How to Generate A Sustainable Income Without Working Nine-to-Five

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
~Howard Thurman

Have you ever wondered if you could use your passions in life and actually turn them into an sustainable income?

When I resigned my position as a nurse, one year ago today, I had no idea that one decision would change my life — and the course of our family — in such a drastic way!

All I knew was that I needed to be home, caring for my husband and children…free to pursue the things that I love.

I could never have imagined that one year later:

  • I would be sitting here writing these thoughts and that you would be reading them
  • that as a family we’d be better off financially now than we ever were with 2 incomes
  • that my love for making homemade products would become a thriving little business
  • that we would start seeing the future not as something to fear or dread…no matter what may come

A year ago, all of these things were not.on.the.radar. They weren’t part of the plan…they were only dreams.

All I’d ever been focused on was establishing a strong educational foundation for career development, and working the best 9-5 job I could find. Anything else was too unrealistic.

Yes, it is possible

By no means do I consider myself qualified to give entrepreneurial advice, nor have I been blogging long enough to speak to that either. All I know is that it is possible.

As a wife and mother to three children, I’m telling you it is possible to generate a sustainable income without working and suffering through the grind of 9-5. I strongly believe that when we follow our dreams and pursue our passions, success (however you define it) will naturally follow.

But it’s not easy.

And here are a few things that I’ve learned along the journey (in no particular order of importance):

1. Discipline and diligence. If generating an income is something you want/need to do, you must to be disciplined and diligent. You must have your eyes set firmly on the prize. You need to be willing to spend time researching and learning about all of your options. You must find your rhythm and stick to it.

2. Financial management. You see there’s this whole thing called “making a living” and you’ll often hear people (myself included) talk about living within your means. Well truthfully, it’s really all about living below your means! This involves managing and controlling your living expenses so that they fall below your income level. In the long run it allows you to have more freedom. Likewise, by keeping your living expenses low, you won’t need to generate as much income to support yourself and your family. More to come on this topic…

3. Be honest about, and identify, your fears. Fear can paralyze you or it can push you to great things! Only when you are honest with yourself about your fears can you truly overcome them. Why won’t you quit your job and stay home with your babies? Why won’t you log on to Etsy and set up your handmade shop? Why won’t you head over to WordPress and start the blog you’ve wanted to start for months? Why? Are you afraid it will fail? Well guess what…it just might! And that’s okay! You try again…you face your fears and you find your own way.

4. Trial run. Once you’ve embraced your fears, give it a trail run. For example, when I quit my job last year my biggest fear was the loss of income. My husband and I decided in order to ease the transition we would consider this time off a “trial run.” If things got really bad or out of control financially, I could always return to earning a wage…no big deal. 365 days later that still remains an option, but the likelihood of it ever happening again is slowly fading into the distance.

5. Pick one thing that you love and go after it. As an individual there are so many things that I am passionate about. I could talk forever about my passion for our work with orphans and AIDS victims in Ethiopia, or about the adoption of our son and the need for people to step up and father the fatherless in order to sustain humanity, or what about homeschooling and backpacking and tons of other things that I don’t write about often, but are as equally important to me. Out of all the things that you love…choose one and go after it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

6. Sell your craft. I’m going to talk about this more in a future post, and it kind of goes along with #5, but it’s been a great way for me to generate a bit of income while doing something I already do for my family.

7. Genuinely care for and help others. What does helping others have to do with generating a sustainable income? It has everything to do with it! By caring for and helping others we build trust and we gain fulfillment. And if we are consistent in this, where do you think people will go when they need something? You! They’ll come to you for help.

8. Knowledge is power. Learn all you can about the things that interest you. Read about what other people are doing. Brainstorm new ideas. Watch videos. Find a mentor. Attend a class or eCourse on the topic. Join a community of like-minded others.

9. Forget about making money. I get it…we all have to have money to live, but at what cost? Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our ability to earn money that we forget what truly matters. Instead look at all the things you already have, find contentment, and then ask yourself “How can I live the life I want with what’s right here in front of me?”

Everyone’s path to a sustainable income looks different. And as I mentioned earlier, generating an income outside of the standard 9-5 job isn’t easy. It will take lots of work, but the reward for your dreaming, learning, and discipline can be a wonderful thing. For inspiration, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to head over to the library and check out the books Your Money or Your Life and Radical Homemakers.


