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Working at Home Means Knowing When to Say "No"

Aug 17, 2007
When friends and family find out that you work at home, a picture pops into their minds pretty much immediately. It might be of you lazing about, or maybe of you teaching them how to do what you do. It's not often a realistic picture.

People just generally feel free to make demands of people who work at home that they wouldn't consider making of other people. They want your time or services. They don't understand what you do or how important it is that you keep working.

Some people will just come up to you and ask if you can (fill in the blank, but keep it clean) for them. Maybe it relates to what you do at home or maybe they just want a babysitter for their kids. In any case, it's probably completely ignoring the value of your time.

These are the things you have to learn to say "no" to.

No, you won't create a free website for them.

No, you don't have the time to watch their kids for them for no pay.

No you won't (fill in the blank. Are you still keeping it clean?).

Yes, sometimes you can decide to give someone a freebie. If you do this, make sure you explain what you normally charge, and that you won't keep doing it for free. You need to build respect for what you do at home.

The other challenge is idle chitchat during your best working hours. It may be retired neighbors, a fellow stay at home parent, a friend taking a break during their work day, etc., but they eat up time you'd rather be working.

Talk to them about the times that you are able to just sit and talk. Especially if you have young children, your work hours may be sharply limited. You cannot tolerate losing too much work time.

Hard as it may be, demanding respect for your working hours can build respect for what you do at home. It takes a long time for most people to understand that working from home is real work. The more you demand that they respect what you do just as they would if you worked outside the home.

Even with these challenges, make sure you make the most of being able to work from home. Enjoy yourself. Talk about what you do just as other people talk about their jobs. Enjoy the ability to be closer to your family, even when you have to sacrifice and work more hours at home than you'd ideally like to.

You're very fortunate. You can do something many only dream of. Earning money from home is something very, very special.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster offers a free newsletter at http://www.homewiththekids.com/newsletter/subscribe.php for at home parents. She also offers more work at home resources on her website.
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