3 Tips for Running a Successful Home Based Business

I have been a business owner for over 5 years. In fact I have owned 6 different businesses over the past 10 years. All of them were/are home based businesses, and while that is a wonderful thing, it is also very difficult because no one will tell you when to do things or how to do things and you have to be able to manage your time wisely.

Using your time wisely is important because some people don’t work enough. They don’t plan well or prioritize well, and spend too much time planning or thinking and not enough time doing. For others the exact opposite is true and they can’t ever turn off their business. It consumes their time and they don’t unplug to do things that are self care. This is a lesson that Marty Stallone has learned. He is a successful Land Development Vice President.

I have been on both sides of the spectrum and have learned a LOT of things over the years.  so I want to offer you 3 tips on how to run a successful home based business.

1) Keep a list of things you want to accomplish each day.

This is very important for me, because sometimes your day is spent putting out fires and you may get to the end of the day and think nothing got done and in fact the things you WANTED to do may not have gotten done, but you need to be able to feel as though your day was spent doing something. So I make a list of the things I want to accomplish each day and also I write down the things I did get done because those might be two very different lists.

2) Time Management

I like to use the Pomodoro technique.  The technique works by getting you to structure your work in 25-minute sessions, each separated by a short break.  The method is remarkably simple. Each 25-minute session is one “pomodoro.” When you complete one, take a five-minute break before embarking on the next. When you have completed four “pomodori,” take a longer break to rest and recharge. At first, it might seem counter-intuitive to take so many breaks throughout the day. But research shows that this can actually enhance your focus when you return to the task you’re working on.

Step 1: Check Your Schedule

Your first step is to check your schedule and think about what you need to do. Estimate how long each task should take you, in terms of the number of pomodori (25-minute sessions) you will need to complete it. Also schedule in time for your breaks: five minutes for each session completed, plus a longer 20- to 30-minute break at a natural stopping point.

Step 2: Set Your Timer

Before you start, make sure that you have everything you need to begin on your tasks. Set your timer for the work period you’ve settled on. You can use whatever sort of timer you like. A traditional kitchen timer or one on your phone is ideal for working from home.

Commit to work only on the task at hand.  You have a limited time in which to focus your attention on it. Then, in your rest break, you can return phone calls or check your messages. With this in mind, do what you can to minimize interruptions before you begin. Shut your office door,  turn off your phone and email/chat alerts. (this is a big distraction for me.)

Step 3: Work on Your Task, and Only That Task

Devote all of your attention to the task at hand for the duration of the session. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted if ideas or thoughts about other tasks pop into your head. Write these down and then set them aside.  You can adjust your schedule to work on them in the next session.  If you complete your work before your time is up, use the remaining time for routine activities, or for other short tasks.

Step 4: Take a Short Break

When your timer goes off, take a five-minute break. You should do this even if you’re “in the flow” because these breaks are your time to rest and “recharge your batteries.” You may worry that interrupting your work for a break loses time, but regular breaks will restore your energy and improve your productivity to levels that more than make up for any lost time. The Pomodoro approach works by maintaining your energy, so that you don’t need to waste time working on tasks when your concentration levels are low. For maximum benefit, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Move around, take a walk, stretch.

Step 5: Continue Your Work Sessions and Take a Longer Break

When your break is over, reset your timer for the next session and continue your work. When you’ve completed four pomodori, take a 20- to 30-minute break. Use it to go for a walk, eat a healthy snack, have lunch, read a book… anything, so long as it takes you away from your desk for a while and clears your mind of what you were doing before. Remember, the important thing here is to replenish your energy levels.

It is important to listen to your body. If your mind starts to wander or you start to feel tired, don’t push through to the end of the session. You might want to experiment with this. It may be that three pomodori followed by a 20-minute break suits you best, or that five sessions followed by a 30-minute break is better.

3) Self Care

Turn OFF! Turn off your phone. Turn off your computer. Unplug. Enjoy time with friends and family. See a movie, play with your kids, go to the park, get a massage or a facial, or just go for a walk. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your business.

What Do You Love Doing? Turn it into a Business.

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Want to be an Entrepreneur? These days it is so easy to start your own business, and there are dozens of types of businesses you can have. Starting your own business is no longer about coming up with a business plan, and pitching it to a bank or other lender to get hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a brick and mortar business. While that is an option for sure, so is working online, or having a network marketing business, or a mail order business. Even blogging or vlogging can be a business.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and in fact could be described as a “serial entrepreneur”.  I have been a distributor in 4 different Network Marketing companies, and honestly, that seems to be the way so many businesses are going these days. It is a great business model. No storefront to own, no huge investment, and shoppers all over the world. In fact, there are even electric and gas companies that are using the Multi Level Marketing style of business to gain customers.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can start a business based on your passion. If you love to bake you can bake and sell your baked goods online, or at farmers markets in your area, or even at some grocery stores. If you love to make jewelry, make your jewelry and sell at a farmers market, on an online based platform such as Etsy. You could also partner with local boutiques in your area. Additionally there may even be vendor opportunities in your local area, especially at the holidays.