  1. This could not have come at a better time. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for yet another inspiring post.
    I long to be a housewife (no kids yet but that seems to be a medical miracle so i force lots of love on stepson and children i teach!) And it is the case that for me it’s a fear thing.
    Sometimes the financial responsibility is what paralysizes me – we just bought our forever home with a BiG mortgage and I long to be debt free, which would be greatly affected if my income reduced.
    Most often, however, it’s the social stigma that pscares me. I try so hard on a daily basis to be true to myself but (ooh I hate the word but) it’s the expextation in my social circle that i “ought” to be earning that makes me consider it a pipedream. Sad isn’t it? I shall think about this more and plot how to make it happen!
    Thanks for always writing such thought-provoking posts!

    • Zoe! Boy do I really appreciate your honesty! You are right where I was about 3-4 years ago. I don’t think it’s sad…I think it’s awesome that your eyes have been opened to what’s really going on around you 🙂 It is so difficult to break free from the social stigma, but when you experience the freedom that is about to be yours…wow! Watch out world.

      Remember, baby steps. One thing at a time. Keep your eyes fixed on where you want to be and make slow, sustainable changes to get there! You can do it 🙂

    • I know how you feel, I had always been the one in my family that put career above all other goals. It was a big transition to stop working and focus on the home. I still, nearly 20 years later have to choose my words carefully when I explain what I do, I used to use the term “full time mom” but that seemed to upset friends. Homemaker seemed to be the least offensive, but the term I dislike the most. Trying to move to a more sustainable lifestyle seems to put a lot of people on the defensive, as if you are judging their choices, even when you aren’t. I’m so greatful to have found an online community and a few local people to gain strength and support from.

      • AnnDenee says:

        I find “homemaker” and “homesteader” to be the most accurate titles in my new career field. Building a nurturing and safe place for you and your family is a full-time job, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day…. and it never ends. My challenge has been in finding peace in my home. I’ve always put pressure on myself to be busy all the time and it was making me nervous. I came across “The Legacy of Home” blog and fell in love with her writing and have found the peace I was lacking. I highly recommend her to all my nervous homemaking friends.
        Truly, you are way more than a “mom”, you are a homemaker. 🙂

  3. Elaine Pollard says:

    I realy needed to read this. It’s total confirmation. I have had a business before, but it wasn’t my passion. It was a miserabe failure. I’ve wanted to step out there again, but fear…

    Thank you for a great article and motivation.

  4. This is the post i needed to hear this morning! My hubby was self employed for 12 years. Last year he closed up shop and took a job at a gas well services company, because the economy was so bad we were going to lose everything. It’s been a long year re adjusting our lives, changing our habits and becoming more frugal. Hubby’s company has started working out of state and that means 8days out and three days home…Not in our family plan. While he has been working I have been crafting… My fears…no one will like what I make, no one will want to buy it, I will be a failure. I have always been a SAHM and that also is in the back of my mind, I don’t have the education or skills to provide. Hubby and I sat down and talked, and talked and talked. Our new plan is for him to get a different job that allows him to be home more and to slowly open the business again doing small jobs and then also another side business of selling our “homestead” goods. We are praying that this would meet many of our needs as long as God is before us. It is scary, but but I think worth the effort. It’s important to teach our children to stand up for what is right instead of what is “easy”, to work hard for freedom, and to be confident in their abilities.

    • Melissa! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Reading your words brought me to tears! If you and I could sit down together for lunch, I would tell you to never associate your lack of education with your skills. Our society does a really good job of marginalizing those who don’t have “higher education.” Well guess what…I have a bachelor’s in nursing, but everything that I am doing now I’ve learned on my own! I never went to school to learn about computers or blogging or social networking. Everything I’ve learned about herbalism has come from years of reading, researching, and testing on myself. I taught myself how to make soap. Oh the list could go on!

      You Melissa are capable of doing anything you want to do! God made you perfect and only you can do what your were created to do! Bring Him honor by seeking your passions. I strongly believe we glorify our Creator when we do the things He made us to do. Trust Him! He alone will give you all that you need.

      • I was facing a similar problem, I’d been out of the work force for more than 15 years and had no degree. The work I did before I would need to have a degree to get back into. We had lost 60% of our income and it was getting worse. I was able to find part time work at an environmental learning center as an interpreter, which I had no formal training for. My knowledge of conservation and waste reduction was more valuable to the center than the degrees some of the other employees had. I started volunteering at the center 3 years earlier and they kept asking me to become paid staff, I finally did when we needed the money. I have since gone back to volunteer staff because I needed more flexibility in my schedule to garden and put up the harvest and my hubby got a full time job.

