So here you are. You have set yourself up with an idea, a goal, a desire to be self-employed. Whether you've just left your previous employer or you're planning to leave, working from home has its pros and cons you need to weigh up. Since you're reading this, I will assume you are considering to go ahead and work from home, or are in the process of doing so. Working from home and being self-employed can bring lots of benefits to your lifestyle, but it doesn't come easily. So how do you make it all happen? How do you realise all of your hopes and dreams for a successful job from home, when you're already struggling to earn some money and get it off the ground? Consistency is key, so here are some simple and inspiring tips for finding the self-motivation to get up and build your business from your own home!
Keep Track of Your Goals
You need to start somewhere. You need to have a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve, even if you're a multi-passionate entrepreneur with ideas and mega-plans all over the spectrum. Deciding what it is you want when you want it and the steps you need to take in order to get it are key to lifting you off the sofa and your business off the ground. Don't be afraid or ashamed if your goal is x-amount of money. Your goals are important to you only, which is why I recommend you don't share them with other people. I learned this from a fantastic little book that you can buy here. It's called 'It Works: The Famous Little Red Book That Makes Your Dreams Come True' and it's worth your time, trust me. I read this tiny book in fifteen minutes with the gentle purr of a tractor engine in my ears. As well as various other tidbits of motivational information to boost your confidence, the author instructs you to write down any possible dream you have ever wanted to make a reality in a list, from what you want the most, to the least. They tell you to keep it for your eyes only, so the only person that could ever put you off is you. It is fine to alternate the list and amend it whenever you like because of course, our desires can change. But keep hold of it and work with it, to help you stay focused. You never know, a simple list could be far more effective, inspiring and thought-out than a five-year personal development plan.
Listen to Podcasts and Watch Fellow Entrepreneurs on YouTube
This can be such a great way to fill yourself with motivation. Listening to podcasts of people who made their start-ups a success story not only gives you the drive to continue, but also the ability to learn from their experiences. Find one that interests you, take notes and listen carefully. Some of my favourites are the podcasts from Me & Orla, 'behind the scenes' Instagram stories (Kayte from Simple and Season has some great ones that you can watch anytime) and coaching and lifestyle videos on YouTube. I enjoy watching Sophie Shoheton YouTube, who provides not only fashion and beauty advice, but also tips for climbing the career ladder and, ultimately, achieving what you want. As long as you keep sight of the reason why you are watching or listening, i.e. to learn, and not to make yourself miserable with what you don't have that others do, you will gain some mega motivation points.
Create a Workspace That Inspires You
Ironically as I write, I've actually had a very productive day working from my sofa, but I don't typically do this. It's baking outside and my sofa is closer to the back door than my desk is! I usually work from a desk that I have tried to decorate with things that bring me inspiration (as well filling it with stationery clutter, but we will glide swiftly over that). I have decorated my workspace with inspirational quotes and pictures, favourite paint swatches and personal photographs. I like to think that I have put together a creative space with reminders of who or what I'm doing this for, as well as a pleasant space to sit down and concentrate at for most of the day.
...Which leads me to my next point.
Start Your Day Right
Start your day properly! Keep the alarm set for whatever time you used to have to get up for work and don't be tempted to snooze it. At the very latest, I start at 10 am, but I tend to get more done and feel more productive when I sit down at 9 or 9.30am. It might sound a bit too corporate and a work from home job is supposed to be flexible, but on an average workday, you want to try to keep your schedule as structured as possible, or else you will start putting things off. I have a habit of getting distracted by cleaning or wash loads, but there are ways to make these sorts of tasks easier so that you spend less time on them, which you can view here. Along with getting up at a good time, I would also suggest you eat breakfast and drink some water. Both of these work really well for concentration and for keeping the urges to go fridge-diving at bay until lunchtime. And while you are at it, give yourself enough time to smarten yourself up, as you would do in an ordinary work environment. By all means, work from your loungewear if you want to, but make the effort to do your hair and put on some makeup. This will help you to feel much more confident and ready to tackle your tasks because you look the part. This way, you can also take deliveries without worrying what the postman will think of your appearance (note to self).
Plan Your Day
Get yourself a diary and start organising. Whether it's blogging you do primarily from home or offering a service that requires you to go out and meet your clients, a diary will save your life! If you read my content regularly you will probably know that I'm a firm believer in pen and paper, but I do also use and benefit from planning on my laptop, so that I can easily jot ideas down on Pages rather than scrabble around my drawers looking for that one 'Ideas' list I created months ago. A diary or calendar is going to help you decide when and where you will be doing things, who you have to meet, events you will be attending, as well as all the bits in between like the dentist appointment you have to try your hardest not to forget about. I've found that since adopting a more forward-thinking planning approach, I've been able to track my deadlines more easily. I would also really recommend you create a pool of content ideas so that you always have something to fall back on.
So there you go. Five tips that can help to get you into that #bossspirit, if you will. The important thing is to not lose sight of what we want and what we want it for, so don't be disheartened if your business isn't flying high from the beginning like you hoped. The cruel truth is, there is a high percentage of entrepreneurial start-ups that fail within the first year. You don't need to be in that percentage. Don't give up on it if you're not earning your ideal amount. Get up, start your day like a boss, finish it like one and you will begin to see the benefits.
If you would like to see more content like this, please do let me know over on Instagram and I'd love to hear your own thoughts and tips for self-motivation when working from home.