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Work From Home And Win Success Series: Creating Your Work Space

Aug 18, 2007
You're working from home. Now consider what your work space should be.

One of the things we talk about frequently is the value of a designated office space. You need to be able to turn your work "off" and "on," or you risk burnout. A dining room table is not an ideal office. However, as you begin, we know that might be the best you can do. But to succeed and not add unnecessary pressure to your life, you will benefit greatly by establishing clear boundaries. This is especially true when you have a family.

If you are in direct sales, a small area of your bedroom or living room might be sufficient to dedicate as your office. However, if you're a home-based employee of a larger company, you'll want a space where you can enter and exit as work begins and ends. If your business requires storage space for products it creates a different problem. Your office needs are dictated by the type of business you choose to operate and it's important to realistically consider those demands.

Remember, the benefit of working from home is that you can shape your own destiny. But it's important to avoid the pitfalls and pressures of working from home. Don't become a slave to your work. We know that's easier said than done when it's you, your reputation, your money and ideas on the line! Whenever possible, maintain a designated office space that is separate from the rest of your house. Other considerations:

- You need to be as efficient as possible. If you work on a crowded desk - with a disorganized calendar and a stack of papers, notes and business cards, you may overlook an important meeting, sale or deadline.

- A home-based business requires you to wear many hats. Expect to have to acquire new skills. You will also have to educate yourself about marketing, accounting, and tracking your business' ventures. At a minimum, you will need to feel comfortable with the many roles of a business professional.

- You will have some additional responsibilities such as computer repairs, tax issues, and contract negotiations. Ignore these and you set yourself up for much bigger problems down the line. This is where you decide when to call in professionals to do what they do best and free you up to build your business. You cannot expect to be able to do everything yourself. Allow other team members to assume those responsibilities that are beyond your capabilities.

A mentor, who is already a success in the type of business you wish to become involved in, is a tremendous asset. A mentor will be well worth the investment of time and money if needed.

You are also obliged to efficiently manage your day. You need to set aside time to work, time for family and time to play. And you need to be orderly about it. Expect long hours. Know that you will still have some stressful days. You won't have a boss looking over your shoulder. Do you have the discipline to make a schedule and stick with it? Can you juggle the demands of a business that depends on you daily? Even when you feel rejected or having a hard time making sales or contacts, can you still persevere and try again no matter what? It takes a great deal of persistence to make a business work. The good times are glorious, but you have to be prepared for both ups and downs as well.

Cultivate a network of trusted peers and they will help you stay on target. It's important to have experienced contacts that you can ask for help. You will also need to select a home-based business model. Determine what works best for your lifestyle and preferred work style. The three basic models available to you are:

Direct Sales
Work at Home Entrepreneurial Enterprises

Regardless of which model you choose, it's not easy to establish a home-based business, but the rewards are impressive: Financial freedom. Control. Independence. You are able to set your priorities. You decide how much time you want to work. You decide how much money you want to potentially earn. But you must be able to set short- and long-term goals and stick with them through those insecure moments, stressful days and difficult clients and situations that will inevitably occur.

Begin the journey by exploring your options. Determine which scenario best fits your personality, lifestyle, connections and circle of influence. It's important to get a taste of what working from home looks and feels like. You are about to dive into a big commitment and it's essential that you select something you love to do, something you are completely attracted to and something you know you'll enjoy even when the going gets tough.
About the Author
Robyn Spizman has worked from home for nearly 30 years. She is a dedicated mom, accomplished author, entrepreneur and inventor. Her new book Work From Home and Win empowers you to unlock the key to your work from home success at http://www.WorkFromHomeAndWin.com
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