Next week is a huge week for may even big the biggest day for the blog and business ever.  After a month of hard work and months of planning we will be launching a paid membership site.  

It's exciting. It's scary. It's nerve wracking. It's the first big project we've worked on together.  Of course we've tag teamed on other projects - like the release of Cutting a Profit - but in that case Bob's main goal was to make sure I had time to write so we could get the book out. 

This is different. 
I get asked a lot about how I "do it all" when it comes to blogging. I guess they mean how I blog and  craft and write books and manage to market my blog posts by posting on social media and work with sponsors and answer emails and comments and...well the list of what goes into running a blog and business that reaches in excess of 1 million page views a month seems to never end. 

I have to tell you there was a turning point...when things got serious. When I realized this little blog wasn't so little and it wasn't just a blog. And that's when I made the move!

You see, about eight years ago when I started blogging...that was about 5 blogs ago now...I would blog during nap time from the couch or the big ol' comfy chair in our living room.  I actually distinctly remember the moment I decided to start Silhouette School. I was sitting in that chair. My feet were propped up on the ottoman and the fire was going and the Christmas tree was still up although most of the needles were not.

A few months into blogging on Silhouette School though I decided blogging from the living room was not ideal. I would lose focus easily. I would get distracted by all the household chores (or pine needles on the floor) that needed to be done. I would get up to get another cup of coffee. I was typing with my laptop on my lap.  I decided I needed to not just sew and craft out of the guest room (that I had gradually moved into) I needed to establish it as my home office.
Thirteen years ago Bob and I each graduated college with degrees related to television and radio. I have a concentration in video production; he journalism.  That lasted about five years... He moved on to the Pharmaceutical industry which eventually lead us back to our hometown and I left the TV News industry to be a SAHM. know the rest.

Over the last week though....we both found ourselves back where we started our careers: on either side of the camera.

Warning: I'm ranting this morning...

I can't even right now...this morning my first order of business is to respond pack to the mountain of emails, Facebook comments, Facebook messages, Instagram comments, and phone calls - yes PHONE CALLS - from blog readers.  We've been working on back to back huge projects and my focus has been on them with minimal attention to pretty much anything else....therefore the email-comment-message situation has gotten a bit out of hand.

When I tell you it's not unusual to receive 150 combined emails, message and comments in a day - I'm not exaggerating.  So I gotta draw the line somewhere...and Instagram DM you just got the cut!

Eleven years ago today, after six years of dating, we said "I Do."  We got married in our shared hometown although we weren't living there at the time. Ironically we were working together back then too.

After going to senior prom together we went off to separate colleges.
Being a small business owner means getting some really cool flexibility in your schedule.  Like being able to take your kids to camp every morning or hitting up the 9 AM Crossfit class.  I'm also enjoying the responsibility of being in charge of sales and marketing.  But it also means doing anything and everything associated with your business.  Like printing.  And Collating.  And then printing again.

We just finished our soft launch of Melissa's third full length eBook called Cutting a Profit on how to run a business with Silhouette CAMEO and sales are going really well!  Like many of our readers, we like to have a physical copy of the book as well. So today, I went to have the file printed at Staples...double-sided, bound and in-color.  Then I learned it would cost $52 to print this bad boy in color on both sides.  No chance.

Luckily my friend Google connected me to my printer's user manual that walked me through how to print on both sides.  This involved printing the odd pages first, figuring out the orientation to load them back into the printer tray, and then printing the even pages.

printing double sided print at home printer hack

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I've done it eight times now in the last year and a half and every.single.time I get just as nervous. Every single time I hit 'publish' to release a new ebook I sit there with a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat waiting to see if people will buy.  Or if the hundreds of hours I've spent will come at an hourly rate that would make me swear I'd never go through the book-writing process again.

I've done

Yesterday, we launched an early release of my newest book Cutting a Profit. I'm so proud of this book. It's the first big project Bob and I have done together as a team.

Of course, I wrote the book - but he was instrumental in getting it done. I've been holding onto that title and the first 15 pages for over a year. I was never able to get to it. I didn't have the time.
I'm officially 1 month into my new career as a small business owner/partner with Melissa (aka "The Boss Lady").  There's been lots to learn so far, like how to: answer some common customer requests via email, reconcile the business finances, and write a blog post (like this!).  But the biggest learning so far is how to mentally adjust to my new work environment.

