Tag Archives: businesswoman

Self Employment 101

Self Employment 101

Hello! In a recent post, I shared my pro tips for Working From Home 101 and I thought I would share my thoughts on self employment as well. For close to a decade, I have been working under the best boss in the world – myself! At times, it is stressful and difficult, but it is also so rewarding and I truly couldn’t imagine working under someone else ever again. I love what I do as an Independent Provider for people with special needs and as a Content Creator and I have had years to perfect my method. All of the following works for me and maybe it will be helpful for you too:

Organization is ESSENTIAL:

When you are self employed, it is up to you to handle everything and if you struggle with organization, it can be a struggle. Thankfully, I live to organize and thrive with a fairly strict schedule, making this aspect of self employment one of my favorite things. Sticking to a schedule and staying on top of things eliminates any surprises from interfering with your work flow. To keep myself in check, I follow these steps:

Paperwork: Getting behind on your paperwork is one of the absolute worst things that you can do. This is why I refuse to end a day without completing all of my forms both tangible and online. I also set aside time at the end of every month to complete my mileage log for my taxes. I am very meticulous about my paperwork and keep everything organized in a filing cabinet in my office. It just makes things easier to have everything I might ever need at the ready and even if it is annoying sometimes, my businesses wouldn’t thrive otherwise.

Scheduling: One of the benefits of self employment is making your own schedule. This freedom can be utterly intoxicating if you are used to waiting around for a schedule from a previous job. However, don’t enjoy it too much! Falling into the trap of “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I have plenty of time to get it done” sets you up for failure. Creating a schedule that works for you and that you know you can commit to is only going to help you!

Taxes: Filing your taxes is going to be different than usual when you’re self employed and I cannot recommend getting familiar with this process enough. All year, my “tax” file in my cabinet gets a lot of use and by the time tax season rolls around, I have nothing left to do but schedule an appointment. When you learn what things can be “written off”, you can not only save money but step up your record keeping game. It’s a win/win and, of course, if you have any questions along the way, call the person who does your taxes!

Stay Cool:

When you are self employed, you are making the plunge from “employee” to “business owner”. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by this and the best thing that you can do is to keep a level head. Staying cool, calm, and collected allows you to make rational decisions for your business and it’s never good to make these calls when you’re stressed. As the owner of two businesses, I know firsthand that juggling so many different things can be intense. Whenever I notice that I’m feeling the pressure of this, I allow myself to take a break, clear my head, and start fresh.

Keep Learning:

Even if you are your own boss, you should never stop trying to learn new things to improve your business. Find a mentor, take classes, do your own research, and ask questions. You don’t want your business to plateau, but grow! My mentor has helped me SO much in skill development, educating myself, and mastering new things. Finding someone to take you under their wing or at least brainstorm with can boost your business in ways that you might not have even considered. Be curious, ambitious, and willing to learn – it will take you far!

Enjoy Yourself:

Being self employed is something that not everyone has the luxury of doing and it’s something that I feel very lucky for. I remember this often and even on crazy busy days, I am still happy that I am doing it all by myself. Shifting your mindset from “this is too much” to “this is pretty awesome” will make your days so much more enjoyable, even under stress. On rollercoaster days, just put your hands up and enjoy the ride because you never know where your business will take you!

My businesses have thrived from being highly organized and highly motivated and I feel so proud of that. These tips help me out every day and gives me the drive to keep going forward in my own self employment!

What are some of your self employment pro tips? What is your dream job? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah


Making Time For Me Time

Making Time For Me Time

Hello! I am self employed and have been running two businesses for over half a decade now. Of course, I love my jobs so much but anyone who is their own boss can tell you that it can be highly stressful – especially because if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Two businesses means a demanding schedule with weeks feeling too long and the weekends, sadly, not being long enough!

I never really realize how much I push myself for my jobs until something as small as the common cold knocks me completely on my ass. On Halloween day, I woke up with an unbearable cold and it was a struggle to get out of bed. Thankfully, a scary movie day was on the agenda so not much movement was required but I had to call off of work on Monday, which is something that I rarely do.

For most people, a cold is something that they can usually still function through but for me, it was the polar opposite. This was pretty alarming to me and I knew that it was related to just how hard that I have been working for what feels like forever. Whenever I fall sick, I always tell myself that I am going to be more lenient with giving myself a day off if I need it. While it never happens, I actually mean it this time lol.

I will be taking time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas and in the new year, I am making it a resolution to give myself permission to give myself a break. This completely goes against my work ethic but I have now realized how important it is to give myself a mental and physical break from my work. I wish that meant lavish vacations to Paris but, in reality, it will be taking an afternoon off to get my nails done or spending a day playing Animal Crossing when I feel myself getting run down.

This, of course, won’t be a monthly thing but pushing through exhaustion isn’t healthy and I know that the next time I fall ill for days on end, I will be wishing that I gave myself a break. Chill evenings with TV and a face mask is great but it just isn’t enough after an uber busy work week and jam packed weekend.

