I’m over-worked. Overwhelmed. Is there another way?

When a woman explained that she was struggling to be both a present mother and a productive worker, Annie Ridout was reminded of a time when she felt exactly this. Here’s how she adjusted the balance to make it better…

There was a post in my Facebook group recently that reminded me of a difficult time in my life.

The woman posting was feeling overwhelmed. She’s working too hard, and it’s at the expense of time with her kids. Perhaps she set up her own business to allow for more family time, but suddenly she’s working all the hours and not getting the downtime she craves.

It reminded me of when I had a two-year-old and a new baby. I was running The Early Hour – producing daily content, social media posts, doing the PR. And while I enjoyed having a work focus, I wasn’t earning enough for the hours I was putting in.

For a few months, I carried on cramming while the toddler and baby napped, though all I wanted to do was nap too. But I was feeling like shit: anxious, exhausted, angry.

So I decided to make a change. I reduced the content I was putting out on The Early Hour.

What this meant is that I had more time to think strategically. I didn’t earn any less money, because I wasn’t earning per article published anyway – I was just putting out all this free content, but making money from freelance journalism, sponsored posts and doing PR on the side.

I decided to pitch for a book deal and 4th Estate (a Harper Collins imprint) agreed to publish The Freelance Mum – a guide to working for yourself, from home, after having a baby. After all although it was hard, I was managing to raise two kids and support myself financially.

I was paid an advance. And once the book was published, I would be paid 12% of each book sale, after the initial advance had been earned back.

I started to enjoy the ‘passive income’ people talk about; where you put in the groundwork and then money comes in without you have to do anything else (except some marketing).

This changed my mindset from I need to work all the hours to earn enough money to: I need to find other ways to bring in an income without having to graft so bloody hard. And so before the birth of my third baby, I launched my online courses.

Soon, I had really good money coming in – that didn’t require one-on-one client time. Also, once a course was written, it could be sold without me having to write it again (unlike freelance articles).

I’d write a course, add it to my shop then do sporadic marketing to make sure it sold.

So when that woman posted in my Facebook group, saying she felt overwhelmed and overworked, I suggested she think about writing a book or launching a course; two potential passive income streams.

You see, once you’ve seen how it all works, you can keep pumping out books and courses. I’ve recently signed a second book deal with 4th Estate to write SHY (out January 2021) and I recently self-published a poetry book: Twenty-nine: Poems on motherhood.

I’ve sold over 100 copies, so every £10 copy I sell is 100% profit. This is the beauty of self-publishing: you keep all the profits, once the design and printing costs are covered.

So I have now written an online course teaching you all you need to know about self-publishing and selling a book.

The two-week online course starts on Monday 13th January 2020, but sales have just opened and the first 20 people to sign up get unlimited email access to me for the duration of the course – to ask questions, and get reassurance and guidance.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and overworked and would like to ease off; to work in bursts and then have downtime – so you can hang with your kids more or go to exercise classes or watch Netflix – you could think about self-publishing a book or launching an online course.

I’d love to help you.

For more info on the online course ‘How to self-publish and sell your book’, see here.