How To Make Money With Instacart: Is It A Great Side Gig?

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I am one of those weird people who does not mind grocery shopping.

Actually, let me rephrase that: I am one of those weird people who does not mind grocery shopping as long as I am ALONE and do not have my two busy boys in tow!

Since grocery shopping by myself is somewhat of a luxury in this stage of life, I have learned to utilize any help I can get, which includes Amazon Prime Now, Walmart Grocery-to-Go, and Instacart.

Speaking of Instacart, did you know that you can make either some extra money or a pretty decent living by shopping for/delivering groceries to others?!

Yes?

No?

Either way, let us dig in a bit more:

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What is Instacart? Instacart is a delivery service that guarantees orders in 2 hours or less!

What began as a small startup in 2012, Instacart has grown dramatically in the last 6 years, expanding from only a few California towns and grocery stores to nationwide service and exclusive partnerships with Kroger, Costco, Safeway, and more.

How does Instacart work?

To get started, buyers simply log-in to their account via computer or app (both Android and Apple), choose which store to shop from, place their order (big or small; Instacart does it all!), and schedule a delivery time.

That’s it!

Now for the important question: How can you work for Instacart and just how much can you make?

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Obviously, those using the app need someone to do the shopping and delivering, which is where we — the side hustlers of America — come in!

There are two ways to work for Instacart: As a full-service shopper and as in-store shopper, which vary in terms of hours and responsibilities. As per Instacart, full-service shoppers both shop and deliver orders (and are independent contractors), while in-store shoppers do just that — shop/compile orders in store.

Whichever route you decide to go, Instacart offers flexible hours and an easy way to make money either full or part time!

How much can you expect to make with Instacart?

This one will obviously vary depending on your hours and location (as you will probably make more in a bigger market than you would in a rural town less than 20K), but we have somewhat of an idea, thanks to a recent survey from Indeed:

Delivery Driver - $12.69/hr (plus tips)

Store Shopper - $12.72/hr

Shift Lead: $16.06/hr

Personal Shopper: $16.29/hr

Brand Ambassador: $17.32/hr

Let’s do the math: Say you work full-time as an Instacart independent contractor and work an average 40 hours per week. If you do the math ($12.69 x 40 x 52), you will make a base $26,395 per year, plus any tips you make.

Obviously, this doesn’t sound like a sustainable full-time job, but think of this: If you work as either an independent contractor or part-time employee and drive either in addition to your current job or around your kids’ schedules, you can make some great extra money for the holidays, vacations, savings, or anything else you may need.

Just 10 hours a week as a driver would give you an extra $126.90 a week (before any tips), which puts you at an extra $500 per month! That’s not a bad start toward your new car fun, is it?

Instacart is currently available in 38 states (you can see a full list here) and is available for anyone 18 and older who has a smart phone, a clean background check, and can lift 40+ pounds.

Does this sound like a perfect side gig for you? If it does, click here to learn more and to apply!

Have you ever worked for Instacart? If you have, please share your experience in the comments!

Mom Boss Interview: Heather Criswell from WiseInside

2018 is coming to an end… have you started making your New Year’s resolution yet?

If beginning your business and/or working from home is your goal, I highly recommend reading on, as today’s mom boss is making a big difference in the world and wants you to do the same! If you are ready to be inspired, meet the incredible Heather Criswell: a wife, boy mom, author, and motivational speaker who is changing the world by #rootingforlove.

Here she is:

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Heather: I have never met you in person but just reading through your website makes me feel like you would be an amazing mentor and friend! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Thanks so much Annie for giving me the opportunity to share. My life has been full of peaks and valleys, but I'm happy to say that I still rise and shine through it all. I started my journey as an entrepreneur at 21 years old. I was presented with an opportunity to open a preschool and left college to follow my dreams. After nearly a decade of owning the school, I decided to focus on adults for awhile. I opened a holistic wellness center and worked with clients to experience alternative healing methods. I sold the wellness center and started an online business to help parents and children communicate and connect with games, mediations, and coaching. Now, I am hosting a podcast, local town hall meetings, and helping people reconnect to life's purpose by Rooting for Love. I currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada with my husband and 7-year old son. 

Your story is so inspirational and relatable on so many levels! How did your story bring you to WiseInside? 

