How Maryna Shkvorets Discovered Her Work-At-Home Career on a Hike
Maryna Shkvorets is an online entrepreneur and a stay-at-home mom. She is the owner of Mars and Stars Baby, an online retail business, and the founder of Public Speaking for Introverts, an online consulting and learning business. Here is how she got started and how she manages her day-to-day.
How did you get started working from home and how did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
A year ago, all I knew was that I needed a career change and that I craved to learn new things. I’d contemplate back and forth whether I should go back to school, whether I should look for work without new training, or whether I should work at all. My husband and I were on a hike with our four-month-old baby. He thought I could start a business as a communications consultant. I secretly wanted that too, but wasn’t quite ready. At the same time, we were complaining about the baby carrier leaving us too sweaty. All of a sudden everything came into place. I would design a lightweight baby-carrier. I would produce it and market it. I would have a new career and learn how to run a business. The next day, Mars and Stars baby was born.
How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Okay. Maybe the brand wasn’t born the very next day. I started with doing a bit of research about selling online. I decided that I was going to sell on Amazon, because they would take care of payments and shipping – something I don’t have time for myself. My first step was to google baby product suppliers, contact them, and ask them if they were willing to work with me to create my lightweight carrier. After I found a supplier I liked, there was some negotiation over price, shipping, and quantity. Everything else was just a matter of set up. Set up a website, set up an Amazon account, and set up some social media.
How did you get your first client or customer or job?
Million dollar business ideas are completely worthless until you find your first customer. And your next customer. And the one after that. Prior to launching my first product, I started working on a social media following. I shared images that would appeal to my niche market: pregnant moms who are into fitness and adventures. Then, when I was finally ready, I shamelessly promoted my launch sale to my following of eighty. Doesn’t sound like much, but it got a handful of sales and created momentum.
How do you market your business?
In terms of marketing now, I’ve tried a few things: Facebook ads, overt promotions on Instagram, giveaways, Pinterest, you name it. However, the thing that I keep coming back to is blogging. My blog attracts my ideal audience – pregnant women who are into fitness and adventure – with topics like “How to travel with babies.” Once they’re on my blog, they might as well check out my products too.
What does your usual day look like?
As far as my day-to-day, I spend most of my time being a mom to my daughter. My business dealings have to be completed in the evenings and weekends. Once a week I get a babysitter and that’s when I really buckle down.. I use this time to write my blogs, update my website, check on my inventory, and answer emails. Right now, I am working on building my new business: public speaking for introverts consulting, so that’s a new priority.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
There is no way I could have known this when I started, but an important lesson I’ve learned is that just because you can do things yourself doesn’t mean that you should. About a month ago, another entrepreneur suggested that I hire a writer for my blog. I was appalled. And then I tried it. Now I have a handful of new articles to post as I please, and I feel new sense of momentum. I also only recently hired a babysitter to come once a week. I can sit down and focus for hours on end, rather plan everything around evenings and weekends. Again, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you have to.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
On a final note, if you want to work from home or work for yourself, just try it. Make the commitment to go for it. Expect that things won’t go smoothly right away, and that’s normal.
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