I have to admit, I always love to get a sneak peek into how other people run their home business. Working from home myself for more than 12 years now, I know that we all have our own quirks and habits - but there definitely seem to be some common factors of the more successful home business folk.
A lot of people go into home business thinking that it will be much easier than a traditional job. Work for yourself, be at home full time, casual, easy... It's quite the shock when reality sets in. Or it was for me. It turns out I'm the worst boss I've ever had! LOL. Seriously.
One of my favorite moments was when I actually realized this. I was sitting in the doctor's office getting my orders to take off of work for the rest of the week. Without pause I spit out, "Oh no. My boss will never go for that. She's a relentless slave-driving demon." He was very understanding -he, of course, didn't realize I was self-employed. Ha!
The start-up years can be tough. I rarely hear an easy-peasy start-up story where someone had all the pieces in place upfront and just had smooth sailing all the way from start-up to home business success. I said rarely. I honestly can't think of a single one.
Most of us jumped in feet first with naive enthusiasm, got smacked with reality, then scrambled to recover from there. It took time, hard work, late nights, unimaginable frustration, long hours of research and self-questioning, failures - and for some, a little bit of therapy! - before things finally started to pan out and come together. I've always loved that quote: "It takes ten years of hard work to become an overnight success"
One of my goals, with this blog and of course other work that I do, is to shorten the learning curve and help people get a smoother start into home business. It is absolutely hands-down the best thing I have ever done for myself. I quit my last real job in 1996, and have been at home with my kids full-time for almost 13 years now. And I love it.
With so many people starting up their first home-based business this year (or finally getting serious about it!), I decided to download “Homepreneur Habits: How To Run A Successful Home Business” by Jimmy D. Brown, and give this $15 report a personal review. It turned out to be more in-depth than I expected - not just your usual home business tips, but a full 65-page report chock full of advice that I truly wish I'd had in my hands about 13 years ago!
The report is broken up into 3 parts which cover the principles, the equipment and the practices of a successful home business owner. It includes a lot of real-life photos of Jimmy and his home office, and detailed guidelines or "rules" that he has put into practice over the years to get where he is today. By the way, if you don't know Jimmy D. Brown - he is a true home business success story!
Like I said, I found it interesting to get a sneak peek into someone elses work-at-home lifestyle and practices, having been at this for more than a dozen years myself. I am certainly not beyond learning new methods, or a better way of doing things. Especially as the phases change - both with my business growth, and the growth of my children who are now in their teen years.
I got a lot out of the first two topics on principles & equipment, making mental comparisons of my own home business set-up and jotting down a few notes on things that will increase my productivity. It was enlightening - almost like spending a day in the home office of a very successful online business owner!
But it was the 3rd topic that really got my attention and had my wheels turning: Practices of a successful home business owner. This section of the report is full of very specific actions steps you can put into practice to start seeing a major difference in your home business - right away.
A lot of people stay busy "working" when they are online, but they aren't actually running a business or making money online - they are just surfing, buying products, hanging out at forums, and talking about having a home business.
In part 3 Jimmy breaks it down and gives you 7 daily activities to strategically grow your home business. Having a schedule or a routine is key in being productive, and making progress towards your goals (trust me - I know this one from experience!). If you don't have some sort of plan or routine to follow, you'll end up wasting the majority of your time and accomplish nothing.
Just as one example of the wisdom in this report, Jimmy says that there is a time and a place for every task involved with running your home business. Such as research...
How many times have you said, "this afternoon I'm going to do XYZ" and then you spend the afternoon trying to figure out HOW to do XYZ! Instead of getting things done, you've spent your time learning how to get things done.
While this routine that Jimmy outlines may seem simple in concept, it's actually brilliant. He gives you a very specific step-by-step plan for the entire week, to be repeated every week, that will work for practically any home business model.
I'll be honest with you- I've been a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda person since the day I started my first business. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, or what I was getting myself into, and basically subscribed to the "learn as you go" model. And that worked for me of course, though I admit that some things took me far longer than they should have... and I've certainly had my fair share of frustration and all-nighters.
And I still struggle. More than a dozen years into it, I haven't mastered a routine - and I realize (every single day) that this is my one major issue. Something as simple as having a topical publishing schedule here on my blog has made a huge difference. It helps me get on a roll, keeps me focused, I know exactly what I'm going to do and why. I can't explain why it works so well, but you should see me scramble when I don't have a routine to follow!
You don't have to micro-manage every single minute of every single day to have a routine. And thank goodness, because I would suffocate under those conditions (yes, I've tried that too). A daily routine is not meant to cut into your creative thinking, but to encourage it. Knowing there is a time and place for everything, and knowing exactly what you are doing and why, will relieve your subconcious mind to the point that you can truly focus on the task at hand.
Like I said - seems simple, works like magic.
In the weekly routine that Jimmy outlines in his report, he explains why you shouldn't do your networking on Monday's - and what day of the week you should. It's little nuggets like this that make the report incredibly valuable. Definitely worth the 15 bucks and 15 minutes of your time.
In the end, even having a successful home business of my own already, I was really glad that I took the time to review Homepreneur Habits. Knowing how well I operate during the rare phases where I actually implement a mini-routine, I've decided to take Jimmy's outline and customize it into my own weekly schedule. I've been so overwhelmed lately with tasks and ideas and a million little things... that I feel this huge sense of relief having a plan to finally organize my time in a way that makes total sense.
One last thing - If you download this report, be sure to read the 10 questions & answers at the very end. This Q&A includes the top 10 questions I've been asked over and over about running a home business, and seen all over the internet hundreds of times. You've no doubt asked (or thought of) some of these questions yourself. Definitely make it a point to read through those.