Life gives us so many opportunities to follow our own wisdom, our gut instinct.  We know we are WiseInside as babies, we know what we need and want.  Over time, that "knowing" gets chipped away and replaced with other's opinions, ideas, advice and wisdom. We often loose the connection we have to our own wisdom. We are guided throughout our days and lives, but often disregard the "nudge" from within. When I follow my intuition, my wisdom, my heart...everything seems to work out in my best interest. 

What do you offer via WiseInside? Who would most benefit from this community?

I offer tools to help you reconnect to your own wisdom. Those of us that are tired of "you should" or "you have to" would benefit from reconnecting to the wisdom within. 

Just what is #rootingforlove and why is it so important?

#rootingforlove is a movement to help us all remember that life is rooting for us and when we root for each other, we have the power to do the impossible. 

I was on a podcast about a year ago. We had a beautiful conversation with the emphasis  on my book, Wise Talk from the Other Side (conversations I have had with my family members that have passed on) it was a powerful chat and at the end he said, “Heather, I want you to know we are rooting for you.”  Something shifted. I sent him a message after the show and thanked him for rooting for me. It was so profound, it felt so powerful, and I had no idea why. He responded quickly with a story…”Theres a species of trees that should not be able to grow as tall as it does. It has the ability to link root systems with other trees so it can weather any storm and not be uprooted. On the surface, it’s an anomaly. Underneath it is entwined with the others so it can “do the impossible”. That’s what I meant by “we’re rooting for you.”And there’s more…on the surface the trees are separated by great distances but those roots can stretch football fields in length, they seek each other out. 

This is why #roootingforlove is so important. 

We seek each other out to root in and do the impossible.  

Because This journey through life is filled with struggles, challenges, grief, loss. frustrations, misunderstandings, we often forget our truth. 

We are born in love, with love, and for love. 

How did you go about building this brand/community and what advice can you give other moms out there looking to build their own business (or even movement)?

It has been a long journey...because I had to take my own advice and stop listening to what everyone thought I should be doing, and do what I love instead. I had to trust that my love, passion, and excitement would open doors that I didn't know were available to me. I trust that everything is working out for me, even when it doesn't look like it in the moment. I trust that life is rooting for me and so many people want success for me too!  I know when I follow my heart, I will always succeed. I know that I will rise above any circumstance, love myself and others through it, and shine brighter than I imagined. 

As a fellow mompreneur, I gotta know: How do you balance it all? What does a day in your shoes look like?

Haha!  I don't believe in balance. At all. Nope. haha!  Everyday is different.  Some days I am very focused on business, other days I am at the park for 5 hours with my son. I gave up on the idea of balance. I used to feel guilty if I spent too much time working or too much time neglecting my work. Now I know that in the end, it all "balances out" on it's own. Sometimes I need a full day of grind and other days I need to step away from the computer and breathe in air from the park all day. What I know for sure, we are all doing our best, and that's enough. For reals. That's enough. 

What do you consider to be the greatest thing to have happened since launching WiseInside? 

The greatest thing that has happened is a confirmation that I am here on purpose. My words have meaning and help others (and myself) along the way. I know that every act of  love that I do on a daily basis is reminding us all that our purpose is simply to shine. Our purpose is in the small acts of love we do every single day. Because those acts of love travel and heal the world in more ways than we can imagine. 

Incredible, right? To connect with Heather and/or WiseInside, visit her Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Mom Boss Interview: Heather Bryan from Jupiter & Company

Happy Wednesday, Moms!

Has anyone else been having a weird week? Mine started with my 19-month-old (who has been on antibiotics for a nasty sinus/ear infection combo) waking up at 1 am Monday and then staying up until 3:30 for no apparent reason, and then not wanting to nap later in the day :/ Anyway, after my husband got off work Monday afternoon, I felt like I was coming down with something and ended up taking a long evening nap which both made me feel better and like I had wasted an entire day. Anyway, we are all on the mend now, so I digress.

You know what makes weird weeks way better though? Interviews with kick-a boss moms, which is exactly what we have today with the great Heather Bryan from Jupiter & Company!

Heather is a TRUE maverick when it comes to starting successful companies and has helped countless moms launch their own unique business that doesn't involve any sort of sales or referrals! Intrigued? Then read on as we pick Heather's brain:

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Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit or is your story one that blossomed during a corporate career (as so many tend to do)? 

