Working From Home & Self Motivation…

This week I was asked: "What keeps you motivated to keep pushing when other "wanna be" Internet Marketers/People are just slacking off? What makes you write that one blog post, do that interview or review, but the other folks will just be content to read it / listen to it v.s. write their own?"

It's a great question, and an issue that a lot of people struggle with when working from home. Self motivation and self discipline go hand in hand with being self-employed.

That's the first step: realizing that an online business is a business and treating it as such. For me, it's best answered with a simple photo. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words - and this one really speaks volumes for me...

Working from home has been a lifestyle choice for me. Not being materialistic by nature, the money alone was never a big motivator, but rather a means to an end.

Self Motivation stems from personal desire. The things that motivate us are those things that we want so badly we'll do anything to make them happen.

Including investing 18 hours a day for months on end to make dramatic lifestyle change, getting up at 4am to be done with my work early so I can spend the entire day with my two kids, pulling a 36-hour weekend to set up a long-term passive income source for financial security & peace of mind...

The desire and the goals are going to be different for everyone. I happen to be a single mother with unique circumstances. I originally had a traditional offline business until my son got sick at the age of 9. I was working online in that biz, but I did have a commercial location and employees. I closed my office and chose working from home as the solution, as I had to homeschool the kids for a couple of years.

More than anything else, being a Mom is what defines me. It is behind every single decision that I make in both my life and business.

I love being at home with and for my two children, now 13 & 18, as well as my stepdaughters who have been an important part of my life long after my unexpected divorce 10 years ago.

I have created a home, a lifestyle full of stability and flexibility, options and opportunities for my children, and memories that are absolutely priceless.

I never would have been able to have it all any other way. I wake up every single day appreciating not only what I have accomplished, but also the opportunities before me. That thought alone fuels me, and is the sole source of my self motivation.

Yesterday I checked my daughter out of school early and we went to lunch with Lizzie Keiper, then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping together. How many parents get to do that in the middle of the week just for fun??

It's those simple luxuries that drive me to get up every day and write one more blog post or host one more webinar. To keep on keeping on.

What if I didn't get up every day and work on my business goals? I would end up having to downgrade my life, take a day job, give up all my quality free time with the kids... and admit failure. None of which I'm willing to do. So yes - consequences are a great source of self-motivation for me as well.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have a rewarding career and a lifestyle that I created with purpose, both of which I love. I can honestly say that I truly enjoy my work. That keeps me going as well - I wake up every day looking forward to it.

It wasn't always this way, of course. There were years of hard work, long hours, uncertainty, major adjustments to working from home with all the usual distractions, finding balance between career and parenting, etc.

I had to just learn as I went along, figure out ways to create balance, learn the best ways to manage my time and stay focused. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Your goals, and your source of self motivation, may not be the same as mine. The point is that you have something that drives you, and you use that as your focal point. Want it bad enough to get out of bed every single day and work towards it.

Working from home has it's unique challenges, but having a successful online business is not that different than any other goal. Take weight loss or fitness for example - there are no shortcuts, you just have to wake up every day and consistently work towards the end result.

Those who truly want it will. Those who just wish they had it... won't.

I've written several pieces on focus, motivation, time management and other aspects of working from home and making it happen, so I'll share a few of those with you here in closing...


p.s. I would love to help you achieve the same success that I have in working from home. If you have any questions about starting an online business, join us at the ClickNewz Forum. It's a great community for support & resources, and a great place to get your questions answered by people who are already doing it successfully.

You'll find I also have a Private Brainstorming Group there at the forum. This is a place where I can work with you personally on your online business, and includes 5 live interactive calls each month. Join us if you'd like to check it out!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. This post is so motivational, thanks so much Lynn! I got it all wrong for a long time and was chasing the money without thinking about the true lifestyle I really wanted.

    You have been such an inspiration that it's possible to build a business around a lifestyle you really love.

    • It really is. It takes a strategy and a plan, and it took me time to make it all happen exactly how I wanted... but there is nothing like it all paying off and finding yourself in that exact place you had envisioned in your mind!

      I am still strategically working towards my goals every single day, and of course revising my goals and creating new ones as I go. After that very first time I had met a serious goal, I gained a new sense of confidence in it. It's awesome to have the option to go any direction you want with both income and lifestyle!

  2. DeAnna Troupe says:

    Lynn, I'm going to need for you and your daughter to wear different colors in pictures to keep me from getting confused! You guys look like twins! LOL Awesome post. I'm going to twitter right now and post this. Me and one of my twitter buds were having a conversation about this very topic last night!

    • Thank you DeAnna LOL. That picture was taken about a year and a half ago, and it was a really fun night goofing off in downtown Chattanooga during a weekend full of random day trips to some of our favorite spots.

