A lot of people ponder whether a home based business is right for them or not. Or maybe you’re just looking for a work-from-home opportunity. It sounds like living the dream: working in your pajamas all day long, with no boss lingering over your shoulder all day to make sure you’re hitting your weekly performance metrics.
Reality turns out to be quite different. Some “remote work” companies monitor employees through webcam constantly, docking their pay whenever they step away from their computer for a coffee break. That’s not the kind of “freedom” I’m after. You could argue that even worse than being trapped in a corporate cubicle 40+ hours a week.
Instead – what would you like to work on, in addition to your day job? What would it take to get started on what truly matters to you? One reason many people never get started on living their dream is that they do not believe they can run a home based business and a home and family at the same time. Agreed, it takes some juggling. Running a successful home based business means that you should be able to be at home to take care of the things that you normally wouldn’t be able to take care of, while also earning money from your business. There are several potential pitfalls you should be aware of in order to run a successful home based business and home.
That being said, the juggling act is not impossible. There are several things that you can do to make this process much easier, and if you do it right, you should easily be able to run your home business as well as your home, with very little unecessary hassle.
Keeping It Real
The first thing that you will need to do is to make time for your home business and to make time for your home as well. When you work from home it is very easy to simply work for (long) days at a time. You can still burn yourself out, even if you’re doing what you love. Since your business is at home it can (and often will) be open 24 hours a day, especially if your business is online. You might be tempted to take on other projects or orders or to do more so that you can make even more money. However, if you don’t set limits for yourself, you’ll find that you aren’t able to run your home as well, at the same time.
In order to avoid this problem, the first thing that you need to do is set realistic business hours. Look at the hours you want to work. Just like a regular office your home business should have office hours and hours when you are not available. Take a break from time to time – whether it’s a lunch or coffee break, or an extended vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to see. You have the freedom to do that as a creative entrepreneur. Reality however, is that it’s simply too easy to work all of the time, especially if you’re in “start up mode” and need the money. Keeping hours and making sure that you stick to them regularly is a good way to make sure that you will also have time to run your home, as well as your home business.
The other thing that you have to remember is that you are going to want to be sure that you have your own office space for your home business that is different than your actual home. Even if you devote a corner of your kitchen or living room to your home business, there should be an area that is only fit for your business, which will make it much easier for you to keep the two things separated. If you can keep your home and your home business apart, you’ll have a much better chance of doing them both well.