Are you a prisoner to corporate America? Held hostage in an office from 8-5? I was too for many years until I discovered the beauty of working from home. I am not the only one. The majority of people I know have left corporate hell and have set up shop at home. Just a few of them include:
- Real estate agent
- Financial planner
- Hair stylist
- Corporate recruiter
- Computer/software sales
- Insurance agent
- Home inspector
- Home decorator
- Cello, piano and violin teacher
- Personal fitness trainer
- Massage Therapist
- Website developer
- Website programmer
- Professional blogger
- Child care provider
- Direct sales of Mary Kay, Silpada, and Arbonne products
Some of these people are executives, some administrators and some artistic freelancers. Either way, a majority of administrative and artistic jobs can be operated from home these days thanks to the internet, email and cell phones.
If you currently work for a company, ask your boss tomorrow if you can start working from home 2-3 days per week. After you have proven yourself to be successful working from home part-time, ask your boss to work from home 5 days per week, and voila!, you are out of corporate hell.
If you are thinking about starting your own business from scratch, here are a few things you should know:
- Your best friend is a good attorney. The big mistake I made when building FatNoggin.com, was listening to friends and colleagues as to whether FatNoggin should be a sole proprietorship, an LLC, etc…I was completely misguided and spent a lot of money setting up FatNoggin the wrong way. Then I was smart enough to meet with an attorney who advised me to create an LLC – which was a smart move since FatNoggin grew to be much bigger than we expected and we had a snaky developer try and sue us. The LLC protected us in many ways. Most attorneys will offer a 30 free consultation to advise you. Then you will pay $200-1,000 to actually hire the attorney to do all of the paperwork. It is money well spent. Don’t skip this process or you could end up in a lot of trouble down the road.
- Invest in a business idea that you truly love. Starting a business can be very frustrating and there will be days you want to quit. If you are selling a product or service just for the money, then you will quit. If you are passionate about your product, you will tough it out through the thick and thin – and the work you do won’t always feel like work.
- Create a business that can run on auto-pilot and generate income for you via the internet. There is nothing more valuable than earning money while hanging out with your kids, enjoying a vacation at the beach or in the middle of the night. Being a prisoner to your home office isn’t much better than being a prisoner to a corporate office.
- Make sure your business doesn’t require you to work more than 40 hours per week. The whole point of working from home is to have more freedom, more time and more happiness in life. If you have a successful business but you are working 80 hours per week, I would say you have less freedom, less time and less happiness in life.
- Find 1 or 2 aspects of your business you are extremely good at going, and outsource all the rest. For example, when launching FatNoggin.com, I knew I was really good at marketing and sales, but terrible at everything else. So I have outsourced all legal needs, accounting, website design, website development, marketing materials, etc… Even if you think you are good at “everything”, it is impossible to run a successful business when you wear too many hats. You will be much more successful if you do one job exceptionally well rather than trying to do 6 jobs and being mediocre at all of them.
- Surround yourself with smart, talented people. Yes, this is an ego crusher for most people. But you must face the facts: there are people in your community who are much smarter and much more talented than you. Get to know these people. Rack their brains. Ask them for advice. You will find that by surrounding yourself with successful people, your chances of being successful will quadruple.
- Never ever quit. If you read the stories of the most successful people in business, entertainment, sports and life, you will find that the majority of them faced hash adversity and rejection at the beginning of their careers. Read their stories. Let them inspire you. If you stay, it will pay. Never ever quit.
- Educate and inspire yourself. Read dozens of books on sales, marketing, leadership, inspiration, goal-setting and money management. If you are not learning, you are not growing. One nugget of information in one book could change your business and your life forever. A good book is the smallest investment with the greatest rewards!
** Kate Raidt has worked from home for 6 years managing an insurance organization. In 2008, she launched FatNoggin.com – one of the world’s largest catalogs of discounted books. All operations are run from her home. Kate is also author of The Million-Dollar Parent – a blueprint on how to have a successful career while keeping your family a top priority.