Where traditional income fails mothers and what to do instead

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of earning your main income from a 9-5 job, where it relates to motherhood, and we explore other income types more suitable to motherhood in this, the Internet age.


Today we’re talking about the traditional ways of earning income and how they fail us as Mamas, and, what you could do instead.

Firstly,  I want to serve up a typical snapshot of what traditional earning looks like so that we’re on the same page.   

Perhaps you’ve got both parents working full time, and you’ve got the benefits that come with that – so you’ll both be receiving annual leave, sick leave coverage, maybe medical insurance, possibly shares with the company it depends on your perks. 

With both parents working full time (or if you’re a single parent, Mum working full time for a company) that means you’ve got a relatively secure and relatively stable income every month.  

So, every month you can expect to get this paid into your bank account and that’s great.  

That gives you that stability and security and the added bonus you might have medical insurance and holidays and stuff.  

But when it comes time to having kids, this career that we’ve built up… usually it’s Mums that will be put on hold when kids come along – and that is for some really good reasons… like breastfeeding.  If you’re breastfeeding then of course it’s going to make sense for you to be home with your baby. I worked and breast fed at the same time and it was no fun pumping milk at lunchtime. Especially when it’s your only break.  

There’s also that attachment – having that attachment to the mother, it’s a different kind of attachment than what you have with the father and these are some of the reasons why Mums usually take that time off.

 It isn’t just maternity leave though.  Maternity leave, when you take it you do put your career on hold (if you’re working in a job), and if you have one child okay maybe you’re off for a year, you go back, cool you’ve got a bit of catch up to do. Maybe you missed a pay-rise during that time, perhaps you missed a promotion.  These things do affect your salary and your overall earnings. 

You wouldn’t have been putting away retirement savings either during that time.  

But this Maternity leave, what if you have three kids?  All of a sudden your career is disjointed even if you take the minimum amount of time off between kids. It definitely affects how far you can get ahead in your career so obviously, you don’t have kids in order to further your career!  But it depends on everyone individually.

But it isn’t just when you have a baby and you take time off work to raise your baby during those early years, that affects your career.  Take my situation right now – I will only work 20 hours a week because my daughter is in preschool, and I need to pick her up at 2.30pm in the afternoon and I can’t work when she’s at home (naturally!).  

But what if you have multiple kids and they’re all going to school and that’s just a really difficult treadmill to keep going, a career that is on track and rising as fast as you can, earning as much as you can that sort of thing.  

It gets a little disjointed so that’s where I think the traditional way of working fails us. 

But that’s not the worst of it (can I get a drum roll)… 

The main and the most major place that it fails us is when the ‘what ifs’ happen.  

What ifs like: 

  • What if I get postnatally depressed?
  • What if my child has special needs? Special needs from severe disabilities to allergies.  These are all needs that are particular to a child and require extra effort, time, energy and care.  
  • What if we have (a lot of) debt to pay off?  Debt causes additional struggle and it causes additional pressure and a need to go back to work and you need to adapt.  And there’s so many nuances in between.  
  • What if you don’t have great sleeps for three months in a row?  
  • What if you have relationship struggles?   You have to go to work and put all of your effort in, and when you’ve got young kids your relationship can suffer.Many couples have relationship struggles in early parenthood and beyond.  
  • What if you are not in great physical condition? Maybe you had a traumatic birth, maybe you’ve gained a lot of weight and you don’t feel great about that or you just are not feeling great after having one, two, three kids – you’re not at your best, but you still have to go to work and turn up and put your best foot forward literally.  
  • What if you’ve had major realisations after having kids – which happens to so many of us doesn’t it?  You have kids and then look at your career and go why am I doing this, I hate this/these people – that sort of thing!  What if you’ve woken up to all of that and you’ve got to go back to work and put your best face on and put your best foot forward.  

Sure you can work it out – you’ve got a job, that’s great you can work it out, you can solutionize and this could work for you. You could go back to work part-time for example.  But in my experience in my particular career, nobody wants part-timers.  It’s really difficult, you’ve got to find a really particular nook to get into, to be able to make part-time work. 

For me, I’m contracting at the moment and that works for me and for my client which is great, but there’s been many people approaching me about full time work and I’m like no, can’t do it.  And they are not interested in part-time.  

You could solutionize by making dramatic lifestyle changes like re-budgeting, moving to a smaller house, or getting a smaller car.  But none of these are practical when you have kids right? You need more space! 

You could… spend less, you could not go out so much.  But these types of lifestyle changes are not sustainable.  You could end up doing them but you are going to end up miserable.  Ask me how I know!  

