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Are you tired of watching other moms find work at home success? You really can earn money from home, even if your life is crazy. But, there’s a secret to making it happen. Keep reading to learn what it is.
When I started my freelance writing business back in 2015, I had no idea what I was doing. I literally started with no experience.
Now I’m earning enough to support my family of 11 while we’re on the road doing deputation for our ministry. I’m not earning six figures or anything, but using income from my business we have gotten completely out of debt and my husband was able to quit his full-time job. According to my definition, that makes my business a success.
So how did I go from no experience to meeting my financial goals consistently?
I learned the key to work from home success. It’s not flashy. Or fancy. But, it is crucial to making it as a mom boss.
You Must Take Imperfect Action
No matter how much you plan, research, or dream, you will never succeed if you don’t act.
I’ve seen too many women who have grand dreams and ideas that I know would be a success. But, they never push the “go” button on making it happen.
They want to wait until they have everything figured out. They think they must be an expert at all the things before they take a step forward. In short, they want to be perfect so their business will be perfect and all their dreams will come true.
And since perfection is a myth, they never arrive at this point. So their dreams wither away and fade into the background.
You must be willing to take imperfect action to find work at home success.
That’s it, that’s the secret.
It seems so simple, but it is a difficult truth for one major reason:
Your Mind Is Your Worst Enemy
Many people, women in particular, struggle greatly against their mind. You may have experienced this as well.
You’re just getting ready to be brave and push past your fears and take action when all of a sudden, a thought pops into your brain. It might sound like one of these:
- Are you sure that’s the best place to start? Why don’t you ask a few people and see what they did first.
- Why should people listen to you when there are so many other people who are better (fill in the blank). You should work on getting some credentials first.
- Woah, are you sure you know how to set up a website. That’s pretty complicated and if you hit the wrong button you might mess everything up. You better watch some more tutorials.
- What about a head shot? You need a professional one of those for your business, and you really don’t have anything in your wardrobe that will work. You better buy some new things and lose a few pounds before you call and schedule a photo shoot.
It could be anything along those lines.
Most of the time, the thoughts that slow you down the most are subtle. They aren’t NEVER. They are, do this first, then start your business.
And because it’s not giving up on your dream completely, you are more likely to listen to those thoughts. You may even give into them and agree that you better do x, y, or z first.
In order to make progress, you need to learn to recognize when your brain is fighting against you, and retrain yourself to take action even when you don’t feel ready.
Here are five specific things you can do:
1. Admit Your Shortcomings
Your brain is going to bring every flaw to your attention. Repeatedly.
The best way I’ve dealt with this?
Straight up admit where I fall short. I am not a great marketer. Selling isn’t something I’m good at.
I’m also not a perfect punctuationist.
And I even make up words from time to time, like that one right up there.
In summary, my writing isn’t perfect.
In fact, my high school English teachers would flip out over how many times I start sentences with and or but. 😀
But, I know where I fall short. I know what I need to watch for when I write.
Because once you know where you need to work harder, you can focus on those areas.
When you own up to where you aren’t perfect, it takes the sting out of it. And, you can then counter your shortcoming with something more powerful…
2. Make a Plan
Once you know what they are, you can create a plan to address your shortcomings if they become a problem.
Marketing was a huge problem for me. In fact, it was such a problem that I didn’t do it for years. Oops.
Now? I recognize that it’s not one of my strong areas, and I outsource Pinterest marketing. I have plans to outsource even more in the future.
And though my writing on the blog isn’t perfect, I really take the time to proof my client work to see if I have any misplaced commas or crazy new words.
Adding a proofreading step into my client work routine is a plan that helps me overcome an area that is not a strong one for me.
No matter what your weaknesses are, you can make a plan to address them. You don’t have to let them hold you back.
Also, just a warning that just as you have a plan for one problem, you might notice another one rearing up. That’s because your brain can’t focus on everything all at once. So when it no longer has to point out the first one, it’ll find something else to try to stop you.
3. Stop Letting Your Imagination Run Away with You
When you’re fighting against your brain, it’s very easy to let your imagination run away with you. If you’re visualizing the pitch you’re going to send for a VA gig, you might start thinking about the possible responses.
And if your imagination is anything like mine, those initial thoughts won’t be pleasant. Instead, you’ll think of all the ways you could possibly be rejected. You may even have entire conversations with this person you don’t even know in real life, but have somehow turned into this anti-you person.
When you recognize your mind is running away with you, there is one simple thing you can do to stop it.
Say something true.
Lies and runaway imaginations cannot stand up to truth. It can be something simple. I teach my kids to say something like:
- My name is ( -). I am (- ) years old.
- God loves me.
- I like to eat ( – ).
- I have a cat named ( – ).
Your true statement doesn’t have to be thought out or anything. You can just say something true. Then, hold onto that thought. Let your mind dwell on the truth.
Keep saying true things until the negative spiral has passed.
Then, think logically about the situation. What is genuinely the worst thing that could happen?
Typically in a home business, it could involve someone not liking something you did. Rejection is a real possibility when you work from home.
But, what is actually going to happen as a result? Might someone leave a rude comment? Or reply that you aren’t a good fit?
When you look at the worst likely outcome, it becomes less scary. You can once again make a plan to help yourself.
Decide in advance how you will react. Will you opt not to read comments? Or use grace to respond?
Will you store your rejection letters in a certain folder in your email?
Do you have a person you can talk to when these situation arise?
What you do isn’t important, but having a plan is. Once you have a plan for the worst possible outcome, you can move forward and take action.
4. Commit to One Small Thing Each Day
Your road to success doesn’t have to come in big, bold sweeps. Being consistent, even if you’re moving slowly, will take you so far.
So commit now to doing one thing each day towards your business goals. One thing isn’t much, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing.
Once you get used to doing one thing a day, slowly increase the number of steps you take. Don’t burn yourself out, but do adjust as you make more time in your schedule and are feeling more comfortable in your new role.
Starting slowly really forces you to break things down. Instead of having a huge step in front of you that can be daunting, you can take that task and divide it into a series of baby steps.
Then before you know it the big task will be done.
What are some small things you can get done? Well, the specific task you do each day will vary based on the type of work from home job you have.
Here are some ideas:
- Submit a guest post so you can get a byline and build your portfolio
- Apply for a gig you found on a job board or social media
- Update your resume
- Connect with people you’d love to work with on social media
- Decide on a business name and create a website
- Pick a method to invoice your clients (I use Wave)
For even more ideas and a downloadable list of 100 quick things you can do for your home business, read this post:
But, don’t only do things off of my list. You best know what needs done for your business. So make yourself a list.
Then, do one thing from it. Do another one tomorrow. Keep going and pretty soon you’ll look back and see how much progress you’ve made.
5. Connect with Others Who Are Seeking Work from Home Success
Sometimes, isolation can make you feel like you’re never going to win. It really is important to network with others who are walking a similar path.
Join a Facebook Group or two of others who are doing what you’re doing. Start reaching out, not in a creepy stalker way, but in a friendly manner.
Also, don’t think of these people as competitors, value them as coworkers.
To help you find others, here’s a post on networking without leaving the house. (Though if you can get to an in-person event occasionally I’d highly recommend it!)
Work at Home Success Is Within Reach
You can succeed with a home business. But, if you don’t take action, you never will.
So be brave and push past your fears. Don’t listen to the negative thoughts that quickly invade.
Instead, pick one step and get it done. Then do another. And another. Keep repeating this.
Eventually, you will be amazed at how far your small steps took you.
You can do this. I’ll be over here cheering you on!
And if you’re interested in more personalized help on your journey, I offer coaching services. You can learn more on this page.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.