There will be some dark times but you must focus on the light at the end of the tunnel!
Whether you are working from home, just retiring, suffering from an illness or a brand new mom… DON’T LET THE WALLS CLOSE IN ON YOU! Being home has a way of removing you from society. It takes a tremendous pressure off of you but it also can steal your motivation and, if you let it, your happiness. Don’t go from one day to the next and not think about it.
You go to the grocery store, the post office, the school to pick up your children but in essence you are closed off from society. At first it feels good. It feels like a new born sense of freedom. You clean on your house and get out and work in the yard, walk the dogs and enjoy cooking again! Having this new freedom to decide for yourself what your priorities are for the day is a truly awesome feeling. Then, a couple of months go by, and you realize you are not being quite as productive as you were in the beginning. Your days have started to run together. You can literally wake up and not know what day of the week it is. If this is already happening then you are THERE NOW. It’s time to make a change, MOTIVATE YOURSELF and get your Drive back! Find that motivation that will make you get up, get busy and get back on track! This whole staying at home/working at home thing did not come with a set of instruction so you have to make your own to stay on a path to SUCCESS! Start your engine and put it in DRIVE!
To find your Happy Place You Must…
- Ask yourself exactly what is your job, are you focused and are you treating it like a “real” job!
- Commit to it! Own it! But also Control it! Don’t let it control you!
- Know what drives you!
- Be Responsible and have a good attitude!
- Define your objectives and Goals both Short term & long term!
- Know that you are doing whatever it is to the best of your abilities!
- Feel pride in yourself and in what you accomplish each day!
- Acknowledge that accomplishment even if nobody else is around to see it!
What is your “Job”?
Whatever it is, whether it be eCommerce, taking care of loved ones, gardener, a woodworker… whatever “it” is make sure you understand what it will take to be successful doing it. I started out doing ebay and I can tell you I have watched hundreds of videos on youtube in order to learn all I can about it from others that have been doing it much longer than me. If there is a book you can read then READ IT! Do whatever it takes to gain any advantage on the learning curve it will take to be truly successful at what you do. Figure out what it will take to pay your bills. Figure out what days you need to work and how many hours each day. What supplies or equipment do you need? All of these things will have an impact on the length of time it takes you to succeed. Play time is over for a while. In the beginning you literally live and breathe your new business adventure!
Commit to it!
You will NOT succeed if you are not fully committed to this adventure. This is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. You will NOT suceed if you are on the fence. You are either in our you’re out. Period. Make a decision and stand by it or go get a “real” job. Enough said.
What Drives You?
What makes you get up each morning and do what needs to be done each day? Everybody needs to be able to answer this question and acknowledge the reality of the answer. I’m not talking about taking out the trash, washing the car or doing the laundry. I’m talking about networking your business (reaching out to that customer), selling or buying inventory, doing the research to locate those deals that will make your business soar. Doing what needs to be done daily to be successful while working from home.
Did you ever think about the difference in the words Motivation and Drive? To me Motivation is more like a little nudge. It helps you to want to do something. Want to have something. So it falls more under a “want” than a need. Drive comes from a very deep feeling inside us that induces our brain to make us work harder and longer, focus better and even endure more stress while pushing us to the finish line where we have set the goals we strive so hard to reach. One can be motivated but have no drive and never get anything done. One that has the Drive may need no motivation to get it ALL done! Our Drive is what pushes us. It is important to know this. Somebody who feels entitled to a job, maybe they’ve been with the company the longest number of years for example, may be there every day on time and do their job just like it’s supposed to be done because they have that motivation to be a good person, be responsible, do what’s expected of them and get their well deserved (entitled) paycheck. This is not a bad thing to be and can be “good enough.” But, when someone has Drive then being just “good enough” is just not enough! They want more! They want more responsibility, more hours, more customers… may even work long hours without extra pay. These people have Drive. They have something deep inside them that makes them “own” the job and they do it with nobody telling them they have to. They do it because they want to. They do it because the job needs to get done. And they do it knowing there is always room for improvement and higher goals to be set and reached. In my opinion, this Drive is what you need to be successful if you are working from home!
One responsibility leads into another. Do the first one with a good attitude and you will have an even better attitude when you start the next one! Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool! My 1st responsibility in the morning is taking my daughter to school. This means I have to get up Monday thru Friday and make it through the morning with a good attitude. This takes being organized and having a schedule. One of my friends may read this and laugh out loud because I am the last person on this earth to preach to anyone about a schedule but this is very important and I am proof that it is! This schedule starts the night before preparing for the morning. One task leads into the next task. If these tasks are not handled responsibly then it causes a domino affect and we will fall behind schedule. Taking my daughter to school leads into driving around town to see if there are any garage sales going on, hitting the local resale shop or Walgreen’s store for new sale items for Amazon or heading out to Walmart to check their clearance isle for new inventory and sales. After all the years of driving to work each day this also allows me to feel like I’ve “driven to work.” lol 😉 sounds funny but whatever works is what you need to do to find your balance! By the time I head home I am anxious & ready to get started on whatever project is lined up for that day! If we have a rough morning then it takes away some of that drive I need to want to do these other things. If I don’t do these other things then I will not be as productive and it will be like a black cloud following me throughout my day. Positive + Positive = Positive. Positive + a higher degree of Negative = Negative. And you thought your math teacher was just teaching you something you would never use in your life time?!!! 😉
Motivation – What motivates you?
