Elance Blog

Meet Lisa: A Mompreneur on Elance

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

This is the first article in a three-part series spotlighting professional women who are using the internet to begin or continue new careers on Elance while simultaneously starting and raising their families.



Meet Lisa Mondello, mompreneur and Elance provider (Elance ID: lisamondello) in the Writing & Translation category.  Lisa is an accomplished writer with eight published novels to her name, owner of a successful freelance writing business, and a work-at-home mom for her four children.

In a previous life, Lisa was a Sales and Account Manager with a Subscription Agency.

"I lobbied with my firm to be able to work from home when I became pregnant with my first child in 1992," said Lisa.  Lisa started to telecommute to her job so she could spend more time with her new family.  "By telecommuting from home, I was able to be with my daughter Melyssa, so I was able to catch all of those special moments I might have missed by going into the office," said Lisa.

Looking for a way to continue to stay at home with her children and earn a living doing fulfilling work, Lisa turned to her passion for writing.

"Writing is something I've always done, but never thought I could make a living at. I had written my first romance when I was 10 years old, and then wrote poetry and short stories in high school.  After being 'downsized' at my firm, I chose writing because I knew I could still stay at home with my children, be creative, and do what I love," Lisa said.

"I started out professionally in fiction and sold my first book, then another before deciding that perhaps freelance writing would give me the best of both worlds."

Now, freelance writing is Lisa's full-time job, and it enables her to spend time at home to raise her four children.  "This is the ONLY [sic] job that fits into my life with 4 children. I've had a home office since my oldest daughter was born," Lisa shared on the Elance Talk Forum.  "Because [my daughter] was used to seeing me at the computer, she thought all mommies worked at home."

When asked how she does it all, Lisa responded, "You have to be flexible, but you have to also be organized.  In the beginning, the kids went down for a nap and the computer went on. It was a given. As soon as they went down at night, the computer went on."

Learn more tips from Lisa on how she manages a full-time writing career and freelance business at home while raising her four children.

Comments

As a work at home mom who is also a marketing consultant and writer, Elance IS a great place for working moms--for both sides. WAHMs know to look to Elance for affordable yet quality writing and design projects and several of us make a living by providing quality service.

Many of my clients are WAHMs. We belong to the same posting boards and forums but end up "meeting" at Elance when they need work done. There is a great network of women, trying to work from home, on both ends of the spectrum.

Nicole Amsler, Keylocke Services

I am a work at home DAD. I spend my days working and taking care of my little girl. My question here is where is the mention of all the men that do this same thing? I know there are not many of us but there are some of us and we go through all the same challenges and yet it seems we are mocked more often than not. I do not feel that is fair. Just my opinion on the matter. I applaud ANYONE who works at home while making time for family. Bravo! to both the women and the men.

I am glad to see this article. I am just breaking out into freelancing from a full-time career. It's great to know there are other WAHMs working on Elance.

When my oldest son (now 20 years old) was small, working from home was not an option. I spent many hard working days at an office pining for what I was missing in his life. Today, he and his younger brother are in college. However, I just gave birth to my third son 7 months ago and have insisted on working from home - regardless of what might happen. Elance and other opportunities have made this dream a reality and I am watching my third son take every first along the way. What a refreshing change for women.

Amy

Lisa, congratulations on your success at home and at work. I think its great how the Internet has opened up opportunities for normal people to work from home, at their own pace, doing what they love.

I'm the creator of a new gardening website that allows people to share garden plans online. As a software developer, I don't have the time (nor talent) to write quality content/articles for my website. Through eLance I've been able to find a skilled writer, petrafyde. She's written articles about the public gardens in England. The fact that she lives in England makes a big difference.

"The World Is Flat."

I think elance.com is a saving grace to myself and most other women. We are able to work from the comfort of our homes and build a writing business getting paid for what we normally love to do. I am looking for other work at home sites since elance is getting very competitive. The secret is out!!

Hi Lisa,

Reading your story is a true inspiration! I too have left the corporate world to work from home while raising my young children. As a mother of 5 and 2 year old boys, I found the routine of rushing my kids off to family and daycares for child care, to be hectic and draining on our family. Plus, with the long hours that both my husband and I were putting in, it gave us little time at the end of the day to spend with our kids before putting them to bed. It was just not fair to our children to leave them at daycare, or family members for 10-11 hours a day! We could never sit down and have a meal all together, or even enjoy quality time all together because we were constantly juggling between keeping up with household chores, managing the children's needs and managing expectations at the office. Not to mention all the sick days that we were taking off because of the children! It all recently came to a stop as we made the decision that I would resign from my position in Marketing Communications to begin a home-based business. Life has gotten more peaceful, organized and sain for all of us! Our children are happier, and my husband and I are more productive at each other's "jobs", as a result. I know that we made the right decision. But it also came with a price. We budget things a little differently now with only one of us working full-time. There are many start-up fees associated with my new home-based web business, naturally, and until things begin to take off, we carefully try to manage our money. The challenges I face, as I'm sure you can relate, are that of trying to keep up with daily work on my home business, while having young children around. I too find myself burning the midnight oil at times, logging into the computer after the children are in bed. What recomendations or tips can you give me on managing my time as a mom, home maker, and business entrepreneur?

Kind regards,
SRD2007

Congratulations on your decision to start a home office. I know it can be scary. As for advice, it's really about being organized, and being a team with your partner. My husband has always supported my working from home. It made life much easier for everyone to have me here. I was/am a lot happier and there is more time for being there for the kids as they grow. TV has gone by the wayside for me. It's a treat to watch a movie these days and I always enjoy it when I can. As a writer of fiction as well as non-fiction, reading is a big love of mine. But I don't have as much time to read the way I used to. I traded that time for work time.

Even with that, I manage to get in 8 hours of work a day in between daily family activities. My day is not 9 to 5. As soon as the kids get on the bus, I'm up and doing something. I have a rule to blow through 1 hour of housework. At the end of that hour, whatever is not done, gets done the next day. My kids are older now, so they do chores and that is a big help. But not so when I was teaching them to do chores. There were days when it was much easier to do it myself rather than battle with them. But I'm getting the payoff now.

I set up a calendar on Outlook with my jobs. I have daily reminders set to flash on the screen, too. There's nothing like getting information in your face to keep you on track. It makes it much easier to schedule jobs and follow a schedule rather than get overwhelmed when I have multiple jobs going at once. And I always have multiple non-fiction jobs as well as multiple manuscripts I'm working on. I'm lucky enough that my work schedule is fairly full. Plus, when I sit down at the computer I always know what I need to work on that day. Even with the schedule, you need to be flexible. Sometimes you need to bring someone somewhere or pick a child up from school or run out to get last minute project supplies because your kid forgot to tell you their project is due TOMORROW. But the beauty of working from home is that you can be flexible. I try not to schedule too many deadlines next to each other, too. If I do, my family doesn't want to live with me.

Good luck with your new business. I wish you and everyone who's taken the time to respond to the blog much success.

Lisa

It's great to hear other working Mom's stories and how you manage it too - I'm always looking for more tips on organization, so thanks for sharing, Lisa. As for WAH dad's they do a great job too and I'd love to hear your take on it Nu-Image - we're really not ignoring you just too used to typing WAHM!. My husband mostly works from home too, so we juggle things between us depending on deadlines.

Sounds like she has got her plate full.

Lisa, I just had my first child. I, like you, decided to work from home. I do some sales work for a company I am a partner in (where Elance helped tremondously on marketing material and cost) however I am looking to publish my first children's book. Any suggestions when it comes to publishing?

Thanks or sharing,
K