Because we are creatures of habit, and expectation.  We become habituated to the things we do on a daily basis.  We build up expectations of the experiences that we’re going to have on a daily basis down to what you eat, and what you do in the afternoon, and if you get your nails painted or whatever.  

So, sure, you can cut these things but, because of the way we are as humans, it’s just not sustainable.  

You could say… oh well I’m going to provide services to people (like I provided web design services to small businesses).  But it was still like a job, because if I didn’t deliver those services and if I didn’t have clients to work with, I didn’t get paid.  I had a bad January last year because I had some time off and I had nothing earning income for me because I wasn’t present.  

You could join an MLM, (please don’t, I’ll explain more in another podcast, my thoughts on MLMs (Multi-level-marketing)). You could create an income that way, but it’s just you’ve got to buy as much, to sell as much and it’s so complicated.  Companies like Arbonne and Doterra, Young Living, etc. So that something that a lot of Mums turn to as a source of extra income but I don’t believe that it’s a great option, which I’ll delve into later.  

So all of this led me to these thinkings: There has to be a better way for mamas to make money, that’s more suitable to motherhood but is still going to make you some decent money.

You’ve got lots of skills right?  You’ve got lots of experience, you are a talented person.  You’re probably a creative person, you’re probably a very resourceful person and you know how to do stuff.  You don’t want to just waste these things and you don’t want to have to go back to your career because you couldn’t possibly make money off these other things.  

All these questions are why leveragedmama.com came about and the conclusion that I came to is what we really need kind of looks like this:

We need to be able to create income streams that we can step away from and they won’t dry up.  

So what if I was postnatally depressed, and I needed to take two years off? My income wouldn’t completely dry up.  

So we need to be able to use our existing skills (and build on them if we need to) – of which we have so many.  

We want to be able to feel excited about our work and want to, or at least be happier to, spend that time away from our family instead of going into a job and saying “oh my Lord what am I doing here, with these people?”. 

You want to be able to do this all at home and in whatever state seems appropriate at that time and that could mean pyjamas, that could mean ‘I’m not having a shower today’, that could mean ‘I’m going to be in my gym gear all day’, that could mean no make-up and hair that looks like a birds nest.  

That sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  

Maybe… you could even do something that contains a few drops of your true calling:  something that you feel called to do, something that you’ve always wanted to do, something that you feel like “oh my Lord this is my life”.  

So this is where I think leveraged income products come into it.  If you’re new to leveraged income products and the concept of it you can download a guide about it here  It’s all about leveraged income that is motherhood friendly, the types of products that you might create in order to generate this leveraged income, and a typical leveraged income product creation process from start to end.  Just to give you a really good overview of what the heck I’m talking about!  

Basically Motherhood friendly leveraged income products that you create yourself, that you can sell online to more than one person.  So that means you sell the same product, online, to more than one person. That’s what makes it leveraged because that product can make you money from one sale, and then another sale, and then another sale without you having to do anything. 

Once you’ve created it, it is a saleable product.  

For example, and this is the best example – an online course teaching other people how to do something that you know how to do.  Writing an e-book about the same thing. Creating a digital based product. Think things like templates and patterns, so, it could be a budget template, or an Adobe Lightroom template, or a printable sewing pattern, or a knitting pattern, or digital assets for designers, or so many different things.  

Or maybe it could even be an online coaching product (that would be a bit more high touch or higher engagement than delivering an online course that people can do in their own time).

But ideally you can step away from this product, and someone can still buy it without you needing to be conscious (for whatever reason you’re unconscious, you might be sleeping, you might just want to disconnect from the world, but somebody can still come along and buy that product that you have crafted and created and buy it online without you needing to be present).  

And to make it motherhood friendly and actually viable for a decent income it has to be high value.  Not just to you, as in the pricing of it.  But to your customer. What you’re delivering to them will change their life in some way, and that could be a simple “I’m going to teach you how to plant tussock and maintain it in your garden”.  Or you could be at the more transformative end: “I’m going to teach you how to build an online business that creates leveraged income streams.” Oh wow that’s a big transformation and a big delivery of value.  

So basically you want to multiply the efforts that you’re going to put in to creating this product, as much as possible.  So for this reason I’m not going to advocate for spending a year writing an e-book and selling it for $7.  No you’re going to have to have an audience of millions just to make any money from that. But I would say, hey that’s a great idea to film six videos. And that effort that you’re going to put into creating that product, you want to be able to leverage that, and go out and sell it to as many people as possible.  

So how will passive-leveraged income streams address those ‘what ifs’ that I raised earlier, better than a traditional 9-5 job?  Because if you don’t have a 9-5 job you’ve got to think about medical insurance and paying for it yourself. You’ve got to think about ‘how am I going to create a steady, stable income for myself that I’m going to get paid for?’. 

