Tips on Being Your Own Boss

Stay-at-home mom Tonya Teran, who was featured in's Home Office profile series turned a hobby into a home-based job within mere months. For her, she says, it’s a perfect fit.

Teran launched Tonya Teran Photography out of her Rockville, MD, home after she taught herself how to use a new camera to take pictures of her daughter, who was born in May 2008. After practicing her new hobby on her daughter for a few months, she asked friends if she could use their children as photography practice.

What began as a new interest soon turned into a real business, Teran says, as others began seeking her out to take professional photos of their children and families. Teran now conducts about three photo sessions a week in her home studio or at clients’ homes, either during the day while her daughter is at school, or on the weekends.

Teran calls herself a “stay-at-home-mom first, photographer second,” and loves the idea that she can pursue photography as a profession while still being home with her child.

She offers the following 3 tips for those considering an entrepreneurial run:

No. 1: Study Your Craft

“There is so much information out there for the taking. The Internet is an amazing resource for everything … a quick question that needs to be answered, inspiration, a forum for like-minded people,” Teran said.

No. 2: Know The Buck Will Always Stop With You

If you decide to work for yourself, make sure you know what you are getting into – that may mean suddenly not having a more expert figure, or mentor, to turn to in a time of professional need.

“I imagine that one of the biggest advantages of working for someone else or with other people is that they can serve as a mentor … tell you what needs to be done next, where you need improvement, etc..,” Teran said.

No. 3: Objectivity Is Key

When you are working for yourself, it is important to be able to take a step back and take an objective view of where you are and where you need to go next.