My normal self care involves pampering of some kind but I have come to realize that it is so much more than that. I now know that a more effective form of self care for me would be being less hard on myself and allowing for a day of rest as needed. It will be difficult because it goes against everything that my brain is wired to think. However, I can’t have another half decade of success in my businesses without it!

What is your method of self care? How do you make time for you with a demanding schedule? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

La Marie Brow Club Update

La Marie Brow Club Update

Hello!!! Just about two years ago, I had my first microblading appointment at my cousin, Laura’s, studio in Pittsburgh called La Marie Brow Club. At the time, she was renting out the back of a tattoo studio to do her amazing work. Now, for the past year, she owns her own shop with multiple artists working there who specialize in permanent makeup.

Over the weekend, my sister and I went on a road trip so Laura could work her microblading magic on Kristen. Not only does my sister look fabulous but Laura’s new shop is so awesome I just had to share it with all of you! Kristen and I are both already itching to go back for our touch up appointments in December. πŸ™‚

Check it out:

Laura’s last studio was the size of just one of her new microblading rooms in the new shop so this is a major upgrade for her and I am so proud. La Marie Brow Club is closed on Sundays and Laura opened up special for us so we could hang out and Kristen could get her brows done. We had the best time having hours on end of girl talk and pampering and it was so fun to catch up because the last time we saw Laura was on March 19th AKA when all of the bars and restaurants in Ohio closed.

After Kristen’s appointment, we all headed to Laura’s parents for a social distanced take out dinner and then we made our way home to flat Ohio from hilly Pittsburgh. As always, I can’t recommend Laura’s services enough and if you are in the area it is a must to get microbladed by the best!

My touch up appointment in December will be my third time getting microbladed and I seriously cannot wait for round three and road trip round two with Kristen. It was a great day! ❀

Do you have any permanent makeup done? Would you ever get microbladed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hold My Beer

Hold My Beer

Hello! Being self employed is super rewarding and there is nothing better than being your own boss. However, I do have one complaint: Taking time off sucks! When I am sick or going on vacation, I don’t get paid time off so I often end up running myself ragged until all of it catches up with me. Like last week, for example.

I’d like for all of us to take a minute to laugh at what I told Johnny when I returned home from work last Monday. I believe it went a little something like this: “I’m really not trying to take time off until Thanksgiving”. Then, the world said “hold my beer” and I ended up having to take the rest of the week off from being sick.

When I woke up on Tuesday, it was like a switch flipped on and “Sick Mode” commenced. Oh my, was I miserable. I had a hell of a sinus infection and all of the drainage going into my stomach made me nauseous to the point of throwing up. I was so tired constantly even though some nights I slept for close to twelve hours. Needless to say, there was no way I was going into work.

It honestly took falling sick and feeling so yucky for me to realize that I need to be far more generous with my time off – even if I’m not getting paid for it. My health should always come first, especially in COVID times and I can’t take care of my clients or myself properly when I am so worn out and going for months on end without a week day or two off.

Being the CEO to two thriving businesses has its perks. I love making my own schedule, being one hundred percent in control of everything, and only having myself to answer to. But, being the boss also means knowing when an employee needs a break and I plan on being much more accommodating to that from here on out.

I’ll tell you what, being sick and all alone in my apartment while Johnny is at work is for the birds. And not having my parents take care of me like back in the day when I was under the weather is for the birds too. So, here’s to less days off from being sick and more days off for pure fun and relaxation. Let’s get it!

How do you keep sane while self employed? How did you spend your last day off? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Daffodil Blue Photography

Daffodil Blue Photography

Helllooooo everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred about a blossoming business in the Akron, Ohio area, Daffodil Blue Photography. Daffodil Blue is run by the lovely and talented Britta Michele and I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with her for some coffee and all of the details about her endeavors as a young businesswoman. Before Britta and I scheduled a time to meet up, I asked her to pick her all time favorite photos that she’s taken for a Photographer’s Choice segment. Put a face to the name with this pretty pic of Britta and then take a look at these sweet shots before reading the interview that I had such a blast conducting:



