Work At Home Mom Dreams

Have you ever read the book Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly? This little book is a remarkable story about a janitorial company that invested in its employees’ dreams in order to decrease turnover. And it worked marvelously!

This book exemplifies the legitimacy of honoring dreams. Though it is not geared toward  working at home, I highly recommend it. It has given me license to dream more…and to dream bigger. And in order to keep this “alternative lifestyle” working for me, I have to subscribe to the importance of my dream to be at home, to be a work at home mom. If this is your dream too, let’s talk!

Measuring Success for the Work at Home Mom

I appreciate this quote by Booker T. Washington:

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”  

The work at home mom may not have reached an elevated position (professionally) but she surely has overcome obstacles, probably every day. Obstacles like unsupportive friends or former colleagues, having to forgo the perks of corporate employment, stepping out of her comfort zone, just to name a few.

And so she is a success!      
                                                                             

A Steady Paycheck for the Work At Home Mom

Something I often hear from working women who would like to be at home, but don’t see how it’s possible, is that they need to have a “steady paycheck”.  And that can certainly be one of the hardest things to give up when making the leap from an employee to being self-employed.

So here are some thoughts on how to deal with this issue:

a ) Choose a work at home model that involves outsourced work that is regular. Maybe something like web-based administrative duties for a large company. This can offer steady remuneration as long as the company need is there.

b)  The desire for steady income is one of the strong selling points, actually, for a network marketing undertaking as a home-based business, AS LONG AS

  1. the company with which you are working has a rock-solid financial footing, coupled with a history of performance;
  2. it offers consumable products in expanding markets; and
  3. it has a compensation plan with a strong residual income component.

Be sure to research any network marketing company and its history to ensure all these components are firmly in place. If you don’t understand what all of these attributes mean, so some research before making a decision.

c) Plan ahead financially to “pay” yourself for a period of time, so that you are not going suddenly from a salary of “x” number of dollars to no income at all.  This may mean cutting back on expenses before you make the transition to working at home, so that some cash reserves can be established.

d) Recognize that not even corporate workers can rely on a steady paycheck anymore! Unfortunately, this is more true than ever. Of course, acknowledging this doesn’t get you a steady paycheck, but it can help you put this issue into perspective as you assess the work at home option.

Work at Home Fun!

Why is it so hard to “make” myself do the fun stuff in my home based business? Why do I think I have to be “working”, doing things I don’t enjoy, to think it’s legitimate?

There is a lot of fun stuff in my work at home venture! I mean A LOT. And I want to be OK with that…

Work at Home Mom on Prime Time

There have been two recent prime time features on home-based business options ideal for the work at home mom. A recent “Today’s Money” segment on the  Today Show featured direct selling as a viable work at home choice. And a recent special supplement to The Wall Street Journal by the Direct Selling Association tells the story of the advantages of direct selling and why it is now considered the ultimate social business model. Makes me proud to be a part of this industry in my own experience as a work at home mom!

Is Every Work at Home Mom a Loner?

There is definitely a different flavor of social interaction when one works at home. You may be on the phone the same amount of time as in a corporate office and you may have as many client appointments as an in-house employee, BUT there is no casual adult conversation on your way to get a drink or use the bathroom, no one to share a rolling of the eyes when a client does something challenging. So does that mean you shouldn’t consider being a work at home mom unless you’re a loner?

If the social element of employment is a big factor for you, it is something to weigh carefully, but there are definitely ways to stave off loneliness in your work at home, working alone venture. Here are three of my favorites:

- have scheduled contact with a business mentor or coach. Yes, it is business-focused, but hopefully very fun and inspiring as well. My business model has this element built right in with what is called “upline” support and it’s great.

- meet regularly with a team of fellow business owners to encourage one another, and brainstorm ideas for success (this can be reminiscent of team office meetings as long as you’re not in competitive businesses!). I so appreciate being able to do this.

- plan regular outings, both business-related and non-business, during regular business hours. Hey, it’s one of the perks of managing your own schedule!

I Have Too Much to Do!

Any work at home mom….any mom, really, has this thought at some time or another. I had it recently.  And it seemed to loom larger and larger the more I thought about it.

My typical response to this situation is to hunker down and barrel through. I can be very self-disciplined and persistent. I get “too much” done, but at what cost? I was ill-tempered. I didn’t feel the best when it was all said and done.

And you know what? At the end of the day, there was STILL a mile-long list of stuff that could be done!

This last realization made me mad at first, but after a few seconds, I appreciated the irony and the great humor it was offering me as long as I’m willing to laugh at myself.  In one sense, there will ALWAYS be too much for any work at home mom to do. That’s one of the beauties of our role as mothers…we are always wanted, always needed, can always be helpful. Motherhood is perpetual.

