It has always been my dream to run an online business and succeed while doing what I love. As I got older and got a bit tired of corporate working life, I started to look for ways on how to work for yourself and have asked myself many times, “Do I have what it takes to work for myself?”.
So I did some research to find out what others are doing, looked at the various type of niches that might interest me, participated in networking groups, joined online forums like Flying Solo, and educated myself about strategies to make money online with communities like Wealthy Affiliate.
Gaining knowledge and learning the skills to succeed online is important, but if we don’t put into practice what we have learnt and make adjustments to our lifestyle to make our online venture work, then nothing happens.
I would like to share my own experience about what I have learnt about working for yourself.
5 Lessons Learnt
1) Have A Home Office
When working at home, it is very easy to get distracted with life, especially if you are not living by yourself. Distractions are everywhere at home, such as TV, food, family members or housemates, and computer games.
Finding a special place in the house to be your office or work space is important. This is where you can go to everyday and focus on your business. Once you have sorted out your special place, you will need basic equipment to get things rolling:
- A desk and comfortable office chair
- Broadband connection for your internet
- A reliable computer
Having a good chair definitely helps a lot, especially if you are going to be sitting for long hours behind the computer.
Working for yourself requires self discipline to set goals for your business and help you work towards achieving them. Doing something each day and having that motivation to spend quality time on your business will give you results over time. In another article called “What Are Key Success Factors In Business?“, I explained about creating a dream board, which you can read HERE!
Working for yourself is different to working for someone else. When you work for your employer, they are the ones who tell you when you start and finish. When you work for yourself, you can work wherever and whenever you like.
Working for yourself is more flexible, you don’t need to dress up and go to work. Just walk into your special work place with your PJs and slippers if you want! Just make sure that you get some work done!
Motivation to work on your business on your own time and at your own terms can be a challenging area. Do you think you can apply yourself to work the same hours as you did for your employer while staying at home? How many coffee breaks do you need while working for yourself?
4) Higher Earning Potential
Have you heard the phrase “trading time for money”? Well, this doesn’t really exist if you are working for yourself. You don’t have a set hourly rate or salary at all! Success in any kind of business requires dedication, perseverance, and hard work. But, there is no guarantee that a business will make millions of dollars.
The flow of income is not steady compared to working for someone else. There would be some days where you would make less money, and other days where you will make more. But the potential to make more money from an online business is higher because there are opportunities where you can have multiple streams of income flowing in.
These income streams may include affiliate marketing, drop shipping, selling your own products, promoting your own ebook, joint ventures or promotions with similar businesses, giving talks/seminars to educate people about your niche etc. The list of opportunities are endless!
5) Lifestyle Changes
Commitment in making an online business work means to make certain lifestyle changes. Being your own boss and not having to answer to anyone means that you are in control of your life.
You may want to spend a certain amount of hours on your business, and then do your home duties or shopping, then go back to doing your business again. Your working hours may also include the weekend.
I have found that working for yourself to build your business requires longer hours compared to working for someone else. So any spare time to do other leisurely things like play sports, dinner dates, weekend trips, are limited.
Starting your own business and working for yourself is a big step. You will definitely have challenges that you need to overcome. I have already listed 5 lessons that I have learnt about working for myself. How about you? If you have worked for yourself before, what are some of the lessons that you have learnt? Would love to hear about them. Please leave comments below.