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My Summer Of Earning Money As An Entrepreneur

Updated on September 8, 2014
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I am on a quest to earn as much money as I can over the next 10 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 10 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 1 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 10 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, 2 blogs, and who knows, maybe more!)

* Writing during the month of July for a non-profit agency

* Selling on eBay

And anything else that comes along that I can earn money from. My 10 week plan does have a crimp in it. My husband and I are moving from Connecticut to Georgia sometime during the last 2 weeks of August. This means eBay will be totally out for those 2 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 5 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

Week
Freelance Writing For Non-Profit Agency
Online Writing Earnings
eBay
Weekly Total
Overall Total So Far ($2,000 Goal)
Week 1 ( 6/23 - 6/29/2014)
$232.50
$18.77
$41.11
$292.38
$292.38
Week 2 (6/30 - 7/6/2014)
$243.75
$18.61
$31.89
$294.25
$586.63
Week 3 ( 7/7 - 7/13/2014)
$262.50
$17.67
$22.90
$303.07
$889.70
Week 4 (7/14 - 7/20/2014)
$236.25
$20.58
$62.40
$319.41
$1209.11
Week 5 (7/21 - 7/27/2014)
$165.00
$25.23
$29.95
$220.18
$1429.29
Week 6 (7/28 - 8/3/2014)
$228.78
$28.41
$9.90
$267.09
$1696.38
Week 7 (8/4 - 8/10/2014)
$15.00
$20.45
$63.67
$99.10
$1796.28
Week 8 (8/11 - 8/17/2014)
$217.50
$27.46
$53.69
$298.65
$2094.93
Week 9 (8/18 - 8/24/2014)
$0
$31.31
$0
$31.31
$2126.24
Week 10 (8/25 - 8/31/2014)
$0
$23.48
$0
$23.48
$2149.72
Final Total:
 
 
 
 
$2071.92
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. Actually, 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 the month of 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 definitely 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 really 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 2 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 3 weeks out of the total 10 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 5 weeks, and will do what I can to earn in the last 5 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 2 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 actually 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

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    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Kathryn Stratford,

      Aw that was sweet of you to want to cheer me on. It was fun to do. I actually miss it so I am posting a Bubblews post about my earnings each week to help keep me motivated to earn as much as possible.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      What a neat hub documenting your progress! I would love to make more money like that, but I'm too busy working (teaching college). My spring schedule is much lighter, so I will need more money coming in. I may try to get in as much as I can! Thanks for the reminder of things I can do!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Congrats, Karen! I wish I had caught this earlier, so I could have cheered you on. I am glad that this Summer was more fruitful than last Summer, and that you had that freelance job that gave you the most money.

      Good luck finding more writing jobs now that you're in Georgia.

      Have a good day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Yes Chris, I have another one up my sleeve but haven't had a lot of time to work on it yet...I think you get my drift?! I am going to go past my $2,000 mark, but it's not exactly going to be by a lot. But I am happy I set that goal and achieved it. It feels so good. I wish I could just jump ahead 2 weeks, be at the new house with at least all the furniture set up. But I have learned to take one day at a time. I am going to try to do Bubblews and pop in at HubPages as much as I can during the trip down. I'm glad you found a house, I hope you sell your house asap, and I hope your move goes smoothly.

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      Good job, Karen! Sure it would've been nice to blow right past that $2k mark with more freelance and ebay income, but all things considered, I think it's just fantastic that you were able to reach your goal in spite of all the challenges. Very awesome!

      I can't wait to see what things will look like once you get settled into the new home and can begin your next entrepreneurial adventure!

      We're getting close to moving soon too. We were actually supposed to list our home last Wednesday, but that never happened haha. I think by the end of the month we'll be ready though. I just hope the cute little house we want in California will still be available by then...

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      YouGet1Shot,

      Yes, but it was the second to the worst week I have had yet! This week will be worse because I am not going up there, but next week should probably be my best as I am wrapping a lot of things up. Thanks for reading and commenting. I think you are the only ones till paying attention to this hub! LOL!

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      I'm glad to see earnings up on Week 6! And how exciting that will be to hit your $2k goal for summer =) Definitely something to be proud of.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      YouGet1Shot,

      Creepslist...ha ha...that's funny. I have never heard that one before. As far as after the freelance work, since we will be moving about 1,000 miles away down to GA 3 weeks after I am done with that, I do plan to concentrate more on writing and also packing up the house for the move! I may go back to Textbroker during that time. I haven't done that in awhile because it is painful to write about stuff I have no interest in.

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      Congrats on Week 3!

      It's going to be tough when the freelance gig dries up in a couple weeks. Are you planning to just focus more time on writing to try to fill the gap, or will you be working in some other kind of higher-paying work?

      And about Craigslist...yes, I know exactly what you mean about Creepslist haha! I've heard that there are some weirdos on there. But I've never actually come across them. In fact, my wife just got a new job with a local small business that was hiring on CL. She's making an extra $200 a week through that, so we're pretty happy she took a chance.