For 10 years, I left the house around 8:00 AM, went to an office, had meetings, talked with co-workers, created marketing strategy and materials, responded to and sent email (like a boss I might add), and then came home around 5:00 PM.  I networked, planned, and thought about my career in the short, mid, and long term...constantly.

Working at home on a blog with my kids home for the summer is so totally different from that!

I'm on point to get them to and from camp (usually from 9:00 AM to noon) and some days find activities for them in the afternoon so that Melissa can finish her next book (it's almost done!).  Books are our biggest revenue generator, so intellectually I know that the sooner we can get another book out, the quicker we can make more money.  But I'll tell you what, it doesn't necessarily feel like "work" when I take the kids to the pool at 2:00 in the afternoon so that Melissa can write!

Besides the structure of my day, feeling impactful also is very different.  Have you ever taken the Strengths Finder test?  One of my top strengths is Achiever.  It means that I have a strong drive to contribute and literally do things.  I feel good about myself when I accomplish things every day.  And by every day, I mean every day.  People like me enjoy checking things off of a To Do list.  I'm still able to stay organized and create lists of things to do to further the business, but I can't say that I get a strong feeling of accomplishment every day in the way that I was used to.  I know I put too much stock into doing things vs. accomplishing things...but it was my "normal".

I'm learning to look at accomplishment differently and understand how what we do TOGETHER impacts the business as a whole.  So when I keep the kids busy during the afternoon and Melissa has an additional 3-4 hours to write, I'm contributing to the book getting out sooner.   And that's what's best for our business right now.

I know when school starts we will have a more structured work day, but for now, I'm learning how to adjust with the added responsibility of kids home for the summer.

I knew going into this that working from home would be different, my roles and responsibilities would be different, and summer would be different.  And it's not necessarily a bad thing.  I'm definitely enjoying spending the additional time with my at the pool on a hot summer day :)

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June was a huge month for us..not only did Bob join me full time to work on the blog, but he earned his keep as a business partner. Just to be sure I get final say, I'm keeping 51% (kidding...kinda). Haven't had to pull that card yet, though. :)

We had some huge wins last month that would not have been possible without Bob. He's brought a whole 'lotta business and negotiating sense to the table.  Not that I don't have business sense, but sometimes I'm pulled in so many directions it's challenging to give the amount of attention to everything that deserves attention.

With Bob taking over much of the business-related stuff, it has allowed me to focus on Silhouette School, marketing, and bigger income-producing projects. 

The first big win comes in the way of page views.  June became our highest month ever in terms of page views with more than 750k, just edging out our previous high by about 1000 page views.

I'm starting to get somewhat settled into my new work arrangement now that I'm 3 weeks in :)

I got a really nice text from my friend Paul last night wishing me well and asking how the first few weeks have been.  It got me thinking about how universally positive and supportive people have been when I've shared the news.

Here's a snapshot of almost every conversation I've had with people so far about the change in my career:

Bob:  I'm leaving the company...
Co-Worker/Family Member/Friend:  What?!?
Bob: work with my wife Melissa on her blog business.
Co-Worker/Family/Friend:  Wow!  That's amazing.  Congratulations!

I didn't really know what to expect.  I mean, it sounds pretty strange (even to me) the first few times I said that.

But here I am, working out of my house...with my wife...on her blog.

So far, we've been able to create a clear delineation of work and not get on each other's nerves...too much :)  We've managed to keep the work talk to work hours (roughly 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM), and we even schedule meetings with each other during the day.

The first few weeks have been a mix of learning the ins and outs of Silhouette School, areas where I can contribute immediately, finalizing our finances and insurances, and looking after our kids so that Melissa can wrap up her next book.

I'm sure as the weeks go by, I'll continue to settle in and earn my place in my new company.  After all, I'm now a co-owner :)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them the price of the item or service remains the same for you, but we get a small percent for the referral! It's how we support the blog...and we thank you for that!
Let's just get one thing out of the way because people keep asking me if they're seeing Bob with the kids around town or Bob doing this, that, or the other thing if it's because I am tired of working with him already or "boss lady" here sent him to do some 'chore' I didn't feel like doing...

Ahh...nope. Actually this was our plan all along.

As Operation WWBD (What Would Bob Do) called for in Phase 1, Bob is spending the summer with two main goals: 1) getting up to speed on how the business operates and how blogging, in general works and 2) 'Daddy-ing' when the kids are not in camp to allow me more time to work.
This week we hit a huge milestone on Silhouette School's Facebook page - we surpassed 90,000 followers. Ninety thousand people care what I have to say...too bad one of them isn't my 5 year old...but that's another story.