    • Wow Melissa, your story sounds just like mine as far as the lack of education. I’ve always felt that I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone due to my lack of education. I missed out on so many things that most people seem to take for granted. I’m 29 years old, have a 6th grade education, and have a 7 year old daughter who thinks that I’m the best thing since sliced bread. I have learned that it’s never too late to pursue something that makes you happy, and it’s taken many years for me to learn to love myself, accept my negative upbringing and lack of education, and work towards making my life better not only for myself, but mainly for my daughter who deserves to have a good life. Trust me, I know how it feels to doubt yourself and feel inferior to others who have had the opportunity to get a good education, people who have learned how to drive, learned how to use computers, etc. I’ve learned so many things on my own and it makes me feel good that I’m working towards self-sufficiency. It has been a hard, and long road, but I no longer allow my fears and self-doubt to control my life because that is no way to live. I was fortunate enough to obtain my GED when I was 19, I’ve taught myself how to type, and I’ve learned how to use computers. I still need to learn the basic of computers, but I feel good that I’ve learned what I know so far. It’s never too late, and a person is never too old to make their dreams come true, and you and I can do it if we believe in ourselves. Put your mind to it, believe in yourself, and take the steps to a better life. Good luck, and remember, anticipatory anxiety never helps and what we fear may never come true.

  5. HERE HERE!! Congratulations on your year of freedom from ‘the grind’. I’ve been out a while longer, but have spent the majority of those years hs’ing my dd. One book that I read years ago offered me one of those light bulb moments— it’s called Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. Thanks for the inspiring tips about bringing in more cash while still being true to ourselves. Really happy to have found FS.

    • LOVE Your Money or Your Life! Radical Homemakers was the final word for me. It has been a 100%, total transformation in how we view our income! We make WAY less, but yet we have SO much more…it’s been the craziest thing.

  6. Thanks so much for this post. I’ve recently started my own home-based, network marketing business and it certainly does take commitment and determination. I’ve gained so much personally within the past few months. It’s really been a season of growth.

    I love tip #7. This is really the basis of so much. Respectfully, I disagree with #4. I prefer the words of Yoda, “Do or do not….there is no try.” Ultimately, this comes back to dedication, diligence and believing in yourself.

    Thanks for the motivation and best of luck with your business

    • Oh Stephanie you are so right! Stepping away from the comfortable, safe 9-5 job definitely takes determination. It’s so worth it though 🙂

  7. You are awesome Andrea and truly inspirational!! Thank you for this post and all that you do. I have learnt so much from your site in such a short time. I am curious though and wonder if you can tell us how you “manage” a typical day? I can see you are extremely organized which takes one thing, but how do you fit EVERYTHING in, in one day? Homeschooling, gardening, making homemade products, cooking, cleaning, researching, etc….I would be interested in seeing a breakdown of your day if you don’t mind sharing??

    • Oh the typical day 🙂 That’s going to be another post too! My biggest need is to have set times for certain things…a rhythm. Everyday looks the same. Everyone knows what to expect, and we work together as a family to get it all done. As for cleaning, that’s the benefit of having a small home and not that much “stuff” 🙂

  8. I really enjoy reading your blog!!!

  9. Youve only been blogging for a year?! You are the best blog on the web in my opinion! I share your blog with everyone and look forward to it in my inbox everyday. My whole life has changed since I’ve been reading your blogs! Thank you so much for your courage to find your own happiness!

    • Awww Sara! Thank you so much for your kind words! You know I actually didn’t start blogging until 5 months after I decided to stay home…starting Frugally Sustainable was a birthing pain all on it’s own 🙂 I thank you so much for your readership!

  10. Excellent post, Andrea. This is where we want to be one day and we’re working toward it. While I get to stay at home, we would also love for my husband to be able to stay at home and do his financial counseling….which isn’t a high paying job. 🙂 Since we’re 100% debt free, our only concern is medical insurance (we are seriously considering the Samaritan insurance). So, we’re working toward being able to have enough sides jobs to make it work…and slowly but surely we’re getting there. You’re right, it IS possible…but it does take a lot of work and dedication. It’s not the life of a lazy bum, that’s for sure!

    • That is for sure!!! I’ve never worked so hard in all my life! I totally have a new respect for small business owners and these people who never give up on their dreams. As for medical insurance…we live without it. After my husband and I read Radical Homemakers, and because both of us work in the medical field, we knew there had to be a different way. I could talk forever about why and how we live without it, but that may need to be in another post 😉 I’m not advocating for it by any means — just sayin’ it’s possible 🙂

  11. Thank you for this article. Great info and great timing!

  12. Lisa Suit says:

    Thank you for the post! I have been wanting to open a shop on Etsy for quite awhile now, (I am a work at home mom, I work online and my work is very unstable) to generate an income doing something I love while not having to leave my daughter, and something that doesn’t cause me intense frustration like my job that I currently do, but I keep procrastinating-mostly because I’ve just been scared. So your blog post could not have come at a better time!!

