My uncle once told me that he thought working at home was for “slackers” and meant a “do-little job.” He was a lifelong farmer who rose at dawn every day to tend to his 200 acres of cattle pasture. My uncle prided himself, as I did, on his old school work ethic. Funnily enough, he also admitted over a beer or two that he wasn’t a man of the modern age, so maybe he wasn’t hip to people who worked at home.
As an info marketer, you are a person of the modern age. One of the benefits of being this person is the ability to work at home. But most people don’t understand what it means to actually do this, especially younger entrepreneurs. It doesn’t mean a “holiday-at-home” and, if you don’t understand how to be a good work-at-home entrepreneur, you run the risk of having your business fail right before your eyes.
Here are some tips on what you need to be a successful work-at-home information marketer:
— A work space: Find the best place in your home to work from. Make sure it is well-lit, spacious, and free from distractions. Some find darker areas like a basement better, while others like the traditional, sunlight drenched attic space.
— A desk area and tools: Within your workspace, carve out where you want to work. Whether it is in a corner or in the area’s center, find the most comfortable place to work from and arrange your desk and computer there. Put everything you need around it, including books, paper, stationery, phone, fax machine, and photocopier. Don’t worry so much about being neat at first or even creating a mess. Despite protestations from his wife and cleaning lady, our associate Bill Hebden prides himself on being surrounded by his own “disaster area” and knows intuitively where everything he needs is located. His time-honed professional performance has shown this to work best for him.
— A schedule and agenda: Create your own agenda for what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Schedule your e-newsletter releases and do up a list of the next day’s activities before you go to bed each night. Schedule breaks for yourself on a regular basis and do not deviate from your self-made arrangement.
— Discipline: This is your business right? You have to make it as successful as possible and cannot forget why you are working at home in the first place. You have to work. Get in the mindset of remembering this and over time your discipline in working at home will become habitual.
I should mention that I had to learn all of these things thanks to a previous publishing job. From the get-go, we were allowed one work-at-home day a week. I did okay with this privilege as I got to work right after I woke up and finished most tasks before early afternoon. Some of my colleagues, though, didn’t do well with this arrangement and goofed off too much at home. They almost lost their privileges as a result.
Learning the skills of working at home is invaluable to the information marketer. The success of your business will be constant and you will never have to step into another person’s office again.