You dream of doing internet marketing from home, selling information on your expertise in your favorite niche. What could be more pleasant? Well, everything is relative, isn’t it? You visualize this new life when your in working mode, working for someone else or you’re having an off-day for some reason – so this dream is a nice contrast.
Have you ever started something new and it’s never the way you expected it? In a bad or good way? The reality of something is often totally different to how we imagine it. Sometimes it easily exceeds our expectations; sometimes the opposite.
The first problem starting your online business from home, isn’t about where to start or knowledge or information or skills. But seeing your business realistically, seeing what it’ll be like actually going about doing the actions you need to do. Working from home can seem to make this easy or easier than traveling somewhere else every day.
As ever, you need to be organized. Here are some ideas for being systematic in your organization.
Your use of time and space
You only have so much of both of these, so how will you use them most effectively? If you have space for an office, that’s great. You can use the space as you want, and use your time as you want because you can shut the door and focus for the periods of time you need to. If you’re in an open space like a dining room or hallway, you might even have to allow time for moving your materials and computer around each day to fit in with family life. That can take a lot of patience.
People work in different ways. There’s no right or wrong. The only criteria in the use of time and space is whether you’re achieving what you set out to do. Take the extremes of the spectrum of working habits or methods.
At one extreme, a person might seem scatty and disorganized, using their time in fragmented blocks. At the other extreme, someone could be so organized they self-defeat any aims to be flexible and more creative in their work and thinking. Most of us will be somewhere between these, yet move toward one end or the other at different times as we deal with the pressures in our lives.
The important thing is to be aware of the things we’re doing, so that we consciously take decisions and actions and aren’t moved by circumstances without being aware of it. The reason the vast majority of people fail in their businesses is because they didn’t ensure that awareness – they made the wrong decisions and/or took the wrong actions.
That is to say, you could do all your actions correctly, including using time and space, but they’re the wrong actions that are required or you made the wrong decisions about what actions to take. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to make these mistakes because you’re “at home”. We all need a working environment of some kind so we can get work done as we need to. This needs to be created from scratch when you’re at home.
Chunking and separating
Effective use of space is simple: keep an area dedicated for working, no matter how small, and even if you have to move stuff in and out each time. It’s a mind set. Maybe that table is used for family meals. But when it’s cleared and your stuff is on there, it’s your work space and should be respected as such, uninterrupted while you’re working. If you can’t totally separate the space then ensure you definitely separate your mind sets for work and non-work in the same space.
If you do have a completely separate and dedicated space for business, there’s really no excuse for misuse of time once you’re in there. Again, some people like to sit at a piece of work and keep going over several hours, with small breaks, until it’s finished. Others will make short dashes at it, perhaps intermixing other tasks at different times during their work time. However long you decide to work in a day or week, and however you use your time to get tasks done, they are only really two basic criteria.
First, consistency. Being at home means you could start being distracted, or begin to look for distractions. Whatever pattern of work you decide on for your weeks or days, you have to keep to it as near as you can. If you can’t, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed, you just have to change that pattern to one you can stick to.
Remember, the only criteria of success is reaching your goal as you intended. Daily and weekly problems come and go – get back on the track you set yourself, or change it based on your experience and then be consistent with that new track.
Second, persistence. As implied already, keeping going is vital, whether it’s slow or fast. Some days you might feel you won’t even get one task done. Other days you get 10 done in the first hour very easily. Whatever happens, it’s following your plan that matters. Once you stop, especially if things haven’t been going too well, it’s more difficult to start again and your mind will come up with all sorts of excuses not to start again.
Finally, it is lots of people’s dream. But really it’s just the same as any other work situation, excepting, at least at first, you’re the decision-making boss and every other role in your business. It’s the same in that it comes down to your continuous business mindset to do what you set out to do – create a business.