    • You can do it Lisa! Etsy’s definitely not a “if you build it they will come” type deal, but with committment and consistancy…the sky’s the limit 🙂 When you get it set up, come back here and link to it!

  13. THANK YOU for sharing this. I am also a nurse attempting to make the same transition. Your post was very encouraging.

  14. This is a wonderful post! I don’t work right now, so my husband and I are living on his income, which is great, but I want so badly to start up an Etsy shop or something to generate some extra money. He has such an irregular schedule that he is happy to have me at home so we can actually spend time together, but I feel like I should be earning, too. Thanks for the encouragement!

  15. This is very inspiring. Thank you very much for sharing this. I would like to get my business up and running and be able to get out of the daily shuffle!

  16. Great post! I advocate reading those same two books in my post about life changes that have saved us money!
    Great minds think alike, I guess! 🙂

  17. Great post and so true! I have been working from home as a child care provider for almost 12 years and although there are times when it’s trying, I know that through it all I am blessed to be able to be home. Sure, I could do work a job and maybe get some benefits and make a little more money, but I’m home, making homemade things for the children and my own family and I get the bonus of sharing my knowledge and passion with all of the families I come in contact with. I am sure that I’ve reached more lives as a child care provider than I ever could working a desk job 🙂

    I’m so glad to have connected with your blog. I love your thoughts, your ideas and I am looking forward to your next year!!

  18. Great tips, Andrea! I’m so glad you’re getting to live out your dreams, bless your family AND help educate other families in the process! Have a great day! 🙂

  19. Wonderful post!! I really love your blog, and cannot believe you have been at it such a short time. A question, did you design and set up your blog or hire someone to do it for you.? Love all your ideas on it and how it is set up, very easy to navigate. Keep it up, and thanks for sharing!

  20. I love this! Today is my first day as a stay at home mom, and I’m hoping to turn my passions into a supplemental income for my family.

    Everything you’re saying is right on target, and a definite inspiration for me as I begin my journey!

  21. Amanda L. says:

    I recently came across your blog, and read it daily now. I love all the great tips, ideas and encouragement you offer. Your blog helps people to embrace the simpler life one small step at a time, or can encourage them, as in this particular post above, to go for it. I believe we need to rethink how to live our lives, what is important and what is not, and also to consider what legacy we are leaving our children…your blog is a great tool in guidance to do just that. Thank you 🙂

  22. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Looking forward to future things!

  23. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve actually started a scrapbooking blog and althought I like it I have a hard time maintaining it because I don’t scrapbook all-the-time. I’ve had a cooking cooking blog for a while but I never posted to it. I just made the name a few years ago. . I love cooking and I’m pretty darn good at it (that’s what people say, lol). Cooking is my first love and I could right a significant amount more than scrapbooking but I just was afraid of failing at that too because there a million cooking blogs, but I just started posting to because who knows, right? Thanks!

  24. Thank you so much for this article! I am about to lose my job after 23 years due to a lost contract. I have been distracting myself with so many new projects such a baking and crafting. I’m seriously kicking around the idea of blogging. My fears hold me back. I love my “distractions” and would love to do them as my next “profession.” I’m tired of the rat race but to live comfortably doing what I love. Your article is very inspiring and what I’ve been looking for. I read your posts all the time and have shared with a friend of mine. 

    I’m going to try to conquer my fears and branch out 🙂

    Thank you!!!! 

  25. I agree with you, but I have a problem! I’m a single mom of 3 with lots of education, and I started a registered childcare center in my home nearly five years ago, with the hope of resuming homeschooling once the business started doing well. Well, it started doing well and then my ex took me to court to prevent me from homeschooling, so now I risk going to jail for doing what I want most to do in this world. I’ve learned really well that it’s possible to live well on a very low income (after growing up in luxury), but I am having serious trouble with the lack of intellectual stimulation and adult interaction. So I am actually going back to school to become an occupational therapist. Hopefully, school will not take as many hours as a regular 9-5 job, and I hope to have a high enough hourly wage that I can just work part time when I’m done.

    • I was threatened with jail for homeschooling as well. I was able to find an independant study program through our local office of education. I was registered as if I was in public school and we had a teacher who came to the house once a week, so technically I just supervised home work. There was also a wonderful network for field trips and weekly classroom type help with most subjects that we could attend as needed.

      Good Luck with whatever you choose.

  26. Thanks so much for this post and encouragement. My husband just decided to start a handyman business as well as occasionally making furniture. I’m no longer teaching due to health problems. Thankfully I have disability for now, but it won’t last forever, so I’m already trying to figure out what I will be able to do. It will have to be something at home. There’s no way I’ll be able to go back to a regular work schedule.

