Working from home can be an amazing, rewarding, and life-changing experience! Although it takes a higher level of dedication and perseverance, the freedom working from home can offer is definitely worth the journey. And with all the different ways to work from home and new opportunities available, anyone can do it! Of course, this isn’t to say working from home is every person’s cup of tea because it is not an easy road; but if you are here, you’re thinking about it and that’s the first step! So please let me be one of the first to say Yay!
My goal is to maybe shine a little light on the wonderful world of working from home before you start your search and get bombarded with get-rich-quick schemes, “make money now” gimmicks, or pyramid scams. I’ve fallen for more tricks then I’d care to admit, but now I look at those experiences as life lessons. I am definitely not saying it wasn’t frustrating; however, I was able to learn the most valuable lesson—it takes hard work, dedication, and lots of heart! As I mentioned before, not everyone will enjoy or even want to work from home. This is why I feel before we can discuss the necessary equipment, recommended services, or possible financial investments, we need to talk about the driving force behind your success or failure—your mindset. Although it does take a certain about of knowledge, skill, and education to work from home; whether as a business owner or remote employee, the mindset you keep will determine your success or failure. In my opinion, your state of mind is the foundation of being a successful entrepreneur.
When I first started looking for ways to make money from home, I think I gave up about 150 million times because it was overwhelming and almost disheartening. There were times I felt I would never succeed or reach my goals. But as Mr. Heywood so eloquently stated, Rome wasn’t built in a day—and after licking my wounds for a while, I decided not to give up! Over the last few years, I have discovered it takes much more than skill or knowledge or even money to work from home or own your own business. So I came up with what I call the 3 Ds; a way to keep my mind in a positive and motivated state to realize my dream of working from home.
3 Ds- Discipline, Dedication, & Drive
The 3 Ds are the foundation of which your business or how you work is based on. While discovering ways to work from home, I quickly learned the first thing required is patience and perseverance. Working from home also requires one to stay focused, stay grounded, and stay humble. But we’ll talk about all of this while exploring the 3 Ds.
Working from home or running your own business takes a lot of discipline because you have to enforce the rules on yourself. What tasks need to be completed and the timeframe for each and how much will be spent on business needs are a couple of duties involved. It takes discipline to work when you have a choice to do something more fun. This is how you transform from an employee to the boss; from being told what to do, to making the important decisions. The key to remaining disciplined is developing good habits. Recently, my pastor shared a quote that really resonated with me: “Successful people do consistently what others do occasionally.” Basically, success is not going to find you in one day or after one try. Success is the result of many small positive steps of discipline. This helps me stay grounded, knowing that the journey is taken one step at a time.
Looking back on my journey to working from home, I think the best analogy to describe the experience is a locomotive leaving the dock. The take-off is torturously slow and it requires so much effort, but once the train gets to moving- it is very hard to stop! Working from home can be the same, a slow start where you not making much money to making a decent living; however, it is all up to you. It does take time, but your results are a reflection of your efforts. Dedication kicks in when it gets difficult or you feel it would be easier to just find a regular job. Again, I turn to Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life Church regarding the 3 reasons why we are not successful in reaching goals. The first is our distorted self-identity sabotages our success, or don’t believe we can be entrepreneurs. The next is we focus on the “what” but not the “how”; meaning, we want to make lots of money working from home but not really looking at what it takes to get to that level. And the last, but I believe is the biggest reason people are not successful is we don’t see results or progress fast enough. Stay focused on the bigger picture and the goal of working from home.
This is the motivation behind why you want to work from home. Whether it’s to have more time with the kids or be able to fulfill your dream of traveling the world; this is the force you’ll use to keep it pushing! Initially, I wanted to work from home because I couldn’t find a job in my area and I needed a way to provide for my boys. But now, I want to work from home so I have more freedom to enjoy my boys’ high school events. It’s wonderful to be able to attend games when I had to work before. Your drive should not be just to make money, it has to be more personal than money. When the road gets bumpy and seems so long, your “drive” is what will keep you pushing. There are days I just want to sleep in and have a lazy day but I remember why I work from home- my boys, and I keep it pushing! Not only to provide but to show them how hard work can pay off. My boys help me stay humble and remind me of where I started.