When I venture to my local farmers market I see people who make jellies and jams, baked goods, spice mixes, meat rubs, salsa, clothing, crafters, etc. If you have an idea and a passion, you can probably make money doing what you love. What may start as a side gig can become your main source of income. The sky is the limit.

If you love to write you can blog, or write short stories or even books. Monetizing a blog is not difficult, and there are many websites with information on how to do that successfully and make a great living blogging. If you prefer film or video you can vlog or create content on YouTube.

I have found that owning my own business has not only been a way for me to create an extra stream of income, but has given me so many opportunities for personal growth. I have read so many books, and listened to business leaders speak. I have been able to learn from amazing business leaders such as Linda Ellerbe, John O’leary, Robert Kiyosake, and Grace Lever, among others. Learning from them, and reading self discovery books has helped me to become a better person, and I really like the person I have become.

I guess what I am trying to say is What Do You Love Doing? Turn it into a Business. Go for it! What do you have to lose? And you could have a LOT to gain!

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

Here in the United States there are some people who believe we live in a “post racist” society.  Apparently even some of my fiends on social media believe this to be true.  It always amazes me when I see comments such as “I am not racist, but…”  or “I believe this….but”, etc. That “but” says a lot about how you really feel inside, whether you know it or not.  While explicit racism is not as common as it once was, (although in the past 8 months it has become more common), implicit racism is very common.

So then “what is implicit racism?”  Let me explain. Explicit racism is overt, obvious……using the N word, talking openly about people who are not white, or Christian, or middle class as being “less than” or not as good as the person who is doing the speaking. Shouting Nazi slogans walking down a street in Virginia. Openly being a member of the KKK. These people are open about their dislike for non whites, or homosexuals, or Jews or Muslims. It is easy to see and hear their racist beliefs and we can choose to avoid them, if we don’t want to be exposed to that bullshit.

Implicit racism is not obvious, and are usualy thoughts or stereotypes or biases we believe and act on, whether we are aware of it or not.  Such as crossing the street if we see a black man walking on our side of the street, clutching our purse a little tighter, thinking poor people are “lazy”, or just don’t try “hard enough” to get themselves out of poverty. Thinking or speaking as if the world would be better if we all “just took Jesus Christ into or hearts”. Or that children would be better off in a heterosexual home.

I see another form of bias these days. Some people want to be seen as nonbiased, or NOT racist, so they say things like “I don’t see color when I look at people.”  Or “I am colorblind.” Let me tell you why I think this is a ridiculous statement.

Now before you get your undies in a bunch, and get mad at me for “callng people oyt”, let me say that I DO understand what they mean, but I think by saying they don’t “see color” they are actually devaluing diversity and differences.  There are cultural differences (in my humble opinion) between races.  They may be small, but they are there.  I think these differences should be celebrated, not done away with.  Cultural diversity (in fact ALL diversity) makes the tapestry of humanity more colorful and vibrant, it doesn’t detract from that.  Why would we want everyone to be the same??? What an incredibly boring world that would be!!

So I am going to say I DO see color when I see people.  I see all the beautiful shades of skin tone, and hair color and hair texture.  I see eye color, and body size, and fully-abled or less-abled bodies.  I see gender, whether male, or female or other.  I see age, and sometimes I can see wealth or poverty.  I see all of those things when I look at people.  That doesn’t make me a racist.  It makes me observant.

diversity

In my opinion, the problem is not in seeing our differences, but in assigning stereotypes and biases to the people we see based on what we see.  To assume when we see a black person that the color of their skin somehow tells us something about their character is the problem.  To see an Asian person and assume they are good at math is the problem. To see a brown person and assume they are not hard working is the problem.   To place stereotypes and bias on a person merely by looking at them IS THE PROBLEM!! This does not just apply to the color or “hue” of someone’s skin, but also their gender, their physical bodies, their mental abilities, their sexuality, age, religion, etc!

Think about it, we can’t even assume that a person with darker pigmented skin is “african”.  They may be of Caribbean, or African, or Middle Eastern, or indigenous heritage.  They may be biracial, or multiracial.  We can assume very little about someone based on external appearances.  Assumptions and assigning stereotypes is the enemy, NOT seeing their “color”.

I think if we do want to truly become a post racist society we really need to think about this, and start valuing all humans for their differences, not try to make all humans the same. Do you “see color” when you look at people?

Go ahead and “see” a person’s color, and celebrate it!  Move past bias and stereotypes and get to know the person,  no matter what they look like on the outside. Find something of value in them, and remove the stereotype! THEN maybe we can become the post racist society I dream of!

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

#lovenothate