Natasha J. Bedford is an accomplished educator and the founder of the faith-based freelance writing and editing services company Spilled Juice and Tears.
Natasha uses her personal journey to inspire others and provide useful resources for her readers. Natasha resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, Melvin and their two children, Vivian and Jude.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I have always had a passion for writing, but once I started to feel uncomfortable in my teaching career, I knew that it was time to make a change.
I asked God for direction and took the leap of faith. I left my career in education, after ten years in the field, and started my freelance writing company.
It did take some planning, but once I had a few clients on my roster, I knew that I could go further. I didn’t plan on adding the blog or Youtube component to my site until I felt the need to share my journey with others.
It was a scary leap because I was still working out how to live comfortably without having a steady 9-5. My start was not without any bumps along the way.
However, I have managed and am thriving at the opportunities my freelance writing service is offering, even outside of the field of writing.
Tell us about your business.
My company Spilled Juice and Tears offers freelance writing and editing services. There is also a blog and Youtube channel tied to my company that focuses on faith-based inspirational and lifestyle content.
My blog started off as a mommy blog focused on raising two children as a working mom, but I was soon lead to speak on a larger scale for God.
So, my inspirational postings grew over time. I invited my subscribers to take a closer look at how it really is to grow your relationship with God and start a successful business.
From my blog, I have had the opportunity to expand my writing and editing service to include speaking engagements at workshops and conferences, marketing management opportunities, voiceovers, and soon to be published devotionals and journals.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Currently, I’m offering my free e-workbook titled “Stay in Your Lane” for my blog subscribers. It is a workbook focused on developing and aligning your personal goals to God’s plan for your life.
My devotional Feeling Unsatisfied with co-author Amber Higgins will be out soon and I will be having a giveaway for my blog subscribers.
I also am about to release a line of journals, so when those are ready to drop I will be running a contest on my site as well.
- I received my bachelor’s degree in Education at Angelo State University.
- My Master’s degree in Educational Administration was obtained at Grand Canyon University.
- I have several certifications for education. One of my most prized accomplishments was receiving Teacher of the Year at my campus.
- I had worked so hard that year and it was great to receive acknowledgment for it.
Where is your business based?
Spilled Juice and Tears is based in Fort Worth, Texas.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I actually started my business before I left my full-time job. I created my website for free through WordPress. I wanted to start writing and offering my writing/editing services as soon as possible. I didn’t wait until I had the budget for a full-scale website.
What I found most important when I started was creating a business plan for myself. I tried using various online templates and got frustrated by the lack of information I needed for my business. So, I created my own business plan and followed through with all of the steps I had set up.
I also began researching. I read as many books as I could get my hands on. I watched Youtube videos on topics pertaining to starting a business. I attended webinars and followed successful people in my field on social media.
I also found it helpful to print business cards, and I’m still surprised that I have handed them out more than what I thought.
As a freelancer, I have to have an online presence to receive projects. I researched and found freelance writing websites that I could create business profiles and receive job offers through other platforms.
Another, important task I accomplished at the beginning was setting up social media accounts for my business.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
My blog and Youtube channel have brought in a lot of traffic, not only to my website but also to my business. I have received a couple of voiceover projects because of the inspirational voiceovers I post on Youtube.
I make sure to link my contact information on every video I post and on each of my posts. I also increased my presence on social media and made sure that I promote my writing services on all my platforms.
Another thing that has helped my business is attending local networking events. This was difficult for me at first because I can be a big introvert. I found it difficult to participate in small talk at first, but after a while, it got easier.
I knew that starting a business meant facing my fears to be successful. I try to attend at least one networking event a month.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge so far is juggling the different components of having a business. I have to make sure that I’m finishing client projects, writing blogs, and creating interesting content for social media and Youtube.
Since I’m still a small company I don’t have too many people I can delegate to. But, I love challenges and as long as I keep my connection with God secure, stay organized, and have fun I will do fine.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I set a routine for myself that I have settled into. I make sure that I start each morning with God and a positive mindset. I pray and meditate, then go for a walk at the park down the street from my house.
Once I get back to the house, I read a devotional or the Bible, and pray and meditate again. The only way I can get through the challenge of having too much on my plate is allowing the day to flow and picking two to three major projects that have to get done.
I have tried to do a weekly schedule but found that it stifles my creativity. So instead, I make a list of all the projects I have to get done for the week and each day I pick three of those that I will get done that day.
I have been more productive with this strategy and actually get more work done. It also helps alleviate the feeling of having to get everything done all at once.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My motivation comes from my Father Our Savior. I would not have even started this journey if I didn’t hear His whisper to take my leap of faith.
When difficult times arise I have learned that it is way more effective to view the difficult time as a learning opportunity.
I ask myself the questions, “What can I learn from this situation? How can I use this situation to grow as a person and in my relationship with God? “
When the storms get too tough then I lean on my knowledge that God will provide the answer and comfort I need.
I also understand that there is no way around difficult times, but if I can remain faithful to the process then there will be an end to any rough patch I may face on my path.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I think my most distinguishable characteristic is the fact that I’m giving you a real look into how God can improve the way you look at life.
People are interested in my journey because I did take a drastic leap of faith and they want to know how everything is turning out. People still email me saying that I couldn’t possibly be doing financially well.
I like these types of emails because it highlights the fact that God is making miraculously moves in my life, almost to the point where it is unbelievable to most people.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I was reminded to have fun! We all start these businesses because we feel that they will bring us joy in some sort of fashion. I was reminded that if I’m not having fun anymore than I’m not doing something right.
Life is not supposed to be hard. If you find yourself battling the uphill feeling, then stop and have some fun. You can work, make money, and still have fun. That is the way life’s supposed to be lived.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Make sure you are focused on your own journey. It is so easy to get caught up on what someone else is doing, especially if they are in the same field as you. But when you are so focused on what the next person is doing, you run the chance of getting off track.
If you feel stuck creatively, spiritually, or mentally, take a step back. Refresh and let your projects breathe. Sometimes taking just a day to create and reflect will inspire you all over again.
Make sure that you understand that having a strong relationship with God will help you take the right steps along your path. Building a solid relationship with Him automatically helps you during any issue that may arise when starting a business.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I love reading, so my favorite resources are other blogs and books pertaining to my field.
I just recently bought the book Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks- Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More. It has sample contracts I can use with clients and some behind the scenes information.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I love inspirational books and Joel Osteen is one of my favorite authors. I recently read his book, Your Best Life Now-7 Steps to Living At Your Full Potential it has helped me look at my overall path and know that I can do anything that I want as long as I keep my faith and take one step forward every day.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently looking at ways to promote and market my Spilled Juice and Tears brand. I’m interested in growing my presence online through my blog and products.
I have signed up for a few webinars and I’m looking into taking a photography class to help with marketing for my products.
I’m really into learning for myself. I want to know how to operate and maintain all of the different components of my business. It is so important that you are informed about what makes your business tick.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My current goals are to expand my current client roster.
I love having one-time contract projects, but my goal is to expand the number of clients I have extended contracts with.
I would love to work with bigger companies that are focused on being an inspiration to the world.
I have decided to develop a more specific marketing strategy to attract longer projects. For example, offering bundle deals and offering discounts.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.