The 3 Ds are my way of building a strong mindset and creating a solid foundation for a successful brand. Working from home or operating a business is not easy; it will bring challenges. You will get tired and discouraged, people who don’t want you to succeed will try to bring you down and test you to see how bad you really want it. But success will find you if you are diligent, focused, and determined. Hopefully, this will help prepare your mind for successfully working from home.
Skills and Equipment
When working from home, some of the equipment will depend on the job type or career field you choose. For example, a transcriptionist may want or need to have a foot pedal to take control of the audio recording while they type. Or software to help keep track of mileage for merchandisers. However, there are basic skills, tools, and equipment that are usually required in most business operations. This is definitely not a complete list, but it’s based on my experiences with various work from home possibilities.
According to Merriam-Webster, a skill is the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance. So basically, anything and everything you can do well is considered a skill and you will need to tap into that inner pool of greatness. But let’s start with some of the essentials. Basic computer (and smartphone) skills, such as using programs, navigating the internet, and typing are a few that will be required whether you decide to become a remote employee or an entrepreneur. Email is probably one of the more important skills to have because this is how you will communicate with others; whether to an employer regarding upcoming tasks or an entrepreneur marketing new products. Which brings me to another ability that is usually not mentioned but is vital: communication. Written and verbal communication skills are essential to a successful work from home business because this is how you will connect with others; customers, vendors, and colleagues. And if you don’t feel confident in your abilities, don’t worry! You will learn as you go, improve, and then master those skills.
Earlier, we talked about tapping into our inner pool of skills; and what I mean is realizing you have more skills than you think. The experience will guide you with discovering these talents. I worked for a health insurance company as a quality assurance coordinator, making sure all policies and procedures were followed. Of course, typing and navigating programs were skills I was using but in retrospect, I realized it was much more than just typing and running programs. I learned how to create and implement policy guides, run reports based on data in Microsoft programs, and use my creativity for marketing. All of which are beneficial when working from home and they have given me an advantage. So I encourage you to recall and use your experiences and knowledge to your advantage; you will find you know more than you think!
The type of equipment, tools, and programs you will need to work from home will depend on the category of business you choose. However, there are essentials necessary for the home office, whether you’re a business owner or a remote employee. A computer or laptop is the first recommended piece of equipment. I feel silly saying this, but you would be surprised how many people don’t own a computer and use their phone for everything (raising my hand because I was one of those). This is great, but as I progressed with my business, it became difficult to work efficiently on my smartphone. Another recommendation would be a printer/fax/scan/copy machine. I’m not saying it’s an absolute necessity, but having an all-in-one printer has proven to be extremely valuable when working from home. This is especially true for independent contractors who may need to print off instructions or send requested information to clients.
A few tools or programs I would suggest are ones for daily operations, financial tracking, and progress tracking. Microsoft Excel has been a good friend to me; I’m able to organize data, keep track of expenses, and so much more! I would also recommend an application for those who drive a great deal for work-related purposes, such as Mile IQ. QuickBooks Self-Employed is another handy tool that helps me keep track of mileage as well as create invoices for clients, pay other contractors, and keep a record of taxes. Again, this is not to say these programs are absolutely necessary, but somethings you may want to consider as you get further into work from home journey.
Are You Ready?
So many people dream of the financial freedom and flexibility that working from home can offer, but most do not understand how challenging the journey to success can be. However, realizing those dreams are very possible– if you work hard, stay focused, and remember why you want to work from home. You are more prepared than you think! Tap into your hidden skills and talents, and remember to never stop learning! This journey is not only about success and freedom, but it’s also about personal growth. I hope I was able to give you a general, transparent idea of what it takes to work from home and encourage you to follow your dreams!
Now that we have discussed the foundation of a home-based business, please explore SAHBM. Check out ways to work from home and the difference between a Remote Employee and Independent Contractor.
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my page. Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or make a suggestion! And be sure to check back for updates! I wish you much success. =) God Bless!