full-time business. Eventually niching down to toys, then specifically Littlest Pet Shops.I was providing for my family, doing well, making it, living in a great HOUSE then (this was years later), but I wasn’t fulfilled. I really wanted to connect to people and help them.
Selling a toy on ebay wasn’t really changing the world type of stuff.
Friends were asking me all kinds of questions about how I had so much, how I was able to live rich on such a meager income ($18k/year at that time I started blogging).
So, I took all my friend’s questions (to save time from answering them all individually as many of the questions were the same about saving money) and made a blog. I didn’t know there was money in it, not at first.
Quickly I realized there was and things snowballed from there.
I wanted to work from home because I didn’t want to send my kids to a babysitter. I wanted a better life for us. They already lost their dad, I didn’t want them to lose ME TOO! So, I made it work!
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WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO SUCCESS LIKE?
I was homeless ten years ago. So, it’s been something that hasn’t been overnight. When I started blogging, I started making $10k/month within my first year.
So, I was seeing success right away (even in reselling), but I never, in a million years, imagined I’d be where I am today…making $3.5 million dollars a year in my Shopify store alone!
It’s insane and honestly, I think I can make $20 million this year between Shopify and my courses! I know that sounds incredibly lofty, but I have some tricks up my sleeve that I think are gonna blow my income up (all WITHOUT paying for Facebook ads and having any email funnels. I just haven’t got that far yet). Well see how it goes but it’s really exciting!!!I think it’s all just about taking the step in front of you. The next, best, most logical step in front of you. Wherever you’re at, just take that next step.
HOW DID YOU DEFINE SUCCESS WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED? WHEN DID YOU REACH THAT?
When I first started blogging, $1k/month was my goal. I remember standing there in front of the judge, telling him I had this crazy idea of having a blog and making $1k/month because that’s how much I needed to survive.
He told me no.
He literally said no. He said I needed to get a job outside the home, “or else”. I asked what “or else” meant and he said, I risked losing EVERYTHING in the divorce.Inside I just lost it. I told him that I can do this. I believed in it. And that I’m not going to get a job outside the home.
He asked me how long it would take for me to make $1k/month. Tears. I told him one year. Give me one year. He set the divorce out one year, in his kindness.
In one year, I was already making 10 times what I told the judge I could make, $10k/month!
What is your career/education background? Did you need it for your success with Shopify?
I went to college to learn business communications. I got into banking and loved it (this was pre-kids). In banking, I did everything from loan funding, loan processing, teller work, underwriting, and everything in between.
As a teller manager, I saw a lot of customers needs. How they were spending their money and so forth and so on. I learned a lot about how to help them, through my positions in banking.
When I started a blog, it was about saving money, which came very naturally to me because of my time in banking, but MOSTLY, because of my time trying to make it on a small income, working from home, with small mouths to feed.
I don’t necessarily teach too much on saving money anymore, I mostly love to create printables (here’s one of my most popular free printables posts) and teach others blogging and how to create printables and have a successful Shopify store, but it did pave the way to where I am now, absolutely.
All those stepping stones I took since I was 17, brought me to where I am today. I started selling on eBay when I was 17, and now I teach e-commerce for a living. I worked in banking, and it gave me the credentials to teach about money.Everything we do in life has a purpose and takes us to the next step IF we let it. IF we are willing to grow.
What is your day to day life like?
Wake up and take the kids to school. Get home and get online to take care of all communications/comments/questions from my audience for about 30 mins. Then, I start working on the most pressing needs in my business.
Usually, I’m able to then, work on a project I’m working on. Right now, it’s courses. Creating a blogging course, I’ve created a course about how to succeed on Shopify and how to create printables (something I’m super passionate about).Then it’s just a matter of doing whatever I want with my time.
Usually, I work Monday-Wednesday (right now while building my courses empire) while the kids are at school and then not working the rest of the week.
Whenever they are home, it’s spending time with them or if they are busy (baths, homework, etc.), I’ll get online and connect to friends and my audience.
