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My Summer of Earning Money as an Entrepreneur

Updated on February 18, 2018
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.


I am on a quest to earn as much money as I can over the next ten weeks of summer by not having an official job, but on doing a series of money producing types of work to challenge myself to earn money as an entrepreneur.

During the summer of 2013, I embarked on an experiment to write full time for the time I was off from my "day job" as a substitute teacher. I had high hopes that I would be able to earn a full-time income as a writer, and I took those ten weeks to prove it. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. Over the course of 10 weeks, I wrote solely online at the following websites:

* HubPages

* WebAnswers

* TextBroker

* My personal blog about Second Marriage Romance

* A second personal blog about My Summer of Writing

* Bubblews (didn't find this site till mid-August)

The disappointing total that I made after writing my heart out all summer was only $208.81. It was a shock to me, and I was disappointed to have to go back to substitute teaching last Fall. I did write a short piece on Bubblews though last year about how much money I made over the summer, which was close to $1,000. That included the writing I did.

But I also made money by:

* holding a yard sale

* being a nanny for one week

* selling items on eBay

* answering surveys

We are coming up on my first of 10 weeks of my summer vacation from substitute teaching, so it's the perfect time to start this challenge. For the next ten weeks, I will be updating this hub with my earnings for the week and how I earned them. In my heart of hearts, I would love to be a full-time entrepreneur and earn money without a regular "job, " but by doing things, I love instead. But I have a daughter in college, and I need to earn a minimum amount of money each year JUST to pay her tuition. But being an entrepreneur is in my blood, and I just HAVE to give it a try so I don't go to my grave thinking,'What IF I could have been an entrepreneur?"

So here's what I will be doing this summer:

* Writing online (HubPages, Bubblews, TextBroker, WebAnswers, two blogs, and who knows, maybe more!)

* Writing during July for a non-profit agency

* Selling on eBay

And anything else that comes along that I can earn money from. My ten-week plan does have a crimp in it. My husband and I are moving from Connecticut to Georgia sometime during the last two weeks of August. This means eBay will be out for those two weeks, and with packing, moving and unpacking, I won't have a lot of time to write. But I have an ace in my back pocket, so to speak, in that I have five weeks of freelance writing coming up for a non-profit agency, so that will bring in a larger amount of money in July.

Me, writing at my computer last summer.
Me, writing at my computer last summer. | Source

Money Earning Poll

Which of these things have you done to earn money?

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Tracking My Earnings Motivated Me

I had a lot of fun last summer keeping track of how much money I earned each week last year and how I earned it and sharing it with my HubPages followers. So I decided that I am going to try something similar this year, but keep track of ALL my earnings as an entrepreneur and post it weekly. Posting earnings weekly like that really motivates me to do better because I feel like readers will hold me accountable and look forward to checking in to see how I did.

Here's the table tracking my earnings:

Week By Week Earnings Update

Freelance Writing For Non-Profit Agency
Online Writing Earnings
Weekly Total
Overall Total So Far ($2,000 Goal)
Week 1 ( 6/23 - 6/29/2014)
Week 2 (6/30 - 7/6/2014)
Week 3 ( 7/7 - 7/13/2014)
Week 4 (7/14 - 7/20/2014)
Week 5 (7/21 - 7/27/2014)
Week 6 (7/28 - 8/3/2014)
Week 7 (8/4 - 8/10/2014)
Week 8 (8/11 - 8/17/2014)
Week 9 (8/18 - 8/24/2014)
Week 10 (8/25 - 8/31/2014)
Final Total:
I have already been selling items here and there on eBay over the past few months and my biggest sale was this clarinet that I sold for $149.99 in 19 minutes!
I have already been selling items here and there on eBay over the past few months and my biggest sale was this clarinet that I sold for $149.99 in 19 minutes! | Source

In spite of the obstacles, my goal for this summer is to earn $2,000. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve so who knows what the future holds. But I am quite excited to find out. Stay tuned for weekly updates. I will be updating this hub every Monday after I see the earnings for the week before. If anyone would care to join me...feel free to do so.

These boots were boots that I can't wear anymore  and they recently sold on eBay for $49.99.
These boots were boots that I can't wear anymore and they recently sold on eBay for $49.99. | Source

Earning Money Poll

How Would You Rather Earn Money To Support Yourself/Your Family?