    All of your tips are great. I’m especially glad to see tip number 7. That’s the basis for my husband’s business and whatever I do in the future – genuinely make sure the customer feels the work is a win for them. Even if a job ends up being a financial wash or loss for us, if the customer knows he/she was treated with great respect and got the end result they were wanting, they will be loyal and will let their friends know we are trustworthy. It’s a win-win based on integrity and genuine concern for the customer’s needs.

    I’m so ready for my husband’s business to get rolling and see what it means for our future. And I’m very thankful he is taking this step out in faith. Thanks again for the encouragment!

  27. Anastasia says:

    Love this post!

    I’m a massage therapist and while it’s something I never want to give up, I’d like to have it as less than my primary source of income. I also enjoy making my own bath and body products and did it for years at home and as gifts. They’re so easy to make so I was surprised when friends and co-workers would be amazed that “you made this???!!!” I’m lucky right now to work at a day spa with an owner who is supportive of my interests. I have the opportunity to custom forumulate scrubs, soaks, balms, etc., for clients and receive valuable feedback (referrals!) while I work on building the business (legal) end.

    Hubby is also supportive and has the green thumb of the house. We’ve planted our first garden that he endeavors to go to market with and have planted a variety herbs that I routinely use in a lot of my products. I’ve also got him hooked on cold process soap making, which we’ve started making together for home use and gifts!

    I’ve previously used blogging as a way to stay in touch with clients and generate return / new clients by using it as a platform to simply share my love and interests related to massage and bodywork. I hope to do this with our family business as well.

    We’re also expecting our first little one, and I think this has been quietly instrumental in us solidifying to goal to not only have a sustainable household, but a garner a sustainable income as well. 🙂

    Your blog post has again made me realize how absolutely attainable it is! Thank you.

  28. Another Wonderful post, I love reading about your journey. You have such wonderful insights. I read a blog/article a few weeks back about a woman who decided to take a full time job instead of freelancing so she could earn more money. The funny thing was she found her budget seemed to get tighter with more money coming in. She sat down and figured it out, between child care, commute, convenience meals, dining out, clothing, etc. She was loosing money each month. The worst part of the article was the responses, people were beating her up for not being satisfied with a high paying job. Totally missing the point.

    When you have more time to do the things you need to do and aren’t emotionally drained when you get home, you can live on a lot less money. When you don’t need to farm out your tasks or keep up an image you will have more flexibility in your budget.

  29. What a terrific post. I’ve reread it three times already this morning and it’s been like a great big kick in the rear to get me off my chair and into action. My husband was self-employed in construction for most of our married life, but lost the business almost two years ago. We assumed all of that debt & he went to work for someone else for much less, but at least a steady amount. His dream however, is to be a sustainable farmer. (Joel Salatin is his hero.) A year ago, a financial counselor looked at our budget numbers and told us the only option was bankruptcy. My husband refused to consider that and slowly… SLOWLY… we are plugging away at the mountain of debt that seems so very insurmountable at times. I want to do all I can to help, but I know I can do more! I love your blog and your posts and draw so much inspiration from your writing. Thanks for doing what you do! It really makes a difference to others. 🙂

  30. 5years ago, RA exhaustion made working my 60 hour a week professional job impossible for me to keep up. I stopped working, but pick up odd jobs from time to time. We halfed our income with this change. However, with careful spending and God’s grace, we are doing fine.
    Today’s blog spoke truth into my heart.

  31. Beautiful post!!! #3 is great advice — that fear of failure can handicap us all, but often when you push past those fears, you realize your true potential (and how welcoming/helpful people can be). I also think when making a living online, with your community, it’s so very important to focus on helping people, like you said, rather than making MONEY. Everyone loves a resource, nobody likes to be “sold” or “used”. Very important line to walk.

  32. I run a small home business on the side but my primary income is firmly placed in the rat race. I would love to be a WAHM happily running my own business but it will take us a few years to pay down (or off!!) this debt. I know we can do it. 1 credit card is paid off, I am making the last payment on another 1 in 2 weeks! One left after that, then I am tackling the truck payment! The thing I am struggling with the most right now, is that it is NOW that I want to be home, not in a few years. My babies are 6 and 3 and by the time I can leave the rat race, they will be in school all day. Do you think I am crazy for feeling this way? Probably, but feelings are feelings! 🙂 However, I WILL make it happen eventually!