I began working for my dad after college and still consider him my boss - even though I own and run the companies myself. HA 

My dad was always an entrepreneur so I learned a lot from him over the years. It wasn't until he retired did I realize 1. how much energy it takes to be an entrepreneur and 2. how much I learned from him over the years. 

His motto was always: Put it out there, sell sell sell and reap the benefits.

What is your company and what makes it different from the others?

My company is a business in a box that gives others the opportunity to own and operate their own in home engraving business with support.

I am very unique in a few ways: 

- My goal is not for me to be an "entrepreneur" but to give others the opportunity to be and learn how to be an entrepeneur

- I am the only woman that has designed and developed an engraving system and made in the USA

- I not only sell the box but I work the box locally so that I am able to help others know how to do it and to succeed

- I am not a multi level or network marketing company - the box owners will own and run their business

- I am giving a full warranty and coverage of the equipment with the use of Jupiter and Company products.

Why engraving? Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your business?

My father began Jupiter Sports in 1999 with an idea that he could enhance the customer experience by personalizing bag tags on site at golf events. Our first event was the Ryder Cup in 1999! We have engraved at  over 500 events! 

Then we ..

...had so many people asking how they could do their own engraving that we developed our original Jupiter Sports Engraving System. We sold them for $4300 and offered 6 products. 

We currently have over 250 original engravers still operating today.

But then...

..when the recession hit, we decided it was time to revamp our engraver and develop one in house! This engraver is a self contained, diamond drag engraver that our customers can use with the purchase of our high quality products. 

Currently there are over 75 new engravers working today.

Your personal mission is to help create 2,000 new entrepreneurs by 2025: how are you reaching this amazing goal?

I am confident that the mission I am putting out there will be achieved. Although I have been doing this for 17 years I consider Jupiter & Company a start up company. The most important thing i have done is to put the package together right. I have included so much information to easy anyones concerns about starting a business, how to set it up, who to sell to, how to make money and how to introduce your business.

From the minute you open your new box kit we will be there to guide you into success!

THE START UP KIT INCLUDES:

  1. THE JUPITER ENGRAVING SYSTEM

  2. MONITOR, KEYBOARD AND MOUSE

  3. JUPITER & COMPANY GUIDEBOOK

  4. PRODUCT LOOKBOOK 

  5. WHOLESALE PRICING

  6. SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE LIST

  7. PROJECT AND PROFITS GUIDE

  8. TIPS TO SETTING UP YOUR HOME BASED BUSINESS

  9. INTRODUCING YOUR NEW BUSINESS

  10. 50 FLAG LUGGAGE TAGS WITH LEATHER STRAP

  11. BAG OF PRODUCT SAMPLE 

BONUS: SUBSCRIPTION TO SUCCESS MAGAZINE

How does one begin their own engraving business with Jupiter and Company?

We have a booking system on our website so others can book a FaceTime appointment with one of our Brand Ambassadors to discuss the opportunity and to make sure that this is right for them. Our website has lots of true stories and videos to help get them to think about how this would work in their lives.

What does the life of a CEO mompreneur look like? Can you walk us through a day in your shoes?

I actually have 3 companies I run - Jupiter Engraving (my local engraving business), Jupiter & Company (business in a box sales and the development of the engraver) and MacKay Bags (my charity company that sells a bag that I designed) www.bagswithacause.com

One of the most important things for me is to  make sure I spend time on everything, balance... HA HA HA I inch out everyday making sure my kids are fed, sometimes at 11:30am I feel a rush of panic and think "Where are my kids?" Breathing deeply I remember they are at camp safe and sound. Then the guilt creeps in that takes me 15 minutes to talk myself into the state of: I am allowed to have my own thing. Then I panic at 2:40 to clean my desk before I am back to mom duty, thinking always in the back of my mind... I rocked it today. 

And now for my favorite question: Do you have a certain Jupiter and Company memory that stands out as being the absolute best? 

I sent a Facebook post out to my friends and family letting them know what my new venture was... in 5 minutes my cousin Tammy wrote me that she wanted in. I knew that I was ready at that moment because I knew I could sell her a box. I would never be dishonest but if you sell your family something horrible it spreads like wildfire - especially in an Italian family. So knowing I could take her money and give her an opportunity was my realization that I had done it. That I was ready.

