Millionaire Mission Mom Episode #1 – Podcast Transcription
Episode 1 goes a little in-depth on my backstory and explores my “millionaire mission” in more detail.
Full episode transcription:
Hey there! This is Kate Miller. Thanks so much for tuning in to the very first episode of the Millionaire Mission Mom podcast. I’m excited to get this podcast kicked off and I’m so glad that you’re here and listening.
Today I want to share a little bit of my backstory just so that you can get to know me a little bit and I’m hoping that some of it you’ll maybe be able to relate to… maybe you’ll find something that inspires you. Because after all, I want everybody to be on the same mission that I am.
Sure, it’s a little pie-in-the-sky – a million dollars seems kind of crazy – but after being a work at home mom for 15 years, it’s about time I pushed myself. And I want to encourage you to push your self too.
So let’s dig in to my story here…
In 2010, our youngest child had just been born. At the time my husband was working as the owner of a commercial cleaning business. He was gone in the mornings… in the evenings… he worked crazy hours and life was kind of crazy.
Our youngest was born. She was the youngest of 5 and life was just… you know. You know how it is when you have 5 kids. Well, maybe you don’t but let me tell you, it can be a little hectic, a little crazy.
When she was born our oldest was 12. So we had a 12 year old, 7 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and then a newborn. And it was a little bit crazy.
So my grandma, kind of old-fashioned, was a little bit worried about us and how we were going to manage everything. She decided she was going to hire a Mother’s Helper for us, to come in a couple of hours a day 2 days a week. And this was awesome! I loved it!
She didn’t do much, this Mother’s Helper. She would sit with the baby, bring her to me when she needed to eat, maybe fold some laundry, or play with the 4 year old that wasn’t in school. But it really opened up to mind to all of these possibilities.
I’d been blogging since 2004. I’d been running a menu planning service for about 3 years. And I saw all of this stuff that I wanted to do and having this Mother’s Helper there freed me up with all of these hours. And it was really cool.
I told my husband, “let’s find a way that we can keep her. Just the same schedule – a couple of days a week, a couple of hours per day. You know, it’s really beneficial for our family. It’s really beneficial for me. Maybe it will help me to grow the blog some more or grow the menu planning business some more.”
So he said, “okay, I’ll tell you what. If you find a way to make that extra $300 that it costs to keep her by the end of the 6 weeks that your Grandma has paid for, then we’ll keep her. But we have to be able to cover it with not our current income.”
So I said, “okay, I think I can do that!” I set myself a mission (I like missions apparently…) to make this $300 and figure out a way to do it really quickly.
I’d been writing all of my life; I loved to write for as long as I can remember. I was one of those kids who always had a notebook and I was always writing stories. So I thought, “okay, I know how to write. I know some basics of writing online. I know some SEO basics since I’ve been blogging for so long. Let’s see if I can find some freelance writing jobs.”
Freelancing seemed like a great fit for me. I went out and found a bunch of different options. I started pursuing them with the hunger only a sleep-deprived mom with the prospect of an uninterrupted 30-minute nap twice a week could have.
It was an interesting phenomenon back then in 2010. Some of it’s the same nowadays but back then it was like the Wild, Wild West of freelance writing. There were content mills aplenty. You could sign on and you’d get this list of like 20 different articles that had to be written within 24 hours and they all had to be 350 words. They all had to include this list of 10 keywords that you couldn’t necessarily put organically in a post, but hey…what the heck?
I signed up for a bunch of those initially. I was just churning out content after content after content. And unfortunately I didn’t like the idea of writing crap even if it was just for these stupid content mills. I have a very specific voice when I write and I wanted to stay true to that. I don’t know, maybe I was naive…
So I would do that and it would take me an hour to write this 350 word keyword-stuffed blog post that I would be making $5 for. It was a little ridiculous. But I just kept going and kept going.
Within about a week or so I realized “okay, this is a piece of cake. I’m going to hit this $300 mark. I might kill myself in the process and work 90 hours a week, but I’m going to do it!” I was so in and so committed.
I stayed with those content mills for awhile but then I also found Upwork. I believe it was January of 2010 when I found Upwork (then called oDesk). So I signed up and started looking around and saw that, beyond just these content mills and these stupid writing jobs, there were actual clients that needed actual writing, like real stuff that would matter.
I thought “this is great.” There were people that wanted copy for their websites, ebooks that they wanted ghost-written… So I started applying to all of these jobs on Upwork and I started getting hired! It was really cool.
I think I started my hourly rate on Upwork at like $10 an hour just because I didn’t know any better. And my goal was only $300 a month so that was nothing, you know? That was a piece of cake.
