Stay On Top of Working From Home

While it seems so much more relaxed and laid back to be working from home, it is actually just as much ‘working’ as a job – or should be. However just as there are breaks required by law for every so many hours worked at a job, as well as a lunch break, you need to structure your time at home in the same way.

balance

You shouldn’t look at your breaks and time for yourself as ‘slacking’ – that is as long as you actually are ‘taking care of business’ when you are working. You need to look at having a balance in your life. You can’t just work – even if it is necessary to have more than one job, or you go from your main job to work at home building a business.

We are only human. You are not going to win any medals for non-stop work marathons. Those should be the exception only when something unusual happens such as technical problems, or some other temporary project is a priority. On a regular basis you need to take time out to maintain your health – both physical and mental. It’s no joke.

Not to mention eventually getting ‘burned out’ and unable to proceed, or spinning your wheels (working without getting anything accomplished); if you collapse from exhaustion, who is going to run your life? Very real conditions due to over-work for young people as well as older folk, are chronic eye strain, neck, wrist (carpal tunnel, etc)., and lower back pain.

Then there are the things like neglecting your family at the same time. You need to spend some ‘quality time’ with them – whether it is an hour in the evenings, a few hours on the weekends or whatever time you all have to be together. You might understand you are doing all this work for your family but the only thing a child understands is you are never there for them whether working at home or away at a job.

You should be taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes and one thing that is recommended in this regard is to focus on something as far away as you can at least every couple hours. Close your eyes for a few minutes and completely rest them. Make sure you have good indirect light and that your monitor is at eye level – not up or down.

For your back, get up from your desk and walk around the room and stretch if it is not possible to go out and take a walk in the fresh air and sunshine – or to go to the gym for a good workout. Try to always sit straight and have a foot rest (phone book works) to relieve the stress of sitting on your lower back.

Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and take a whole day to completely escape from your computer periodically, and on a regular basis. It is a known fact that taking ‘cat naps’ makes your more efficient – so take a short nap whenever you can.

Have a plan – schedule your work time and get your work done during that time. You will find that being rested, relaxed and having a life apart from work will make working from home a whole lot more productive and gratifying. Of course hopefully also more profitable!

Starting an Online Business – Do You Live to Work or Work to Live?

To be honest when starting any business it would help if you are among the ‘Live to Work’ group. You really have to more or less enjoy working to want what is possibly a second job. In any case you will likely be spending a lot of time just getting started and obviously you will need to devote as much quality time as possible to your online business.

Be a Worker Bee

From the perspective of having a way to survive while building a business, it is best to start developing your plan for a home business while you still have an income from another source. This is because it takes time to start-up a business; Time to learn, to implement, and to develop a business (maintenance).

It is ok of course if you consider yourself in the ‘Work to Live’ group, as long as you understand that you will need to work at starting your own business, and maybe work harder at it since there are some things about your job career that you may take for granted.

This is the structure. It is already there with a job. They have the office, the equipment, the procedures and processes and the customers — and all you need to do is learn how to use everything and then just do it. You know what time you are expected to be there and what time you can go on breaks and when you can leave for the day. You know how much money you will make and when you will be paid.

When you are in business for yourself none of the above is a given. You have to set it all up. Possibly the most difficult part is in staying motivated since you don’t have a boss to be accountable to. You are it. So if you feel like putting something off, or not doing something at all, you have nobody to answer to. Easy to procrastinate and slack off. Oh sure, I’ll do that never.

On using money as the main motivation to work, again with a job it is sure – you know how much you will make and by when. With your own business you may be working for some time before you see the money and you can’t really say for sure when you will see any. This is natural if you feel disoriented with regard to this, however you may have a psychological problem with it because there is a ‘fine line’ there. The purpose of a business is to make money. If you do not see any, well, you say, what is the point?

You are not likely to make much money at first until you get everything rolling, in particular your marketing and advertising to attract customers. Even then you have to give it more time and in this regard you need to continually build momentum by keeping the volume of your advertising and marketing to the maximum. You should never ‘rest on your laurels’.

This is because not everybody who sees your ads will respond – in fact the majority will not respond. So you have to ‘find the needle in the haystack’ and plow through to find the people who are interested and will take action. Further to this even when you start getting traffic that will not only respond but actually convert to sales, you still need to constantly be finding new business – so again it is about the momentum. You can never stop unless you don’t mind your business drying up.

