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Top 5 Home Business Success Elements

Aug 21, 2008
Success in home-based business consists of mindset and efficient action. Sure, you can get lucky sometimes or be in the right place at the right time, but success comes from having these critical elements coming together.

1. Clarity (why you want to do it)
Since I've been laid off a time or two (or four), it's easy for me to know exactly why I have my own business from home. The bitter after taste of being "let go" -- by a company that decides whether or not I provide value, how much I'm worth, how many days of vacation I deserve and how many hours I have to put in each day -- is a quick reminder of why I struck out on my own in the first place.

Now, many years later, that's part of my "why" along with the fact that my business is my vehicle to lasting wealth and freedom. I do what I do because I'm able to drop everything and go traveling with my children and husband, and I can make decisions about our lives without feeling nickeled-and-dimed at every turn. For me, that's real success in home-based business.

So get really CLEAR about why you have your own home business. Ask yourself, what goals and vision do you have for your life? What will make it all worthwhile? Get excited and get started.

2. Determination (anything to get there)
Success in home-based business is anything but easy. The first year is especially challenging. So what will keep you going? You have to have never-ending determination to succeed and willingness to go out there again and again.

Looking back I can identify so many rough times in my business and I could give you so many good reasons I should have quit along the way. I've had lots and lots of failures and mediocre moments and have had things happen that would make most normal people want to throw in the towel. Plus, I could have told you about all these challenges and WHY I was going to quit, and you probably would have supported me in quitting! After all, if it had happened to you, you would have quit, too.

But here I am. I didn't quit. I'm not quitting. It is not in my nature and it is not acceptable. Failure is not an option. I get knocked down I get up. The only way to fail is to quit and I just won't do that.
3. Organization (how to get things done)

Real effectiveness comes from implementing structures -- calendar/schedules, systems, processes -- to ensure efficiency and success. I can't tell you how many times I reinvented the wheel when I was starting my own business whether it was letters I sent out or processes I was repeating but didn't have "systematized."

Part of the problem was a lack of organization. The business grew quickly and I was a few steps behind trying to keep up. I also floundered with contact management for YEARS. First I used an Excel spreadsheet (yikes!) then moved Microsoft Access where I had several databases but only knew how to enter data (didn't know how to analyze it or use it effectively for mailings).

Thankfully I now use CardScan for data and contact management so my marketing and cold calling efforts are streamlined and simplified.

My scheduling system is now organized as well. I use a time mapping system a la Julie Morgenstern , and my husband and I share a wall calendar for family scheduling. (We're moving to the Google calendar which will probably make things even more efficient.)

Ultimately, organization of your daily processes will alleviate distractions and breakdowns and allow you to focus on making money.

4. Accountability (taking things on and being responsible for results)

I'm fortunate that early on in my business I recognized that if business was slow it was purely because of my own efforts. What I put into it I got out of it and it remains so today.

I don't engage in talk about economic recession. I don't blame other people and circumstances for how things are going. It's all ME.

Which is not to beat myself up when things aren't going as well. It's simply an understanding I have of myself and my business. I am the catalyst for everything. If I pull back, my business pulls back. Works like that every time.

So be responsible for the way things are going. Don't be intimidated by the competition. Know who you are and what you have to offer. Make a difference with your customers. Be a leader and play big.

5. Adventurous-ness (risk-taking, make it work somehow mentality)
Success in home-based business ain't for sissies! Sometimes it's tough, excruciating even, but true entrepreneurs put themselves out on a limb over and over again. It's the inherent nature of entrepreneurship -- standing in the "discomfort" of new realms of possibility.

Every time I have stepped into the unknown I have had to tell myself that somehow it will work. It always does. I just have to show up and keep going. The extraordinary happens when you push beyond the limits of the ordinary. Whenever I am comfortable, it means I'm probably not in the space of full potential.

When I feel a flutter in my chest I can tell that I'm stretching beyond my comfort zone. And that's where the greatest successes in home-based business happen.
About the Author
After multiple layoffs Kennerly launched her first business in 2001, determined to decide for herself when she would go to work each day, how much vacation she would get and how much money she would make. She now helps others recognize the entrepreneur within and launch their own home businesses. Read her personal advice and tips here .
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