Everyone says they want to start working from home, but not everyone can actually pull it off. Sure, working from home is a common dream. We would all love to be able to say good-bye to our overbearing, demanding bosses, make our own schedules, get rid of our commutes, and spend more time with our families. Starting to work from home can accomplish all of these things for us and make us masters of our own destinies. Beginning the work at home journey also puts us in charge of our own incomes, which are obviously limited by the whims of others as long as we are working for anyone other than ourselves. While some people genuinely do like their jobs and want to keep them, many more would prefer to work for themselves. Let's face it....it's a good dream, and in today's economic downturn, more and more people are finding themselves without regular jobs and in the perfect position to start their own business at home.
While anyone CAN start a business at home, not everyone SHOULD. It takes a certain kind of personality and temperament to successfully work from home. Plenty of people who do take the plunge find they are not suited to it at all and quickly return to the regular working world as employees. However, for those who possess the characteristics it takes to run a home business successfully, the rewards are tremendous, and most would not go back to their old way of life in someone else's office for anything.
Here are the top 3 traits of successful work at home entrepreneurs.
To successfully work from home, you've got to be a master organizer. Remember, as your own boss, you're in charge of everything that goes on in your business. That means you've got to keep everything organized so that you always know exactly what you need, when you need it, where it is, and where to put it when it's finished. You've got to keep track of customers, orders, invoices, accounts payable and receiveable, due dates, contact information, receipts, licenses and permits, and so much more. If you lose track of anything, it could spell disaster for your company. This can be a challenging task even for someone who is working completely alone. If you bring on employees to work for you, it becomes even more complicated. The most successful work at home entrepreneurs are highly organized and realize the importance of organization. For the few who are not naturally organized, they still understand the necessity of it and usually hire someone, such as a secretary, to keep things organized for them.
When it's all on you, YOU have to be the one to motivate yourself to get things done. It's not like when you were working for someone else and you were given tasks to complete on a certain time schedule (with known consequences for failing to meet deadlines). Your boss kept you motivated with either incentives, threats, or both. When you're your own boss, you are respsonsible for your own motivation to get things done. This is the biggest stumbling block for a lot of would-be business owners. They find that the temptation to simply sit around and watch TV, talk on the phone, or surf the internet and not do any actual work when there is no one there forcing them to do work is too great, and they never actually get anything done. As you might imagine, people like this never have businesses that take off, because they never do anything to get them going. Without someone telling them what to do and when to do it, they have no driving force within themselves to work. It may seem incredible, since without doing any work, they won't get any income, but even the income incentive isn't enough for some people. There are those who simply need to be guided and directed in everything to get anything done. Successful entrepreneurs motivate themselves in a variety of ways, but they all have one thing in common....they do what is necessary to make their businesses successful and they don't need anyone but themselves to tell them how or when to do it.
3. A Clear Separation of Work and Home Life
This is a problem area for many people who are working at home. They may be great at organization and have plenty of self-motivation, and they may be thrilled to be living their work at home dream. Yet there is still something that is causing them a lot of stress and making them unhappy and not as productive as they would like, and that is the fact that they have not set clear boundaries between their work and home lives. When you work from home, other people have a tendency to think that you are available to do anything at any hour of the day or night. People who don't work from home don't understand that it is a business, the same as any other, and that you have a schedule you must adhere to in order to make things work. They don't respect your time. This goes for family and friends alike. You'll often find when you're first starting out that you get calls, visits, and requests for favors (like babysitting) from nearly everyone you know at all hours during your work day, because they assume you're not busy because you're at home. Most of us, trying to please everyone, will be polite and accommodating to these unreasonable requests, all the while trying to work in spite of the distractions. Lots of entrepreneurs find that they end up working irregular hours, often late into the night, just to get things done that they weren't able to attend to during the day due to constant interruptions from family and friends. This blends work and home life to an unreasonable degree and causes burn-out and loss of interest in the business in a lot of people. Successful people who work from home set clear boundaries with their family and friends from the start, have set working hours when possible, and never bring their work time into their family time.
If these traits describe you, or if you think you can successfully cultivate these attributes in yourself, then you may just be the ideal candidate to start working from home. While other elements definitely go into the success of any home based business, it all starts with having the right personaly characteristics for running a business from home in the first place. Once you've got the foundations down, you can start building a successful business working at home and be on solid footing to make it the enjoyable and lucrative company you always envisioned it to be.