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I love to earn money as an entrepreneur! It makes me feel happier than when I earn at a 9 to 5 job because I am doing what I love.
I love to earn money as an entrepreneur! It makes me feel happier than when I earn at a 9 to 5 job because I am doing what I love. | Source

Weekly Summary Of Earnings

Week 1

I am SO happy that I have found the non-profit agency to write for. As you can tell from the chart, that is where most of my earnings came from. I made just as much doing that in two days as I did for a week of substitute teaching during the last school year. I would love to make freelance writing for non-profit agencies a full-time endeavor when my husband and I move to Georgia at the end of August. Even writing 20 hours per week in Georgia would be more than what I need to pay my daughter's tuition. It would still give me extra money so I would be thrilled with that. Unfortunately, my online writing is not bringing in much more this summer than it did last summer. That is very discouraging. But for July, as long as I have the non-profit work, I am golden!

Week 2

Yikes, I earned a few dollars less this week than the first week. That is not good. I always like to see improvements in my earnings. Although I did earn more with the non-profit writing, I made less with eBay, and a little bit less with the online earnings. I have realized one key to earning more online is writing more regularly on Bubblews and HubPages. I get into a rut though and have gotten comfortable with my routine so now that I have tracked my earnings, I can more clearly see where I need to work a little harder.

I also see that I made less with eBay, but I can't control that except to continually list more items each week. I have found some more items over the past week to list, but I have also found more items that were specifically my husbands and am not including those in my earnings because I am turning those earnings over to him. The earnings I report on eBay are specifically mine and what I purchase at yard sales and estate sales to resell because that is my business.

Week 3

Although my overall earnings have been increasing, the only type of work that has been increasing is my freelance work. The first two weeks I was busy meeting with people and planning projects as well as interviewing people. The last two weeks of this work will be finalizing writing assignments and continuing to interview. Each week I am working a bit more, but I am anxious because, after next week, when this assignment is over, my income will drop considerably.

I am earning less each week on eBay, but part of the problem there is I am listing items for my husband and parents to sell, and that means I have less time to list my own. So, they are selling things through me, but it's taking my time to do it when I could be writing online. That's okay though. They have done enough for me...I am happy to help them out.

But the really good news is that I am almost halfway to my goal in the first three weeks out of the total ten involved in this experiment. I am pretty sure I will reach my $2,000 goal, but I will accomplish the bulk of it in the first five weeks and will do what I can to earn in the last five as I move from CT to Georgia.

Week 4

Earning wise, I have had the best week of the summer this past week. Although I earned less with the freelance writing, I did better on eBay and with the online writing. I realized with the online writing that I do much better when I push myself.

Unfortunately, I believe this is the last week for the freelance writing gig, and after that, I will be on my own...gulp! I am going to try to push myself as much as possible this week to earn as much as I can with the freelance writing to get myself up over that hill. We will see how it goes at the end of the week.

I can tell that keeping track of all my earnings is extremely motivating to me as each week I push myself harder to beat the amount I earned the week before.

Week 5

I earned a rather discouraging amount this past week. But I do have good news to report in that my freelance writing job has been extended by two weeks so that will help. I do this work in the Berkshires, and on Friday my husband and I were going up there for the weekend for some concerts at a place called Tanglewood. So rather than me going up Wednesday and Thursday and turning around and coming back with him on Friday, he and I came up Thursday morning, and he dropped me off at the office on Thursday at about noon. I worked half a day and then figured I could do the rest from the hotel room. But I didn't put in the same amount of hours and so lost money this week. It ended up being a loss of about $100. Ouch, that hurts! Hopefully, I will be back up to speed next week. I am excited about having the freelance work extended though.

Week 6

I had hoped to earn more from the freelance writing last week, but it's tough when I return home from my two days at that office because we are preparing to move and there's just so much to be done here at the house. I also am distracted when I have to spend time listing and packing up eBay items to ship. This week, week 7, I am not even going to the agency office where I freelance because I am taking my daughter on a college visit to West Virginia. That means I only have next week to do the freelance work before we move. I will still meet my goals from the looks of things, but won't be making too much past that. I will need to put in a few hours this week though because I have to send items to the agency director for a final edit and make copies of what I have written for her so far, so that helps a bit. I guess I should still stay optimistic because it's not over till the fat lady sings...and she's not singing until the very last day of my summer challenge, which is August 31st. Till then, I will just keep plugging away and doing the best I can, and in the end, I will let everyone know how it all turned out!

