A friend recently asked how I have managed to work from home for so long and stay sane. Good questions. As appealing as it sounds, working from home does not suit everyone. Doing it for years requires discipline, self-awareness and careful planning to avoid key traps.
Comments about working from home usually fall into two categories. Some say a home-based business must be a terrific lifestyle with all that supposed extra time and flexibility. Others ask how you can work from home when there are so many distractions.
Both comments are off the mark. I don’t know too many home-based business owners who have oodles of spare time, unless they are struggling for work. And home distractions are usually the least of your problems when work is busy and deadlines are pressing.
A bigger challenge, in my experience, is maintaining networks, developing new skills, and maintaining energy and enthusiasm. In some ways, the routine of corporate life forces you to develop professionally, and stay productive. In home-based business, it’s all up to you.
Your goal as a home-based business owner should be to build a thriving, profitable venture – and have a great lifestyle at the same time. Or put another way, have more money and more time with family and friends – and for yourself.
You won’t achieve it unless you become super disciplined and productive, are ruthless with your time, and understand the nuances of home-based businesses.
What’s your view?
- Do you find it hard to work from home for long periods?
- What are the biggest traps when working from home?
- What advice could you give others to make the experience more enjoyable?
- For those who have worked from home for many years, what has been your biggest learning?
For the record, I still love working from home. I couldn’t imagine being stuck in traffic each day commuting to work, being bound by a 9am to 5pm lifestyle, or wasting time in useless meetings and office politics. But like anything, you have to work at running a home-based business.
As I approach my seventh year of working from home, I have decided to share seven tips so new or prospective home-based business owners can avoid some key traps.