Part of how I remain focused on my family, as well as on my ultimate goal of raising Godly men, is working towards solely making an income from home. This will help me to not only contribute to our monthly income, but remain flexible with my schedule, which is SO essential and an absolute lifesaver when you have multiple children!
For the past year and a half I have dabbled with exclusively work from home, but the past six months I have buckled down to really make this happen. So while I don’t have years of work-at-home experience to draw from, I do have enough to have figured out what makes working from home so great.
Here are a few key benefits of working from home:
Working at home offers flexibility.
This is the number one reason I want to work from home. While some clients might want you to be available during a typical 9-5 schedule, most will say that as long as the work gets done, they don’t care when it gets done. After all, that is why the majority of people chose to work from home in the first place.
Do you need to pick your kids up from school? Is there a special midday school event? Are your kids sick? Do you have doctor appointments? Is childcare an issue?
These are all major reasons why the flexibility of working from home is so important! And hey, like I said, it’s the number one reason I am working towards working from home full time, too!
Working from home often provides the opportunity to make more money than working at a traditional job.
Most people don’t know that in many cases you may be able to make more money working from home.
The average Virtual Assistant typically charges between $20-30 per hour, depending on their area of expertise. (If you specialize in something complicated or technical, say, IT or accounting, you could charge even more!) That is a heck of a lot more than minimum wage, regardless of where you live.
And the best part? You can choose your own hourly rate.
How much is your time worth?
The best advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to what I should charge hourly is this: How much do I believe my time is worth?
I learned this the hard way. In the beginning, I was tempted to charge a lower hourly rate to attract clients. I finally landed one of my first clients and charged what I thought was an appropriate amount for a beginner. Not only was it more difficult to motivate myself and WANT to work for this client (because, hey, I was making more at my away-from-home part-time job), it was also extremely difficult to raise my rates when I felt more comfortable doing so. It was a good lesson learned!
It is also important to keep in mind that you are a self-employed contractor, and should be setting aside money for expenses, taxes, etc. This makes it a bit easier to justify charging more than you might initially feel comfortable charging.
Working from home allows you to structure your own work day.
Again, a HUGE draw to pursing working from home is the ability to structure your own work day. Not only in reference to when you work, though that is a huge bonus, but also in that you can choose how many hours per week you want to work in general.
Do you only want to work 10 hours per week? Great! Then maybe only take on 1-2 small clients. Maybe you want to work full time, in which case you have a lot more options and flexibility in terms of how to structure your clients and your day.
The sky is the limit, and it’s all up to YOU.
You can be home with your kids.
Maybe childcare is an issue for you. Maybe you can’t afford childcare with a traditional job, or maybe you don’t want to rely on someone else and their schedule in order to make working happen. Maybe if you had the option to flexibly bring in a little side income, it would hugely benefit your budget, take the pressure off your finances…and you would totally do it!
Or maybe it’s important to you and your family that you’re home and the main caregiver for your kids.
Do either of those sound like you?
I have found that most of us that are work-at-home-moms feel this way! I know I do.
For me, when we found out we were expecting our fourth baby, I knew I had to diligently and seriously pursue working from home as my primary source of income, for all of these reasons.
You can work from the comfort of your own home.
Did you wake up today and just not feel the whole “getting ready” thing? Want to work in your yoga pants and bunny slippers?
Well if you work from home you totally can!
You can drink your own coffee and use your own creamer, sit in your own desk chair, and use your own computer and equipment that you already know how to use. It doesn’t really get much better than that!
Now it’s not all roses and butterflies. There are some instances where working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and in the spirit of full disclosure I do want to touch on those points as well.
Even though you’re working from home, you still have to (wait for it…) work.
Some days, to be completely honest, it’s downright hard to work from home.
You’re sitting in your own home with a million personal to-do lists – laundry, dirty bathrooms, making dinner. It’s a beautiful day outside and your friend calls to ask if you want to meet up with the kiddos at a local park. But…you really need to put in some hours for your clients.
Sometimes it’s hard to make those time management calls.
And let’s face it. Sometimes the work isn’t always enjoyable. You might have a particular job that bores you to death. Those other tasks come calling and, quite frankly, seem a lot more important. But if you want to make money and build your business, it simply has to get done!
Honestly, it’s a learning curve. But after a little trial and error, the other life distractions get a lot easier to manage.
Set business hours.
One of the things that has most helped me with this is setting “business hours” for myself. Every day I try to set aside the hours of 9am-12pm as my “working hours”. I simply don’t schedule anything during this time frame. If I treat it like a “real” job (because, well, it is), then I’m able to more effectively get my work done.
Now obviously, for me the main benefit of working from home is flexibility, so if something pressing does come up I am able to adjust my schedule accordingly. However I have to be careful to make sure that becomes the exception, not the rule.
It can be harder to focus.
Sometimes working out of your own home is distracting. Especially if you have kids, it can be difficult to find time to focus enough to get your work done. It’s also challenging, like I mentioned above, when daily life calls – like laundry, cooking dinner, noticing the dust settling nicely on your office bookshelf begging to be cleaned, etc.
Work when you can.
If I’m not working during my pre-scheduled 9am-12pm time, then I tend to do the majority of my work early in the mornings, during nap time, and after the kids go to bed.
Recognize your limitations.
This is also a great opportunity to realize your potential limitations. Maybe signing a client that expects you to be available between the hours of 9-5 is not the route you’d want to take. Instead, focus on picking up clients that don’t need that type of daily focus, and instead allow you to complete tasks when you can…even if that’s two in the morning.
It’s all about flexibility.
While these are definitely important aspects to consider when deciding whether or not working from home is for you, for me the pros of working from home far outweigh the cons. At this time in my life, I’m all about flexibility. I am able to work around the negative aspects of working from home and
find make time to work because it’s more important for my family and my own personal long-term goals that I find a way to make this work.
So HOW exactly do I make this work, you might ask?
Well it’s been a lot of trial and error, to start. But one of the first things I did was read a LOT of books on the topic. It helped get the juices flowing as I began to seriously pursue working from home. And as was the case with a couple of books I read, it actually completely laid out the process for me, from what I’d need to get started to landing my first client.
Basically, reading books on working from home inspired me to give it a try. After all, what did I have to lose? They also helped point me in the right direction and gave me a solid place to start.
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