Working from home has always been a dream of mine. As soon as I had a taste of office life I wanted out – the gossip, competitiveness, back stabbing and showing off was really not my scene. On the other hand, growing my own business, spending time with my family, working my own hours and playing video games at lunch time – that is something I have always wanted. And something I’ve got.
In this post I am going to talk you through a few strategies that will one day allow you to work from home and play video games at lunch time. Why is there a picture of a pie above? You’ll find out later.
Setting a good motivation
The first thing you need to do is set a good motivation for doing it. Why is this important? Because working for yourself is hard work. It takes time, patience and a lot of discipline. If you don’t have a good motivation for working for yourself then it will be extremely hard to stay focused. Here are some reasons that I wanted to work for myself:
- Avoiding bad company
When you work in an office you can’t choose who you are around. I found myself becoming a bitter and angry person and as such decided that I needed to get out before my character became too corrupted. Working for yourself is really the only way to do this.
- Growing my own assets
When you work at a company you grow some other guy’s business. When you work for yourself you are putting time and effort into your own asset. Every drop of sweat that you put in belongs to you and your company. It is very rewarding.
- Helping people
My main goal in life is to spend as much time helping people as possible. Whatever money I make I want to use it in a way that benefits others, not myself. I’m not interested in big houses or vacations or fancy cars (although I do like the Audi R8!). I am interested in doing something that makes a difference. Owning my own business lets me do this.
Sit down and figure out why you want to work for yourself. What is going to get you through those weeks where no money comes in? What is going to get you through those late nights working on a deadline? What is going to stop you slacking off when no one is watching you? Without a good motivation you are sunk.
A short term, two medium term and one long term project
Okay so here it is. This is the strategy that allows me to work from home and play video games at lunch time. It is also what allowed me to weather the financial crisis without any real problems. You must always have one short term, two medium term and one long term project.
The short term project
Your short term project is your day to day income that pays the bills. This could be a blog or website that pays consistent income or it could be a part time job. I was actually a cleaner at a gym for about two years while I set up my online businesses. Not the most glamorous work but it paid the rent, put food on the table and gave me enough hours in the day to really knuckle down and develop some websites.
The two medium term projects
Your two medium term projects and things that are going to earn income in the next six months. These are the things that will become more consistent over time but that need some work right now. For example, you might be setting up a premium blog that needs around 100 articles before it really starts to kick into gear. Or, you might be developing 20 smaller product websites that need content and designs and SEO work. You always have to have two on the go.
The one long term project
This project is at least a year away. It is something that, if you pull it off, has the potential to put you in to early retirement. It is a dream project but it is something you actively work on every day or at least every week. This project might be larger than the other ones as well and as such need a lot more planning. But as soon as it starts earning some good money it becomes a short termer and you have to come up with a new long term project.
Fingers in as many pies as possible
When you are an entrepreneur or run an online business you need to have your finger in as many pies as possible. Why? Because things change so quickly online; one minute you are paying the bills and the next you are broke. Let me give you an example.
Around three years ago I owned a fairly successful fitness website. It was making about $300 a week with Adsense and was paying my bills and living expenses at the time. The site ranked extremely well on Google and I got some really incredible search traffic to some very good keywords. After about a year disaster struck. I was completely banned from Google. Not just penalized but 100% de-indexed from their search engine. Why? I have no idea. I never bought or sold links or did anything but write fantastic content all myself. I was in trouble. Why was I in trouble? Because I had no other source of income.
If your main source of income slows down or dries up it shouldn’t worry you. You should have another check coming from somewhere else. Find the reason it has slowed down and work on it. If you are a blogger or run a website that is mainly dependent on search traffic then this is especially true for you. Google changes their algorithm all the time and you don’t want to get caught with your pants down.
Failing is good
If you are diversified enough you will find that failing becomes something that is good for your business. It allows you to learn from your mistakes and tweak your approach to making money online. If, however, you are solely reliant on one source then failing becomes pretty hard to learn from. The stress and panic takes over and your get consumed in just trying to find the next dollar. Make sure you have the different projects and your fingers in as many pies as possible. You will succeed.