Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Get Started Working From Home

There are many things that you should know before you start working from home.  It is something that should be taken seriously and not lightly.  There are a ton of work at home options for you out there but you are likely going to have to work for the money that you earn.  In most cases you will work harder when you work from home then you will when you work outside of the home.

Step 1--Decide If Working at Home is Right for You

You must know if you are going to be able to work from home.  Can you easily focus on things even when there are distractions?  Can you sit in a room full of laundry that needs to be put away and ignore it because you have a deadline?  If you can't do these things then working at home might not be the best choice for you.

Step 2--Decide What Type of Work You Want to Do

Choosing the right work from home job is simple when you think about what you are good at. For me it was especially easy because I knew what I liked.  I love to read and write so writing was natural for me. 

I will be honest, though, I have tried other things thinking that I would be good at them and have failed miserably.  Writing is the only place that I have found my success.

Step 3--Write a Business Plan and Schedule for Yourself

Make yourself a business plan.  Write about what you expect to do to earn an income and how much time you are going to have to put into working.  Be realistic.  If you have children, you might be able to get 3-4 hours of work in at night but it is not likely that you can work much during the day while you are with them.  Regardless of if you just think that you have phone calls to make during the day, it is nearly impossible to be able to get your children to leave you alone long enough to focus on phone calls that are about business.  Plus if you have to constantly stop the other person to care for your children it is going to look rude so you do not want to do that either.

Step 4--Practice

I know that this might not sound like something that you have time for while you are working full time but you are going to have to practice if you are going to be attempting to work from home.  If you know what you want to do then start your new business venture then you can really get started any time.  Until you have had success at the level that you need to pay all of your bills for six months you should really consider staying at your current position no matter how unhappy you are.

Step 5--Make the Leap

While you might be afraid at first, if you have made it work for six months then it is likely that you will be able to make it last for more.  Just keep in mind that there are a lot of ways in which you can quickly fail, lose focus, or go down hill.  So make sure that you are always following your plan and your schedule and that you are working hard to be able to earn the income that you need.

Want to be a Stay at Home Mom or Work at Home? Here are Some Thoughts

Yes, Yes, Yes

I know that most of you are probably saying yes to the above question but have you really taken the time to think about what that means for you.  Being a mom is something that few take lightly.  Most moms are faced with a tough decision when their infant is around eight weeks old, deciding whether they will go back to work, leaving their new baby with a trusted loved one or in daycare, or if they are going to be able to stay home with their new bundle of joy.

What no one tells you is that being at home with your children is hard work.  It is constant attention that you are giving to someone else and rare moments that you have alone.  Some days there is no time for you to even take a shower or do the things that make you feel like you.  Instead you are constantly someone's mom and you can start to feel as though you are losing pieces of your identity. 

The following are some questions that you should ask yourself before you decide if being a stay at home or work at home mom is for you.

What do you enjoy most in life?

For me the answer to this before I was a stay at home mom would have been an afternoon shopping, a nice massage and the chance to pick up the latest make up trends.  After being a work at home mom I am able to make some money but I do not end up getting to focus on work as much as I did before I stayed home and that means that I do not make as much money as I did before.  It also means that I have had to sacrifice a lot of things. 

Today if you asked me the same question my answer would be a hot bath by myself with some nice scrubs and a movie on my iPad.  So it is likely that you will end up sacrificing some of your favorite things in order to stay home and be with your children.  Some days I struggle with this.  I will be honest but others I have no problems at all.  In the end I know that this is where I was meant to be.

Do you need to earn an income?

In my situation an income was not necessary in the beginning when I wanted to stay home.  It still is not a necessity but I like to be able to shop and spend money so with a one person working in come that is just not always possible.   I have always worked at home as a freelance writer for as long as I have stayed home.  I have attempted to do other things during this time but I have not made the amount of money that I have always hoped to make.

If you need to earn an income have you thought about how you will earn it?

Prior to staying home I knew that I had a strong desire to write.  I also knew that I had the talent that was needed and that I was able to find freelance jobs.  I registered with different freelance websites and I wrote from home and during my lunch and breaks at work to see if I could really make money with writing.  I was able to and this is what allowed me to know that I would be fine while staying at home.  The world of freelance is not easy but it is something that you can do if you are willing to start from the bottom and work your way up.

Be sure that you test your ability to make an income while you are still working if an income is necessary.  There are a lot of options out there, all of which I will discuss in future posts, but you are going to have to know that you can do it and that you will be successful before you take that leap.  If you take that leap too soon you could end up with a lot of stress that you are not prepared for and stress that is unfair to your family.

Do you realize that you might not have time alone for a long time?

One thing that I did not think about when I first decided to stay home is that I would not have time to myself ever.  I thought that I would still get the same amount of free time to do the things that I enjoyed and that I would still slip away from time to time alone for things like shopping.  To be honest this rarely happens for me and most of the time (98%) I would say that this fine.  The other slight part of the time (2%) is where I struggle and think that I need a bit of a break and some time to find myself.

My tip to you is to remember to make time for something you love each day.  It does not matter if that thing that you love is the gym, writing, reading, or taking a bath but it is important that you have some time where you are able to solely focus on yourself for a while.