I’m sure that writing a post about why people should avoid starting a home business might strike some as odd since the aim of this website is the help people with precisely that.
However I think that it’s only fair for people to know exactly what it is that they’re getting themselves into because for the most part, so many people are getting into business for the wrong reasons and with unrealistic expectations.
After being online for about 18 months now, I can honestly say that the difference between my expectations and mindset from when I first got started compared to now is enormous. So what I thought I’d do is share with you the realizations and growth that I’ve experienced throughout that time period so that you can learn from my mistakes and save a lot of time and money in the process.
My Thoughts in the Beginning
I was 21 when I first heard about home business opportunities, MLM, affiliate marketing, passive and residual income.
So although there was a part of me (the side that society has conditioned to accept that everyone is set up for employment and that the rich/self employed are exceptionally talented individuals – not true by the way) thought that it was all a pile of bullcrap.
I mean please, how can these people make 5 figures a month just by earning commissions? Aren’t all commissions tiny? Surely they are nothing compared to a stable, set hourly wage! (I don’t think like that anymore thankfully).
However, despite my narrow minded thought processes at the time, the other side of me lit up like a bonfire and sought to find out everything I could about it how these people were making 5-6 figures per month.
So I took the opportunity as it presented itself and I attended a home biz opp. meeting, got super inspired by the stories, my hopes for the future was rekindled, and I felt a sense of glee at finding an escape route away from work politics and corporal ass kissing.
If you’ve ever been to a home business opportunity meeting, then you may have noticed that you either walk out of those meetings convinced that you just witnessed a scam meeting of the highest order, or that the opportunity of a lifetime just landed at your feet.
I was the latter.
Rich people claiming that everyone who joins can get rich quick too, what can possibly go wrong?
A Few Months in…
I have no problem in admitting that my naivety was nothing short of problematic to say the least and that I sucked at the beginning (still do at times since 18 months is nothing compared to the amount of things that I need to learn when it comes to online marketing).
Information overload was something that I experienced on a regular basis, I had no idea how to market my business online (the company didn’t teach any form of online marketing so I had to do all the research and learning myself – cold calling and wondering the streets begging people for their email wasn’t a smart way to do business…), and although that sense of excitement that got me to start a business in the first place was still there, the fun factor was slowly diminishing and I realized it wasn’t as easy as the claimed it to be.
See that’s the thing with home business opportunity meetings. Although the stories and income potential are no doubt extraordinary, most people start off with the wrong mindset, have false expectations, and are fed misleading information that success is a walk in the park (I’ll be writing a post about this later one).
So I guess the lesson here is no matter what opportunity (or any product/service for that matter) that you get exposed to, it’s important to always think critically about the offer, the pros and cons, and access your own expectations and goals before starting (or buying).
Also ask yourself is it really relevant to what you’re doing? Because god knows I’ve bought so many info products and courses that weren’t in alignment with my true goals.
Back to the Present
Thankfully I’ve come to terms with what it really takes to build a business that matters at this point in time.
Although it has taken me a lot longer than I originally wanted to, all I can say is that people learn things at their own pace and that it’s not something that can be rushed no matter how desperate or needy you are for the answers at the time.
There is no shame in taking longer than somebody else to learn something because we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Even though I haven’t reached the level of success that I want yet (no way in hell am I quitting), coming to terms and working on improving the following things have made quite a difference to my attitude towards my business, and has allowed me to get my crap together to actually start treating my business for what it really is: a business.
6 Things Business Owner’s Must Understand or Else
1/ Not Knowing the Difference Between Work and Play
More often than I’d like to admit, when I’m supposed to be doing work, I find myself getting in touch with my inner geek and playing video games, Youtubing fluffy animals, reading or indulging in Japanese animation instead of doing keyword research, writing, or anything remotely productive at all for that matter.
See here’s what I did.
I use Firefox as my web browser and there is the option to display all of your bookmarks in a toolbar near the top.
My bookmarks were a mixture of my work related websites AND my non work related sites (you can see where this is going can’t you?)
So halfway through, let’s say keyword research for example, I get a little ADHD and click on Youtube and spend a few minutes (hours?) there.
Then I go back to work… then I go to Google analytics to check my stats… then back to work… then I watch a few episodes of anime… and by the time I tell myself that I’m a terrible human being and for the love of god I seriously need to get SOMETHING done at least, it’s midnight and I’ve done squat.
It’s either this or my friends and I go a little bat shit crazy over a Tekken tournament and get drunk (kidding I don’t drink actually but they do. It’s funny watching them become mindless apes and slap each other).
This is what happens when you don’t have a clear line between work and play.
For my business, I crammed all the fun stuff together with my work so focusing was extremely difficult not surprisingly. So I decided to get myself another laptop and turn that into my work station).
It’s quite empty actually (which is a good thing). It’s only got one folder which contains my work resources, and a word processing program.
No other distractions to entice my trigger happy, ADHD ways and I actually manage to get a lot of my work done this way.
Also, I’ve found that using this free software called Dark Room (or Write Room for Mac Users) has helped me with focusing on writing. This is what it looks like when you load the program to write a post.
You can argue that there is Microsoft Word, but being able to see the internet browser and other goodies on the taskbar at the bottom of my screen distracts me.
2/ All the Decision Making Falls Into Your Hands
This does sound like a major perk at first. You call all the shots and you don’t have somebody jumping down your throat for acting on what you think is best for yourself and your business.
The downside is there will be times where you will make crap decisions, probably end up losing money, get scammed, and acknowledging the fact that you need to take complete responsibility for the consequences of your decisions is more than some people can take.
In other words, they crack and quit.
