Working from Home

telecommuting

telecommuting (Photo credit: jessamyn)

This blog isn’t all about business. In fact, that’s not even the main focus of it. It’s about living better- better health, better finances, better spirits, better living. Business comes in as part of that, because we all would like “just a little bit more money,” and so I want to help point the way.

But not all of us are cut out for business. Not everyone wants to own or run a business. So how can earn a little extra income without running a business?

There are many ways you can earn a little extra at home. Some are more obscure than others, and a lot have misconceptions surrounding them. So starting this week, once a month I’ll post a new “Work at home” tip. These are specifically geared for those who want to work from home, but earning just enough to supplement their income, rather than a business to replace it.

Specifically, these ideas will be done with moms in mind- those who stay at home with their children and don’t have a lot of time to invest in a new business, or may not even want to. Ready- set- go!

Today’s tip- Use what you know

I’ll get more detailed into this in a later post, but for starts I just wanted to do a broad coverage. Many times, working from home just requires using skills you already have. Are you good at cleaning? Try and see if you can find domestic cleaning jobs, perhaps on Craigslist. Writing? There are a host of freelancing websites out there- some are better than others, so be careful what you sign up for. Are you good with kids, or do you have in-depth knowledge on a certain academic subject? Perhaps babysitting or tutoring is the job for you.

We all have varied skills. Some of us are more knowledgeable on some subjects than others. But we all have ways we can apply that knowledge to the benefit of our family.

Example: my husband is a certified computer nerd. He loves nothing more than to take apart a computer just to see how it works. So when I got to talking with an acquaintance who mentioned some computer problems she was having, I mentioned my husband. Usually, he can figure out a problem, and can pretty well fix anything, especially if it’s a virus. Well, as it turned out, we weren’t able to fix the computer- the motherboard was shot. But, she later gave us her daughter’s computer to fix, which had a virus. We were able to fix that computer- and unexpectedly, got paid for it!

That’s just a simple example. There are countless others I could give. The point is, be open to opportunities, even with strangers. You never know where something might come up! Examine your knowledge and skills, and see what use you can make of them.

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The Sweatpants Conundrum

When I considered what to post on this morning, there were two topics that came to mind. Both have to do with working from home. I labored in indecision for a while, but when I considered that I already needed to implement the second choice for myself, I decided to go with it.

It all comes down to this. Take a survey and ask any professional or blue-collar layman about the perks of working from home. Two of the top answers will be about making your own hours or being your own boss. The third one will likely involve the novelty of getting to wear sweats to work.

Now turn around and ask the same question to someone who works from home. Particularly, ask them what they wear when “going to work.” The answer may surprise you.

It’s a common theme that is spoken about across various WAH blogs, sites, articles, and anything else having to do with working from home. It’s true, the allure of being able to show up at “the office” wearing nothing more classy than what you wore to bed is definitely appealing.

But it doesn’t work.

The mind is a curious thing. It responds to stimulation in our environment and circumstances. It judges our attitude by the mood that we set, and responds accordingly. Sweatpants are inherently relaxing. They are comfortable, perfect for a lazy day of doing absolutely nothing.

So that’s what ends up happening. In fact, I did it myself just this morning. I followed my usual morning routine, which involved, among other things, goofing around on the computer for an hour or two. In my sweatpants. And I got nothing accomplished.

When I was ready to work, I logged in to my usual site and started my work day. But I wasn’t focused. Because I was still wearing sweatpants. After a short time with no progress, I realized my problem, and promptly got up to change. I dressed in pants I knew I was prepared to go out in and set to work.

Within five minutes, I had selected my workload for the day, had my room straightened up, and prepared today’s blog post.

You don’t have to dress up. But at the least, get dressed. It makes all the difference.

– Jeans, khakis, or other pants. Comfortable enough to wear, but nice enough that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to go out in.

– Put your hair up. I throw mine back in a simple ponytail. If it’s in the way, it annoys me. Remember the girl in that awesome movie, A Series of Unfortunate Events? Violet. When her hair was pulled back, it signified something. It meant she was working. It’s the same here. If you’re not going to fix it up, at least brush it!

– Deodorant. Need I say more?

– A shower, if needed. I don’t take a shower every day- usually about every other day. But when I’m having a really hard time getting the umption to work, often a shower will clear my head and make me feel more prepared.

– Grab something to eat. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s not just cliche. That first meal sets the standard for the rest of the day. I’ll admit, I’m really bad about that one. My breakfast usually hits around 11 am. But then, my workday starts around 12, so it works out.

– Make a cup of joe. If you need an additional boost, go for it. I’ve cut down on the amount of coffee I used to have, but I still enjoy a good cup of coffee to get my mind going.

Now get to work! What are your workday routines?

Discipline to Work

I missed yesterday’s post. I’ll admit it. It was supposed to be about business; in fact, I had it all planned in my mind- a look at the Starbucks model.

But things don’t always go as planned. People showed up, and I never did get my work done. Any of it.

But! Today is a new day, so here’s to a new start. You’ll have to wait for next week for the business post, though. Sorry!

Some days, though, you just don’t feel like working. When you’re your own boss, the motivation is even worse since there’s no one looking at your shoulder. This is what my day is like today. I’d much rather sit and pretend that I’m a vegetable- just one of those days.

But where motivation fails, discipline takes over. I can’t afford to take a day off so easily like that. I’m already going to be missing a few days this week, thanks to a retreat this weekend. So I need to stay on top of it and work.

That’s when I force my motivation. I work because not doing so is not an option. It’s not because I can’t afford it, although I certainly could use the money. But bills aren’t a real motivator; their screaming voices are too easily shushed by a lazy attitude. Rather, the motivation has to come from within.

Discipline is inward motivation.

Simply put, I don’t make it an option to skip work. It’s not in my mindset. The work gets done, whether I feel like it or not. And I find that with that attitude, I’m able to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time.  It takes a lot to work from home; half of it is in that inward motivation. Without the boss giving you that outward motivation, you need discipline to motivate you from the inside.

It’s the only way it will work.

What motivates you?

Intro to Business

 

 

Every Monday, I sit down with a woman who has a dream of one day owning her own cafe. This dream of hers is very specific- a place where you can come in, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee at your leisure, where you can get caught up on work and friendships.

For this dream to become reality takes work. It also takes imagination for it to succeed. A business does not just come on its own out of the blue. It needs something to give it a push, to make it stand.

And that’s where I come in. I have been working from home for a few years now, and in that time, I have learned a lot on a lot of topics. Mostly, I have gained a lot of understanding about business.

For instance- we all know that marketing is important to a business, but did you know that a business plan must be heavily integrated with marketing? Did you know that even a work-from-home business often requires trips beyond your front door? Did you know you can start your own business with very little capital to work from?

Many myths abound about home and small businesses. I aim to dash these myths into the ground and supply you with real, honest information. I’ll share tips on how to get started and keep it running. I will show you the importance of technology and how you can use it for your own business. I’ll reveal the truth behind the glory and I’ll point out mistakes that you can avoid.

This is MY dream. I want to help others achieve success- not in getting rich, because I am far from it myself, but the true success of building your own dream and doing what you love.

* Just as for this lady I mentioned, I also do provide one-on-one consulting. Find me on my “Contact” page and send an email for help in getting started or for help with an already established business, or if you just would like some personal tips for your business. Consulting rates are personalized based on the established level of the business and your personal ability to pay, and only AFTER a personal consultation about it.