How To Overcome The Biggest Challenges Of Working From Home
Ahh... the entrepreneur's life... Many imagine that working
from home is like being a Hollywood superstar: working
leisurely in your pajamas, eating bon bons, and cashing
paychecks you write to yourself. While managing your own
business can be a life long dream, your business can also take
over your life if you let it. Here are some tips for how to
overcome the biggest challenges of working from home.
== ARE YOU A WORKAHOLIC? ==
When you work from home it can be hard to STOP working.
Temptations such as the ringing of your business phone, the
constant flow of emails, and piles of paper work can easily
draw you back into work mode if you let them.
TIPS TO CONQUER WORK-A-HOLISM
a) Set a regular schedule for work and home hours. Make a
deliberate effort to stop working on time. When you are done
with work, shut off the computer, and mentally shut off work.
b) Locate your office in a separate area of the house. Having
your office out of sight may help you forget about work.
c) Enjoy your "off" time. Pamper yourself! Schedule yourself
regular vacations! Take time to relax! Spend time doing the
things you love most. If you started working from home to spend
more time with your family, then make sure you are actually
DOING that. Schedule daytrips with your kids. Take time to
visit a friend you have lost touch with.
== ARE YOU EASILY DISTRACTED? ==
Does the sound of Nickelodeon, the allure of the cookies in the
pantry, and the beautiful sunny weather distract you?
TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED:
a) Don't tolerate distractions in your life. Discover sources
of the distraction and remove it from your work environment. If
you can't remove it entirely, try to come up with a creative
"work-a- round" that will let you function.
b) Make a daily to do list and prioritize, by placing the most
important 3-5 tasks at the top. Put all other "tasks" at
bottom. Try to spend your time on items which on the things
which will do the most to move your business forward.
== DO YOU FEEL LONELY? ==
Do you miss birthday lunch celebrations, water cooler talk, and
co-worker friendships? Are you becoming a bear in your "work at
TIPS TO AVOID ISOLATION:
a) Volunteer. Sign up to help with a Girl Scout troop, at
church, or at the local library.
b) Join a group. There are lots of local women's business
breakfast groups. You might also be able to find a local
playgroup, or church group to join.
c) Take a class. This is the perfect opportunity to learn a new
business skill or indulge in a personal interest such as
pottery, art, or scrapbooking.
d) Spend time with friends and family. Have lunch, call an old
friend, make a date with your spouse, or send a personal email
to a family member. Make time to connect with the important
people in your life.
e) Build a personal support network. Whether it is a business
coach, or fellow entrepreneur you'll need someone to encourage
you, listen to you, and guide you. Find a mentor who is highly
successful at what you want to do and ask what their secrets
are for success!
d) Participate in an online community. There are many online
communities for entrepreneurs and work at home parents. Here
you can network, meet friends, and promote your business.
== DO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? ==
Insurance is a regular perk of working in the corporate world.
When you go "solo" you will find yourself without the crucial
coverage you need.
TIPS FOR GETTING INSURED:
a) If your spouse has a corporate job, check to see if you can
be covered under their insurance plan.
b) With the costs of family insurance coverage ranging from
$7000 to $10,000 per year, it really pays to shop around.
Here's a few web sites where you can get free health insurance
quotes from several leading carriers and easily compare many
policies to choose the one that's best for you.
- www.ehealthinsurance.com/ - www.InsureCom.com -
www.insurance.com/ - www.quotescout.com/ -
c) If you recently quit your corporate job, the COBRA law will
let you purchase health insurance from your old corporate
employer for up to 18 months.
d) Ask your insurance agent about opening a Medical Savings
Account (MSA). An MSA is a combo type account from which you
can draw funds to pay for your medical expenses and the
remaining funds grow like a tax deferred retirement fund.
== DO YOU MISS REGULAR PAYCHECKS? ==
Do you have trouble making regular paychecks to yourself?
TIPS FOR REGULATING YOUR INCOME:
a) Build reserves. When you have a good month, stash it away
for those slow business periods. Stock up by working more
during winter, so that you can take time off in the summer.
b) Develop an "automatic" income source. Some options include
writing and selling an ebook and acting as a reseller for
services that complement your offerings.
== DO FAMILY & FRIENDS VIOLATE YOUR BOUNDARIES? ==
Do your friends, family call you during your work time? Do your
clients call during your family time?
TIPS FOR SETTING BOUNDARIES:
a) Communicate with your clients early on letting them know
your policies, your work hours, and what they can expect.
b) Let family know what your work hours are. Ask them not to
call you with personal chit chat until your "home" hours begin.
c) Caller ID can help you identify calls to see if they are
from family, friends, or pesky sales people.
The bottom line is to determine your boundaries, set them in
stone, communicate them, and guard and uphold them!
== SUMMARY ==
While working from home is the new American Dream, it can
present some real challenges at times. Smart business owners
work hard to maintaining balance, practice extreme self-care,
and regulate their income. By overcoming these obstacles you'll
experience renewed energy, focus, and stability in both your
personal and business life.
About The Author: Kristie Tamsevicius, is the author of "I Love
My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home"! Thousands of
aspiring entrepreneurs have used her step-by-step home business
system to earn money working from home. Get a free ecourse Home
Business Success Secrets at