How many times as a business owner have you heard, “You’re lucky you get to work from home.” You get to call the shots and set your own work hours, and you don’t have to worry about getting reprimanded, laid off, or fired.”
Sounds like unicorns and rainbows, right? Here’s the thing, the same discipline you applied to your 9 to 5 job, you’ll need that same drive times 10 to get up and work your business like a 9 to 9 every day.
Bottom line, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Repeat that out loud…
Why you need a set schedule
A lot of work at home moms start with the “I’ll work when I can” schedule. I’ll work in between nap time, or when my husband gets home or after dinner. I, too, fell into this unproductive routine, and guess what, I wasn’t making any money.
While most who chose to work at home to escape the austerity of a set schedule, sometimes it’s not the best of ideas. Having set work hours each day is guaranteed to produce desired results. This routine will help you get your body into the rhythm of being focused on work during a specified time of day. It will also help get everyone in your house in sync with your schedule, so they know when it is okay to bother mom, and when mom is having a Bye Felicia moment.
How to stay motivated as a business owner
One of the biggest challenges you’ll ever face is staying motivated. Many of my friends who work from home are content with just earning enough money to get by with no desire to take their business to the next level. If you find yourself slacking from time to time, then you need a good dose of motivation.
Take some time to think about why you started your business and decided to work from home, and remind yourself often.
Was it because you wanted freedom? Was it for the money? Do you dislike your current job? Having trouble finding a new job? What motivated you to jump and start your own small business in the first place? Try invoking the same feelings again, and you will find yourself driven by your passion all over again.
Some people confuse crazy with passion. Let me be very clear. I am bat shit passionate. Not even a little sleep deprivation can dismay my level of enthusiasm for my family and business. When you love something so much, you will sacrifice and do anything in your power to help it grow and succeed. That passion doesn’t end with your family or children. That level of passion empowers you to be the change you want to see in the world. That kind of confidence empowers everyone around you. Go all out for what you want. Get crazy. Be bold. Lose your mind for that one thing you love the most. Fall madly in love with that goal that may seem impossible to reach.
Don’t apologize for it. Better yet, never apologize for it.
Make a plan
Entrepreneurship isn’t something that randomly happened in my life. It was a career path I always knew I would pursue, but I didn’t know how to get there or have the confidence to do so early on.
I’ll never forget the day I had a meltdown at work. I called my husband to vent about how I could no longer tolerate working for my employer. I was about 30 seconds from grabbing my purse and exiting the building permanently.
My husband said something to me that stopped me in my tracks. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Stop complaining about it and change the way you think about it.”
At that moment, his words were enough to change my mind and get me through the day, the week, and the next few months. I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said. How do I change the way I think about an unfavorable situation?
How I became a business owner
Here’s how. For the next year and a half, I continued to work full-time. I started taking care of myself, reaching out to like-minded professionals, and prioritizing my goals to ensure that when I decided to resign, it would be well worth it. That little voice in my head kept asking if the grass was greener on the other side. After all, I was walking away from a stable paycheck, paid leave, and decent benefits. I concluded if I took the time to water my grass, it would be just as green.
But how? It wasn’t a cakewalk, that’s for sure. I started by taking a stand for myself. I was dissatisfied with my current circumstances, and I was the only person who could fix it. Blaming others doesn’t work. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision for yourself to make it happen.
Next, I identified the type of business that was right for me, not anyone else. Ask yourself, “What gives me energy even when I’m tired?” “What is it that I can’t live without doing.” Whatever your answer is, that’s the direction you should pursue. From there, be ready to jump into the actual business planning phase.
I share my story to inspire and motivate you to follow your dreams regardless of your circumstances. I enjoy the entrepreneurial process, all while embracing the uncertainty, successes, and failures that come along with this lifestyle. Very much like embracing the many difficulties we face as a military family.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Failing isn’t a failure. At one point in her journey, Oprah was told that she was not suitable for television. Look at her now. She is wealthy because of her media empire and known as a media mogul across the globe.
They say life is 20% what happens to you and 80% how you respond. Most circumstances aren’t permanent. Remember that. Choose to respond to the unusual in a way that will better position you to achieve your goals and in a way that your future self will thank you.
You are a mine of raw, untapped talent. Explore the gifts you already have. Invest in yourself and know you are capable of greatness.
To learn how to make your home office work for you read 4 Simple Tips to Improve Your Productivity.