Elance Blog

Sue Kristoff Becoming a Mompreneur

Part 3 of a 3 Part Series

This is the final 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.



Just like the two previous stories in this article series spotlighting Mompreneurs, Sue Kristoff (Elance ID: skristoff), started her freelancing career to have more time with her family.  "Freelancing allows me to be at home with my children, especially during their early years, while still maintaining my professional career. I no longer have to pay for full time child care, or have a long commute."

The decision to move to freelancing was easy for Sue.  Here’s how she analyzed the decision:

First, Sue’s one hour long commute to her job at a research firm outside of Boston was grinding, and she needed a change. Sue notes, "While I was pregnant with my second son in 2005, I realized that on weekdays I was spending more time with my older son in the car than I was being with him or playing with him at home. That just didn't feel right to me."

So after her second son was born, she decided to leave the world of full-time work and form her own consulting company. The Kristoff Group LLC was established in February 2006, and celebrates two years of business next month.

Second, while her previous professional background is in Mechanical Engineering, Sue’s professional work experience has always been very multi-disciplinary. "While my background is in structural engineering and testing, a large portion of my work entailed writing proposals, presentations, test plans, technical reports, and other forms of technical writing. I've always loved writing, and unlike many of my engineering colleagues, I actually enjoyed writing these technical documents,” said Sue.

Sue found Elance while searching the Internet for technical writing opportunities. Sue found that with her broad set of skills, she was well-poised to launch her new freelancing career in the Writing & Translation category.

Third, Sue’s husband was willing to adapt his schedule to support Sue’s new freelance work schedule.

“My husband works from home 3 days per week for his job, and this helps with day-to-day logistics. He also will take the kids out for the day some Saturdays so I can have continuous work time,” said Sue.  “I do end up doing a lot of work at night and on the weekends, but I certainly wouldn't return to the commuting full-time working life I had before.”

The result?  Sue has a growing freelance technical writing business through her company, The Kristoff Group, LLC, that she operates from home. Right now, she spends 8-12 hours working each week, and will increase the number of hours as her children get older.

“Freelancing is an ideal situation for me because I can decide how much work to take on as a freelance consultant while taking care of my family,” said Sue.

Read more about how Sue manages her new freelancing business and family.

Part 1
Part 2

Comments

Hello Sue,
It's great to see how you have applied your engineering skills to writing, and then took the enterpreneurial step of creating your own business out of it! It takes a lot of intelligence and skill to start your own business, and it's awesome to see that dedication to your family and children at the same time.
Good for you, and continued best of luck.

Good Luck Sue!

I'm happy for Sue but I hope, no one gets this wrong. If you have a small child or even more than one, you won't be able to work when the child is around. Working at home is no solution at all. You cannot combine children and work at home if you don't have a good babysitter who takes the children away for the time you're working. Don't fool yourself in thinking, working at home will solve your problems. It won't. I'm a single mom and I worked at home for 2 days a week for a huge company. It only works if you're 'not at home' for your child for the work time.

It's good to see your story up here, Sue - well done!

Kudos to Sue for making a decision full of positive implications for her family. We are moving past the time when women felt they had to make an either/or choice. Career...or...family? The internet allows us to use our skillsets to have both!

Hi Sue! I always feel inspired when I read about mompreneurs like you. I wish to be one, too, BUT I am quite hesitant, having a lot of questions in my mind. I am now in my 50's and have kids who are all big enough to manage their schoolwork with little supervision. I am proud to say they are all doing well. I used to teach Writing courses for college students in a university but had to give that up when my kids were starting school and needed much attention and help from me.

With more time in my hands now - and with writing being a favorite love of mine - I am considering going into freelance writing as a hobby and as a source of income. Do you think now is still a good time for me to pursue this dream? Your advice would be most appreciated.

audimax - I totally understand what you are saying. I do not do much work while my kids are up and about. I generally work during "nap time" in the afternoon, in the evening after they have gone to bed, and on the weekends when my husband can take them for a few hours. In the fall when both of my kids are in school at least some of the time, I will have the flexibility to increase my capacity a little bit. Yes, it is difficult to schedule, but the point of working from home, at least for me, is so that I can BE with my kids.

Naomi - Everyone's situation is different. You can read the three articles on the three different moms in this series and see three totally different stories and solutions. If you are interested in freelancing, then perhaps try out a job or two and see how you like it, and see what sort of commitment is required. The great part about freelancing is the flexibility. You are in control of the hours you work, the capacity of your backlog, and the frequency of your work cycle.

-Sue Kristoff