But, in terms of addressing those ‘what ifs’…  How I think leveraged income can address those what ifs better than a traditional 9-5 job.  

I can pretty much distil this into 3 points, the first one is the mere fact that you will be working at home, and I don’t mean so that you can do the laundry (and I’m going to talk about that in another episode.)  Working at home gives you a lot of benefits. You can come and go, drop the kids off, pick the kids up, that’s great.  You can do that in your pyjamas if you really want to. You can work out at home, you can have a nap, you can paint your nails while you are having a phone call or coaching call, or whatever you might be doing.  Just working at home, or working from a home base, or even just working from a place of your choosing – it could be the café down the road, or the caravan that you’ve got on the section, this is going to be beneficial for a mother.  Imagine having to commute for an hour to get to work for 4 hours, and then commute for another hour to get home, that’s a lot of time out of your day having to commute to the office or commute to another working place. Just being able to come home, and do your work from home has so many benefits.  So that’s point number one, how that might address those what ifs. If you’ve got post-natal depression, working from home is kind of nice because you don’t have to face anyone while you’re getting better and while you’re doing all those self-care things that you need to do.  

Number two.  Taking time off whenever and for whatever reason, and this is just so very important.  Kids are sick, you’re sick, husbands sick, the cats sick, the dog needs to go to the vet, there’s a flea infestation because you’ve got so many cats and dogs.  You need a holiday, you are just tired or you have your period (seriously, day one – stay home, stay in your PJs!) Take time off whenever and for whatever without having to worry about your day job, calling up your employer to say I’m sick again, or I can’t come in again.  If you are someone where there are multiple people doing the same job, think about a check out operator for example, that might not be so difficult to replace you and they’ve got somebody on call who can come in and do that job for the day. But what if you are in a managerial position, or a strategic position, or in a project type roll where you can’t just have someone jump in and fill your shoes immediately.  These are the types of things you need to consider when taking time off, and not just that one day a year, it’s usually one day a week, all your kids get sick and then there’s another sickness and….. you know what I mean. But coming back to that whole needing time to yourself, and needing time off and needing to take time for self-care and this is just so incredibly important. When you have a leveraged income stream that’s not just going to dry up when you need to take every Friday off for six months for whatever reason, this is going to really help with that.  

Number three is the potential for income growth.  So in a traditional 9-5 job sure you might get a pay rise every year because you’re doing great, you might get an incentive payment.  Obviously you’re going to suffer when you take time off work to be with your kids, like maternity leave because it’s like creating a space in time you’re not able to continue that momentum.  If you take a year off, you’re not automatically going to get a 10 percent pay rise because of performance – because you weren’t actually there to perform! So this puts you on the back foot. But also there are limits.  Even if you’re contracting there’s only so much money you can earn in a year. There’s only so much salary you can earn from a particular job type. Unless we’re talking about doctors that are very specialist, lawyers that sort of thing that can earn quite a significant amount.  We’re talking about blue collar corporate type roles that there is an income cap, there just is. So your potential for income growth is naturally capped.  

Whereas, if you’re going to bother building a leveraged income product you’re going to generate the skills to be able to do it again.  Maybe you start with building a small product, great and then you end up with a school, an entirely online school, that’s my intention. Or maybe you say “this is great, I really understand my market now, I’ve got an audience who just love me and they just want to buy whatever I make.”  You make a program that you scale. There are people in this industry, selling leveraged income products making absolute millions in a year, and it’s probably good for me to profile those people at some point to show you what’s possible. So the potential growth is not capped and really, it’s up to you.  

We can address the what ifs in a much easier fashion if we have leveraged income products.  

You can also have leveraged income products alongside your normal job.  This is what I’m doing.  I’m working 10 hours a week at this point in an IT contract, and creating leveraged income products on the side so eventually I hope to replace the income from my contract with income from leveraged income products and then go up from there. Create more and more, add more value, grow my audience etc.  

So that is where I think earning traditional income fail us as Mums, and why leveraged income products can actually help us address our needs better than a traditional 9-5. 

What do you think?  Does this make sense to you?  Do you have any questions? By the way if you do I can address them in the Q & A, you can send me a voicemail on Anchor FM.

Deep down I just genuinely do believe that there is a better way for Mums to make money, that is more suitable for motherhood.  I genuinely believe that and it’s my mission to help many mums do this so that you can experience better motherhoods, greater happiness, and get what you want from life without having to get totally burned out and exhausted in the process. 

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  • WHAT leveraged income is
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  • WHY leveraged income is great for working mothers
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  • Leveraged income CREATION in a nutshell.
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