You’ve probably heard it before. Maybe it was from your friend who has a somewhat successful home business, or perhaps just secretly wants one.
Maybe you had a really really hard day at your job and thought to yourself “Hmmm…I wish there was some way I could work for myself. And wow, if I could stay at home, that would be even better! Hey, i can be my own boss!”
Or, maybe you bought some e-book, downloaded some guide or even went old school and bought at actual book on Amazon or something and after reading thought to yourself “Hey! I can do that! That sounds easy!”
Whatever the case, if any of those sounds like you and you are a little clueless as to how to get started or how to make it “all work”, well you are in the right place.
But first, a reality check.
Owning a home based business is hard. Really hard. Sure, it might not sound as hard as perhaps your day job. But it takes discipline, and a lot of hard work, trial and error, and learning (yes – learning a lot, mostly from failures. And yes – you will fail…a lot. Get used to it.)
What we are going to do today is get you setup in the right mindset to having a home based business. Have you ever worked from home (as in your actual day job? If you haven’t ever held a job…stay with me anyway.) Working remotely from home is really difficult because it takes a different type of working mentality to be truly productive.
When you are in the office, or in your actual work setting wherever that might be, everything around you screams “work”. You might even have the near constant pressure of having your supervisor or boss sit by you, or worse, be able to walk by you at any time just to check up on you. There are your coworkers around you, working diligently, and their actions almost motivate you to do work as well.
And let’s not even talk about the office decor, the motivational posters, the water cooler and lunch room, and so on.
Now imagine that is all gone, and in its place, you are in your house. Heck you might not even be dressed yet. You have to psych yourself up to work and achieve roughly the same productivity without the environment. At first, you might think “That’s awesome!” But getting yourself psyched up is only part of the challenge. There are so many more distractions at home than in an office setting.
Just think of all the things you can do if you are NOT working…sleep, laundry, dishes, watch a movie, take a walk, go out for an extended lunch, go to the beach, the store, play a video game, go on social media…the list goes on and on. All that is at your fingertips if you are at home.
You have to adopt the discipline to not give into these temptations and remain productive.
OK, now back to home based business. How can you be successful in a home based business when there is no office, no water cooler, no employees? You might think the potential money will psych you up and get you motivated. And it might to some extent. But in the beginning, when you aren’t making money, its tough to remain optimistic and be productive based on the potential for a payday.
Here are some ways to set yourself up for success in your home business (no matter what it is.)
1. Find a dedicated area for your business activities
It’s important to have some type of area, just like if you were in an office job, that you can call your own and where all your business stuff is. Usually you will want to have a few things handy in that area (depending on your business), like a computer and phone. When you start out this might be your kitchen table – and that’s fine. If you have a spare bedroom or room you can use, that’s even better because you can close the door and separate yourself from “household temptations.” If you have a desk or table in that spare room, that’s even better.
And obviously, if you have a home office already…well, you are probably better off than about half of us.
Try to keep this area free of clutter. Keep it organized for business purposes. You don’t have to make it look like an office – you are free to make it your own. The important thing here is to have someplace you can consistently go to quickly and easily and get yourself in the right mindset.
2. Establish a routine
Some really smart people (most of which work) think that one of the reasons some people “work” so well is the daily routine that we subject ourselves to. In other words, when you go to “work” you follow the same routine – get up by a certain time, shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, buy a coffee, blah blah blah.
By training your mind into this routine you are preparing yourself mentally for the day ahead.
OK, so let’s assume for a moment these smart people are right. By the same token, we need to follow a routine to be successful in our home based business. And let’s assume for just a minute that you have to keep your job – so getting up and adjusting to a brand new routine overhaul is out of the question.
While we’re at the assumptions, let’s just assume that you are perhaps a little tired as well – because no one seems to get enough sleep, right?
All that aside…when you work at home, or have a home based business it is important to follow a routine. It can be as simple as grabbing coffee or tea, sitting down for an hour and just writing, or replying to emails, or doing research (ahem…not necessarily watching YouTube for an hour). Or it can be as complicated or involved as developing a new product. Try to do it at the same time every day, and book end it with the same activities – perhaps after dinner but before something good comes on TV.
Keep the routine and you can train yourself to learn, and grow your home based business.
3. Set aside “quality time” for your business
It is easy to work when you get “in the zone”…OK, perhaps it is actually easier to work when you are in the zone and not necessarily easy. In order to really get in the zone and be successful you have to actually take some time and fully invest yourself. And the way to do that is to make sure you have some time to actually work on your home based business. An hour here or there when you have time just won’t do.
Establishing quality time to spending actually working on your home based business goes back to establishing a good routine. It also goes to organization. There is a reason I listed it as #3 on this list – it really depends on the first two items.
What’s remarkable is how many folks seem to skip over this. You could have a million dollar idea – but until you actually sit down, work it out and start trying to get the idea out there your million dollar idea just collects dust. And someone else might come up with a similar idea, get in ahead of you and take your idea (and money) away.
So do yourself a favor. Once you decide to dedicate yourself to a home business, and start working…organize, and carve out some quality, distraction free time where you can let your ideas flow.