Our world is in a new phase of technological work ethic, in such a way that even for those of us who remain working a ‘day job’, many of us are also working online in some way or other. And some of us wish to take that a step further, in order to shift our primary income source to being one that allows us to work online.
There are so many great reasons to start a new career for yourself. Some people get to the point where they realize the job they’re currently in is just not satisfying to them anymore (if it really ever was at all).
These days, somehow a degree doesn’t even tie you down like it once may have. People change, and our principles and values change right along with us. We grow and build new skills and new strengths which ultimately bring us to crave more than a paycheck – we begin to feel more deeply that we want a purpose, and we want our ‘job’ to include this!
Some others feel they are forced into carving out a new career path for themselves. Circumstances such as losing your job, simply not feeling able to make ends meet, or suddenly finding yourself with a new financial burden to may drive you to seek out a higher level of finances.
Quite simply, it doesn’t matter why you wish to work in a new career – it’s time to figure out if working for yourself is an option that you desire to pursue – and one that you can handle. As hard as it may be to believe, many people find it difficult to shoulder the responsibility that comes with being your own boss, so you need to know the exact pros and cons of this in order to make precise decisions for yourself from all angles – and to see if it’s ultimately right for you.
This may sound cliche, but the best time in the world to start a new business from home is right now. If you already have a job and can ease into it part time, then that’s even better. You’ll have the added security and benefit of bringing in a steady paycheck while you learn the ropes and build the business you start. I feel this is quite important in order to be able to take the necessary time to craft your online work in the way that truly suits you, and adds your own personal, creative and unique presence to the online community. Then once you have the income level where you desire it to be, you can say goodbye to to your other part time work, if you so choose.
Defining the Work at Home Job
A work at home job can be so many different things to all people. It might only be a few hours a week that you devote to your own business to enjoy a trickle of cash coming in. Some people do this with eBay and other online purchasing sites – they sell a few odds and ends here and there and create a nice residual income for themselves.
Or it can go to the other extreme – waking up every morning without an office to drive to and knowing that whatever you put into this business is what you’ll get out of it. These people have no 9-5 paycheck to rely on, so the pressure can build tremendously. This is where the concept of self-motivation really comes into play – you need to find your flow and create your daily schedule in such a way that you can effectively block some time off to dedicate to your business.
A very common issue for people just starting out is to get sidetracked by the lure of social media and surfing online, when they know they should be working. This is something I can speak to, due to personal experience. One way I have found to remedy this, is to recognize that the internet surfing needs to happen. So allow yourself to indulge. Before you start your work day, have your breakfast and your tea or coffee, and block off an hour or so for your internet ‘play time’. Then, once your allotted time is up, shut it all down, crack your typing knuckles, and get to work.
Some people have created a nice balance for themselves in such a way that they work a ‘regular’ job while running their online business simultaneously. The great thing about working online is that much of it runs on autopilot once the initial work is set up. In fact, it is the initial work that may be the hardest part. That is to say, figuring out right down to the nuts and bolts what it is that you want to do, and finding yourself the necessary training to help you build a solid foundation for your online business.
Try not to rush anything, although it is necessary to be aware that a lot of this work is trial and error. You can only learn what works for you once you have put some ideas out there and given them a good run.
Before You Put on Your Boss Hat
As much as we may want to, it’s never a good idea to just pack up your desk, tell your boss the things you’ve waited to say to him for years, and then head on home to believe you’ll instantly have a thriving business the next morning.
An online business takes a bit of time to build, so it’s important that for your own sanity and the health of your finances, that you be as prepared as you possibly can. If at all possible, have a nest egg of at least three months worth of expenses saved up in your account while you turn your online business into a project that pays back.
That doesn’t mean it will take three months to make money – you could start making money right away – but will it be enough to replace an existing paycheck each month? You need to test the waters in order to properly assess how much you will begin making, and make your choices according to the reality of your early online income.
If you’re already in something you might consider to be a desperate situation, such as being unemployed, then you might try to share your time between working on your own online business and searching for an immediate job position that can provide you with an immediate paycheck – even if it’s just temporary – in order to take the stress off of things. Once you remove as much stress as possible from the situation, it will be much more simple and clear cut for you as to what your beginning steps in creating your online business should be.
If you wish to read more on this subject and continue moving toward the creation of your online design, please go to Part 2 of this series, Perks & Problems of Self Employment.
How to Talk to Your Family About Working from Home
Most (but not all) family members are very supportive of their loved ones working from home. They’re usually rooting for your success just as much as you are. But that doesn’t mean that they’re going to understand the boundaries that you’ll need to set in place so that you can avoid unnecessary arguments and hurt feelings.
Working from home will mean a change in routine for all family members and the best way to avoid problems is to head them off first. Start by having a family meeting where you can be clear about what your objectives are in the business and what hours you plan to work.
Get their input on your objectives because sometimes others can see a different side to the issue and will have advice that we can use to make the transition to working from home a smoother one. Listen to the input, expectations and fears of each member.
Every family member should understand the division between working at home on the business and being available for the family. Just because you’re home, it doesn’t mean you can suddenly walk out of the home office to take care of something in the home.
Have an open/closed door policy. If the office door is closed, it means you’re dealing with work related issues and they shouldn’t disturb you. If the door is open, you’re working, but not to the point where they can’t interrupt you briefly if necessary.
Make sure your spouse understands you need to maintain separate finances for the business. Never combine an office checking account with your personal bank account. It’s too easy to get records or money mixed up. You want to maintain a professional balance from your personal life.
When you first start a home-based business, it’s so easy in your excitement to pour yourself into the business and lose that balance between home and work. You don’t want to constantly answer messages either on the computer or on the phone from business clients.
Establish a quitting time from the first day. That will let your family understand that you still respect and cherish your time spent with them. Becoming a workaholic might bring in more profits faster, but the price you’ll pay in the toll it takes on your relationships won’t be worth it.
To gain and keep the family support behind your new business means that you’ll have to work at not allowing the business to creep into the time spent with and the part of you that your family rightly deserves.
Working from home will allow you the personal and financial freedom to make all of your dreams come true. Now it’s time for you to venture out and seek the best opportunity to suit your needs. Are you ready?