Goals? Fears? Good Moods? Anger? Don’t laugh… lol… I can clean a house faster than lightning, fix a roof, change a flat tire and feel 10′ tall the entire time when I’m angry! We have no fear of failure when we are angry. We just do it. But let’s try to make it happen without such an extreme motivator, okay? lol 😉
Make you a list of what Motivates you to be successful. Your fears (what happens if you don’t do what needs to be done each day)… your hopes (you hope doing”this” will help you to…?)… include the good, bad & ugly. It can be short term that benefits you immediately or long term that benefits you down the road farther out. Do you need to get something paid off or save money for a surgery? I listed my fears separately because they actually came to mind first and were easier for me to list.
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of letting down my kids.
- Fear of utilities getting cut off
- Fear of losing our home
- Fear of the unknown – car breaking down, illness, etc.
My MOTIVATION List to Remember:
- I get to be with my children and actually be a full time mom!
- I get to take care of my family like they should be taken care of! (Instead of only having a few minutes in the morning and a short time at night when I was too exhausted to even do anything with them most of the time.)
- I have the choice to make $1500 per month or $15,000! SET THOSE GOALS!
- I can plan a vacation with my family that won’t get cancelled due to a company, a boss or a coworker that has leverage on me!
- I can leave a legacy for my family to support their family if they so choose.
What are our Challenges that may be keeping us from being Successful?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed?
- Do you spend all your time preparing for it but never starting it?
- Have you made yourself a Schedule/Routine?
- Do you take care of yourself with exercise and eating a good Diet?
- Need for Balance – Business vs. Social – How do we fit it in Personal or Social time?
What makes us feel Overwhelmed
Most days I wake up feeling exhausted. I started out staying up late, sometimes all night, trying to just get it all going. Get as much listed as possible. “Got to get that money coming in or I will sink like the titanic!” That was the thought going through my head constantly! It comes from pure fear of failure and a lack of faith in your decision. It will put you on a path that is not healthy. You will not eat good. You will not exercise or get dressed every morning. You will begin to not care about yourself at all. It will be totally about the work. Soon you won’t even remember why you’re home. You will eat out more and more, one fast food dinner after another. It takes time to cook. You don’t have time to cook dinner!?! Wha wha whaaaat? You have sales to pack for the post office and pictures to take for more listings! The kids will just have to understand… NO!!!
DON’T FALL INTO THIS ROUTINE!
GET OFF OF THE “I HAVE TO DO THIS” TRIP!
FIND YOUR BALANCE!
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED THIS!
Form a Foundation and adopt a Routine
When you had your job you had to be there by a certain time. You were assigned certain duties that had time frames in which they needed to be completed. You maybe had a supervisor that watched over or mentored you to help you stay on the right track. But that is now GONE. YOU ARE THE BOSS. It is now up to YOU to get up, get yourself ready for the day and start your day at a decent time in the morning so you can go to bed at night at a decent time and not wear yourself down to nothing. And no more wearing your pajamas all day! Don’t think I don’t know that some of you out there have been wearing those same pajamas for the past 3-4 days!!! Brush your damn teeth, wash your butt and get dressed for the day! I know because I went through this stage! This is a cross-over from a slightly depressed state of mind that sets in without the interaction of the outside world. It’s not exactly depression but carries with it some of the characteristics. I have suffered from depression one time in my life. Yes, with all that I have been through I only dipped so low that depression grabbed hold of me and I quite literally had to claw and fight my way back out. I took no medication for it because guess what, that is only a crutch! A freaking band-aide that some people choose to put on a very serious life threatening mental disorder. Medication does not cure depression it only masks it! But this, this lathargic pattern of day after day doing the same things and never interacting with others causes a different kind of disorder. It’s not caused by being a vegetable, nobody is saying anybody has been lazy… no, no no… it’s caused by overload. Pure overload! Your mind never stops thinking about work because it is everywhere when you work from home. You no longer think you even have time to get dressed or bathe or fix your hair anymore! You constantly are thinking… What can I do better? How will I ever get it all done? The piles grow around you from your good intentions without becoming a reality yet. Are your goals realistic and reachable? Have you set them too high too soon? In other words have you bit off more than you can chew. If you have then that’s okay. It’s just a stage you had to go through to get here. Congratulations!!! The tough part is now over. Boot camp now begins! LOL Now it’s time to get it together, set realistic goals and track your progress so you can see it and appreciate it on a daily basis! That is where I am going to help you help yourself 🙂
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Start with dividing out your day. Pick a time that is YOUR TIME for YOURSELF – I love my mornings!!! It’s my time. Time to get ready for my day, drink my coffee, take care of my animals, water my plants and clean something. After I take my daughter to school (which is awesome to be able to do it!) I review my priorities for that day. When I feel like I’m lined out, I get busy!