By the time my 6 weeks ended, we were able to keep the Mother’s Helper. I was clearing $300, easily, a month. I think at that time I was clearing maybe even a thousand dollars by the end of that 6-week period where I was trying to earn $300 a month.
The funny thing is we actually ended up not keeping the Mother’s Helper much longer because, for whatever reason, she decided she would just sit on the couch and watch ’16 & Pregnant’ with my 4 year old next to her and my baby in her car seat on the floor. She would put her foot on the car seat to rock the baby back and forth but that was it. That was all she was doing. So even though it freed me up, we couldn’t justify the expense. It just seemed too crazy to me to keep going, so we let her go.
But I did not let go of this dream I now had that I could seriously make some real money here… beyond just what I was making blogging… beyond just what I was making with the menu planning service. The two combined at the time were maybe $1000 a month.
So I went all in. I told my husband, “let’s do this thing. I think I can really build something here. There’s so much opportunity out there.” And he was all for it.
His cleaning company… It was a down economy back then (the recession had hit in 2008) and he was having a hard time maintaining clients and finding new clients. And then on top of that, the work itself was just so physically draining.
I started to think maybe, maybe I can find a way to make enough money that he can retire and he can be a stay-at-home dad. I thought, “wow! Wouldn’t that be great? We’d have this life of freedom. We wouldn’t be tied to a physical location for work. We wouldn’t be tied to a 9-to-5 (although at the time his crazy hours were morning and night). This could completely change our family’s life.” Let me tell you, once I knew that I went all in.
After awhile with the freelance writing it was like this snowball affect kicked in. Job offers started coming in and I was almost to the point where I took on more work than I could handle. I was working myself crazy. I was probably working easily 90 hours a week just writing, writing, writing all the time. I was doing some $10 an hour jobs on Upwork and a few content mills still (some of the higher paying ones) just because of the money. You know, it was all about the money.
Then I had a client, probably 2 months in at this point, who said to me, “what would you charge in the real world? If I wasn’t hiring you through this online platform, what would you charge me?”
And I said, “gosh, I don’t know, probably 25 dollars an hour.”
He said, “okay, then that’s what I’m going to pay you and you’re going to me give 25-dollar-an-hour-quality work.”
I said, “Absolutely, you got it!”
What I started doing for him was writing website copy and some blog posts. And then he was like, “you know, you’ve been blogging for a long, long time. Your site is popular. You rank well in search. You’ve been featured by all of these big media sites… You have to know your stuff a little bit more than just writing the copy for my website and blog posts. So what else can you do for me?”
And I said, “well, I know my way around social media. I know my way around reaching out to influencers or different media sites to get some coverage. So I could do either of those things.”
He was like, “okay, great, let’s do it.”
So at that point I was able to update my profile and truly list all of my skills. This client made me see that my potential was greater than what I had been focused on. My potential wasn’t just a $10 an hour, content mill writer. My potential was to take everything that I had learned as a blogger, everything I’d learned over the years, and make it a career.
That’s what I did and it was great. My hourly rate went up. I was working a little bit less because obviously when you’re making more you can work less and still get the same pay. I was doing things that I really enjoyed — I really enjoyed finding a way to turn social media from a way to just promoting my blog and talking with friends to actually marketing a business.
But if you’d told me at the time that I’d be earning over $100,000 within a year, I would have laughed my head off. I mean, it just didn’t seem possible. Looking back now I think I just didn’t believe in myself and I didn’t believe in the whole online working space. But I kept going.
After awhile working with new clients, I was doing more social media and more marketing. I was (surprisingly…I guess I surprised myself…) really good at what I was doing. And every time I had a client close a contract and leave me a positive 5-star rating, I realized, “okay, I’m going to bump myself up. I’m going to bump up my pay rate.”
I was working almost exclusively on Upwork by that time. (Back then it was still called oDesk, but now it’s Upwork.) Every time a client would close a contract, I would bump up my rate. Within probably 4 months… 6 months… something like that, my hourly rate was up to $40 an hour. My client list was large and I was getting invites to new jobs all the time.
I had a couple of clients by then that I’d even taken off of Upwork. I was getting referrals. It was crazy! Looking back now, it was crazy that I had the success that I did because my mindset wasn’t the best. It was just about, “I think I can do this. I know I can do this but let’s see what happens.” But I just kept going.
