Being an entrepreneur and working from home has to be one of the most rewarding opportunities available to us.
What other business or organization would allow you to work in your slippers with curlers in your hair (or whiskers on your face!) while speaking with clients, negotiating contracts, or managing transactions?
How many jobs will afford you the opportunity to take a 15-minute break to get dinner on the stove or plant a flower garden?
None that I'm aware of.
Today was a workday for me. It was designated as record keeping, strategic planning, creative thinking, get-everything-in-order day.
Today I …
- wrote several business articles
- cleaned up my e-mail inbox
- paid bills
- updated my business expense spreadsheet
- analyzed my monthly income statement
- reviewed last month's activities and revisited strategies and goals for the month ahead
- reviewed my client files to determine whether or not check-in e-mails were in order
I accomplished everything I set out to and more.
While working on the above tasks, I took several 15- minute breaks. During these breaks I …
- did two loads of laundry
- cleaned a bathroom
- weeded one flower bed
- raked a few dead leaves off the lawn
- got supper started
When I need to get away from my desk for a while, I take little “breaks" that allow me to work on a small task around the house.
Sometimes, I just sit on my back deck with a glass of grape juice or water in my hand, and enjoy the warm sun as I watch the chipmunks; squirrels and foxes run around the yard.
It's a little piece of heaven.
I remember the days when I crawled out of bed in the morning, scraped an inch of ice off my windshield, and headed to work.
Parking is very expensive in our downtown core, so I would park in a lot a few blocks from my workplace to get a reduced rate. I would wear multiple layers of clothing, big mitts and a warm hat and scarf so I wouldn't freeze while walking (make that running!) to my office building.
It would be dark when I went to work and it would be dark when I left for home at the end of the day. I seldom saw the sun during the winter months.
By Friday evenings I would be dog-tired and not interested in any social interaction. I just wanted to sleep.
I spent my weekends doing laundry, cleaning house, and taking care of family commitments. Every Sunday evening I would feel sadness and anguish, knowing I was about to repeat the cycle again.
As I sat on my deck for a short while today enjoying the warm spring sun, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my business and I acknowledged myself for the long evening and weekend hours I dedicated myself to in order to build my business.
I worked hard. As a matter of fact, I still work hard, but it's different when it's something you love. Sometimes I put in really long days, and sometimes I slow the pace a little to maintain balance.
There were times when I didn't know if I could go on without burning out, but thankfully, I had a great peer group of coaches who were always there to back me up and cheer me on.
To me, the reward of having my own home-based business is the freedom to choose how I manage my time.
I have the freedom to be creative.
I have the freedom to plan my tasks as I see fit, and the only person I answer to when there is a setback, is myself.
I am the captain of my ship and although I run a tight one (I'm harder on myself than any boss ever was), I still consider it a never-ending victory cruise.
Building and growing a successful home-based business requires intense desire, steadfast dedication, a solid plan, sacrifice, quality products and services, specific skills, ongoing support, risk taking, and an unwavering belief in yourself and your dream.
Would I do it all over again given the choice? You bet!
As a matter of fact, if I had a magic wand I would roll the clock back 20 years and start much earlier.
Being a home-based business owner is a rewarding dream and is worth every minute of effort needed to make it real.
Laurie Hayes, founder and visionary behind The HBB Source™ helps government and corporate employees break free of their jobs to live their dream of entrepreneurship. To subscribe to her FREE e-zine for valuable resources designed to create business success, visit http://www.thehbbsource.com