      Good luck with Week 4! =)

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      YouGet1Shot,

      I have never tried Craigslist mostly because I don't want any creeps coming to my house to see what I have for sale, and although I know I could go meet them somewhere, as a woman, that just opens up a different type of threat so no. I hear people have good luck with it though. It's just not comfortable for me.

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      Week 2 is looking good to me, and it was only a slight dip, so not much to feel bad about. Have you sold any items on Craigslist? We have some bulky items that we're getting rid of (moving out and selling the house soon), so I'm thinking of listing them there, assuming they're too big and bulky for ebay.

      And stupid me...we bought a new oven and hood a couple months ago and we actually paid the installers a small fee to remove and dispose of the old ones. But this week I was reading about a guy who buys and sells appliances on Craigslist, and whenever he sells and delivers an appliance to someone, he offers to haul away their old one for free. And now I know that he actually takes the old ones home, cleans them up, fixes them, and the turns around and sells them right back on Craigslist!

      Sounds like a pretty good setup to me. Here I paid someone to haul my old oven/range away when I could've actually sold it on Craigslist for $40 or more. =(

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey there Karen. I enjoyed reading your hub, and I definitely admire you for setting this goal for yourself this summer. Your freelancing for the non-profit looks to have done splendidly well in your first week. I'll be looking forward to reading more on your journey. Good luck to you. Voted up, rated awesome!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Good idea. Sorry to hear that about the downfall of busking in Hawaii. Sounded like a great idea.

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      Well, it turns out the busking crowd has taken some big hits in Waikiki the past couple years. Local businesses have been "donating" lots of money to the police department and politicians to push all the street performers out. Many arrests were made over the past year or two, and a lot of long-time buskers here have given it up or even left Hawaii. So it doesn't look like it's going to be much of an option for me.

      So, I just have to find other ways to make it work. Once we move, I do plan on painting and drawing more, just to open up one more channel for possible income. Maybe put them up on Etsy or something.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Chris, thanks so much for writing that! My husband read this article and thought it sounded like I was looking for donations because I am poor!!! Ha ha...I thought he knew me better than that. I told him it's an entrepreneurial dream and that other people here on HubPages would get that...and then I got to read him your comment and he felt much better. So thanks for the great comment. I am so happy to have inspired you. There is a great book by Barbara Winter called, "Making a Living Without a Job." If you haven't read it yet, you should. It will encourage you. I re-read it every few years! What about busking? I was excited when I read your article about that. You can throw it in periodically and add it to your money making arsenal!!! Hang in there...we just need to keep plugging away and we will get there!

    • YouGet1Shot profile image

      Chris Desatoff 3 years ago from USA

      Good luck, Karen! I love it that you keep plugging away online. You really are an inspiration to me.

      I just re-read through last year's summer of writing post and some of your blog posts and bubblews posts, and I'm feeling so encouraged again.

      Today I was up and down, only wrote one post for that new site I'm starting up, and I just had all kinds of self-doubts and was feeling the motivation slipping away again, but reading all these posts of yours just makes me want to get right back out there and keep working.

      Good luck this summer! I like the idea of doing several different money-making adventures and not just writing web articles. That was my original plan when I started iWOC a couple years back, but the freelance writing and niche site stuff quickly took over and that's all I've been doing since then. But I like the idea of doing all kinds of stuff...ebay, craigslist, hubpages, blogging, yard sales, artwork...all kinds of stuff.

      I'm sure it will all add up for you this summer, and I look forward to following along over these next several weeks and beyond.

      Aloha, Chris

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks. I am happy to report that the first week is going well. Will give more of an update early this coming week though.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Your suggestions are very good and I hope readers find the ones that work for them within your content. I also wish you the best in your pursuit of self employment. It's a hard road but worth the effort. Blessings!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Thelma!

      Yes, that's right, I remember now that you live in Georgia. We have an accepted offer on a house in Big Canoe, and are working on securing a mortgage. If all goes as planned, we will be moving down from CT to GA during the last 2 weeks of August. We are very excited, but I am a bit sad to leave my grown children and parents behind. But we feel the move is where we need to be at this time in our lives and if we don't make it now, we never will. I didn't realize you sell on eBay. We are kindred spirits! I enjoy reading your work on Bubblews too.

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 3 years ago from Florida

      This hub is an inspiration for me, Karen, as I too am longing to give up my day job and write full time. I also need to start selling on ebay and reopen my etsy shop. I like the fact that you have set a dollar amount you want to make. Best of luck in reaching your goal.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      DemiT

      Thanks. I hope I don't disappoint you. ;0)

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 3 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Karen glad you are making the move to Georgia. You and I had talked about the possibility of the Big Canoe area. I live in Blue Ridge.

      I have completely given up the 9 to 5 job and gone full time entrepreneur between writing and my eBay sales. You can do it!

      I enjoy following you here as well as on Bubblews. I write over there as the Country Homemaker. Best of luck to you and I will be checking back in to see how you are reaching your goal.

    • DemiT profile image

      DemiT 3 years ago from Greece

      Karen, good luck with raising enough money to keep you going and eventually drop the 'regular' job for a freelance way of earning a living!! All the best and I will be checking back to see how you are getting on and maybe learn something useful myself!