Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moving from HOBBY to BUSINESS

Hi. I really need to make my business a business and not a hobby. I have two small children so I really need to maximize the time I give to my business to the utmost! I'm hoping to get some good tips through your website to help me be successful! Thanks. -Terri

This is a common “lament” amongst not only Party Plan folk but anyone who works from home. While we have addressed this topic before; we thought a quick review might be in order for those of you who have only been with us a short while.

We have the “perks” of working from home burned in our minds. We sell the advantages on each and every recruiting appointment. You know the spiel, “work in your pajamas, set your own hours around your family's schedule, no traffic to fight, do a load of laundry while you work, be the `field trip mom', no boss breathing down your neck…yah-dee-yah-dee-yah.” The list goes on and on. However, Terri's point is a valid one and a struggle for many of us as we try to make a viable income from home while at the same time caretaking small children. How is it that you can best move beyond the hobby level and (to quote Emeril) “kick it up a notch…BAM!”

Here are some tried and true tips that will help you do just that:

SET OFFICE HOURS (can we say this enough?) Set them, keep them, and know they will change each year as your children grow.

KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN. Share your goals with your family. Let them know where you want to be, when you want to be there, what's in it for them and how they can help.

GET HELP!* As much as we try, we can't do it all. Get a cleaning service (even once a month will help); schedule an extra party to pay for it. After all, wouldn't you rather do a party and let someone else scrub your floors?

CHILDCARE*! Yes, we KNOW you are working from home to be with your kids, but through our entire history in party plan we were always a party of a babysitting co-op or we hired another mom to help us out. (Don't belong to a babysitting co-op? Then start one! It's a great way to network for your business and it won't set you back financially because the `currency' is trading time for time) Visit your local library and check out a book on the subject.

TREAT IT LIKE A BUSINESS! That means you may have to say “no” once in a while. The biggest `rookie' mistake for those working from home for the first time is to think that magically there are MORE than 24 hours in a day and you suddenly no longer need to sleep. Figure out your priorities and learn to say NO to those who think you are just `playing office'. Resist the urge to drop everything to have coffee with a friend when it is office hour time.

GO HOME FROM WORK! One of the biggest challenges of working from home can be that you (mentally) don't go home. When you are spending time with family you feel guilty because you think you should be working and when you are working you feel guilty because you think you should be spending time with your family. AGAIN, go back to #1. By setting and keeping office hours (and set “party” nights as well) you will begin to be able to compartmentalize. Having a separate office space WITH A DOOR THAT CLOSES is also helpful if possible.

C.A.N.I. (Constant and Never-ending Improvement). Another “must” …stay motivated by reading our daily tips and TAKE A PEEK at our awesome training materials to help you keep on keeping on when the going gets tough!

No comments: