As I was thinking about my beginnings in business I was reminded of some of my early challenges getting started. There are great benefits to working from home and it also brings with it its challenges.
My first few years in business, you were not considered legit if you had a business from home. In fact I can remember putting my home address on my business card in the early days thinking that I would be more legit if it appeared that I had a physical location. Someone that I gave my card to drove by to see my “place of business”. This is when I was living in the garage. Not too impressive. He called me on it and I felt horrible!
Having a physical location used to be a status symbol but not so much any more! Today working from home holds way more status than having an expensive office. Offices represent “overhead” that ultimately the customer pays for. In todays decentralized business environment many people love to do business with people that work from home!
Okay let’s talk about the benefits of working from home. They are pretty obvious because they are probably some of the reasons why you chose a home based business:
1. Extremely low overhead – Not paying for expensive leases, insurance, power, gas, etc
2. You control your own schedule and call your own shots – For obvious reasons this can work for you or against you. Your TV, couch, refrigerator and bed are pretty close and always competing for your time.
3. One minute commute – If you have a typical home. It’s nice to be at the office within seconds!
4. Technology at your fingertips! With todays tools there really is no reason to go anywhere. You can connect with people via social media, communicate with private messaging, do presentations and group trainings using Zoom, Glance, GoToMeeting, etc and
have products delivered right to your front door!
4. Tax Benefits – I’m not an accountant, but I do know that you can offset some of your personal expenses with tax benefits. For example if you are using a portion of your home as an office you can lower your tax burden by writing off the equivalent rent or mortgage amount of that space against your taxes. With a job you you make the money and your employer takes out taxes before you receive your check. With a home based business, you make the money first, deduct your expenses (which can include a portion of your rent or mortgage, supplies, computer, smartphone and service, etc) and THEN you pay taxes on only the profit that you make vs the entire amount of your income. If there is no profit yet, then you won’t pay taxes on your income. And the IRS does not require you to make a profit . . . you just need to have the intention to make a profit. If you currently have a job and you are paying taxes through your employer, you may save yourself thousands or even ten’s of thousands of dollars in taxes through your deductions alone from your home based business. This is a huge benefit.
In my early days of building a business, we would call it a home based business because the BASE was at home, but it really wasn’t a home business. We were running around all day and night delivering products, sending faxes, going to meetings, etc. And there were no cell phones or smartphones so the payphone became our office many days. I remember spending anywhere from 1-4 hours in indoor and outdoor phone booths making calls and setting appointments. A couple of times I was standing in enclosed phone booths at gas stations in the midwest in blizzards while the wind chill was well below zero.
But today, it truly is a home based business. Virtually everything can be done from home . . . which is a benefit and a drawback.
DRAWBACKS OF HAVING A HOME BASED BUSINESS:
1. Distractions – This is probably the biggest one. Besides having the television set within reach and you know that Dr Phil is on and the latest tragedy being featured on CNN, there are the kids wanting your attention . . . not to mention, you get a UPS delivery from Amazon with your newest outfit or gadget. It’s just too easy to get side-tracked. YOU MUST MANAGE YOUR DISTRACTIONS TO MAKE IT IN THIS BUSINESS. I recognize that they are real. I suggest having a space with a door that you can close if at all possible and set aside focused time to work your business uninterrupted. Of with smartphone technology you can work your business from the living room, kitchen or even while you are waiting to pick up the kids at school. And you will do that, but your most productive time will be the 30min – 2 hours you set aside to really focus. You may need to get rid of your TV if you are an addict or at the very least, don’t ever have one in the room where you do your work. Your TV is your most prolific time killer. It will kill your business. It’s invasive and addicting. I have heard it is the #1 reason why most people don’t make it in business. A simple decision to remove TV from your life for the next 5 years can transform you. Use that time to listen to positive personal development, set appointments and give presentations. In 5 years when you have a big residual income you will be traveling the world and not wanting to veg-out in front of the TV. As I write this I’m extremely focused with no distractions. Again as a business owner it is my job to manage my time. If you feel like you are constantly being yanked out of your zone by a distraction then it means you need to do a better job of protecting your business building time.
If you have a family, then communication is key. You may need to sit down with them and negotiate a plan so that everyone wins. Let them know that you will be working at specific times and that you will need to be left alone during those times. But then exchange that agreement for something in return . . . a weekend trip where mommy turns off her phone or a visit to get some ice cream that night. And if you have babies or toddlers and you are on your own, then you’ll need to do the best you can. Many moms have built massive businesses with young children at home. Others will respect that you are working to better yourself under any circumstance!
2. Being alone – For lots of people this can make it tough to stay motivated. There are benefits to meeting in person with a group of motivated people each week. If you are disconnected from the group for too long, you can easily lose steam. This happens a lot in network marketing. This is why it is so important to schedule time to be with people on your team (upline or downline) at least 3 or 4 times a month. If too much time passes, you may find yourself wavering in your enthusiasm or commitment. Reading books and listening to audios by successful entrepreneurs and network marketers can help with this too. I have been doing this for years and have done extremely well and even I find myself losing steam if I haven’t been around a group in person for a couple of weeks.
3. It’s easier to do nothing – An object at rest tends to stay at rest. You must be self-motivated. If you are not self motivated, then you can change.
It is easier to not take action. And because sitting around is the comfort zone of so many of us, time goes by and nothing seems to happen. This is why we preach . . . “Do Something!” Any activity that creates motion breeds more motion. Your business is like water. If it sits it gets stagnant. Water needs to be in motion to stay fresh. If you find yourself doing nothing, then FORCE YOURSELF BACK TO ACTION. Do something. If you are unsure what to do next, message your upline and ask them. They will point you in the right direction. Don’t wait for things to happen on their own because they won’t. Remember why you got involved in the business and what you are looking for out of it.
Working from home is amazing. You have your life. You own your freedom. You work when you want to. You call the shots. It’s freeing and liberating. You can schedule your own vacations and stay as long as you want to. You can even work on vacation if you choose to. That’s the lure of having a home based business. It’s the best. Ask anyone that has been working from home for 4 years or more. They would never go back by choice. I love seeing the countless families on Facebook that have grown up with home based businesses. They are truly happier and more fulfilled. They get more time with each other. They have more flexibility with their schedules. And imagine what your life will be like as you continue to grow your residual income.