  33. GrandmaPeggie says:

    Love your comments and am using the “calendula lotion” form your etsy store for everything and my 70+ year old skin is soaking it all up and the skin problems seem to be healing. I am not scratching myself all the time as I used to do.
    I’d like to make a comment to the “MOM” that didn’t seem to know what to call herself for staying at home and raising her family. She is a “Domestic Engineer”. That is some one that can stay within a budget; find the best buys in everything from apple sauce to sneakers; do the laundry with no missing socks; know where all the keys and remote controls are; have children at all particapating activities, and on time; not fry bacon, but fix a quick well-balanced meal with a dessert, even if it’s only jell-o with fruit; have herself looking good; comforts and encourages all family members when they are down and low; and still has a smile on her face when hubby walks in the door at five. It’s all a juggling act, but isn’t that what all ” engineers” do?

  34. ok, so it’s all very well, but you have a husband with a job! what about those of us on our own who have a morgage and bills to pay? can’t give that a “trial run” and not so easy these days to just go back out and get a job
    still admire what you’re doing but you have back up, some of us dont

  35. madeline says:

    You got it right with #1

    Discipline! it is what I sorely lack-but I am determined not to be at the mercy of an employer’s whims again. (I hope)

  36. So glad to see your Etsy shop taking off! It’s wonderful! You wrote an excellent article and I hope it gets a lot of traction. I couldn’t agree with you more! Jenni @ CascadiaBeads on Etsy.

  37. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS WHAT YOUR POST IS ABOUT TODAY. I am an RN and while at work today had a conversation with another nurse about how I so desperately want MORE of my life to truly do what it is I love ( for me, crafts, make up anything creative, really) a single mom it may never come to fruition, but the spark is there. THANK YOU!!

  38. Great post….read it to my husband. He lost his job due to the economy …..and I had been a stay at home mom for the past few he started a construction, home repair business….and then I started a slipcover business….hopefully starting an Etsy business soon with some items that I would sew…working out the details now. I have a blog also, but due To a broken leg and a computer virus…I am a little behind on posts. I love the way blogs help connect and encourage Folks to do something …try something….and LIVE!! As your quote at the top of post says! Be blessed and keep up the American dream!

  39. Anthony Trujillo says:

    this sounds like the beginning of a new adventure. I accept your challange! 🙂

  40. Woah! Fantastic! Thanks for the motivation! I was a nurse as well- and quit almost a year ago. To ultimately follow my passions/dreams. It is good to hear it is possible and can work!

  41. Great article! I’ve been picking up on snippets of these same ideas all around the web. My husband and I were in ministry together and lost our jobs, out of the blue, almost 3 years ago. Just 6 mos ago God placed him in a new position. However, it now looks like ministry as I knew it is not to be. We have one car and the distance between the church and our home is too great for regular sharing of the vehicle. I’m working through that process of accessing my passions, talents, and skills. And trusting God to direct my path. The one thing I have learned through this wilderness, is that I must not get ahead of God. And I am inclined to do just that. I am in the process of starting a blog. It hasn’t launched yet. Though I know it won’t bring in income…it will help me to focus. Thanks for the inspiration. Wishing you God’s abundant blessing and favor as you see to follow him and trust him for his provision.

  42. As with many, your post is coming to me at an opportune time. I recently earned a BS, Public Accounting because I “thought I should.” I have no love of accounting or business. When I started back to school, I was 49, now 54. I changed my major a couple of times but got scared and went back to Accounting. It seemed the SAFEST thing to do. Now, I am going on interviews and know my lack of real interest, no matter how much I try to hid it, shows. I’m in a new relationship and don’t feel support except to get a “nice” business job or start my own Accounting/Tax/Bookkeeping business. I thought about that because it would at least be more time flexible. I am having trouble deciding what I really “love.” Feeling too old to be this “lost,” and feeling pressure to be financially sound vs. happy. Thanks for listening.

  43. You’ve certainly hit a nerve here with LOTS of people wanting to do something other than the 9-5 grind! I’ve been freelance writing and editing now for about a year, though it’s certainly not a full-time income. The whole thing makes my husband very nervous about finances, and I’m having a hard time convincing him that trying this is a worthwhile pursuit. Thank you for addressing a yearning that so many people feel. We creatives need to stick together!

  44. Gorgeous post!

    I did not make this choice but my health made if for me a bit over two years ago. Being disabled at 40 years old and a single mom, is not how I envisioned my life. I had just spent 7 years getting the education I did not when I was younger so I could support my kids and POOF it was all gone. It was hard at first but then I remembered, slowly, I already knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let my illnesses take that way from me so I figured out how to be me in a new different way. I am working on building my community and my niche market. My first two books will be published this year. It hasn’t been an “instant” solution but it has been one amazing journey. Fortunately, in the meantime, I found my best friend and married him so even though we struggle on one income good things are happening. Thank you for reminding me I am on the right track (kinda having a rough day).