Break your day up into Sections: (I will list my times but yours may be different)
- 5:00-6:00 am My Time – enjoy an hour to myself
- 6:00-7:00 am School Zone Time – I get my daughter ready for school.
- 7:00-8:00 am Drive Time – Take a little drive to pick up a little inventory.
- 8:00-10:00 am – Mornings – Work, work, work (Remember to get up and walk around for at least 5-10 minutes after the 1st hour if you have been sitting the whole time!)
- 10:00-10:15 am – Break Time – take a 15 minute break – (walk your dog, sit if you’ve been standing, do something that is enjoyable and relaxing that is NOT WORK!)
- 10:15-12:00 pm – Mid-morning – Work, work, work!
- 12:00-12:30 pm – Lunch Time – Do Not Work during this time. Refresh yourself by taking a walk, eating a lite lunch and you will be more productive when you return to you job duties
- 12:30-2:15 pm – Early Afternoon – work, work, work
- 2:15-2:30 pm – Mid-Afternoon – Post office run or just get ready for picking up kids from school – let dogs out, go the bathroom, fix a dr pepper for the road, etc. 😉
- 2:30-3:00 pm – School Zone Time – I pick up my kids
- 3:00-6:00 pm – Late Afternoon – Work, work, work – I may have to go to the post office so this time is vital to get the day’s sales out the door!!!
- 6:00 pm – Personal time Starts Here – Family time! Get away from the computer and out of the ebay room! Back away from your work and spend time with your family.
You may want to pick a day in the middle of the week for your “OFF Day” if you work weekends too like I do. Wednesdays always seem to be the best day for me to work something into my schedule that is not work related. I normally work every weekend whether it is a flea market (newly added! but excited about!) or ebay or Amazon!!! I just make more money on the weekends than any other days of the week. Your job may be different so you do what’s best for your schedule.
Let’s talk about BALANCE!
We also need Balance. We need our careers but we’re only human and also need other humans. How do we fit a personal life in while working from home? A funny thing I actually heard in the debates, rather the arguing going on during the debates, was one say to the other if you’re going to golf it should be with a business partner that will benefit your growing needs of your company. That is not an exact quote but close enough. It made me think… friends are people that love and support us in most of the adventures we get ourselves into, right? For the most part they will add positive reinforcement to our cause and getting out and being more social will allow us to be more creative in our thought process when we are working. We need that down time. And who knows maybe we’ll meet a new business customer, contact or maybe even a partner!?! Sounds like a win win to me. Now to figure out how to fit it in! (Deep breathe, breathe in… breathe out… I can do this!)
Pros and Cons of a Social Life:
Pros – YOU and I NEED DOWN TIME! When was the last time you visited your friends? Your family? Are you avoiding them because you are avoiding their questions on “How’s it going?” I know I did and probably still do to an extent. I no longer wanted to explain what I’m doing to people that don’t understand what I’m saying. It’s like speaking a language that they don’t know and expecting them to number one be interested in it and number two actually converse over it. That has got to be a huge awkward moment for them trying to be interested in something that has nothing to do with them and pretty much all they can say it “well it sounds like you’re doing pretty good”... lol! This is in no way a reflection on them it’s you and me looking for recognition for all the work we are doing that nobody sees or knows about. This is not the time or the place to talk about work. When you are being social STOP TALKING ABOUT WORK! Now this is a tough one for me because I am a true work-a-holic and have always talked too much about work. But now that it rules my life I am in need of time away from it. “I, Judy, promise to myself to NOT TALK ABOUT WORK while visiting my friends and family!” 🙂
Cons – STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVITY! I can’t listen to any negativity about my chosen career path. I honestly don’t want to hear what anyone has to say about it if they are going to be negative. The fact is they really don’t know what you’re doing and most likely only see that you are struggling and wish you would fall in line with everyone else and just get a “real” job. Then everyone wins because they no longer have to worry about you! lol But that’s not how this is going to end. I will not take the easy road. I will not allow friends to throw stones at my glass house. I own it. It’s mine. And if it is going to shatter it will be by my own actions/decisions and not somebody else making me feel like I can’t succeed. Period. I’m in it to Win It! 🙂
Commit to visit at least 1 Friend 1 day per week! We are going to change this right now. Let’s pick somebody we want to visit with on a regular basis and commit going to see them. We can start with 1 day a week. Don’t do 1 day a month because if something happens and one of you cancel then that is just too long a time frame of not seeing anyone on the outside! Okay, we have to do this! We need something to look forward to! Be sure and pick someone you like visiting with and not picking them just because you feel guilty or because they gripe at you all the time for not seeing them more! Stay away from negative, fussy people!!! Sweet, caring, fussy people are okay though! They really do exist! lol 😉
I hope that by sharing some of my experience and stories about where I’ve been, what I’ve done and my daily planning for where I want to be will somehow help someone else maybe be able to skip some of the dark days and enjoy more of the light!
I will be going into more detail on how to setup your Sales goals vs. Budget/Bills in my next blog. So until we blog again……… good bye! 🙂