It feels like more and more people are working from home these days. In fact, it’s been predicted that more than 50% of the workforce will be freelancing full-time in the next 10 years. Sound appealing? If you’re curious about this lifestyle, there’s a few questions you should ask yourself first.
But, I mean…really. Who wouldn’t want to flexibility and the comfort of working from home? Who wouldn’t want to travel freely at a moment’s notice? What mom wouldn’t want to spend time with her kids and not have to worry about childcare?
Here’s the thing. It’s important not to jump in before really thinking this through. You need to take some time, and ask yourself some important questions. Think it over, journal your answers, and reflect. Starting the laptop lifestyle is definitely doable, but it does require a ton of work.
Ask yourself the following questions and see if it’s a career lifestyle that will work for you.
5 Things You Need to Know Before Working from Home
What am I passionate about?
When you’re thinking about working from home, you definitely want to think a lot about what type of business you want to own.
You want to come up with an idea for your business that you’re passionate about and has the potential to make money. Check out my Build Your Biz Bootcamp if you’re having trouble deciding on what type of business you want to own.
Consider jumping in right away! Starting immediately is the perfect way to go for some people. This works well especially if you’re multi-passionate. You’ll figure it all out as you go along. Plus, when you’re first getting started working from home is when you have the most amount of freedom to change your mind and do whatever you want.
Take advantage of that time when nobody is watching. I guarantee that nobody is paying attention. You can do whatever you want and nobody cares.
Offer one type of service, then offer another type of service. Test out your branding. Test out your niche. Do a lot of testing — experiment with different types of jobs, different types of projects, different types of clients, and see what you’re truly interested in and what you’re truly passionate about.
If you’re having trouble jumping in, my best advice is to just DO IT! That is really the first step that you need to take. Don’t overthink it, just do it and the rest will fall into place over time.
How much time each day or each week do you have to focus on your business?
Time is your biggest and best resource available to you when you start working from home.
When I first started, it seemed like I had all the time in the world and absolutely no money. I was willing to spend a lot of time getting my business set up and a lot of time per dollar earned.
This is totally normal, but eventually your business should evolve. It should reach a point where your time becomes more and more valuable. You should become willing to spend money to save time versus when you are first getting started and you are most likely more willing to spend time in order to save money.
Dedicating Time to Your Side Hustle
You need to be able to dedicate a certain amount of time each week to your business in order to grow it to the point where you’re making a legitimate side hustle income, or even a full-time income if that’s your goal.
When I was first getting started, I would usually work on my business all day long. I would be up all hours of the night trying to get stuff done! I don’t think that that is necessary but you should be able to dedicate at least a few hours per day, if not more. My recommendation would be at least 5 hours per day but I know that people have started successful businesses with less time.
You may end up realizing that the amount of time you originally wanted to dedicate to the business is not enough. Your to-do list could get longer, or you could just plain want to spend more time working. You may need to readjust your expectations or priorities, so that you can work more than you originally had anticipated.
What does your partner or your spouse think about you working from home?
One of the most important things you need to do before you jump in is discuss your new idea with your partner or whoever is close to you in your life. You are going to need to dedicate so much time to the new business. This will affect your significant other almost as much as it will affect you.
Really, anyone who’s a big part your life should be made aware of the upcoming changes. Your availability is going to go way down, so let them know ahead of time.
I think that this conversation needs to go even deeper if you do have a partner or a spouse. You’ll want to make sure that they are totally on the same page with you.
Besides your schedule, that you’ll want to discuss with your partner is money. Starting a business typically does require some initial investment.
If you are able to start quickly and make money right away, you have better odds of making a profit. However, your spouse should still be prepared for spending some money, at least in the early stages of your business. Because online business is so easy to start, it shouldn’t require too much initial investment so, hopefully, your partner won’t be too upset about that.
You can start a business for pretty cheap. Then, as you become more successful, you can allot more of your income to upleveling your business.
Working from home will affect your children, too
The other thing you’ll want to talk to your partner about is childcare, if you have kids.
You may want to discuss the fact that you’ll need extra alone or quiet time to spend on a business. For example, if you need to have discovery calls with potential clients, you’ll need a quiet space to do that. Or if you really need to focus on something, you may need a few hours with no distractions.
You may need to invest in a babysitter or a nanny a few times a week. This can give you the time you need to spend on your new business. Optionally, you may want to think about daycare, activities, or other extra curricular programs you can enroll your kids in. Whatever you decide, it’s important to discuss the plan for how your kids will be affected.
How dedicated am I?
One of the most important things when it comes to online business is having determination.
Running a business, especially in the beginning, is really hard. There’s a lot of ups and downs.
You need to have a determination inside of you to keep going even when it gets hard. Without that, you will never be successful.
So make sure that if you are thinking about starting a business that you are fully committed to it and you are determined to succeed at your business no matter what.
What do I want my life to look like?
One of the good things about having an online business is that you can create whatever lifestyle you want for yourself. What people don’t think about when they’re starting their online business is how their idea aligns with their lifestyle goals.
Here’s an example: If you want to travel a lot, you probably want to work for just a few hours each day. My type of service-based business won’t plug into that lifestyle because I need to be readily available to my clients every day in case of an emergency. In order to embrace that travel lifestyle, you would be better off establishing a business making profits from passive income.
When you’re thinking about what type of a business you want to have, make sure you are thinking long term. Think about what your ideal lifestyle would look like if your business did become successful and then work backwards to build that type of business.
I’m not trying to say any service-based business isn’t good for a freedom-based lifestyle. There are definitely ways that you can make your service-based business work for you. You don’t need to be there 24/7.
Planning a Transition
It’s just important to keep your eye in the prize. Many entrepreneurs initially go into business as a service provider. Then as they become more successful and grow their business, they will change their business model and focus on selling evergreen content.
A perfect example is Melyssa Griffin who started freelance work as a website designer. Eventually her business transformed into selling online courses. Now she even hosts her own podcast. Because her service-based business became so successful, she was able to move away from selling services. How ironic is that?
Remember that that type of transition doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger. It certainly doesn’t happen without some major planning behind the scenes.
If your goal is to start with services and then transition into something else, try to plan this from the very beginning. So, if your goal is to eventually transition into selling infoproducts, that means that (ideally) you should position yourself a little bit differently from the very beginning. This will make it so that the transition is easier when it comes time to take it.
Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t start out with services and then change your mind and transition without having any type of a plan in place originally. That’s totally possible and people do it all the time! But that’s not the easiest way to do it. So I’m trying to save you a lot of effort and headache in a long run. The best way to have longterm success working from home is to prepare your business for the future right from the very beginning.