Work from Home: How to Go from Dreaming About It to Making It a Reality
When I told my friends I wanted to work from home, they looked at me like I had three heads. I can’t blame them, really. At that point, I had no plan, just a dream.
It would’ve remained just a dream if I hadn’t come up with a step-by-step plan to turn the idea into a reality.
Most people forget this planning stage and so end up just wanting to work from home, without it actually happening. I don’t want that to be the case for you. So we’re going to share with you the decisions you need to make and steps to take to get going.
You see,working from home isn’t just a dream. For thousands of people, it has become a reality Click To TweetThere are so many opportunities: from joining an existing opportunity to becoming independent, opportunities abound. But how do you know what is the best option for you and how to make this work?
It is possible to figure this out, but only if you go about it correctly. First, you must decide what is best for you:
Join an existing work-from-home opportunity
Keep your job, but go remote
Once you’ve made that decision, there are three key aspects to working from home that you need to keep in mind:
- Your ideal work environment
- Get ready for a bumpy ride
Let’s start from the top. First, you need to make a decision about joining an existing opportunity or striking out on your own.
Joining an existing work from home opportunity
A simple Google search will reveal hundreds (if not thousands) of work from home opportunities. Some of them are legit, and many, unfortunately, are not. If this is the route you wish to take, do your due diligence.
Choosing an opportunity like this may be perfect, especially if you don’t feel you have marketable skills (more on that next). They’re usually low start-up cost and so low risk on investment. But you do have to look out for scam companies. A few tips:
*if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If they’re offering you 6 figures for working four hours a week, it’s likely a scam.
Do your research:
*ask around if anyone has heard of them.
*search for the name of the company with the word scam. Does anything credible come up? You need to wade through any unmerited complaints and look for testimonials that seem detailed and honest.
*check out their social media for common complaints/issues
*is there a way to contact them if you have questions/issues? Some companies make it near impossible to directly contact them (via tickets, phone, or email). I use this as a warning sign.
Feeling brave? You may want to step out on your own. This is highly doable and rewarding. But, like anything, it has its challenges. To do this, you need to:
- Figure out what your marketable skills are
What can you do that the market needs? Most of us have skills that serve a need. You need to figure out how to turn your skills into your own work from home opportunity. Your skill may be something that can be consulting or writing or customer service. Google work from home skills. The key is to find a match between what you can do and what is in demand and what can be done from home. The sweet spot is finding something that you also enjoy doing, at least most of the time. But that may not happen and you may have to do work that you don’t enjoy at the beginning to build up a base of clients and experience as an independent.
2. Market yourself. Relentlessly
The number one skill for working for yourself is marketing. You will have to figure out how to market yourself and have a sound plan to back it up. Working for yourself can be a feast or famine existence. The only thing that will help is if you learn how to market yourself efficiently.
There’s no marketing formula that works for every person, in every industry, in every location. Research ideas and suggestions and start trying. Allocate a set amount of time for this. In the beginning, before you have clients, you’ll spend most of your time marketing. You read that right, not complaining about not having clients or worrying about your lacking income, but marketing.
If this sounds scary to you, take a deep breath. When you get into the groove of it, you’ll realize that it’s not as formidable as it seems. You can find the marketing strategy that feels right for you. It will take time and testing to get there, though.
Stay with your current job, go remote.
Is it possible for your job to be done remotely? This way you can do the same job but work from home. Or for you to find a remote job? Your first reaction is probably..ummm, no, my boss would never allow that. But, wait. Don’t jump to conclusions; just come up with a strategy for transitioning. A simple search for ‘how to work remotely’ brings up a plethora of researching for you to explore.
Now that we’ve covered your options, let’s move on to the key mindset tools you need to have moving forward.
Whether you are independent or working for someone else, focus will make or break your work-from-home experience. Because you are working from home, there are so many possible distractions. When the bed, television, and kitchen are all within reach, it suddenly becomes difficult to focus. If you are not careful, you can spend the day bouncing between the fridge and couch and desk, getting little to no focused work done.
That’s not an option. You have to learn to work just as efficiently (if not more) from home.
A few suggestions:
*Structure your day
*Use a timer
*Work on only one thing at a time
*Turn of phone, email, and social media notifications
*Make it clear to friends and family that you work from home. This means your schedule is to be respected (this may take some time for them to get the point and not pop over midday).
*Get dressed if you need to. Some people find they work more productively if dressed for work. Everyone is different.
Experiment, track your habits and output, and figure out what’s best for you.
Maintaining a dedicated work environment
Make your work from home environment as suitable as possible for productivity. If working from the kitchen table makes you think of food, try to get a dedicated desk and space for working that you only use for productive tasks.
Quiet is also super important. It’s tough to get anything done if you are interrupted and distracted by noise around you. Find a space that is best.
Get ready for a bumpy ride
Working from home can be a wonderful experience and may be the change in work that you need. But keep in mind that it can also be a bumpy ride. It will take time and energy for you to figure out what works best for you (in terms of finances, productivity, family, and lifestyle). Don’t go into it thinking it is the ultimate panacea and answer to every prayer. Instead, be ready for challenges and be open and flexible to adjust as needed. Most of all: have fun with it.