Are you ready to launch your own business or simply reach out to Heather? Find her on the Jupiter & Co. website, and Moms Making Five Figures Facebook and Instagram

Mom Boss Interview: Lauren Golden from The Free Mama Movement

After taking last week off to regroup a bit, I am happy to say that we are back with a BANG!

Mamas: Today's Boss Mom is amazing, as she is not only sharing her entrepreneurial experience, but sharing a job/class opportunity with our audience! While I could try to put in my own words just how smart and business savvy this mompreneur is, I will let her tell you in her own words:

Lauren Golden loves helping mamas free themselves from the 9-5 grind. She launched The Free Mama Movement to show working moms that they don’t have to choose between family and financial stability.

Hundreds of families today are happier and more fulfilled thanks to Lauren and her online programs. Whether you’re a single mom, a military mom, or a mom in a two-parent family who doesn’t want to sacrifice your time with your babies in order to provide for them, Lauren wants you to know that you don’t have to.

Today, as the fearless leader of The Free Mama Movement and a thriving community of over 2700 women, Lauren is passionate about showing other moms how to start and run a successful freelancing business from home. In her upcoming book, she shares her own story — along with plenty of practical advice for anyone looking to leave the 9-5 behind and make a real living from home.

In addition to her self-paced program, Lauren also works one-on-one with motivated mamas who want to get their businesses up and running fast. Her talks on freelancing, building a business, and making over your mindset, and other relevant topics resonate with women around the world.

Lauren also runs The Free Mama Matchmaker Service, where she connects graduates of her elite online program with entrepreneurs who need their specialized skills.

Without further ado, here is Lauren!

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Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what your life looked like before having your sweet babies.

My name is Lauren Golden and I am a wife, mama, marketing nerd and iced coffee enthusiast (half sweetened with soy milk). I am also the founder of The Free Mama Movement where I help mamas work from home on their own terms and live a totally awesome, guilt-free life.

So how the heck did I get here?

My husband and I moved back to Kansas City, my hometown, right before we got married (that month living with my parents as newlyweds was fabulous, let me tell you) and soon settled into decent paying jobs that neither of us loved.

I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever and someone who glamorized “being busy”. I was involved in my job, always juggled a few side gigs, and volunteered in my community. I gained a ton of experience and met a lot of people in a short span of time, but I was beyond stressed out. In fact, it wasn’t until I slowed down and swapped jobs that we were even able to get pregnant.

My definition of “busy” quickly changed during those first few days with a newborn...

Fast forward to after you had your kids and realized the corporate world just wasn’t cutting it anymore: what was your “aha moment” in terms of working from home?

My husband actually had the realization first. He turned 30, lost a grandparent and had a daughter all within a few months and it spurred a bit of a quarter-life-crisis. Poor guy.

He went on to quit his job and we took out a massive loan for him to buy out the previous owner of a business. This was our first taste of entrepreneurship and the learning curve was mighty steep for two Political Science majors.

Suddenly I became the breadwinner, benefits holder and household leader while pregnant with our second child. Pretty soon after he was born, I remember telling my husband I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t spend 3 hours a day in the car shuttling my babies to coo and poo at someone else’s house. I couldn’t work in a place where I felt undercompensated and underappreciated. So I took my skills and applied them towards freelancing and made a plan to leave my job within the year.

Except sometimes God, the universe, higher power or whatever you believe has other plans.

We got pregnant again. After the shock wore off, I came up with a new plan that would allow me to quietly exit stage right after completing my maternity leave…

And then I had a miscarriage.

It sounds a little woo-woo, but in that devastating moment, I heard a voice in my head that said, “what’s your plan now?” I quit my job 1 week later and have never looked back.

You hit a few bumps in the road on your quest to work from home... can you tell us a little about them and how you overcame each one?

The truth is, I enjoyed the work I was doing everyday at my 9-5, and I loved my co-workers, but after my son was born I became incredibly resentful of my massive commutes, my employer and honestly - my husband who was off pursuing his dreams while I held down the fort as the “stable” one.

By this point I felt desperate to stay home, but I also still loved working and producing. I dabbled in network marketing and thought for sure if anyone could pull off a free car it was me, but the team model of MLMs was a huge turn off for me and so I capped at a few hundred dollars in profit.

