How NOT to Start a Business Working from Home
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By Kelly Robbins
Three Mandatory Steps to Take Before You Start A Home-Based Business.
So you want to make money working from home…
The first step is to decide what to do and how to start. What most women do is talk to their friends about making money from home – they may bounce ideas off each other, research work at home opportunities online, ask their employer for an alternative work schedule. Women also tend to look for opportunities in the environment they know – such as running an in-home day care or becoming a beauty consultant or doing home party sales. They do this because this is what they know to do. Women know these methods have worked for others and assume it can also work for them too.
These methods, however, often lead women to pursue opportunities that are not true to their nature and the work quickly becomes both un-enjoyable and difficult. Just because a money-making opportunity worked for one or ten others doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Rather than trying out every work from home opportunity that crosses your desk, I encourage you to follow these three steps before determining what avenue to pursue.
1. Look at your life overall and determine where you want to go.
This means defining what you want your life to look like. What do your days look like? Your week? How much do you make? How flexible is your schedule? What are your reasons for creating this lifestyle?
2. Have a clear understanding of where you are at.
You have to know where you are at to get where you want to go. This means understanding your financial situation as well as having a firm grip on your resources, how much time you have available to work, if there is a need to learn a new skill set, and your know-how on starting and running a business. Also ask yourself if you are disciplined enough to work unsupervised. How high is your determination and willingness to take a risk? What is your confidence level? Do you have sales and marketing experience? Industry contacts? How supportive is your spouse?
3. Create a roadmap from where you are at to where you want to go.
This is the “how”. This means you get to fill in your own blanks along the way. As you do this keep in the forefront of your mind no boundaries, and no limits. Just because you don’t know anyone that has created their life with intention doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Your Life. Your Way. Your Terms.
Most people make a true decision to start a home-based business because an opportunity came along and they thought it sounded pretty good. What they don’t do is:
- Take the time to follow their intuition
- Look at what they enjoy doing and how they can use that in a way that helps people
- Find their own way to pursue their passions and follow their dreams
Instead they jump into the first thing that comes along and quickly become discouraged because it’s not a good fit, they aren’t making the money they want and they don’t enjoy their work.
Carving Your Own Path
Creating a home-based business by carving your own unique path is the best way to create your life on your terms.
There is no cookie cutter way to build a business because your path is unique to you and this uniqueness is what is going to make what you offer different and special. It is also what will attract people to you.
Your uniqueness, not your sameness is what makes you stand apart from the crowd.
So, I encourage you not to blindly jump into the next work-from-home opportunity that crosses your path simply because it is easy to get into or because one of your friends is doing it. Take the time to discover what it is that really fires you up and go for it!
There is a difference in “I think I can do that” and “I get so excited when I help people…”
Focusing on the “How”
The biggest mistake women make is they start with step three, figuring out the “how”, and completely skip steps one and two. They spend too much energy focusing on “how” they are going to work from home rather than putting their energy into where they want to go and where they are at now. Because the “how” to achieve your goals will and should look different for everyone.
If you find you are stuck and start spinning your wheels in your business it may be because you are attempting to follow someone else’s “how” and not following your own path. You are following someone else’s path. Ultimately the business just feels wrong and you end up forcing yourself to work rather than having fun with it and truly serving others with passion and commitment. Rather than following your purpose.
I see this all the time in my coaching company, The Copywriting Institute. People choose copywriting as a career in order to achieve their goal of working from home and/or making more money. Writing marketing copy is the “how”. They come to me to learn the skill set of copywriting as well as to get training and coaching on setting up their business.
However, just because it is possible to make good money and work from home creating marketing materials doesn’t mean it is what YOU should do. You need to first discover if writing copy is a good fit for you and why. Why does it belong on your roadmap?
If you are considering starting a work from home venture, or are already working from home and not making the money you desire, I encourage you to go through the three step process outlined above and make sure you aren’t forcing someone else’s “how” onto yourself.
Kelly Robbins, MA, is the founder of The Copywriting Institute, a training and resource center for copywriters. Kelly’s goal is to help every woman that has a strong desire to make her own money and create work life balance do this while working from home. Kelly left her corporate J-O-B of 13 years when her 3rd daughter was born in 2000. She started a business as a freelance copywriter and was easily able to replace her corporate salary and then some! Kelly currently coaches and trains aspiring copywriters marketing and business building techniques, writing marketing and communications copy, and how to make money while creating the lifestyle you CHOOSE to create for yourself. Kelly believes the first step to creating change in your life is making the decision to do it and not turning back. If you are interested in learning more about making money as a freelance copywriter, visit us at The Copywriting Institute and take our freelance copywriting quiz! You can also learn more from Kelly on Facebook.
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