You're gonna think I'm crazy when I say this, but the selfie played a big part in the growth of our business page.

Before I explain why I'm giving the selfie so much credit...let's take a few steps back.
We had a hard morning.

And so I did what I don't normally do and I went to the gym and got on the elliptical and I texted my friend as I burned off out some of that frustration.

Abby has two young children too and a husband who works full time on her blog, Just a Girl and Her Blog, with her. She's about the only person I know who would truly understand my struggle...and so I vented. And of course she got it and we agreed...

The hardest thing about working from home is getting people, especially pint-size people, to understand you're actually WORKING from home.

Melissa let me know that since I'm a blogger now, I need to actually start blogging.  So here it goes...

The last 2 weeks have been pretty strange and exciting for me.  I left a good paying job at a company I've been with for 10 years.  There was a lot that went into that decision, and one of the first considerations that came to mind was insurance.

Could we afford it?

How do we sign up for it?

Could we afford it?

I knew we'd need health, dental, and life insurances.  Once I made the plunge to leave the corporate world, getting them was a top priority.
Welp...we survived day one.  Bob passed with flying colors - orientation and all (Yes I made an agenda for his first day #sofancy).

I barely made it out alive.

It started last week when he started filling up my calendar with meetings. Meetings? I don't do them...and what's this calendar thing you speak of?!  I use a planner with pretty stickers.

He convinced me due to such a significant change in our financials (ya know the loss of his salary!) it was important that I sit through an hour and a half meeting with our financial advisor who proceeded to talk about stocks, bonds, 401k's, IRAs, SERP IRAs ( I don't know if that's even a thing, I tuned out by then). Oh and did I OMG for an hour and a half I stared at the phone. You think I'm exaggerating...

Our financial guy is straight genius...but this isn't gonna work for me (although if he sets us up to retire my 45 I will take all of this back in a hot second). Bob and I were passing notes back and forth.  Mine were like 'You're fired for making me do this' and "brutal poodle" his were like "This is our money, focus for 90 minutes."  He won.  I know he's right deep down...but right now I'm not trying to be deep I'm just trying to cut some vinyl. (Oh and Mark...if you're reading this...I hope we're still cool!)
If you've been poking around here wondering what the heck kinda blog name is "Boss Lady and Bob"...let me explain.

About a year ago Bob took a six month rotational position at his job that was field-based. He went from having an office with a window to sharing the spare bedroom with me when he was not in the field.
If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me 'how do you make money with a blog?' - I could stop blogging!  Blogging professionally, as opposed to being a hobby blogger, is such a new thing that people don't even realize it's a 'thing'.

It's a thing.
blogging for money blogging for income fulltime blogging affiliate networks affiliate marketing  affiliates blog ads

The crazy thing about blogging is not all bloggers make money the same way....but all of us full time bloggers do have one thing in common and that is we have many diverse streams of income - many of them passive residual income streams.
I've been getting a lot of questions about how to get a free custom email address to match my domain...and it's actually really quick and easy to do.  I did this for Bob today and I'm pretty sure by his text he feels a whole new level of legit (and 'cool') now!
If you're not sure what it is I'm talking about a custom email address is basically an email that matches your website's domain. So for me that would be melissa @ SilhouetteSchoolBlog (dot) com....(gotta do all that weird stuff so the spammers don't start sending me promises of $473839 right in my bank account if only I just click the link from some far off land.)
Tomorrow is Bob's last day at work, before he joins me and let me just tell you it's been a little crazy around here.

First of all, if I never hear another thing about insurance policies I will die a happy woman. Seriously - don't take your benefits for granted because when you buy your own the decisions on what types of policies and coverage you "need" are almost as painful as the price tag.  I'll have to have Bob come back and explain what he found and where he found it all because it's all well over my head.

Along with making all those types of decisions, we've also had to purchase another computer for Bob.  We already had plans to turn our dining room into a home office so that's where Bob will eventually make his home office. We have some work to do before it's set up like an office, but it's at least a designated separate space for him now.   I may need to put door on it though because apparently he thinks a Donut Trophy and a Fisherman lamp are office items that compliment our home's decor.  #youthinkimkiddingimnot
So what's it really like being a full time blogger? I mean what's so hard about putting a post up every day? Is that really full time work?!

You have to understand I didn't wake up one day and BAM I started blogging Nope, like anything it kind of evolved and over the last eight years it's turned from a hobby blog into this...the point where we're both going to be blogging full time.

