I get a lot of questions about working from home and owning a business so I’ve decided to touch on some of those today. First, let me say that this is my own experience and my own personal journey so not everyone will have the same outlook.
10) Know when you need help and don’t be afraid to ask or pursue it. We just hired an employee 3 weeks ago because we were desperate for help. Yes, it’s hard to give up your own income and it can be sticky to make it work and stressful to make sure someone else is taken care of. We strive to be good “employers” and be fair to those who help us out. However, it will more than likely work out well and exceed your expectations so don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. You don’t and no successful business is ran completely on their own.
9) There is a tendency to become obsessive once you have tasted some success. When you get that feeling of “you’ve made it” then the world truly becomes a world of possibilities. This feeling is a high you’ll never experience….in all positive ways. For any entrepreneur it’s what you’ve been searching for since the beginning. The good news is it pushes you to be better, keep developing, work harder and expand….the bad news is it can literally take over your life before you even realize it. Every thought will be consumed with products, and ideas and pricing and logistics. This isn’t all bad, but you have to allow yourself to turn off and be just a mom or a dad or a husband or wife. There can be too much business in a day.
8) You’ll still experience “mommy guilt” and a lot of it. It can be a lot harder to be present in your kids’ or spouses life when your business is the same place you sleep at night. There is no physical separation of work and home which can often be an issue. It can be hard to turn off at the end of the day and be 100% in the moment. We are still working on that and I think that will always be an area of improvement for us. We have come a long way but it can be difficult. Again, when your income is solely based on you, it can be hard to not obsess or constantly feel the need to answer e-mails and check sales. If you can find that balance early on…you’ll be golden.
7) You would think that being able to work out of your garage would allow for more time for things but it doesn’t. There. Is. Never. Enough. Time. Period.
6) Don’t plan 10 big purchases a year based on one months income. Any successful business will have some really great months. For us holiday times are really great and we can make 3-4 months income in just 2 months. The tendency can be to think that “Wow, this is how much we will get every month.” However, it will likely die down and then pick back up several times throughout the year. Since you really can’t predict the highs and lows of income it’s best to give it a good solid 6 months to a year before planning on a huge monthly income. If it is consistent for that amount of time then the trend will likely continue but it you’re only having a couple of high income months a year then plan accordingly.
5) Working from home is not easy, relaxing, or what anyone thinks it is. There is a perception out there that those who work from home get to leisurely hang out all day, have 3 hour breaks at Starbucks, and get to sleep until noon. If this were true I’d look a whole lot younger and not have bags under my eyes. You will work harder working from home than you ever will at a job. Time is money and you don’t make money drinking Starbucks and sleeping. You have to put in the time, otherwise, there is no reward. We work an insane amount of hours and don’t get days off. We have probably had about 2 days off in 3 years and even then, ended up doing research or a couple hours of work. Due to the success we have had I can never complain about that fact….but it is a fact. So don’t quit your day job unless you’re willing to work twice as hard and twice as long.
4) That brings me to my next point…..get used to others not understanding, giving you a hard time, or looking down on you because you work from home. Again, people aren’t being mean or cruel or anything. They just truly don’t understand…and unless you’ve done it you really can’t….so you have to cut them a break. They believe the assumption I talked about above. They are forced to go to work every day and again think that you get to sit and have leisure time. NO judgments here because I use to think that as well. So forgive them, love them and realize that you’re the only person you have to please at the end of the day. If your family is healthy, fed and happy then you have made it.
3) Having said all that…being able to work from home does have it’s perks. You get to see your children…even though you don’t just sit around and play all day. Being able to physically see them helps a lot. Your kids get to stay out of daycare, which can have many pros like saving money on childcare costs. Your expenses like gas and eating out go way down since you’re not at a job every day. You can run errands during non-busy hours because you can just work extra late. And my personal favorite perk is I can go pee whenever I want!! Yes, it’s the little things in life. 🙂
2) Owning your own business is very RISKY!! It’s the biggest risk you will ever take in life, especially if it is your only income. You can’t budget month to month because incomes vary all the time. There are no guarantees, there are no for sure paychecks every two weeks. However, if you’re somewhat of an adrenaline junky and a work-a-holic then you’ll thrive on being an entrepreneur.
1) HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF!!! I can remember just a year ago feeling like things were just not going to work. The amount of stress on our shoulders was huge, we went to bed every night feeling like failures, we were worried about putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our head. However, we stopped and listened to what the universe was obviously trying to tell us and we changed course and pushed through. It was HARD and it was SCARY but we fought with every ounce of our being and we have come out on the other side better than we could have ever imagined. When you want to give up, don’t. Success often lies right across that road.