      My daughter is a real gem, and she keeps me laughing and feeling young πŸ˜‰

  3. DeAnna Troupe says:

    Okay what plugin did you use to link my name to my keywords? That was too kewl!

  4. Clay Franklin says:

    Wonderful article Lynn, Being grateful and focused is the key to success.

    • I still have my days where focus eludes me, and sometimes even gratitude. That's only human, I suppose. For the most part though, I wake up feeling incredibly thankful for where I am, how far I've come, and where I'm headed... and it really fuels that focus and motivation!

      I'd say the biggest thing I've learned... is to be consistent. And persistent. Even when the "feelings" are not backing me up.

  5. Great article. A little off topic, but are you teaching any of your children about internet marketing. It seems schools don't do enough to instill entrepreneurial values, which is the most important mind set to teach.

    • Hi Kevin. Yes, both of my children work for me in my online business, and they have both learned a great deal from me both by teaching and by example about business and goals. My son is managing one of my newer sites, which I'll be releasing soon, and my daughter is an affiliate marketer in training.

  6. I too found myself shopping with my daughter yesterday after she got out of school. I drove past my old place of traditional work and thought of those years when I would never have been able to do this without a lot of planning ahead of time, and taking off the hours needed out of the accrued time off they alotted. It felt good to know that, sure I was going to do some work in the evening when she was at swim practice, but I love not being a slave to the corporate clock.

    • I love not living by the clock, period. It's nice to eat when I'm hungry, sleep when I'm tired, write when I'm inspired, etc. That has to be one of my favorite things about working online in a 24/7 world!

  7. Thanks for sharing this - it's a reality check for me, 18-hour days, 36-hour weekends - when did you sleep and how did you stop yourself getting really mad at your kids or breaking down from exhaustion/stress? You're right that motivation is simply wanting something ENOUGH, if we really want to work from home we'll invest all our energy into making it happen.

    It is such a blessing to be able to work from home if you are a Mum with children. With any other job I don't know what mothers would do when one of their kids is sick and can't go to school, or else has a half-day at school because of parent-teacher meetings.

    I am 22 and I want to be able to work from home when I have kids, so I am finding out all I can now. My 25 year old cousin is also looking at starting a business now, even though it is all new and scary to her - she wants the challenge. Girls aren't encouraged enough towards considering business when they are at school - home businesses are the perfect job for mothers! When I left school me and all my female friends went straight to University and expected to get a degree-job at the end - we never thought about the possibility of starting our own business. Perhaps I should have studied economics at High School or University (although my brother studied that and said it was a waste of time).

    • Obviously I didn't keep that up for any amount of time. Just that the option is there if you need or want to make things happen. I started out needing to, and as I wanted things... I knew I had that option then as well.

      There are still times I prefer to work 3 12 hour days (usually in 2 shifts of 6), Fri/Sat/Sun and be off all week (or longer) - particularly if I'm traveling during a busy work season. I love having that option.

  8. Thanks for that inspirational post Lynn.. this is really helpful for me.. as I started to plan to work from home 8 month before..

    Actually I started to works as a fresher web/graphic designer in a IT co. but soon i discovered if dedicate some of my pass-time in a home based job I might get better result.. and so I made my own first site.. it was only a try.. cause I didnt have any idea of Internet marketing at the time of launching my site. But till today I've got enough sucess.. I'd look forward to get more quality ideas about marketing from you and I will join the forum too.. its late night here in India.. so going to sleep.. will see u tomorrow.. till then bbyeee


  9. People like you keep me going on. I am not in any dramatic life situation, but when I read stories like yours, that gives me motivation to write one more article, post few more comments/posts on other blogs, forum, learn new things and just keep pushing.

    I won't lie, my motive is money. I admit it. If possible, BIG money. However, it may sound weird after that previous sentence, I am not greedy. Money is not my ultimate goal, I just see it as a tool to achieve things greater than most of my university colleagues and high school friends will be able to.

    In the society/country I live in, people look on these online marketing and money making methods as something that is "immoral and bad" and don't want to even talk about that. Even some of my closest friends simply tell me "It's all scam, forget about it!"

    Well, that even motivates me more. I know I am still a newbie, got lots of things to learn, and although I know (at least I think I know) many things, it is yet for me to taste them, experience them.

    Therefore, posts like these keep me from being suspicious about myself and give me a general positive vibe.


    • Hi Davor,

      Initially, money was my goal as well. As I said, I am a single mother - and in the beginning it was hard times. Money was necessary just to keep the home running and food on the table.

      Even before that when I was married and had just started my first business (also an offline, traditional biz), we had 4 children between us and no savings to fall back on... so money was definitely the initial goal.

