What Starting A Business From Home
...Will Not Forgive Of You
Starting a business from home involves serious time management. In a recent article, economist Gary North speaks of time management as being another word for budgeting, explaining that "successful budgeting requires a real change in one's existing habits. It requires a change in lifestyle." The same applies to starting a business from home or from anywhere.
Maybe that uncomfortable situation that you're facing is unemployment. Maybe you're having to leave retirement. Maybe it's under-employment or perhaps you've come to a point where you neither can stand your boss anymore nor your career prospects, or you simply might want more control over your efforts and a bigger share in the rewards of success.
But whatever reason you may have for wanting to start a business from home and fast, you are asking for a lifestyle change.
So, can you stick to a budget?
"Huh?" you might say, "What does that have to do with starting a business from home? What difference does it make?" Oh, it makes all the difference in the world. For you see, if you can't manage a budget, then you can't manage your time. If you can't manage your time, forget about managing a business even if you're starting a business from home at low expense.
Control, control, control is the name of the game. The discipline of starting a business from home is no different in a fundamental way to ending procrastination and moving toward purposeful action. It is akin to sticking to a healthy diet.
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The same goes for becoming a working entrepreneur. The same goes for starting a business from home.
What's Mandatory For Starting A Business From Home?
Budgeting is mandatory in these three areas: weight management, asset management, and time management. Each of them has its own criteria. Each of them has its own problems. All of them are extremely difficult. Once a person develops bad habits in any of these areas, it becomes almost impossible for the person to eliminate these habits permanently.What is your major goal in life that only becoming a business owner would give you?
It is sometimes said that only 5% of those people who were overweight and who go on a diet lose the weight and keep it off for five years. My guess is that it is really 4%. About 20% of the people who begin a diet lose the weight, and about 20% of the people who lose the weight keep it off for a period of five years. I think it is probably a standard Pareto distribution. Most things are.
The way to get weight off is to establish a major goal for your life. It had better be a major goal. If it is a temporary goal, you cannot stick with the diet on a permanent basis. You will fall back into your old habits.
This is a crucial question to ask yourself before starting down the path of entrepreneurship. You have many assets to manage your skills, your money, your network, your time. Do you have the discipline to do it? If you have the right motivation, then you will develop the discipline.
But this motivation starts with a major goal in life. What is it for you? For those who radically want to lose weight, it may be fear of death. For those who radically want to start a business it may be fear of poverty. But it could also be fear of being neglected, of not mattering to anyone, of wasting precious talent, of not living out their purpose in life.
Can something other than fear motivate you?
You might think that it is possible to restructure your budgeting habits without relying on fear as your motivation. For some people it may be possible, but it is extremely rare. For someone who has serious time-management problems, but has his act together in other areas of resource allocation, he is dealing with a serious problem that is likely to require major changes in his life in order to get his time budget under control.It's hard to take off rapidly when something other than fear is your stimulant. Fear is such a powerful motivator, because it is associated to negative sactions. Human observation has shown that there is in man a greater tendency toward avoiding a loss than toward acquiring a gain. In fact, economists have a name for this phenomenon. It's called loss aversion. Wikipedia describes it as follows:
Anyone with a budgeting problem has to set a goal. With weight, it can be a goal regarding good looks or good health. Both of these are powerful goals. If someone is unattractive physically, and knows that the weight loss is not going to help, it becomes difficult to adopt a weight loss program and then stick with it. There might be another goal, such as getting a good job. Overweight people rarely get good jobs, and when they do, these jobs do not involve dealing with the public. There is discrimination against obese people.
When you have a money-budgeting problem, the fear is bankruptcy. Another fear is getting endless calls from debt-collection services. At some point, the pain associated with debt motivates people to make changes in their spending habits. Very few people ever learn to budget based on the desire to get rich. Those few who do probably learned this at an early age. Someone who has been a spendthrift all of his life is unlikely to be able to make the psychological changes required to restructure his budget to get into a surplus position. In this respect, they are like Congress.
Loss aversion implies that one who loses $100 will lose more satisfaction than another person will gain satisfaction from a $100 windfall.Fear of loss is a stronger stimulant than the expectation of gain. So fear powerfully motivates us into action.
Controling your time to start a business rarely has any negative sanctions, compared to not showing up to your job or getting heart disease because of obesity, or ending in bankruptcy for failing to work and paying off your debts. So it is difficult for people to get motivated to control their time to start a business. The negative consequences creep up on you in opportunities lost and endless regret.
But this doesn't have to be you.
Starting a business from home is far more involved than making your house the home base for your venture. Starting a business from home involves more than selecting a form of business that will let you work in your pajamas. Starting a business from home is not about buying a work-at-home franchise, getting a loan or grant to finance the purchase or worrying about the legal structure that your company should take, and the licenses and taxes that you will have to pay.
Starting a business from home is all about confronting your procrastination and budgeting your time and setting a major, crystal clear goal for yourself first and foremost.
Some of you may have registered already for my free anti-procrastination e-course and learned some tips on how to overcome inertia. (If you haven't done so already, then please click on the link and register for the course. It's free!) But to those of you who have taken the course and still have yet to start your own business, the following from North may be helpful:
If there is no goal, meaning a very specific goal, it will prove almost impossible to get control over time. The goal has to be a very long-run goal. It may have to do with leaving a lifetime legacy... After setting a goal, the next step [is] to find out where your time is going. Most people will never do this. It is mandatory that you set up a schedule that lets you identify where your time has gone every 15 minutes. This should be done for a week. Then, at the end of the week, sit down and see where the time went, day by day. There is no substitute for this step in time management.Time is unforgiving. It is an unreplenishable resource. Whether you use it wisely or not for starting a business from home or not, it won't come back once it's gone. Starting a business from home without developing the habit of time management, motivated by a major goal in life and perhaps even by the fear of not meeting it, is a guaranteed way NOT to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Once you can see where your time has gone, you can begin to make alterations in your daily schedule. You can eliminate some things, and you can schedule certain things for certain hours of the day. If you spend a lot of time responding to e-mails, designate a particular period of time during the day which when you will deal with e-mails. The same is true of telephone calls. Do not let your desire to check your e-mail, or call somebody, or anything else interfere with the rest of your schedule.
You budget the time, and you stick to it.
This is a matter of mental exercise. It is comparable to lifting weights. You have to do it, even though it hurts. You have to tell yourself that it is mandatory that you will not fall back into your old habits. That means ever. This is a permanent change in your life.
If starting a business from home is your goal, then apply yourself first to developing the personal discipline of budgeting yourself the right amount of time and effort to transform your lifestyle on a permanent basis toward this major objective. Else, you won't forgive yourself for ever failing to accomplish it.
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What Keeps You From Starting A Business From Home?
Can you share your main reasons for why you've postponed starting your own business and what burns within you to get it going?