Dana Wikoff always had an entrepreneurial spirit. A certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, this wife and mother of three was interested in the option of working from home in order to spend time with her family while earning an income. But for a long time, none of the options she came across were a good fit. Taking turns with her husband between working full-time and going to school to finish their degrees, Dana and her family remained a one-income household, living paycheck to paycheck. Motivated by her desire to give her family the life she’d always envisioned, Dana joined Moms Making Six Figures and within a month was able to earn an income that could support her family. How did she see such quick success? Here’s Dana’s story.
Life Before Moms Making Six Figures
Dana, an avid animal lover, always wanted to own a horse, but such an expense wasn’t feasible for her family when she was growing up. At the age of 13 and motivated by her love of horses, Dana started raising and selling birds as pets to pay for horseback riding lessons. “I can’t believe I did that. I was 13!” she recalled fondly.
Fast forward a few years, and Dana now has a Bachelor’s degree in Science and is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. “That’s been a passion of mine,” she explained, having gotten into health and fitness after gaining a lot of weight during her first pregnancy with her son Will, now 7. “After going through it myself, I realized that there were so many other people I could help with health and nutrition issues, and I found it really rewarding to help individuals in that way.”
Dana and her husband Billy, now a CT technician at a hospital, married young and have always supported each other’s goals, taking turns to work while the other completed their degree: “Billy went to college while I worked full-time, and then I went to college while he worked full-time. I graduated college with two little kids at home.” This lifestyle meant that Dana and Billy were always a one-income family living paycheck to paycheck.
Money was tight, and with three kids—Will, Adalyn, and Liam—to look after, Dana was really drawn to the idea of working from home. “I saw that working from home was a great option, but there were so many different opportunities to choose from, it was overwhelming.” Dana had also applied for a job as a personal trainer at a gym near her home, but it didn’t feel right to her. “I really wasn’t excited about it because the hours were long, and I’d be putting two of my kids in daycare, including my youngest. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. I knew I would miss out on daily routines like taking them to school, and all their milestones.” There had to be another option!
Taking Back Control
Dana was also a part-time blogger, and it just so happened that through her blog she started chatting with Jennifer Becker, another member of Moms Making Six Figures. Around the same time, Dana’s husband Billy decided to go back to school to get his Master’s degree and pursue a career as a physician’s assistant or doctor. “For him to do that, I had to completely replace his income,” Dana explained. “So it was another one of our switches. He’d be in school, and I’d work full-time again. This time around, we have an almost 7-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 2-year-old. This meant daycare and spending less time with the kids.”
During her conversations with Jennifer, Jennifer shared what she did at Moms Making Six Figures with Dana, and it all just clicked. “It made sense for me,” said Dana, explaining that it just felt like a good fit for her family and the point she was at in her life. So in November 2015, she joined the team.
It took some time for Dana to adjust, but she was determined to make it work. “At first, it was tough figuring out how to work when you have kids at home,” she admitted. Dana discovered that working in the morning and at night was the best option to fit her life as a mom. Luckily, she said, she had a supportive team at Moms Making Six Figures to turn to for help, and the hard work paid off. In her first month at Moms Making Six Figures, Dana made enough money to support her family—almost as much as she used to earn when she was working full time. And that was just the beginning: her paycheck has grown every month since! “It’s been a complete blessing from the start. No complaints about that!”
Living Life on Her Own Terms
Now, Dana enjoys a fulfilling life. She’s always loved keeping busy, but ever since becoming a mom, her kids come first. “I want to be busy when my kids aren’t taking up my time. When they are around, I want to be present for them, that’s my priority.” And that’s what Moms Making Six Figures allows her to do. “I get to take my kids to school every morning and pick them up every afternoon. They always know Mommy’s going to be there if they need something. I can drop what I’m doing and go. It’s so wonderful to have that opportunity.” When her youngest, Liam, takes his two-hour afternoon nap, and at night after all the kids are in bed, Dana is able to focus her attention on working, giving her the work-life balance that some only dream of.
Dana was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease last spring, and is particularly grateful for the flexibility that Moms Making Six Figures allows her. “If I didn’t have this job, I don’t even know what my life would look like. I’d be exhausted and sick all the time, not making a good income, unable to hold down a job because I’d have to call in sick so often.” Dana never has to worry about any of that and has been able to focus on getting herself healthy, taking time in the morning to exercise, and getting plenty of opportunities to rest when she needs to.
On top of that, Dana and Billy continue to support one another’s career goals. With Billy busy completing prerequisites in preparation for medical school, he’s only able to be home with the family once a week. But Dana now has the flexibility to ensure she doesn’t have to work on that day. “I can schedule everything else around it, and we can do fun family things on his day off.”
Dana has goals to grow her business and reach more people in the Atlanta area, particularly moms, to provide them with alternatives to a traditional career. “I want to share this option with them, because it’s been amazing for my family, and I think it could be amazing for anybody that’s looking for a different option to support their household.”
Plus, she’s working towards owning that horse she’s always wanted!
Dana’s Advice for Other Corporate Women
According to Dana, success is for everyone. “It’s not just one person with one type of background enjoying success at Moms Making Six Figures. It’s a little bit of everybody. It just goes to show that if that many people can have success, so can you.”