Imagine being an entrepreneur who jumped out of bed this morning ready and eager to work on your home-based business. You cheerfully sit down at your desk with your action plan for the day in one hand, and a mug of tea of coffee in the other, totally focused to take another giant step towards achieving you goals.
Alternatively, did you find yourself taking time to get started, being distracted by the news, your emails, your Facebook conversations, and any other time-sucking, non-productive activities? Let’s be honest, isn’t it so easy to get caught up in the web of these often idle, and valueless actions. We’ve all done it at some time or other, and probably found some justifiable (at least to ourselves) excuses for our behavior.
Being an entrepreneur working from home has its challenges, some you might know, and others you might not. Let’s address three hidden challenges that could block or stand in the way of your success.
Hidden Reason 1: Resigning Yourself to the Bane of the Lone Wolf
Entrepreneurs who operate solo from home soon realize that running your own business entails some hard work. Much of this work appears in the guise of ‘grunt labor’, namely mailing packages, answering phones, maintaining websites — all the stuff that somebody else does when you work for a larger company.
This time consuming, intimidating work can be frustrating. After all, you set out in your home business because you have a desire, expertise, or passion for a particular line of work — not because you enjoy calling FedEx, or UPS to make a special end-of-day pickup. Managing a small home business can seem especially overwhelming when these chores and more, interrupt the flow and the real purpose of hanging out your shingle. It’s tough to believe how much time it actually takes to set up and organize an office.
Unfortunately, it comes with the territory, at least at first. Everything belongs to you – those professional and not so professional type duties. There’s office management, the necessary bookkeeping, establishing a web presence, marketing and promoting your services and a whole lot more. Look forward to growing your business large enough to afford to hire someone to take care of the everyday stuff. In the meantime, consider finding some resources to outsource those time-consuming and less cost-effective tasks that need attention.
Learning how to manage and market your business requires a skill set that probably wasn’t part of your professional training curriculum. The main thing is to recognize that there are countless resources out there to help you.
Hidden Reason 2: Searching for the 25th Hour
As you’re probably aware, owning your own business consumes many, many, many more hours than you were ever accustomed to working in your cushy, cozy 9 to 5 position, especially in the beginning. You’re your own worst taskmaster and brutal slave driver, subjecting yourself to more working hours than you ever would for someone else.
Home-based business entrepreneurs are notorious for creeping into the office long before the sun even thinks about rising and staying there until the moon hangs high in the night sky.
Why? This passion to nurture and grow your business is intoxicating, and very addictive. You want to give it your all.
If you want to avoid burnout, melt-downs, partner screaming and dog-kicking, re-charging your batteries is a “must do” practice you need to initiate daily. Developing a regular ‘time away from the office’ routine.
I like to start my day with a short yoga practice and meditation, and then every couple of hours I get up from sitting in front of my computer, do some stretching exercises, and when possible, go for a brisk walk around the block.
If you ignore this sage advice, you’ll burn out long before you accomplish what you want to do.
Hidden Reason 3: Realizing Success Comes with a Price Tag
Entrepreneurs succeed because they position themselves as the expert in a particular market segment. This success comes with a price tag. The expert in any given niche actually needs to know quite a bit about their field. The buck stops with you. When you say something about your industry, you had better be 110% sure of your facts. Give out false information, and your expertise status soon dwindles. Don’t give your target market reason to question and doubt your expertise.
Finally, working for yourself in your home business can be very lonely. Giving up the camaraderie and support that you had in an office setting or the fun chats you had around the water cooler, may not seem like a big deal, but there are going to be some very long Wednesday afternoons when even the annoying copier guy is welcome interruption. Remember that everyone has a need for peers and companionship. Make sure you look for people you respect who you can bounce ideas off of on a regular basis.
Being an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding, and has plenty of definite advantages, from determining your own schedule to your controlling own destiny. Embrace and enjoy it!