  45. Denise Kay says:

    Just what I needed, just starting out on this road and working on focus luckly I have a job that I can gradually pull back from but trying not to use that as a crutch.

  46. Just came across this blog and good timing….I am working very full time..part of time I love it, part not….
    (I work for a hospice) A question i have is about health insurance when you’re self employed…I’m single, have a chronic health condition (under control right now) and know that is something I have to have….sometimes feel I have made many sacrifices and not followed my true passions as a trade off for the insurance and stability of steady income..I am researching food-related and more healthful ways to control my illness…and stress definitely activates true passions are yoga and meditation and have been writing a bit and exploring teaching the staff where I a way to begin..that is my true passion because medical staff and caregivers for are patients tend to not be good @ caring for themselves
    Also as single w/ adult child living elsewhere (Chicago and doing permaculture herself) I would love to find sutainable community to connect and grow with in LA area….Your blog and comments help fortify my courage which I sometimes lack..

  47. I appreciate you posting this! Will you talk about growing your blog in the future?? I sure hope so!!!!!

  48. I totally love this post! I am a homeschooling mom. I was also working part time until I injured my foot at work last fall. Since my job was 100% on my feet, I’ve been unable to return. I am learning about all of the frugal/crunchy/sustainable lifestyle ideas and I am so excited to walk this path. My sister got me started as her daughter has many serious allergies and she is treating them through GAPS. It just seems like a more thoughtful, gentle way to live. I have started with making my own bread (sourdough starter), water kefir, hard lotion and elderberry syrup in the last few months. I love the idea of finding a way to earn income doing something that is delightfully fun for me. You’ve given me a lot to ponder.

    Any advice on how to connect with a support system of like-minded people? I am following many bloggers, but I get the feeling most of them don’t have time to build a new relationship with someone who has lots of questions like I do! 😉 Also, do you have any advice on how to get more organized? I have so many ideas, I feel like I don’t know where to start, or how to decide when to do what!

    Thank you for sharing and being a blessing!


  49. Loved this post! I’m a single mom working three jobs (one of which I loathe). I’m trying to find a way to work entirely from home but it is tough. Thanks for the inspiration!

  50. God is so timely. Why did I just happen along this post now, exactly when I needed to read it. Thank you for encouraging people by sharing you knowledge and your love.

  51. I am so glad I’ve found this post. For the past few years I’ve been ill and unable to work and living on a very low income. I’m recently married and my husband’s hours at work were cut back drastically the month before the wedding, so we’re looking for ways to cut spending and generate more income, especially with looking forward to having children in the near future. I’ve always had a real passion for baking, particularly specialty baking and cake decoration. Many times I’ve been told I should start a bakery, but I’ve always been too afraid of failure. I needed to read this, and it’s certainly come at the right time. Thank you for such a wonderfully inspiring post!

  52. Thanks for this really really great, inspiring post. Anything is possible 🙂 Good things take time and are about quality – sometimes we need to step back and stop forcing things, and suddenly great things happen ‘of their own accord’.

    Keep up the great work on this site, you truly provide a great service and wealth of resources to us all. A great role model! 🙂

    It’s all about having an end goal – ‘your eyes on the prize’ as you excellently put it; and then breaking it down into small, achievable goals.

    I hope to get there one of these days! 🙂

    Katie. xxx

  53. You rock! It didn’t take long for your website to become one of my very favorites. Thanks for yet another inspiring post!


  54. Such good words….and at such an appropriate time. Reading thru these comments I see myself mirrored in so many of you. I graduated high school but never went to college. I stayed at home for years with my kids–it was hard but I’m glad I did. I’m proud to say they NEVER went to a daycare. Now as they are older teenagers, I’ve started working again but I don’t make that great of an income, certainly not enough to support our family of four (I run a small in-home daycare). My husband made a decent living from construction but when the recession fell upon us several years ago he lost about 80 percent of his income. Two bankruptcies in a years time (a Chapter 13 to save our house converted into a Chapter 7 when we couldn’t keep up with the court payments) took it’s toll on us. We’re now waiting for our home to be foreclosed on–the home we put $100,000 down on when we bought it in 2005.

    I’ve racked my brain for ways to make a more stable income and I keep coming back to writing/blogging. I started a blog a few months back but have not had the time to get back to it. I’d love to be able to contribute more to our income doing something I love….as much as I love my daycare kids it is NOT what I want to do for a living and I feel drained at the end of the day. I want to feel fulfilled by my job, not deflated. Reading your post has reignited my “itch”. Guess I will be spending the next few days researching ways to generate income from a blog.

    (P.S.—I truly think God sent me to this page on your blog. Maybe His way of helping me along in my journey?? Thanks so much for sharing your story!)


