Starting Year 3 of Self-Employment, and Finally Optimistic About Money

Hannah Ransom - Pyragraph
Photo by markus spiske.

Originally published at Hannah Ransom’s Holistic Hormonal Health blog and reposted here with kind permission.

This is sort of uncomfortable for me to write about, but I put out feelers to ask if there were things people wanted me to write about and this topic came up, so I am doing it. I don’t really know why it’s uncomfortable, anyway. We aren’t supposed to talk about money? This is my business and I am writing about it to people who might want to buy things or time from me.

But I’m getting over myself and letting you know how it’s been in my first two years of business. I am just beginning my third year of teaching fertility awareness right now. Can I get a WOOT?

I want there to be options for everyone so that I can help you clear up any fertility awareness confusions you have.

I’ll start off by saying: I lost money my first two tax years of business. Running a business, even a primarily online one, is expensive. Especially if you actually want to make it a nice experience for the people who are getting stuff from you (either paid programs or free, like this blog). This year I am looking to make money (in fact, I believe by US tax law if you lose money three years in a row you aren’t considered a business but a hobby business. Eep!). Personally, I have had a job for almost the whole time I have run this business and it has been completely funded by me.

Here are some things that I want to mention about being a fertility awareness educator, specifically:

  1. There are not a lot of fertility awareness educators (especially that are actually certified to teach fertility awareness), but in a business sense this is a bad thing. There is this whole thing about how you really want a lot of competition because that means you have a viable market to buy your stuff and yada yada. Also, since fertility awareness is not super well known or understood, the more good information that is out there about it the better. Because otherwise I could just be one crackpot on the interwebs :p (P.S. I’m not).
  2. This might be me being a fertility awareness educator, or it might be my personality, but I find it really difficult not to help everyone and to put boundaries on what I will do. Since there aren’t a lot of fertility awareness educators, there are a lot of people trying to teach each other, a lot of people trying to learn from random internet writings, and a lot of bad info. I can’t tell you how much time I have spent on comments to articles, Facebook groups, and even just helping people with fertility awareness info they are putting out into the world. I have learned that that’s a recipe for burning out, and I need to keep balance in my life and make sure that I am taking care of myself or else I can’t really take care of other people. It’s super important for me to give my very best to clients, so I want to make sure I am not shortchanging them by spreading myself too thin (damn, I’m glad I got this lesson before I have kids). This book really helped me learn a lot of these things (probably one of the more woo-woo things I like).
  3. I’ve gotta value what I do! It’s really easy, once you learn a bunch about something, to also think everyone else knows everything about it. Well, it took me some time to actually own how much I can help people and be comfortable putting a dollar value on it, too! Part of this came with confidence in what I offer people by things like getting feedback from my clients (which, thankfully, is always mushy-gushy in that they loved everything and it was super helpful) and seeing a slew of terrible fertility awareness advice on the daily. You name the sources and I’ve seen bad fertility awareness advice from them: non-certified educators, people who chart themselves, (obviously) news articles, otherwise reputable websites…. It’s sad really, but it’s super easy to give misinformation on the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness.
  4. The way people are getting fertility awareness information and fertility awareness is picked up is changing. It’s sort of a growing thing to do, anyway, but even just when I started teaching, there were very few apps and websites talking about fertility awareness and now there are quite a few. A lot of women are likely to download an app as their first experience with fertility awareness, and unfortunately the marketing for apps can be very misleading and make you think that it’s birth control to just use and obey the app. Well, no. You really need to understand the method and your fertility signs. I can’t tell you how often apps are wrong. And of course, many books are popular. I think that’s great and absolutely loved almost all of the fertility awareness books that I read. But while they are a great beginning, for most people they don’t end up being enough, and if you don’t go to the right places for advice, it can be super bad news. That’s why I have something new coming up soon, I want there to be options for everyone so that I can help you clear up any fertility awareness confusions you have.

So how have I taken all the things I just stated that work against someone making money as a fertility awareness educator (and being able to actually devote their time to it and serve you better) and figured out how to combat them so I can actually spend my time teaching fertility awareness?

That comes down to a couple of things….

One thing is that I constantly evolved and updated what I offered. The first version of HER fertility started in December 2013 and even that was totally different than what it is today! Before that, I started out offering classes in person and on Google hangouts real time. I loved having the ability to answer little questions as they came up, but I realized it was terrible when people would check out (super easy to do online or if you get overwhelmed with the amount of information) and not have the ability to rewatch it. Hence, I began making video courses that eventually turned into my behemoth HER fertility program. I love it, my clients love it, and I think I really found a good way to make a decently affordable program that totally ROCKS.

The other thing was throwing out what I believe was best for everyone and really asking what was needed. Both from you and other people using or wanting to use fertility awareness. This made me realize that some people want to dip their toes into fertility awareness and find out if it’s for them, some people want to polish their skills, some people want to start from ground zero, and others have learned it but really know they still don’t get it and need more. Instead of making one path that I thought was best to go on, I started changing things up to give you exactly what you need and want right now. I’m still in the process of that, actually. (Keep your eyes peeled for more information on this really soon.)

So, is it easy or a ticket to lots of money? No, certainly not. But if you really have a desire to help women learn fertility awareness, it can be made into a full-time job.

Here is the program I got certified from ($4400+some travel and two years).

Here is another teacher training program in North America (about $5000 and about two years).

Have you thought about becoming a fertility awareness educator? Have you ever started your own business? Talk to me about it in the comments!

Hannah Ransom - Pyragraph

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