Week 7

Ugh, I have done the worst so far this summer during the past week. It's because I wasn't able to get to Massachusetts and do any of the freelance work last week as I had to take my daughter to West Virginia to check out a college. That's pretty scary to me because I can clearly see how poorly my earnings are without that work. The week we are currently in is the last week I am doing the freelance work too. They have hired a new marketing person, and I am moving 1,000 miles away next week so that job will come to an end. I think it has given me good experience to pursue that type of work once I move and since I am moving to a town 1 hour away from Atlanta, there may be some good opportunities there.

I think the next few weeks will really be my worst earnings weeks though because not only am I done with the freelance work, but I have suspended my eBay business as well until after we move and get settled in Georgia. That means the only earnings I will have are from online writing for the last two weeks of the challenge! Yikes, that is scary. I know for sure that this current week will get me over the hump to the $2,000 goal I was shooting for this summer. I guess the rest that I earn from writing will just be considered gravy, but it would have been better if I could sustain the "meat and potatoes" kind of money I have been earning all summer. Oh well, I am happy I am going to reach my goal at least.

Week 8

I DID IT!!! I made my goal of earning $2,000 this summer.! I am so happy and proud of myself for having accomplished this goal. Especially in light of the fact that I have had a few extra bills this summer that I hadn't counted on. I still have two weeks left to earn as part of the challenge. But my husband and I are moving from Connecticut to Georgia on Friday, and it will take a few days to get there, plus then we will spend a few weeks settling in. During that time, I can not sell on eBay, and my freelance job was in Massachusetts, so I won't be able to do that anymore. The only earning source I will have in these last two weeks of the challenge is online writing. I am trying to write as much as I can to earn as much as possible. I can't wait till the end of these two weeks to see what the final results will be. Having a goal to strive for has really helped me to earn as much as I possibly can so I don't miss the mark. And it especially helped to write it all down publicly for all the world to see. That kept me very motivated as I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the whole world!

Week 9

Well, I am in the middle of a move from Connecticut to Georgia, so my eBay business is on hold. Also, the freelance work I had been doing has ended so the only way I have been able to earn any money last week was from online writing. And I have one week left in my challenge so in between moving, I am going to be writing my fingers off! Although this was the worst week I had earnings wise, at least I earned something. I am happy that I made anything at all! Okay, one week more to go. Wish me luck!

Week 10

When you read my final totals, you may be surprised to see that I was lower in my final total than the week before. That's because 3 of my items that had sold on eBay never were paid for, so I lost $77.90 and had to readjust my earnings due to that. Apparently, that happens a lot on eBay, but I hadn't experienced it till this summer.

But all in all, I am very happy with my ending result, which was that I reached my goal for the summer, with a little extra to spare.

Thanks for checking in to see how I did. It was a fun challenge. Now I need to figure out how to keep it up. I averaged $200 in earnings each week. Not bad for someone without a "real job" this summer. I enjoyed this challenge so much; I might try to keep it up month to month. Writing it down and posting it online for all the world to see has certainly helped motivate me to keep on going and keep up the momentum.

I sold this pin cushion doll on eBay this week for $20.51. It used to be my grandmother's, then my mom's and was handed down to me as a child. It has been sitting in my basement for years, and now it has earned me some money!
I sold this pin cushion doll on eBay this week for $20.51. It used to be my grandmother's, then my mom's and was handed down to me as a child. It has been sitting in my basement for years, and now it has earned me some money! | Source
During my freelance writing job, I earned money, but also became aware of the beauty around me, and captured it with my camera to use for inspiration for future writing.
During my freelance writing job, I earned money, but also became aware of the beauty around me, and captured it with my camera to use for inspiration for future writing. | Source
A beautiful lake in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts where I did a freelance writing job two days each week this summer.
A beautiful lake in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts where I did a freelance writing job two days each week this summer. | Source

© 2014 Karen Hellier


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