Working for yourself is a dream come true for most people. There’s no boss and you can do it your own way. But the truth is that there is a boss, and it just might be the worst boss you’ve ever worked for – yourself! Are you going to be an organized and merciful manager or a total pain to be around? That’s the question that determines whether your work-at-home career becomes a dream or a nightmare.
Are You Passionate?
The great determiner is passion. Are you passionate about what you are doing? Every good boss or company owner has passion and vision. Without these, you’re going to snap whenever the going gets tough. Your work-at-home career has to be truly your dream. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to keep pushing yourself. Without passion your enthusiasm will eventually wither and die.
Create a Personal Development Plan
Bosses manage people, including themselves. They spend a large proportion of their time working on developing themselves and their employees so that the company can grow and reach its goals. You have to do this yourself when you work at home so self-motivation is essential.
Take a pen and paper and write down your Purpose – Why are you doing this? What are you offering the world? How are you adding value? If your main purpose is to make money then I suggest you re-look at it and find something more to do
Take time out of your busy schedule to periodically ask yourself whether you’re happy with how things are going and where you need to improve. Are your targets and goals aligned with your purpose? Set clear and measurable goals for your own development, with the end result being a better and more efficient you. Remember to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Your skills and knowledge are vital to your success.
A Vision for Your Business
Another important job of the boss is to handle the company’s overall plan. Even if you’re just a freelancer working on the dining room table, you have to have a business plan as well as a masterplan. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- What are you offering?
- Who will it help?
- How will it help them?
- What is your promise to your customers or clients and how are you going to deliver it?
For your masterplan it is more about how you see your business in the long-term such as 5-10 years. Will you sell it? Where will you be (location)? How many employees will you have? What type of business will it be (limited company, partnership or sole proprietorship)? What will your turnover be? By when?
Developing a business plan also means creating a financial plan. This may be difficult because most of us aren’t good at financial planning, but it’s essential that you learn this skill and learn it well. Have a talk with an accountant to get some guidance on what might be required for the plan.
A Realistic Assessment
Nobody can do everything. When you’re your own boss, you have to realistically assess your abilities. Write down all the skills you need to run your business. How good are you at them? Which of them do you know how to do, and which ones do you lack knowledge or skills? Should you hire somebody else to handle some of your tasks? Don’t try to do everything if you’ll have to spend an unrealistic amount of time learning. If you can earn well by doing what you are good at then it makes sense to outsource menial jobs or other skills such as book-keeping to others and concentrate on what you do best.
Review Your Progress
Create a plan for reviewing your progress. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but what’s most important is simply to have a plan in place. For example, you can measure progress by how many tasks you get done each day.
Set milestones where you check to see how your business is coming along and give yourself a performance check. These would typically be weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reviews. This will show you areas that may need improvement or increased focus or indeed where you have made excellent progess. Maybe you need to review how realistic your goals are in terms of the time things actually take rather than the time you think they should take!
Give Yourself a Break
All good bosses are forgiving. Be firm and disciplined, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you’re only human and you need a day off sometimes. This is a very important part of sustaining a business for the long term.
Make sure you take time out to recharge your batteries and when you achieve a milestone congratulate yourself and celebrate! It is all too easy to achieve things and move onto the next thing without recognizing your achievements.
If you need any help with setting up a business keep reading our blogs!