Work At Home

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tips for a WAHM (Work at Home Mom)

Becoming a WAHM or a work at home mom takes a lot more than just declaring yourself as one. As our society sets the bar for two-income households, many women are seeking a way to bring in income while still being able to take care of their young children. The WAHM option is growing in popularity and the WAHM community online is one of the largest work from home groups on the web.
There are a few specific skills that are necessary to become a successful WAHM. The first is patience. Being a WAHM means realizing that it will take time to build up your desired business. Unlike a job outside of the home, a WAHM business requires constant care and tending. It will take a few weeks or months to get things going with your business, and it will also take time for your family to adjust to your new WAHM lifestyle. It’s important to have patience for your children and for yourself during the WAHM process.
Time management is another must for a WAHM. Your time management should help you establish a healthy balance between your WAHM life and your home life. Don’t forgo your family in order to build your business, and likewise don’t neglect your WAHM efforts for your home duties. It’s a constant balancing act, and setting clear time period for your WAHM activities will help you reach the balance you need.
Similarly, being a WAHM means being able to juggle all aspects of your life. As a mother, you probably wear a variety of different hats already. When you become a WAHM you add a sombrero size hat into the mix. Your days as a WAHM will include a wide variety of activities, from doing dishes to speaking with clients. Being able to do everything at once is impossible, but being able to address all of your roles is necessary.
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The Work At Home Lifestyle

When we’re young, we have this perception that we’re totally invincible and for a while, we are. Slowly but surely however, age catches up with us and all the liberties we took with our bodies begin to catch up with us.

Today’s job market particularly in my part of the country, is a young person’ game. I remember working in the factory and you could look in the eyes of the people that had been there for a while and they were empty and lacking hope.

Some had already lost jobs and benefits after 20 plus years of loyalty only to be on the fringe of losing it all again after another 20 years in a different place. When you see this day in and day out it really makes you think – will this be me in 20 years? Will I physically be up to the challenge that my job requires?

I wanted more. More for myself, my family, and our future. Corporate America wasn’t the way to go as it couldn’t give me all I was longing for. I yearned for the independence that only working from home could provide.

The possibilities were endless! We all see the banners, people lounging around on the beach, or sunning beside the pool. Once you get your head out of the clouds and realize that now, you’re actually a small business owner; it really brings you back down to earth quite quickly!

To be a success in the work from home industry you must realize that although different in many ways, this is still a job or chosen profession if you will. You are its President, CEO, Secretary, and on some days, the Janitor. In this business you’ll find the biggest stumbling block is YOU! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, pretty powerful in their own rite but let me impart this pearl of wisdom - success and failure are on the exact same road, it’s just that success is further down the road.

In the end, the only one who can let you down is you. To be sure you’ll be facing a lot of hard work. Overseeing the store, calling all the shots, sales, marketing, answering phones, taking orders and the like but, there’s no feeling like the total sense of freedom you’ll enjoy by owning your business.

The feeling of this kind of freedom can be overwhelming as few get to experience it. A word of caution here – don’t let the euphoric feeling you’re having lull you into a false sense of security. Your schedule must be rigid, you must be driven to succede, and you must not let your defeats get the best of you. Listen to those around you who have succeeded – they have already paid their dues in time and money so, doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel.

In closing and probably the most important thing for you to have is belief – a belief in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, a belief in your products or service, and a belief in yourself. I can believe in you all day long but if you don’t believe in yourself then my friend, the race is over before it’s begun.

Keep focused on your future, your hopes, your dreams, and what you want to accomplish. Let the nay Sayers have their piece just don’t let it deter you from the path you’ve chosen for yourself for success is at hand and today can truly be the best day of the rest of your life.