I don’t have a husband to cook meals for. I hire out my house cleaning (because I loathe to clean. Love to organize but hate to clean). 😊
It’s just a simple life and I love it. It’s the life I want to live. A life I’ve worked hard to achieve as a single mom!
How many hours a week did you work when you started? How many do you work now?
My first three years of blogging, I worked 80-120 hours a week (not a typo). Mostly, because I had no clue what I was doing and there wasn’t the help out there that there is today.
Now I work 9-10 hours a week (when I’m not working on courses) and my assistants work 7-10 hours a week.
When I AM working on courses, I work about part-time (again, Monday-Wednesday while the kids are at school).
What was the scariest thing about starting your own business?
I don’t personally believe there’s ANYTHING scary about starting your own business. Maybe I could see people don’t want to be scammed, but be careful what you do, I guess.
You have to understand; I been making money from home for a good 21 years now. Not all of it consistent, for sure, but I’ve done lots of different things from blogging, to reselling, to network marketing. I’ve done a lot over the years.
For ME, it’s not scary. It’s a way of life. It’s what I know. I could lose one aspect of my entire financial portfolio tomorrow and be okay. Because I have several different income streams going for me and I can do just about anything.
I have income coming in from essential oils network marketing that I don’t work for at all (but worked hard in the beginning to set it all up). That is several hundred a month.I have income from my Shopify store (currently $3.5 million/year).
From my courses ($304k in my first three months selling courses).
From reselling (I still do that on the side because I still have stuff that I own or have that is no longer needed and I sell). Better to have money in the bank then something sitting there I’ll never use.
I have income from my blog, so ads, affiliate income that is several thousand a month.
I also have a good $1k/month coming in from misc. income offline.
I just have so many different revenue streams that I’m okay. 😊
So that’s the goal.Don’t just have one income stream, have many! Never put all your eggs in one basket.
What’s the best advice you would give to a mom who is in the same position you were in?
Stop making excuses.
I talked to this lady the other day. She was working on her blog and wasn’t where she wanted to be financially. It wasn’t as successful as she wanted it. She was making all KINDS OF excuses about why she wasn’t more successful.
I thought to myself, “You know…if I did that, I’d be homeless.” Right, I mean it’s true.You absolutely CANNOT make excuses. If something is failing, roll up your sleeves and get to work! MAKE it happen.
Yeah, we can’t control everything on the planet, but we CAN control a lot more than we think.
We CAN control our success. See how I worked 80-120 hours a week at first for THREE YEARS?! I don’t encourage others to do that, but that’s my point, I DID. I was willing to work my fanny off to have a better life.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I sat there making excuses. I’d be homeless. I don’t HAVE a backup plan. I don’t HAVE ANY (as in zero) family to help me. All I had was my mom and she died. It’s literally just me and God.
You come to a certain point where you either go for it full throttle or you crawl up into a little ball and cry your life away. My mom did the second. I wanted the first and that’s what I did!
That’s what I encourage for everyone. Go for it full throttle. You only have to work super duper hard ‘til things are set up.
Once your empire is built (if you build an automated one like the one I have), you can sit back and work 10 hours a week and make millions.
IF you’ve taken the right steps and worked hard in the beginning. And maybe it won’t be millions for you, that’s okay, but it’ll be something better than the situation you were dealt.As Muriel Siebert said, “You create opportunities by performing, not complaining.”
My thoughts after the interview- HOLY MOLY!
Sarah’s story is an incredibly motivating one. She has taken life by the reigns and used things some people would say were disadvantages and kicked them in the butt.
She currently has three classes out that you can buy to take advantage of all the things she has learned selling on Shopify and creating printables:
- How to create printables
- Top 13 things to sell on Shopify (that make the most money)
- Million Dollar Shop
Sarah is a great example of what women can do when they put their mind to it. I’ll leave you with one last tidbit from this crazy awesome lady.
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