Monday, April 7, 2008

WAHM-Overcoming These Obstacles Leads to Success

There are literally hundreds of work at home opportunities out there and hundreds of people have tried one or more of them. What is the difference in being successful and failing time after time? Here are some obstacles I've overcome in my quest to work at home successfully.

Deciding what work at home biz to do

One of the biggest hurdles, of course, is finding the right biz to do. My best advice is to make a list of:

Your interests
Your passions
Your education or training
Other contributing factors

My first work at home experience, which lasted 10 years and was very successful, was having my own home daycare. My daughter was one year old when I got out of the Navy, my husband was in the Navy still and deployed a large part of the time. My past experience was being a surgical technician but I couldn't do that sort of job and be called in to work in the middle of the night with a small child. I thought "Why not take care of kids. That would be easy!"

Well, it wasn't easy at all but I went for it. I got my daycare license, which required taking training once a month, and I became a professional at what I did.

  • My interests at the time were being home with my daughter.
  • Little kids at the time were also my passion because of her.
  • I had education and training in the medical field, which was useful in building my reputation as a daycare provider
  • Other contributing factors was that a home daycare fit into my lifestyle at the time and was best of my daughter.
Your choice may not be that clear cut but here are a few options:

1. You could make something. My second home biz was selling beadwork that I made at craft fairs. It was my interest and my passion for several years.

2. You could sell something. This is the path a large number of moms take. You just have to find the product which best uses your interests and your passions. Right now I have several home businesses, all related to health and organics.

3. You could create a website and put adsense or affiliate ads on it. I am doing this also as my interests, passions and education are in the health field. My website is about alternative health and wellness. This avenue is currently bringing in about $200/mo in earnings.

Investigate many options before deciding on any one. Some companies are better than others so ask around and get recommendations or check forums. There are some websites which objectively compare work-at-home opportunities, such as this one.

A second obstacle is Do you have family support?

I have to admit that, although my husband is all for women staying home with their kids now, back when I started my home daycare, he was much less convinced of this. He felt I could make more money working in a hospital, and it's true, I could have. However, I stuck to my guns about being home with my daughter.

One thing that may convince reluctant spouses like mine is the tax breaks for a home biz. After we did our taxes that first year and were able to deduct so many things in relation to the daycare business, my husband became a believer.

If your spouse isn't convinced, or you don't have a spouse at all, try doing your biz part time until it grows big enough to bring in what you need. Co-workers can be great customers too! At one time I sold Avon part time and my moms were all great customers of mine.

How do you handle other family members who feel that staying at home isn't a "fulfilling" role? Ignore them! You know yourself, your child or children, you know what sort of life you want them to have so do what you feel is right. Besides, a mom who is an entrepreneur is a great role model for the kids.

Another obstacle: Isolation

Now that we have computers, forums, chat rooms, etc, the isolation part of working at home isn't quite as bad as it once was. We can always find on-line support and friends. In fact, if you choose some sort of work at home biz make sure you have a good support system within the other members of your team. If you don't have a good team, create one.

One of the main reasons many are successful in work at home businesses is the support they find with their team. Someone has to teach you the ropes and be there to answer questions.

Another type of support you can look for if you're building a business online is networking groups. Networking groups can take a look at your website or your marketing skills and help you learn what you need to know to be successful.

Even when I had my own daycare I didn't feel isolated. I met with the same women each month for our training classes and we shared information. I also knew other daycare providers in my neighborhood because we were all in the same nutrition program so we were also able to share info and concerns. This sort of support is very important.

When you choose a work at home business, once you address these 3 main obstacles and figure out how you'll handle them, you'll have a much greater chance of success.

No comments: