Avoid Work From Home Pitfalls - Advice on Maintaining
Working from home has become a much more common phenomenon these days, helped along by improved communications, and latterly the evolution of the internet. It sounds ideal, but beware. I speak from experience on this!
Business owners will invariably spend countless hours just getting their business off the ground, long before they start making profits. Having an angry partner will only cause 'more' anxiety and stress, creating an additional obstacle to overcome.
You need to work hard at maintaining a positive attitude towards the new business, despite early setbacks, and if your family is working against you, that becomes almost impossible. But try not to become invisible, and remember not to devote so much time to your business that your family is neglected.
Here are my tips to help you maintain a healthy work/life balance:
An obvious one - but ensure if at all possible that you hold onto your original source of income while you start up your new venture. If you have lost your job see if you can get a part-time job, or avail of any government assistance while you get the new business off the ground.
Be up front and tell your partner about your desire to succeed, your ambitions and your reasons for running your own business. But don't overdo it, as raised expectations can come back to haunt you. Build in some comfort to insulate yourself against unforeseen setbacks, as the road is seldom smoothly traveled.
Explain that setting up and running a business, whether online or offline, needs a lot of time and effort to get it off the ground before you start to reap the rewards.
Discuss the benefits of working from home, such as saving on rent and travel time. Be prepared to contribute more around the house, as time saved in commuting has to benefit the family also.
Keep your partner informed of your business progress, your wins and losses, your tears and joys. Share with them your business stories, and ask for their opinion on certain issues (eg advice on your website design, or your marketing plans). Make them feel part of your business and their opinion is important to you.
Manage and structure your time, share a morning coffee with them, take them to lunch and give them your full attention when you are with them.
Above all - don't be selfish, we all need love and attention whether busy or idle. Set time limits and a work schedule to accommodate your family's needs, and you won't benefit from overworking - seven days a week.
Even better, is there a role in the business they can help you with - sending out flyers, or responding to emails??
As mentioned help more with the house chores, look after the kids, especially if your partner is working away from home. If you have a spare hour, spend it with your partner, not surfing the net.
No matter how much your love your partner or they love you, one of the reasons that trouble arises is the fact that you may be seeing too much of each other, especially if your partner is not working. It may well be worth renting a small office or sharing an office with a friend where you can go to work during the day.
To summarize then, time spent with your partner should be well spent, give them your full attention no matter how busy you are with your business, make a habit of going out together once a week.
Later, once you start making money online things will relax, and you will get more space to perform with the business. But you have to prove it works before they can share your undoubted faith in this chosen workpath. Then you can ease off, and really begin to enjoy working from home without the anxiety attached to building a new business, at home.