It was the drive and the ambition. Over the years I’ve talked to so many women that want to work from home and they’re like, “but I don’t have any skills. I don’t know how to do it!” And to them I say, “you know what, I didn’t either. I didn’t think I did at least, but it turns out I did. And I’m sure if we sit down and talk together, we’ll realize that you have all of these skills too. And you can leverage those skills. You can take them and start working at home.”
You can find so many jobs online nowadays. The opportunity is just limitless. You can be a freelancer. You can do MLM. You can do direct sales (social media makes it just insane for the potential there).
Anyhow, I’m getting off track. My point is, I just kept going. By Mother’s Day of 2011, my husband was able to leave his commercial cleaning company. He closed shop. He came home and it was an awesome, awesome day — the best Mother’s Day present ever!
I was clearing over six figures by that point. It was just under a year… I think at that point we were at like 10 months that I’d been freelancing. The past 3 or 4 months before that had been nice, steady income that averaged out to making us well over $100,000 a year. And that had been the goal, you know? Six figures.
So he was able to leave his job. He was able to come home, be a stay-at-home dad, be more involved with the kids and free up our schedule. The amount of freedom it gave our family was just such a blessing. It’s something that, honestly, I wouldn’t give up for the world. And I don’t think he would either. There have been some transition bumps along the way, but that’s for another episode.
Anyhow… back to the freelancing. 2011, Mother’s Day, my husband came home. I continued working. I continued building and growing and having clients. Right up until June of this year (2019), I was a freelancer. That was my life.
I was a freelance marketer. I did social media. I did community management. I did copywriting. I did blog post writing. I did influencer marketing, influencer outreach, media outreach… all that good stuff. I loved it. I excelled at it. But I did not love the whole client thing.
You know, there was kind of a honeymoon phase the first year or two and it was tied to the fact that I was making all this money from home. But then after awhile I started to realize, this isn’t freedom. I haven’t created a life for myself where I’m the boss of my life; I’ve created a life where I have 12 different bosses. And they all expect me to be on all the time. They all expect me to be an employee. But I wasn’t; I was a freelancer. I was a contractor. It was my life. So that’s kind of where the transition came from. (Maybe we’ll talk about that on the next episode.)
I guess for this episode I kind of want to just wrap it up by saying it’s all about believing in yourself and believing in the potential and the opportunity that’s out there for you.
I still here to this day, and it’s so crazy to me, but I still hear people say that working online is a scam. Everything that’s out there is a scam. My own mother tells me on a regular basis that I should be working in an office; I don’t have a real job. Never mind the fact that for almost the past decade I’ve been making six figures a year, supporting my family as the sole breadwinner, taking these awesome trips with the family, buying an RV… all this stuff that we’ve been able to do… never mind that. I’m not in an office.
So I’ve had to prove to her, and to my dad a little bit, that this is legit. I still have family members that say “what is it that you do again? I just don’t get it. I don’t know how to explain what do to people.” But that doesn’t matter because I know what I do and I’m assuming that those of you listening know what it is too because if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be in this space listening to a podcast. I don’t think my mom even knows what a podcast is.
Back to my original point… there is so much potential out there. There are so many ways that moms life myself can find a way to work online. I mean, I had 5 kids (I still have 5 kids…) and one of those was a newborn baby. A newborn baby that I held while I did interview calls for potential jobs. And we weren’t in the best financial situation at all. But I did it and I know…
I know myself. I am an introvert, not always the most confident person (well at least I didn’t used to be), but I had hustle and I had drive and I had ambition. And honestly, if you have even 1% of any of those things, you can totally do this too.
So many people will say that there’s no work out there… there’s no jobs out there… “I can’t find a job!” And to them I just say, “okay, have you looked online? Have you tried to find an online job? Because they’re out there and there’s so much you could be doing.”
When it comes to freelancing itself, I have a love/hate relationship with Upwork. I’ll go through Upwork in another episode because I know there’s a lot of people that feel the same way — there’s people that want to get started on Upwork but they’re not sure how, or they want to move away from Upwork and they’re not sure how. So, we’ll go over that in the future.
But my point is that there’s Upwork, there’s Freelancer, there’s Fiverr, there’s Hire My Mom. I mean, there’s so many platforms out there where you can find freelance work. You can, as I said earlier, do an MLM. You can start a blog. The amount of money you can make from a blog nowadays is just insane.
When I was working in influencer marketing, I was the VP of Strategy for an Influencer Marketing Agency and I ran the influencer marketing campaigns. I worked with the clients to help them nail down their strategy and then I would reach out to all of the different influencers that I thought would be a good fit for whatever the campaign was. I would bring them onboard. I’d negotiate with them — how much they were going to get paid and what they were going to do in exchange for that payment.
