Interview with Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents

Interview with Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

While I was in my Finance MBA program, I found myself perusing blogs and reading about ways to make extra money. I had a good amount in student loans, and I did not want to be one of those people who had their student loans for decades after they graduated from college. Just the thought of that made me stressed.

I started Making Sense of Cents to keep track of my financial goals, and to also be pushed by readers to reach my goals. After blogging for a few months, I knew I had to find a part-time job if I wanted my student loans to go away. I connected the dots and decided to search for positions and ways to make money online.

Before I knew it, my business was growing before my eyes. I didn’t mean for it to become my business, but it turned into something that I still love today. I love to write and I’m a writer for several different websites. I have grown my client base significantly since I started my website in August of 2011.

As of October of 2013, I am now fully self-employed.

What did you do before launching your own business?

Up until October of 2013, I was working full-time as a financial analyst. I spent from August of 2011 to October of 2013 working full-time at my day job and working on my online business after work.

How did you fund your business?

Luckily, my business has very low costs, and it was less than $100 to start up my business in the beginning. You just have to buy a domain name, website hosting, and (maybe) have a website designer.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?

At one point, I was working around 50 hours at my day job and going home to work another 40 on my business. Now, I have outsourced some of my work while increasing revenues at the same time, and I am now working around 30 to 40 hours each week. I still keep the important work for me, but I have a virtual assistant helping me out occasionally.

How would you rate your success?

I definitely feel very successful. Every morning, I wake up and still cannot believe that this is my career and my business. Due to having started this business, my fiance and I are able to travel the world – all while working from my laptop.

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?

My main struggle is sticking to a schedule. Working at home makes it very easy to procrastinate and do something else. It can be hard to wake up in the morning since I technically do not have to be anywhere at a certain time.

A smaller struggle would be fear of business ending. I am fairly positive that everything wouldn’t completely dry up since I am fairly diversified, but having a bad month is in most freelancers’ minds. You just never know what could possibly happen.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

My advice would be to network as much as you can and to always provide high-quality work. Just one bad review can stick in potential clients’ minds forever, and it may cost you business. You want to provide high-quality work so that your current clients can refer you to possible future clients – and thereby increasing your network.

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?

Sometimes it can be very hard to manage all of my personal and business activities. I have recently set a schedule for myself. After a certain time, it is time to relax. My laptop closes and my phone is put away.

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