You guys. I am SO excited to have Nerissa Hall here today to share her work-from-home success story with us!
I had the privilege to work with Nerissa a couple years ago when she was a VA on a team I managed. And the only reason I was happy to see her leave was she had grown her own business big enough that she needed to devote all her energy to it. Whoa!! Talk about inspiring!
She’s a mom of two super cute kids and wife to a supportive husband — and she has quite the work-from-home journey to talk about.
What’s your work-from-home job?
I am a professional proofreader for court reporters, and I have recently delved into the blogging world with my blog Homebody Hall.
What made you want to work from home?
I have never enjoyed working in a traditional work environment, so I actually got a degree in wildlife conservation and management, thinking that I would be able to get a job out in the field and away from an office.
But God had other plans for me, and I got pregnant with my first child.
I tried to continue working in a lab at the local college because I was convinced that I would be bored if I stayed at home. But I struggled very heavily with postpartum depression and being away from my son made it even worse.
So I began to look at work-at-home options. My husband made enough money to support us, but it was tight, so I had a goal of just making a few hundred dollars a month to make it a little bit easier to breathe.
Eventually, about a year after my son was born, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s, an autoimmune disorder, and my disorder has mostly manifested in symptoms very similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
So I knew that I would never be able to carry out a physically demanding job, like field research, and I often struggled with having days where I was extremely tired, not exactly something that you want to put on your resume.
I really needed to find something that I could do on my own terms.
What were the obstacles you faced as you got started?
I had experience transcribing as I worked for our local sheriff’s department as a transcriber for about a year, and I knew that there were people out there doing that from home. So I found a company, got my equipment, and set to work.
The problem was that I was making a maximum of $10 an hour. It just wasn’t worth my time.
I was also having trouble typing for long periods of time because of my autoimmune condition.
On top of that, as any mom will attest, it’s very difficult to try to be tied down to a desk for any length of time because inevitably that is when you will be needed.
Bottom line, I wasn’t enjoying it and I wasn’t making enough money doing it, especially not enjoying it.
Did you have to learn any new skills or work on developing skills you already had? How did you go about doing this?
I decided that I wanted to do something else from home, so I started to do some research. I came across a program called Proofread Anywhere and their transcript proofreading course. This sounded right up my alley because, as I mentioned, I had worked for a law enforcement agency and I had practice with proofreading my own transcription work.
It was a lot of money for us, but I took a leap of faith and invested in myself and I haven’t looked back.
I completed the course and launched my very own business, something that, if I’m honest with myself, I’ve always wanted to do but never knew how to go about doing or what it would be.
The course taught me about proofreading transcripts but also about what I needed to do to start my business.
Now I bring home almost as much as my husband while working at home and taking care of our kids!
I’ve since taken that newfound confidence in myself and my abilities and started a blog called Homebody Hall. I’m also a student of Elite Blog Academy, working on my skills on the blogging front.
How do you manage your work-life balance time now that you work from home?
It’s really tough sometimes to balance your work and the rest of your life when you work from home because you think, “Oh, well, I can work wherever, whenever,” and while that’s true to some extent, it sometimes becomes working everywhere all the time.
This actually works all right for me most of the time because I’m the type whose brain is constantly moving and I always want to be doing something.
But I do make sure that I take days completely off, no work at all; I try to finish my tedious work by noon so that I can relax with the kids; I take a lot of breaks, so I’ll set a small goal and then I’ll take an hour break; and I’ll mix up my tasks, like write for the blog for an hour, read a transcript next, just to break it up a bit.
What’s your biggest challenge working from home?
Personally, my biggest challenge working from home is finding time to focus.
As a mom, there are a lot of tasks that I can do with one hand, with one ear listening to my child, with one eye on them, that kind of thing, but certain things would be so much easier and done so much faster if I could just hear myself think.
When this is the case, I usually wait for my husband to get home for those tasks and hide in the bedroom for a bit, or I wait for bedtime.
What’s your favorite part?
My favorite part of working from home and owning my own business is watching my kids grow up every day.
My second favorite part is not having anyone tell me what to do, ha!
If someone wants to start working from home, what’s the biggest piece of advice you would give them?
My biggest piece of advice is to realize that you can learn anything.
I am doing things that I would have looked at before and thought, “No way.” But I’m doing it.
If you want to learn how to do something, there’s someone teaching it, find them.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Ahhh!! I LOVE Nerissa’s work-from-home success story SO. MUCH. Especially how she invested in herself…and never looked back. She’s the inspiration I think all of us need sometimes — that nudge to stop worrying if spending time on ourselves will be worth it. And just do it.
What motivated you the most about Nerissa’s story?
Nerissa Hall is a mom to two beautiful kids, wife to an awesome, supportive man, proofreader, blogger, and entrepreneur!