I worked with some really big brands — Southwest Airlines, Mondelez (Ritz Crackers), Community Coffee… just a bunch of really big brands. Oh! Warner Bros. too. It was super cool. Anyhow, the amount that I was able to offer these influencers for one blog post and a couple social media posts was insane.
So, all that to say that if you want to get into blogging, there is absolutely, 100% potential to make money blogging.
There’s affiliate marketing. That’s what I’m focusing on now. Affiliate marketing is awesome. We’ll talk more about that in the future too.
You can start your own business. You can have an Etsy shop. You can do fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) where you purchase product and arbitrage and you sell them on Amazon [for a profit].
There’s just so many things. I think it’s to the point now where it almost make me angry when I hear someone say they can’t find a job because… Maybe just get a little creative. Think outside of the box.
And that’s my encouragement to you. If you’re stuck in a job you hate. If your family’s struggling and you just want to make some more money. If you’re like me and you have this big, crazy goal, this mission you’re on and you want to make a million dollars in a year… Heck, let’s do it together!
Let me show you everything I learn over this next year when it comes to full time affiliate marketing. I’m going to share with you. I’m also going to share with you the nitty-gritties of freelancing, the pros and cons, and how you can get started.
Basically, if there’s a way that you can make money online, I’ve probably touched it at some point and I know enough about it, or I know somebody that knows a lot about it, that I can introduce it to you.
I just want you to join me on this mission. You decide your monetary amount, okay? Mine is a million dollars. You pick your amount, whether it’s twenty thousand dollars for the year or a million dollars for the year or twenty million dollars for the year. Whatever it is!
Pick your mission. Set your goal. Leave me a comment. Drop me an email. (All that info will be in the show notes.) But pick your mission, tell me what it is and let’s do it together.
Let’s spend, from today forward, let’s spend the next year finding ways to make our mission a reality. To make it come true. To be successful in achieving our mission.
Because… why not? There’s no better time then now. As I said, the potential, the opportunity, is insane right now. There’s so much we can do! I’m going to share what I’m learning. You can share what you’re learning. We can do this together. It’s going to be amazing!
My kids are older now. My oldest just finished up her freshman year in college. She’s going to be 20 in August (which is crazy…). My youngest is going to be 9 at the end of September. She’s 8 now — the one that was a tiny little newborn baby when all of this started.
The time is now, you know? The time is now for me. I want the time to be now for you too. I want your big scary goal to align with mine and I want us to just do thing together. Because we can.
And I’m going to help you. And you know what? You’re going to help me. We’re going to do this and I’m just super excited to be here.
I’m super excited to be podcasting even though it’s so far outside of my comfort zone. You have no idea! I can’t even pick up a phone and order pizza most of the time. But here I am. Because I’m putting myself out there. I want you to put yourself out there. Because this mission is bigger than us.
My mission to earn a million dollars in a year might sound a little selfish and for a portion of it, it is, sure. You know, my husband and I want to get a new Class A for our summer road trips . We want to pay off bills. We want to do all of these things. We don’t have a mortgage because we purchased our house with cash, which is awesome. But, you know, we have these things we want to do. We have 4 more kids that we need to put through college.
But we also moved to this tiny little town and it could use some things. We want to be able to give back to our community. To have an impact right here at home by providing for our community in a way that we never, ever could. That’s one of our big dreams.
We’ll walk around in the evenings and say “oh, when we hit this goal, we’re going to buy this building and we’re going to turn it into a skating rink…” All these different things that we want to do for the community. So, it’s a little bit selfish and it’s a little bit not selfish. And that’s okay.
Your goal can be the same. Or it can be all selfish. Or it can be all just goodwill — you want to make a million dollars just because you want to give it all away.
At the end of the day, I don’t care. I just want you to have a goal that you want to go after and that we can go after together.
I want my story to be impactful for you so that your story can be impactful for others.
So let’d do this, okay? Let me know. What mission are you committing to today? And what mission are we going to do together?
You know, let’s come back here in a year and see where we are. And of the course of this year, I’m going to be sharing my story. I’m going to be bringing on guests who can share their stories.
And we’re all going to do it together and it’s going to be awesome. It’s our mission!
So, I’m glad you’re along for the ride. It’s going to be fun!
Show Notes (link and other items mentioned in the episode):
- Upwork — freelancing platform that allowed me to build and quickly scale my freelancing career
- The WAHM Collective — my membership site that supports all facets of your life as you embark on, grow or elevate your work-at-home career or business.
- Facebook Group – join the tribe!
- Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org