Working for yourself is awesome no doubt about it, but I’m sure that there have been times where you know that you are supposed to respond to that email, or get that article published already but hold it off because you tell yourself that it can be done later or it’s not “perfect” yet.
And let’s not forget the line of reasoning where you’ve been such a “hard worker” (by this I mean spending more time than necessary reading and admiring other people’s work instead of creating stuff of your own) lately that you reward yourself with a 4 hour break to shoot things online.
See this is what happens when you’re your own boss.
You reward yourself when you don’t deserve it.
When you have no idea what you’re doing, you more often than not make very poor decisions like putting off for tomorrow what can be done for today.
You slack off because you don’t get punished and who actually goes through with punishing themselves when they don’t do (or do) something?
Successful people make quick decisions and act quickly to make their plan come to life as soon as possible.
Unsuccessful people take their time in making decisions, and are slow in executing their plans.
Which one would you rather be?
3/ The Problem With the Non Existent Schedule
The idea of working for yourself and getting things done whenever you feel like it sounds awesome doesn’t it?
It’s probably one of the reasons why we’re all home business owners right?
Sad to say but it’s also one of the reasons why so many people (myself included) have so much trouble actually getting work done, if any at all, by the end of the day.
What happens is that we have an awful tendency to say to ourselves “Hey, I have all day to get this done. I’ll get to it eventually but right now saving the non-existent kingdom of Hyrule is much more important. Yes, my work can wait until after”.
Or something along those lines…
Working from home requires an immense amount of discipline. So it’s important to note that running a home business does not mean that schedules should be thrown out the window.
If you think that you’ve got all day to do something, then it WILL take you ALL day to do something.
And I’m pretty sure you have other things you’d rather be doing throughout the day rather than working right?
Set time slots and “deadlines” within your day to get your work done. And by that I mean an hour or 2 (up to you) dedicated to nothing but work, no distractions.
Personally I’ve found that the shorter the time slot (30 minutes to an hour for me) helps me with productivity. The time that you set for yourself is up to you. My focus is horrendous so if I try to make it any longer, I’ll just drift off…
Point is, no matter what deadlines or time slots you set for yourself, make sure you stick to them. If you haven’t got all of your work done it’s ok. Just take a little break and get back cracking at it next time.
4/ Getting Into “Work Mode”
Normally, people motivate themselves to get their ass to work on time to avoid termination or public humiliation in front of their co-workers by their disgruntled boss.
But we home business owner’s aren’t “normal” now are we?
No, we wake up when these people have their lunch. Or indulge ourselves in sleep more than necessary than the average person because we can (I am totally not referring to myself here…*cough*)
Anyway the point is, it’s so damn easy to put off work when you’re at home. There’s just so many damn distractions in the way!
There’s the Playstation over here, the piano over there, and let’s not forget the adorable pets who can’t seem to leave you alone when you finally get the motivation to get started for the day.
I used to do my work with the Playstation (and TV) behind me, my novels and manga in the other corner, and my comfy bed on the side (I don’t think you’d be surprised to know that I spent a lot of time on the bed playing my Playstation huh?).
Find a quiet area in your house that you can turn into your work office. Trap yourself into an empty room and stare at an empty wall if you have to, whatever it takes to get you clear of distractions.
Right now, I work in a small room in my house that is pretty much empty save for a couch and a cute fish tank. Nice relaxing environment if I do say so myself and it sure beats having an internal war with myself over whether I should spend the next hour working or picking bar fights with drunken cowboys in Red Dead Redemption (one of my fav PS titles).
5/ No Work Buddies
I’m going to be honest here. All of the workmates that I’ve met in my life weren’t exactly the most friendly of individuals so I don’t really see this so much as a downside than a major perk.
It’s a combination of that and the fact that I’m actually a loner by nature to be honest. I like my peace and quiet, spending time by myself, and find it the perfect environment to get my thoughts together.
However, that’s not to say that working from home makes you a completely anti social human being (yes I actually do have a social life thank you very much).
There are a lot of people who run home businesses and have very active social lives. Actually as ironic as this may sound, the people that I know who have a “job” at home behind a laptop are more social than the ones with jobs!
Or maybe that’s just me…
Social media has made it extremely easy to connect with people no matter where they are.
So it’s all up to you to reach out and connect with people online. Where I’m from, home business owner’s are mythical people who don’t exist. Nobody has heard of what I’m doing nor do they care for that matter so it’s pretty cool to have others who think like me to talk to, even if they’re on the other side of the world.
Not all relationships need to be face to face to be of good quality. A lot of the people I’ve met online have later on turned out to be good friends to me, and I’ve got good reason to believe that if you reach out to people in the same space as you, you’d friends who can enrich your personal and business life too.
6/ Beastly Level of Discipline Required
If you’ve managed to read all the way up to here, then this point is pretty much obvious by now.
Building an online business is hard work and you need discipline or else you’re going to fail.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying to you so you can join their business, or they’re pretty much ill informed and you need to link them to this article (share the love!)
What with all the learning, implementing, and tweaking required (all of these are rinsed and repeated endlessly by the way), it’s no wonder people’s heads explode of their shoulders and they quit due to overwhelm.
So, if after having read all this you still and are aware of the difficulties that come with running a home business, you make the decision to soldier on or start your own business anyway, then I’d take my hat off to you if not for the fact that I don’t actually own one.
Despite all the hardships, being a part of this industry is so worth it. I’m not sure about you, but how many “career’s” do you know that encourage positive thinking, personal development, and potentially limitless income to boot?
So which one of these procrastinating and focus snatching dilemmas have you experienced? Or are there any that I haven’t added to this list? If so then drop a comment below and don’t forget to share this post!