And, like any job, working at home can also come with a seemingly endless stream of projects and tasks. SO, it seems to me I am back to prioritization and keeping first things first. Because I’m a pragmatic kind of gal, I like to remind myself of the Covey-Franklin planner method of listing and categorizing the daily things to do: “A” for first priorities, “B” for second-tier items and “C” for stuff that can actually wait until another day.

Then numbering the A’s, with 1. being the first one to do, 2. the second one, etc. And doing the same with the B’s and C’s.

Doing this scheme at the outset means I only have to think one time about what to do next. And it means if I get through my A’s, I have been very successful! Of course, it takes practice and discipline not to mark everything as A’s ;-) .

Once again, I’m acknowledging that I have too much to do, and probably always will have too much to do. But if I let it affect my mood and color my day, I am a silly goose! It’s up to me to utilize my self-discipline and persistence to wrestle my to-do list to the ground and realistically prioritize what of the endless possibilities are for today.

Hold on – that sounds rather adversarial. Wrestle my to-do list to the ground? Call on discipline to get through each day? Hmmm…I want to think further on this approach. Do I want to face each day as a foe to be conquered? Do you?  Stay tuned!

How To Research Your Work at Home Options

Have you explored a number of work at home options? Particularly those offered via the internet? I’ve read many, many of these “pitches”. There is, naturally, a lot of encouragement from each one to jump on the bandwagon!

In my own work at home venture, I also offer the opportunity to join my team and be mentored in the development of your own home-based business. And I’ve probably sounded, at time, like a bandwagon master myself! But, something I’ve come to realize is that if you do jump on a bandwagon, there is always another parade…and it may be a glitzier, bigger parade. What if you’re on the wrong wagon?!?!

All this is to say, there are some basic fundamentals that should go into making a work at home decision, and we would probably all be well served to pay attention to them. If you think about it, you’re making a decision that will impact your entire life in many ways, and (hopefully) for a long time. In making a decision of that caliber, you owe it to yourself to do your “due diligence” in researching your work at home options.

So, what do you research? Well, I’m talking primarily here about opportunities to represent companies or use online systems through your own home-based business that is affiliated with an established “parent company”. Here are some things to consider:

  • Market potential – looking to the future, how well-positioned is the parent company in terms of what it offers?
  • Time commitment – is the amount of time you’re asked to invest commiserate with the return you will receive (heed that old adage, if it sounds too good to be true….it probably is!)?
  • Product Quality – is there independent, trustworthy proof that the product(s) and/or service being offered are as good as they are claimed to be?
  • Success rate of other workers at home affiliated with this company – are there actual people who have achieved what you’re being told it’s possible to achieve?
  • Monetary Investment – are you asked to invest an appropriate amount of money to begin your home-based business? And what does that investment get you? (Either too much or too little initial investment engenders suspicion.)
  • Parent company history – how long has the company been in business and how secure is it financially?
  • Income Potential – how do the numbers compare with other options in terms of your income potential, both in the short term and in the long term?
  • Parent company philosophy – is the company committed to values that resonate with your own values?

How do you get answers to these questions? The online presence of the parent company may (and should!) address many of them. And beyond that, there should be a person to ask, either from the parent company or a fellow home-based business owner affiliated with the same company.

So, what if these sources give the same “pitch” that you’re trying to discern? Well, then it becomes incumbent upon you to sort hype from fact. It may be a simple matter of your impression of your info source. If you make a grounded, thorough assessment, I bet you’ll be able to know what is a good fit for you.

In the long run, you’ll be very happy you took the time to consider things like these before “jumping”. By all means, join the work at home parade. Just take your time in selecting the right wagon!

Inspiring Yourself

These thoughts from a business mentor of mine named Gary Burke are so valuable for all of us work at home moms. I intended to write something original along these same lines, but I just can’t find any better way to say it, and so I gratefully share with you Gary’s thoughts:

I’m sure you realize that it is your responsibility to motivate and inspire yourself. I know we get that from outside sources at times and it’s always nice. But, life and business building is much easier once we know it’s our job to keep our personal mental state at a level where we want to do what we know we should be doing.

What inspires you? A person, a book, music, a 5 mile run, your vision of your future, or maybe just relaxing and doing some thinking? Regardless of what it is, do it…get it….make it happen. You’ll be glad you did.

Women and Working at Home – A Perfect Fit

I just came across these facts* about the economic status of women in America:

  • More women than men have received a graduate education and women’s gains in educational attainment have significantly outpaced those of men.
  • Yet the pay gap between men and women persists, with women earning about 75% of their equally educated male counterparts.
  • Female-headed familes have the lowest family earnings of all family types.
  • Women are more likely than men to be in poverty.

The right work at home arrangement can be a terrific way to address these realities for women!  As an entrepreneur with her own home-based business, a woman can be equally rewarded for her professional aptitude. At the same time, she can experience greater flexibility to achieve the balance that we women are often looking to create in our lives!!

*From:Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration; Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget; White House Council on Women and Girls. March 2011.