Frustrated and feeling like a bit of a failure, I turned to freelancing as a social media manager, a skill I was comfortable with from work I was doing for my employer. I started a blog around the same time that would document my journey from working mom to work at home mom called The Free Mama. I had HUGE plans to monetize the blog, except I didn’t have any idea how! Luckily, the freelancing business took off...

How did you finally begin making stable money and how long did it take from the time you quit your corporate job?

When I realized that freelancing offered the chance to do things I was already good at and knew how to do, at prices and for clients I chose, I was all in. I definitely “looked before I lept” and had started supplementing nearly $2,000/month of my income freelancing before I quit my job.

I learned a lot of lessons the hard way - like the importance of contracts, charging what you’re worth, and crystal clear communication around expectations and timelines - but for the most part it was smooth sailing.

Until I had to start over again.

Yup, I actually built up my freelancing business from scratch twice, because we unexpectedly moved and the small local businesses I was serving in Kansas City could no longer get the support they needed now that I was in Katy, TX. That is when I became a 100% online-based business and made the strategic decision to only partner with online entrepreneurs.

In that first year, even with the move, I actually made almost $25,000 MORE than I did in my previous full-time job working about half of the hours. That’s when I realized I was really onto something and that if I could do it, other mamas could do it, too.

What is The Free Mama Movement and how does it help other parents who want to work from home?

The Free Mama Movement is a thriving community of over 3,000 women who don’t want to sacrifice time with their babies in order to provide for them.

I’ve taught hundreds of mamas how to build a freelancing business from home as a virtual administrative consultant doing admin, organizational and marketing type tasks for online businesses so that they don’t have to choose between family and financial stability.

You offer informative courses and training for moms interested in working from home... what can your virtual attendees expect to learn from you?

In addition to my self-paced 12 Week Program, I also work one-on-one with motivated mamas who want to get their businesses up and running fast.

All of my students can expect to walk away with the strategic and practical training, technical support and mindset coaching to run a successful freelancing business from their home, while taking care of their family and household.

Now that you work and teach from home, what does a “typical” (if such a thing exists) day in your shoes look like?

I’m a creature of habit and so are my kiddos! A typical day starts with my husband making our family breakfast before heading to work. He is gone a lot these days, so this is the one time of day he can really help me out and it is amazing. Plus, he is a much better cook!

Our older kiddos get themselves ready for school and have a few chores (they unload the dishwasher and take out recycling), while I get the youngest and myself ready and fed.

My oldest is in real-deal school now, while my younger two attend preschool 4 days a week for 4 hours a day. That is my sacred, uninterrupted work time. In order to show up as the mama I want to be while my children are home, I have to maximize this time as productively and efficiently as possible.

I use time blocking to manage my calendar and a technique called The Daily Five to make sure I’m always getting the most out of my work day. This is the time of day when I would schedule virtual meetings or interviews, coach my clients and create content.

After I pick up my youngest, we usually eat. Actually, we eat all the time - ha! We are very active and love to be outside, which in Houston either means a park in the winter or the pool in the summer.

We are getting to the activity age with our kids - so gymnastics and swimming fill many of our afternoons - followed by dinner, baths (okay, so I probably only bath them about 3-4 times a week) and bedtime.

Most nights I hop back on my computer for a few hours to take care of some administrative tasks and get myself prepared for the following day’s agenda.

I’m not a huge television-watcher anymore, but The Bachelorette is a non-negotiable in my life. Don’t judge.

Can you share your favorite work-from-home memory with us? (Ex: Feedback from a student, something funny that the kids did when you were on a call, etc.)

The first time I really remember thinking to myself - wow, I’m actually doing this - I was at Wonderscope, a Children’s Museum in Kansas City. It was a Wednesday morning. I had never gotten to take my kiddos anywhere during the work week before, and there I was in a near empty museum laughing and playing with my kids without the Saturday morning lines. I’ll admit, I checked my phone a few times to make sure I didn’t have any client emergencies or to field some social media comments, but I felt so proud in that moment of the risks I had taken in order to show up as the mom - and business owner - I wanted to be.

Isn't she incredible?! If you are ready to join the Free Mama Movement, check out thefreemamamovement.comTo follow Lauren -- or get in touch -- be sure to visit the Free Mama Facebook page and group, and the Free Mama Instagram