If you are starting an online business, get ready to do some work. Look at making money as a hobby and try to have fun getting to the prize. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”, so don’t expect instant results, miracles, magic or osmosis. It’a all about just plain old w-o-r-k that will get you wealthy (unless you expect to inherit money or win the lottery)!

Starting an Online Business – Be Prepared and Flexible

Being prepared is a good reason to even consider starting an online business. Being prepared for the unexpected financial crisis of any kind – whether it is the sudden loss of your primary source of income, or an insurance deductible or other disaster, it is always best to have some money saved. While credit of course is ‘nice’ you can get in serious trouble for over-extending yourself and it may take years to climb out; Therefore, cash is best.

Being flexible is about keeping an open mind when you are starting your business, in every regard — from what your business will do, to what resources you will use. This is because much will be done through ‘trial and error’ and even just analysis when something may be either doing better than you expected or not as well. You want to remain flexible so that you have the ability to change more or less on the fly.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t give things a fair chance before you pronounce judgement either way. There is nothing instant about earning a steady income. You do hear tales about somebody making a ‘killing’ in a few weeks but this is the exception, not the rule.

The rule is usually that you have to ‘pay your dues’ – expend the time and effort required to build and develop your business; and to thereby sustain momentum in your advertising and marketing. From that will come traffic, and from the traffic will come conversions to sales, eventually. Visualize a shopping mall with hundreds of people mulling about and realize that only a handful of those people will actually transact business the same day. Hello, this is reality.

This is another area where being prepared becomes highly relevant. You need to be prepared for much of the time in the beginning where you will be working and even spending money on your business and nothing is coming back in (yet). So obviously you want to have some operating expense money saved up or at least available.

Another good way to ensure that you have money coming in even when something is lagging behind, is to have multiple streams of income. If your online business is affiliate marketing then having more than one affiliate program will help toward that end. If your business is service related, then having multiple, different kinds of services will help maintain a steady stream of income. Find out what folks need and provide it for them.

Again, don’t take the attitude that you can use credit and will have the return on your investment before the bill is due. NOT for sure. This is speculation that can get you in deep debt and even harm your credit rating when you can’t make a payment on time. Just don’t do it, period. Even that the sun will come up tomorrow is not promised, so do not speculate with your money.

Home Business Start-Up: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Really things can get tough at any point in the transition to the idea of starting a business, to being engaged in actually running it. Just the fact that you would take a risk and would keep trying to progress, this makes you strong and the more energy you give it the tougher you get. First you will be expending more energy, and if it is for something you want, then you will do it with joy.

You could have always chosen to rest on your laurels and accept the status quo of your day job and the whole 9-yards that goes with being ‘normal’. You may have done just fine. But you wanted more – to do more, to have more, to be more. You are a “tough cookie”, and hence, you are unlikely to fail. If you lose a few battles, oh well. You will ‘pick yourself up and dust yourself off’ — You will always keep propelling yourself forward. You will create momentum that will likely effect additional facets in your life beyond business.

Even being tough doesn’t necessarily make you perfect. You will likely make mistakes and of course hopefully they will be small ones. Mistakes are only lessons. Sometimes they can be the best teachers because they are emphasized by your having had direct experience, and suffered the consequences, vs. reading about it from outside in a book.

We should take stock of our mistakes and try to analyze why or how they happened. What could we have done differently? What will we do now? These answers may take some research whereby you actually find alternative resources that will ultimately solve the problem in the future. So in line with the characteristics of a successful winner we will see each obstacle as only a challenge to be overcome.

The tough don’t take much time to elaborate on negativity. They see it and analyze it only in so far as to understand it so that they can release it and grow forward. They don’t accept defeat and they certainly don’t let it slow them down. They barely skip a beat because their energy remains focused on overcoming and moving ahead.

So you can start toughening up from the get-go – what is going on that you feel that you need to have more than you do – that you know you can accomplish more than you are at this time? The way things are we can’t just leave every job that doesn’t meet our every expectation. That’s something we may have to accept in order to see the ‘big picture’. When you can see something like this as a ‘means to an end’ rather than the end-all, then it will not seem so bad because you know you are on your way up, up and away!

Are You Serious About Your Home Business?