Chas may be reached at;

Chas is Home Based Business Owner, Motivational Writer, and an Independent SFI Marketing Representative
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Working at Home? Here's 10 Ways to Be More Productive

Ah, working at home... Visions of leisurely days, conference calls in comfy sweatpants, increased productivity with fewer interruptions. But the distinctions between work life and home life soon blur. You really should throw some laundry in the wash before you write that proposal. You have an hour before a meeting: Should you balance your books or clean the kitchen? And remember to call that client back right after you empty the cat box.
Welcome to the real world of working at home: unforeseen distractions, a lack of structured time, and sometimes a perceived loss of identity. But don't give up the dream just yet! By putting into place a few simple ideas, you can reap more of the rewards of working at home. Based on my experiences and those of my associates, here are 10 simple ways to help you stay on track.
1. Separate Your Space.
Keep a separate, distinct work area in your home. (This is especially difficult if you're living and working in a shoebox studio, like I was when I started my business in New York City!) If you don't have a separate room, at least define an area, and know that when you're in it, you're in "work mode."
2. Structure Your Time.
As your business and personal time mesh, it's more important than ever to structure your day. For example, if you regularly take a walk or go to the gym, try to do it every day at the same time. Value that personal appointment with yourself — even when you're very busy. It will actually help you keep your business on track! I like to get up early and work until noon, then I take a few hours off to enjoy lunch, do some reading, and take my daily jog on the beach. Then I'm back at my desk at 4:00 until who knows when!
3. Outsource All You Can.
When I began my business, I made the mistake of acting as my own courier service. I soon learned how much time I was wasting by frequently visiting clients just to pick things up and drop them off. Whenever you start thinking, "Well I can just do that myself," STOP. Streamline your business, making everything as automatic as possible. Use outside services to stay focused on your *real work*. Get accounts with an overnight delivery service, messenger service, virtual assistant (VA), bookkeeper, etc. Save your energy for your brilliant ideas! : )
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage.
In-person meetings are very valuable when appropriate, but schedule them sparingly. Try to do most of your business via phone, fax, and e-mail using the best equipment you can afford. For most home-based entrepreneurs, when you're out of the office, you're NOT making money. So it's important that you can communicate flawlessly from where you are. And PLEASE do us all a favor and get separate lines/services for your phone, fax, and Internet! No one likes getting a busy signal.
(BONUS TIP: If your phone company offers voicemail, get it. Not only will your outgoing message sound more professional, but if you're on an important call and don't want to be disturbed, other callers can still leave you a message.)
5. Group Your Errands.
Try to group your meetings and errands together to minimize your out-of-office time. Make a list in the morning of all the outside tasks you need done for the day, and attempt to complete them in one fell swoop. Even better, do what I do and designate just one day a week as your "blitz" day for errands and meetings. Plus, then you only need to get dressed up one day a week! : )
6. Stay Focused.
Make your workspace off-limits to other roommates or family members when you're working. For you animal lovers, this may go for pets as well. (My cat Francine gets *very* jealous when I'm not giving her complete attention!) Keep all personal paperwork such as bills, magazines, and to-do lists out of sight, so they won't distract you from your projects.
7. Beware of Yappers.
Many of your friends and family will be immediately delighted when they learn that you're working at home. They picture you lounging on the couch, eating potato chips, and waiting for their calls. When they call you simply to chat, politely remind them that you're working, and ask them if you can call them back after your day is over. It may take them a while, but they'll eventually get the idea.
8. Work With Your Moods.
Keep track of your moods and productivity compared with the time of day. For example, if you find you're more alert in the morning, use this time to make important calls and do your creative work. Take advantage of your natural cycles. If you feel better after an afternoon nap, go for it! (I'm a BIG proponent of the catnap. In fact, I may start a support group.)
9. Suit Yourself.
To bring out your best work, make your environment perfect for YOU. How do you work best? With plenty of breaks, or with no interruptions? In silence, or with some light music in the background? On a cushy couch and coffee table, or at a business desk in an ergonomic chair? (My friends thought I was nuts when I spent $750 on my Herman Miller Aeron chair, but they quickly understood why once they sat in it! And my spine thanks me every day.)
Also, find some places you can do work when you need a change of scenery. How about the library, the park, or your neighborhood coffee shop? When I need to do serious reading, thinking, or editing, I take my work outside to the beach. The sea air, sunshine, and soothing waves help me think much more clearly.
10. Break for People.
Feeling sluggish, lonely, or moody? Arrange for at least one social break during the week. (I aim for two or three.) Schedule breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just coffee with a client, vendor, or friend. Join a business networking group, or sign-up for social activities such as dance class or recreational sports league. Don't go into hermit mode — it can be self-destructive!
(c) 1999-2002 Alexandria K. Brown
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at
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