  55. Thank you so much for this, it could not have come at a better time. I’m a young, just out of college artist, juggling two pt jobs (that I do like/sometimes love) but still struggling to make ends meet. I think fear with my art is holding me back some for really getting my etsy shop up and running and I just need to post my items for sale and go from there! I don’t have issues selling my ceramics at craft shows or first Friday art trails, but something about opening up an online shop has me holding back. Thanks for the encouragement and I love your blog! I have been following it for a few months now. Thanks again!

  56. I come from a long line of working women and went to a famous liberal women’s school with the expectation that I would follow in their footsteps. But when I had kids I just hated being away from them. I quit my job and homeschooled for seven years, but my husband didn’t like it so he took off almost eight years ago. I didn’t ever want to enter the corporate world again, so I opened up a daycare center in my home. It certainly has its drawbacks, but I have always been home with my kids. We are doing better financially than we ever did before. In fact, I don’t think I can afford to give up the perks and go back to a regular job! If you want to start your own business, go for it!

  57. Thank you so much for this post. I worked at the same company for 13 years. Since the birth of my son I had been thinking about leaving whenever the “right” time came to be home with him. Of course the “right” time never comes, and there is always an excuse to stay on. After the birth of my daughter I was back at work from maternity leave less than 1 month when corporate came through and laid off the majority of our office. Of course I was a little sad that day and let myself have a good cry about it. I was scared of the loss of income and insurance. I went to work there right out of high school and had never had any other job and never went to college. That evening, my husband and I sat down and discussed the possibility of me staying home with the kids. The next day came and I had never felt so good in all my life. In the following months my son started kindergarten. It was so precious to me to be able to spend the whole entire summer before school started with him and my daughter. My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s the summer after kindergarten and it has been a blessing to be able to be available to help out at his school, and assist his teacher. He needs a lot of therapy and I just don’t know what I would have done if I still worked out of the home. I know that it is not a lifestyle for everyone, however we have found that it works for us. It is what our family needed. I would love to do something from the home to help make some extra money on the side. You have given me a lot to think about.. Thank you! 🙂

  58. I love your blog which I came across through Living off the Grid. I was miserable in my job for years ( never went to college or Uni) in the UK. My husband had a really good well paid job and was equally miserable. He has now retired early and I am working from home. We are both much happier and are managing really well to live on a much smaller income. Your blog inspiring

  59. Great post with perfect timing! We have gone from my husband with a really good paying job to him loosing it due to illness and our hand was forced to move back to his hometown Sooner then expected. He is now on disability ( after 3 yrs of fighting) I am a caregiver for an elderly gentleman. We live way below our means. This post has gotten me motivated to do what I have wanted to to but had no clue where to start. My biggest factor fear of failure!

  60. Yay! A great article and great timing! I had been praying about ways I (as a childless homemaker… but with health challenges that kept me from the workforce) could help support us financially. I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. And one day while revamping my STRUGGLING jewelry business, I came across someone selling something for which I am quite passionate! Once I saw how successful they were, I abandoned the jewelry business and immediately started pursuing my passion. INSTANTLY my business took off. And every single day I thank the Lord for helping me to stumble into a line of work that I LOVE. I encourage everyone to follow the principles outlined in this article. Because I don’t believe ANYONE should feel stuck in a job they hate. And I love the idea of mothers (and even kid-less wives) being able to stay home.

    For those out there needing some ideas and inspiration, I encourage you to check out You’re bound to come across something you love to do, and it’s a great way to see what others have success with. Not to mention it’s an EXCELLENT venue for selling your craft. 😀

  61. I’m so glad I found this! I discovered your site a few days ago while looking for a DIY alternative to bleach. I’ve started making my own cleaning products and a few beauty products. But, the main reasonI ddecided to reply is because this is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m 22 and in school full-time and work 2 dead-end part-time jobs. I feel restricted and told my fiancee I want to be a homemaker and start my own business from home. I’ve thought about starting a cat daycare or selling homemade goods or jewelry. I’mstill not sure and I know sstarting a cat daycare in a 1 bedroom apartment isn’t practical at this time but we’re looking at finding our forever home when our lease ends next year. The only thing holding me back is lack of finances. My fiancee gets SSI which would barely pay the bills if I quit my jobs. He’s in school also and about to graduate. He wants to start looking for a job this month. I’m in my third attempt ay college and should’ve graduated by now but I’ve always been indecisive and found that both school and work have kept me from my true passions. I just feel that I`ll have wasted a lot of time and money if I drop out of school now. But at the same time I fear my financial aid will run out before I graduate. At the same time though I find myself learning about things that interest me rather than my schoolwork.

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