  • Lil Red: Alright! What made your Photographer’s Choice pictures your favorites? Let’s start with our little cupcake faced cutie!
  • Britta: Well, I’m pretty sure that that was her first cupcake, which was an awesome moment to photograph! This was taken at her second birthday party and I just think that this photo captures her personality so well. She looks so sweet but she definitely has some sass to her! I also like how the cupcake is all over her face, it’s so stinkin’ adorable!
  • LR: What about the second photo? They both look so happy!
  • B: They were! Baby Jameson loved the camera! I had so much fun photographing him and his mom, Ashley. I’m really glad that I was able to capture such sweet moments for her and her little one.
  • LR: Too cute! And now for the third and final Photographer’s Choice picture! What made you choose this photo as one of your faves?
  • B: These siblings were a blast to work with. I had a lot of props for them to play with, like bubbles and balloons, so they weren’t always paying attention to the camera – but it still made for some amazing shots! I really like this portrait because it shows how much love all three siblings have for each other and I’m happy to have been the one to capture it!
  • LR: So when I knew you, we were high schoolers in French class and you went by Brittany. How did we get to be called Britta and a photographer a few years later?
  • B: I decided to go by Britta because it’s a very rare name! I’ve never heard of it before and I think that it’s memorable. I want people to think of my name and go “Oh, Britta? She’s a photographer!” Photography has always been a passion of mine from a very young age. My cousin was a photographer who taught me everything that I know and she has been the inspiration for my work ever since.
  • LR: When did you take your first “real” photograph?
  • B: Oh gosh! When I was thirteen or so?
  • LR: Speaking of unique names, Daffodil Blue Photography is another one! What’s the story behind that?
  • B: Similar to my name, I wanted something that was different. I had seen “Moments By” and “Photographs By” countless times and that type of name could be run by anyone. I had played around with names and searched for different word pairings and then I started to think more in terms of things that I like. I love daffodils and blue is one of my favorite colors.
  • LR: So the name wasn’t something that came out of the blue? πŸ˜‰
  • B: Nope! But I definitely wasn’t dead set on it. I kept going back and forth – I wanted it to have more meaning. It wasn’t until people began telling me how much they love the name Daffodil Blue that I began to love it too!
  • LR: As I browsed through your websites, I noticed that you do a lot of family shoots. Is that your favorite kind of shoot to do?
  • B: Yes! I love children and I can’t wait to have my own some day to photograph! When kids are involved, I always try to make it as fun as possible for them. I bring stuffed animals and just let them play. I always prefer to have action shots of children because they just can’t sit still! And the best thing is, even if there are photographs of them not looking at the camera, I have some tricks up my sleeve to edit them to make it appear that they are.
  • LR: From all of the shoots that you’ve done has there been a most memorable moment?
  • B: All of them are! There really isn’t just one. I do like to continue photographing beyond the session time my clients have signed up for because you can’t get everything that you want in the allotted time. The post session photos are usually of the kids just playing around – and that’s when you get the real smiles!
  • LR: As a photographer, it’s your job to create memories. Is there a specific shoot that you’re dying to do?
  • B: Wedding shoots! Weddings are just so magical. I love taking pictures of someone who looks so beautiful and happy. I want the couple to look at the photos twenty years from now and think, “Wow, look how amazing we look. Look how happy we look. We still are happy”.
  • LR: And now for the cliche interview question…Where do you see Daffodil Blue Photography one year from now?
  • B: Hopefully with a lot more people photographed – particularly some wedding shoots! I would love to travel and make Daffodil Blue a full time business rather than a part time hobby.

I had the absolute best time catching up with Britta and hearing all about Daffodil Blue Photography. With so many aspiring photographers out there, I asked her to grace us with some advice on how to make the best of a young business. Here’s what she had to say:

  1. Don’t ever give up. Believe me, I wanted to so many times, especially because I was comparing myself to others so often. You have to learn from the people who have more experience than you, not compare yourself to them.
  2. Have patience. I started Daffodil Blue at the beginning of last year and I’m just now gaining more and more clients.
  3. Don’t charge what professionals are charging right away. Get a steady client base before you raise your prices but never go too cheap!!
  4. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who might be interested in your business.

During our talk, I was shocked to learn that Britta had not named her Nikon camera! We decided on the very original “Nicki the Nikon” and here’s the facts about what makes her D3200 camera baby the perfect one for her:

  1. Through extensive research, Britta came to the conclusion that Nikon was a bit better than Canon, which made her Nikon purchase a no brainer. “Canon is still a good brand but I would pick Nikon any day!”
  2. Nicki the Nikon boasts 24 megapixels while the D3100 only has 12. However, I learned from my self taught photographer friend that it’s not the megapixels that matter, it’s what lens you use.
  3. Britta is currently using the kit lens and is very happy with it. She told me that not many professional photographers would use that lens but that’s okay with her! Throughout our afternoon together, Britta mentioned frequently that just because she may not have the best equipment yet, it doesn’t mean that she can’t take an amazing picture! (However, Britta will be treating herself to a 50 mm. 1.8 G lens for her upcoming birthday!)

Interested in Daffodil Blue Photography?

Guys, I’m not gonna lie, this was my favorite write up I’ve done yet. Britta is the real deal. She’s intelligent, creative, and has such evident talent that it’s palpable. We both thought that it would be fun if my readers took a look at her websites and chose their favorite photo to share with us! Until then, do you have any advice for Britta as she continues her work at Daffodil Blue? What is one of your favorite pictures that you’ve ever taken? We wanna hear from all of you, so leave us a comment and let’s chat! And please make sure to leave us a Reader’s Choice picture in the comments! Much love. -Sarah