The idea of being able to work at home appeals to many people. We often hear words such as freedom and balanced lifestyle associated with working at home and of course we all want that! However, are you really cut out for a life of working at home and being your own boss?
Here are some of things that you need to seriously think about in order to discover if working for yourself at home is going to suit you and you are going to find it enjoyable.
When you work at home and you are the boss – the buck stops with you! You take on the responsibility of everything concerning your business.
If something like your website goes pear shaped – it’s you who has to deal with it.
If customers are unhappy – it’s you who has to apologize if necessary and make things right.
If you have committed to a deadline – it’s you who has the make sure you meet it.
Can you cope with that? Or would you find that just too stressful?
I have a friend who would not cope with being her own boss. She would get far too stressed with that kind of responsibility and the bonuses of working for herself would never out weight the stress of responsibility.
If you are easily overwhelmed by tasks then working at home and having your own online business may be too much for you.
If you know your business inside out then it is much easier to take full responsibility. If you really are an expert in your niche then you will find it much easier to deal with any difficulties that come your way. If you decide to treat your online business as a real business rather than a “make money fad” then you will develop the right mindset for managing all aspects of your business. You will learn what you need to and focus on the things you need to.
Being your own boss means managing your own time and getting things done. Setting goals and planning what action needs to be taken is down to you. What you do each day is determined by your own set of priorities. This is a benefit of course! However, if you struggle managing your own time then you may find that nothing gets done that needs to be done.
Unless you have a clear idea of what your business looks like and what aspects there are then you will find it difficult to know what actions to take and therefore how to manage your time in order that they get completed.
Create your own blueprint of what your business looks like. Here are some things to think about:
- Your target market
- How to get visibility?
- How many products?
- How to communicate?
- What website design? (blog?)
- How will you promote?
When you know exactly what your business entails then you can get down to planning your day.
Working at home can prove quite distracting at times. If your family are around they forget that you are busy and interrupt. If you are on your own then you might feel compelled to pick up the phone or answer the door.
When I first started working at home, I felt I should still get all the house work done as well as work on my business. I started to resent the fact that I was ‘expected’ to do all the work in our home and run my own business! It wasn’t until I communicated how I was feeling that I realised I was putting that pressure on myself – no one else was!
Now I do things differently! I still manage to get a lot of the house work done (I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to cleaning…) but I incorporate it into my 10 minute breaks. For me, doing vacuuming is a great break – I get a bit of exercise and a complete change and come back to work feeling refreshed! Now I’m not saying that would work for everyone but there are ways to get jobs around the home done if you use your time effectively.
Decide to work in blocks of time – for example 1 hour blocks. In that hour nothing stops you from working on your business. Even if the phone rings or the doorbell goes you don’t answer it – you are at work. People can leave a message and you can deal with it later.
Give yourself set breaks throughout the day where you refresh your mind and body. A brisk walk around the block will do you good and if you have a dog then you can get a dog walk done at the same time. Or post a letter. Or get some milk. Or hang the washing out. If there are things that you really do need to get done in the home then look at those tasks as being breaks that enable you to mentally refresh.
There is no one standing over you telling you what to do! If you work best by following orders then working for yourself may be difficult. This is again related to knowing your business inside out. When you know what your business looks like, how it needs to run then you know what to do.
When you test and track your results you become aware of areas that need working on. The only thing is for you to get on and do what needs to be done. Some days this is easy while other days it is hard!
Having someone you are accountable to will really help you to stay on tops of things and get tasks done. Investing in a mentor or coach will also help you to keep on top of things.
If you want to go it alone then that is fine but you need to make sure that you know exactly what your motivation is to drive you to success.
Are you a team player or do you like to work on your own? Perhaps you are both. Working for yourself can get lonely and being at home all day can make you feel a little isolated. This is one of the main reasons why people decide against working at home. The thought of being by yourself all day every day is just not appealing.
The truth is that when you have an online business there are plenty of forums that you can get involved in to enable you to feel part of a group of like minded individuals. You can encourage each other and this removes the isolation of working alone. However, forms can become a distraction unless you manage your time and limit the amount of social interaction you have each day.
Think about working in a local library or coffee shop. If you are able to concentrate in a public place then this can help you to feel part of the human race! If you know other people who work at home locally then you could agree to meet up regularly for a coffee and chat.
If you are someone who thrives on interacting with others then it might be better for you to work part time and have one day during the week that is for socializing.