How to Shed Working Guilt

Cindy Cyr here with my final issue of The Writer’s Life this week …

Several weeks ago, a copywriter friend of mine told me she was feeling guilty.

A single mom, she was concerned she was spending too much time on her business and not enough with her daughter. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. A few years ago, another freelancer friend told me:

“I feel like I should be working on my business when I’m with my family and feel like I should be with my family when I’m working on my business.”

The good news is, there is a way to make the leap to guilt-free full-time freelancer faster.

The simple solution is to include your family in your journey. Not only will you feel better when you are working, but your family will encourage you to do so!

Here are five ways to include your family and eliminate your guilt.

Make a game out of it.

If you have young children, let them make a chart with daily goals. One could be: write, read, and contact one customer. At the end of each day, let your kids put stickers on the chart for each item you complete.

Older kids can help you with things like finding typos. Or you could create a contest, like who can identify the most benefits of a product you are writing about. This will make it more fun.

Reward your family.

Set up rewards for when you reach goals in your business.

For example, you might say, “When you give me one hour of uninterrupted writing time each night this week, I will treat you to ice cream and a game.” You can do this for your spouse too, offering dinner and a movie from the money you earn.

The important thing here is to let your family members know you want to be able to do something for them as a result of your business. This can turn them into cheerleaders because they know you working your business means they get something.

Make it a win-win by paying your kids to help.

As a parent working from home, you can show your kids firsthand how to run a successful business. Teach them how to maintain your website, set up and send emails, do research, make copies, create invoices, or do other clerical duties. There are some guidelines on paying your children; however, you can probably lower the amount that the IRS takes from you. Plus, it’s great way for your kids to get involved in your business and put money in their pockets.

Put your babysitter to work.

If your kids aren’t old enough to help you, have your babysitter work after she puts your kids to bed instead of watching TV until midnight. Ask her to do some things that will help you with either your business or your household chores (like doing dishes) to give you extra time with your family.

Pick a long-term family reward.

Setting a long-term financial reward with your family encourages them to support you on an ongoing basis. And when your family is cheering you on, you won’t feel guilty about working.

A fun reward might be to plan a vacation and let your family not only pick the destination but also what you’ll do while on the trip. While you are working, ask them to research and plan details of your trip: the route you'll take, where you'll stay, and the best tourist attractions to visit.

Including your family can help make your work more rewarding for them and better for you too. When you find ways to make it fun for them, they will help you reach your goals that much faster. And you’ll eliminate your guilt of working at the same time. (For ideas on how to balance work and family, check out my article: 11 Tips for Achieving the Right Balance Between Your Freelance Writing Business and Your Family Life.)

If you have tips on how to include your family in your copywriting business or have any questions for me, please share them with me below.

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Published: July 22, 2011

6 Responses to “How to Shed Working Guilt”

  1. Great ideas, Cindy!

    Guest (Cyndee D)July 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

  2. Cindy...
    I am working my way through the Accelerated Companion Series with Katie and Rebecca. When I told my children what I was doing, learning a new skill and learning how to write persuasive business letters, each of them (there are three, aged 10, 8 and 6) told me that they had already learned that in school and would be very happy to help me. One took me to an education-based website where I could practice and write for fun. I think I will have some able and ready helpers!

    MarisaJuly 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

  3. Great tips again Cindy! I have use some of these myself and they do work. I can't wait to try some new ones.

    I find your kids love to help especially when making a game out of it. Then earning the rewards is a great life lesson to boot.

    Tonimarie MarreseJuly 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

  4. Great tips again Cindy! I have use some of these myself and they do work. I can't wait to try some new ones.

    I find your kids love to help especially when making a game out of it. Then earning the rewards is a great life lesson to boot.

    Tonimarie MarreseJuly 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm


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