One of the most difficult things about working from home whether you are a real estate investor or in an entirely different business, is trying to maintain that separation of your work from your home life, family and friends. It is especially difficult if this “new found freedom” of working from home is something that you have never done before. It can be really tempting to take a few just a few minutes to do one of the million tasks staring you in the face. But if you are going be successful in your business while working from home, you need to have some ground rules and follow them.
1. Adjust your mindset. Before you can get even begin to set up some ground rules to help your business succeed, you have to first work on yourself and your own mindset. You are in business, and you have to act and think like a business person.
2. Set some boundaries. Some of your friends and family members may assume that since you work from home, it’s OK to drop by for a visit, babysit their kids for an hour or two, or drop everything and go out for a long lunch. They will try to invoke “their agenda on you”. These same people with expect you to answer their personal phone calls during your work hours. There’s just no way around it; you are going to have to “train these folks” to respect your time.
3. Create a work schedule and stick to it. I have worked from home for many years now, and I always get up at the same time and get ready for work. And I am pretty much at my desk at the same time each day. The ability to set a schedule and stay focused will most likely determine whether or not you succeed in your business while working from home. You need to work smarter not harder.
4. Want to escape the 9 to 5? There is a good pretty good chance that one of your initial objectives in starting your business, was to be in control of your time; to be able to work when you want to. You can do that! Just because you have set up a work schedule, it doesn’t mean you have to work the typical “9 to 5”. Set your hours to so that you work when you are most productive. Split up your day if you want to and work 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening. You get to choose.
5. Have a separate office space. In a perfect world, you should have a room dedicated to your office. When you are talking to clients, the last thing you want them to hear is your kids, the TV, or a dog barking. You will also be more productive if you have your own dedicated space. If that isn’t possible, using a decorative screen will give you a visual separation from the other parts of the room.
6. Have a separate business phone. Whether it is a landline or a cell phone is not really important. It is important that you have a professional business like greeting on your voicemail. Always answer your phone professionally by stating your name just like you would if you were working in a corporate setting. Even though you are working from home, no one needs to know.
7. Invest in technology. Invest in the technology you need for your business. You may be working out of a tiny room in your home, but you can project the image to the world that you are a first class company. How the internet has changed the way we do business!
8. Be a “lifelong learner”. Set aside some time each day to invest in yourself; in your education. Read something, listen to a webinar online, or attend a meeting. Stay on the cutting edge of your particular business or field.
9. Dress and act professionally. Even though you are working from home, this doesn’t make you less professional. Simply put, you just won’t get as much done lounging around in your pajamas all day. Get dressed and go to your office at your scheduled time every day.
10. Take care of your health. Probably the biggest challenge for most entrepreneurs is not working enough, but quite the opposite. We tend to work too many hours. Know when it’s time to close the office door and take a walk or head for the gym. You won’t have a business if you don’t have your health.
Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY. She has been investing in real estate since 1998. Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. It was during that time she began investing in real estate. She has been a full time real estate investor since January of 2008 specializing in wholesaling. Sharon is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.
In addition to investing in real estate, she writes article for several national real estate sites and is an internet marketer. She also is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. Contact Sharon at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com