I've run the blogging/freelance gamut from keeping a mom blog where I shared my babies' nursing schedules to writing a pretty high profile entertainment column on MTV Jersey Shore to writing a DIY blog which then had it's own spinoff ... now my flagship blog Silhouette School. Each of the blogs required something different...nothing has required anything like the attention that Silhouette School has.  But then again nothing has been as rewarding either!
Bob put in his notice at work yesterday and I have to admit I was a nervous wreck leading up to it. My stomach was in knots and despite all the planning and number crunching and strategizing we've done there's just something so permanent about voluntarily quitting.

There's no way I can possibly write this post in one post....and I'm sure as we get further into this process I will continue to write and update on what has worked for us and what hasn't in the financial planning of such a huge life and career decision. At a time when we once thought I'd be going back to work, Bob is leaving his job to work full time with me...on the blog. I've said it before and I'll say it's freaking scary!

Those are the eight words Bob just texted me.  This whole idea of Bob leaving his full time job to work with me full time is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. And I'm feeling all the feels.

We're both feeling super excited and passionate and hopeful and confident about what we can do with Silhouette School if we put our manpower together. But that doesn't make it any less scary.

This whole blogger "career" thing already confuses people and makes them cock their heads like "you make money with that?"  Not that I really care what anyone else thinks, but I understand, in a way, why they question it.  Blogging is a brand new space in the working world. It's so non-traditional. It's so "secretive" in way - even amongst bloggers who've been at it for awhile.

There are still very few 'rules' and standards.  Full time pro bloggers are paving the way right now...we're making all the rules and busting all the questions as we go. Sometimes we don't even know what we're doing.  Things are changing so fast especially in the social media world that at times you're basically flying by the seat of your pants...thinking of new ways to optimize and monetize all these different opportunities.

That's basically where a lot of the scariness comes from - where will we be in 3 years?....5 years? Even one year? I tend to think, that as I've done over the last 8 years when I left the newsrooms to become a SAHM, one thing leads to another and another and another and before you know it your husband is 90-ish percent sure he's going to put in his notice leaving behind a six figure income to work with you with all intentions of more than making up the loss by the end of the year.

Right now I'm at the top of my game in my niche. The opportunities keep on coming and I don't see any type of end in sight - I don't even see the horizon. That's what pushing us forward with this decision - the huge opportunity we see right there in front of us if only we put all those questions behind us and just go for it.
This question of What Would Bob Do if he left his job in Corporate America at a company where he's spent the last 8 or 9 obviously a big one. Clearly I'm getting it done now. But I'm not getting it all done and that's where Bob comes in.

The idea behind having Bob work fulltime on the blog and online business is that not only would it free me up to write more books - which is where the bulk of the income is generated - but it would also give us time and resources to develop in spaces and places I just simply don't have time for - and likely never will.

So like I said in the last post blogging is real and I'm a full time blogger. When I say 'full time' I mean I feel like I never stop working. I guess that's what happens when you love what you do.

I write books. I write blog posts. I write tutorials. I socialize on social media. I do videos. I answer emails...a lot of email.  I answer comments on comments on comments. I manage accounts. I manage clients. I manage book deals. I manage two children who are about to be out of school for the summer. Most importantly or impressively, perhaps, I manage to get it all done.
we're at a crossroads. for months we've casually - and half jokingly - thrown around the idea that he could work for with me. the last few days though have been intense. we've taken a good, hard look at the possibility that we could actually do this as a couple. we could be a blogging couple making our living - a good living - working online. it's scary you guys. it's really freaking scary.

we're talking about my husband. my prom date. the father of my children. my partner in crime for the last 17 years leaving a six figure income, health benefits and a 401k. we're talking about him walking away to become my business partner. my business is based on a blog.

it sounds freaking crazy. even to me. it's scary. let me tell you it's scary. but i know the potential. i've gone from making a few cents a day to buying a car in cash with one month's earnings from the blog. i mean i am sure bob remembers the time - not all that long along, maybe six or seven years back, i stood in our kitchen in our townhouse in baltimore giddy over making .17 in a day. you think i'm kidding. i'm not. you have to start somewhere.full time blogging is real thing. not just like a passing thing - like a real career.  it's a new career that a lot of people still look at me like 'huh?' you're a blogger.  yeah i know the look well. real well. but's real and let me tell you it's so real my husband is considering leaving his job to make my business a family business.

did i mention we have two kids who we're saving to put through college.'s scary