You may kind of look at your home business as a ‘hobby’ because you already work a full-time job. However if you don’t want to waste your precious time there are some things that you can do to ‘train’ yourself to get and stay serious. The home office environment can be one that is more relaxed and comfortable than a regular job. However you are accountable to create a business atmosphere during the hours you are working.

home office

Maintaining a professional space starts with having a clearly delineated area that is only your office. Even if this means only a desk in the corner of another room, that space should be used exclusively for business. It should be organized and neat at at least two points in your work day – the start and end. The less time you spend shuffling through a pile of paper to find something the more time you have to both be productive and to relax when you are done.

It is very important that your home office space is healthy. This means for one thing, well-lit. It has been proven that people are more productive and positive with bright lighting. If at all possible to have windows open then you also have air, which has been proven to be necessary for all life. Get some whenever you can. You also need good, indirect light for your work area.

Your eyes are under a strain especially if your home business is a second ‘job’. Be sure to look away from your computer to something as far away as you can at least once every hour or so to decrease the strain on your eyes and corresponding muscles from focusing on one small area too long.

Be sure to have your eyes checked often. If you need glasses for the computer or reading, get them and wear them. Having tinted lenses really helps with the burning glare of the computer screen and florescent lights. Having less eye-strain will make your work easier.

Seriously, there are conditions of the eye that are completely controllable if not curable – but only if you catch them in time. You only have two eyes and you need both of them ideally. So treat them as a precious gift.

Another thing that can cause you to be distracted and less focused, is not having the correct chair. Be sure your chair arms line up directly with your keyboard and mouse. Your arm should not be down or up – straight forward and flat is the best way not to put pressure on your wrists. If you don’t have a footstool, you can use a phone book because lifting your feet slightly puts less strain on your lower back from sitting for hours on end.

You may take all these things for granted and believe they are not important; but the most important element of building anything is the foundation. You want to start with good habits and make sure you are taking care of the boss (you) so that everything runs smoothly and successfully. These things don’t always come naturally, but need to be cultivated.

While Making Money Can Be a Hobby, It Isn’t a Game

If you work at a demanding full-time job and have a gnarly commute to boot, you probably are not real enthused about spending more time working to start a home business so you can be making money on the side. However this is the very thing you should be doing. It may help to look at it as a hobby – one that you are interested in and find to be a fun project that you look forward to.

@ super business man

The motivation doesn’t even have to be making money – you can imagine not having that grizzly commute and just working from home someday, kicked back with your feet up, enjoying the journey as much as the thought of the eventual destination. The point is this could be critical someday, so find a reason to love it and pour whatever is left of yourself by the time you get home into it.

We can never know what is around the corner. Whether it is going to be something that helps or something that hinders. Therefore we need to be prepared, and making the most money now, while you still can, is a wise decision. There is a whole laundry list of possible disasters of varying magnitudes that could befall you and your family. If you had some money saved and/or an alternate way to support yourself well-established, landing on your feet would be a lot more sure.

So many things that we may have grown up being accustomed to are either gone or in a precarious state. You just never know what will happen to the company you are depending on to pay you a pension. Their investments can tank just like your own. There is no longer the concept of ‘too big to fall’. We have seen the biggest corporations fall to their knees and it can happen to individuals as well, as a result.

We saw what happened to millions of people in the last ‘recession’ where people lost their money on the stock market and even lost their homes that they worked all their lives to buy. We saw people who were reaching retirement age realize they had insufficient retirement funds and instead of planning a trip to Cabo they find themselves looking for part-time jobs for senior citizens. It’s just tragic. It’s heartbreaking to imagine looking forward all your life every day to something that is only a mirage, built with ‘funny money’.

What is the risk for you to invest your spare time in starting a home business to start making money so that you can feel a little more secure? For one thing, if nothing catastrophic happens where you need the money, you may be pleasantly surprised when you see you actually have enough money saved to buy something you really want but felt you couldn’t afford, like a new car or to take a vacation now while you still can.

The bottom line is it isn’t a game – if you are going to start a home business you need to take it seriously. Your home is a ‘kicked back’ environment, and lots more relaxed than the hostile corporate or retail work environment; however this could mean that you have to even more so be really determined and focused – absolutely committed, so that you will stay motivated to take care of business.