      I still like to make and meet financial goals, and find it a fun challenge. One of my very first real financial goals was to get to $5k/month consistently on affiliate income alone. Once I achieved that, I knew I could achieve anything I wanted! As long as there's a reason behind the monetary goal, it's a good one.

      Being driven to prove naysayers wrong spurred me on a bit too, so I totally get that one as well πŸ˜‰

  10. You and your daughter look like sisters!

    Thanks for a unique perspective regarding working your own business!

    Yes, the long hours are well worth it for the freedom it brings!

  11. Excellent post Lynn!

    You reminded me why I have been working until 2 and 3 in the morning over the last month. Sometimes it takes blood, sweat and tears to be successful. You have obviously done that. What an inspiration to us all!

    Sometimes it seems so easy to just quit, but after reading your post it is motivation to keep going and never lose focus of what we want to accomplish. Sometimes things have to hurt bad enough to get us off the bench and in the game. I am finally in the game and it still hurts right now, but your post definitely is an inspiration to keep going.

    Thank You!

    • Quitting IS easy. You've heard me joke about "oh forget it, I'm just going to go work at McDonalds!" - and while that's funny, the thought of it makes me realize how great I have it and why I keep doing what I do.

      You're on a good roll, Tyy - things will pan out soon πŸ˜‰

      Hope you get your package soon & enjoy it!

      • Thanks Lynn!

        I am anxiously awaiting it. You will get some pictures as soon as I get it. And again, thank you so much for all the encouragement and help. You truly are a blessing to me and many others on here.

        • Thank you πŸ˜€ The package should be there anytime. I'm surprised it hasn't arrived yet, but I'm sure there's a ton of packages going through the USPS this week -lol.

  12. Annemarie O'Bea says:

    Thanks for the post Lynn. I am really struggling with motivation right now after being burned/stressed out with some family issues. You are, and have been such an inspiration to me. And today you reminded me why I started my business, and what it is I am really working for.

    Hopefully I can get back on my game and stop beating myself for time lost. This is the time of year to be grateful for what we do have, and look forward to what we can build and accomplish in the coming year.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I've had my share of those issues and those phases, so I totally get what you're going through. I've been through that feeling with time lost too, and I do the same thing - beat myself up over it.

      It wasn't too long ago I was thinking how I could have gotten much farther in a much shorter period of time if I had only done this or that differently, yada yada yada. But those are normal thoughts & feelings. The fact is, we have a life and that life pulls us in other directions sometimes. I have to remind myself it's that life and the quality of those relationships that I'm working on, and just pick back up and get back to it...

      Look forward to seeing you in a few weeks - you always brighten my day! πŸ˜€

  13. Hey i liked the spirit....Even i want to start with all his in near future...It really gives you the power to earn money at ease...

    • Hmm, I don't know about the "at ease" part, Bryan -lol.

      I'm probably more hyped up, more extreme emotions, work harder, push myself more... than I ever did with a traditional job! But definitely worth it πŸ˜‰

  14. Lynn,
    I am always amazed when I see how much time you put into this business and still have the opportunity to spend quality time with your kids.

    • Always. They are my life...

      When the kids were younger, 5 & 10 for example, I was homeschooling them while working on my business. I had my office in the main room right where they also did their schoolwork and playtime, so we were always together even when doing other things.

      Even now I make time to have QT with them on a regular basis. Even more so now actually as they are teens and I know my time with them is short. In that way at least.

      They have always respected my work, and they also have the luxury of seeing how it has paid off for all of us. Now that they are both working with me in the business, it's even more fun - and provides us with a lot of quality time together working on goals and projects.

      Of course, I don't work insane hours anymore except for the rare occasion, but even then they are often in and out of the office and involved in what I am doing...

  15. Single parenting and the internet have a wonderful symbiosis.

    I really wish the internet had been around when I were raising urchin #1. I was in a job that kept me on the road 50 weeks a year. Being able to work at home would have added a lot of time whilst raising said urchin.

    Now that one is up and out and it's a different world with a new brood pulled in other directions.

    I envy you.

    • I had my son in daycare or with various childcare solutions his first 5 years, well before I realized what his personal & health issues were, and it was insane trying to work 40-60 hours a week...

      I feel fortunate that the opportunity was there very early on in my role as a mother. I don't know how much longer I could have kept that up.

  16. Hi Terry!

    There is no better reason to do the work you do than being closer to your family. I enjoy all your posts and appreciate your leadership and motivation. Keep up the good work!

  17. You have no idea how you've motivated me just now. I want to move forward, read all your posts, see what I can learn and do it! I'm so glad I found your blog!

  18. clearly I've done the whole @ keyword thing wrong... I apologize.

  19. great article, especially the points about putting in major hours to have long term benefit.

    ps. just testing the keyword thing, hope it works well for you n your readers.

  20. John's Career Options says:

    It is an inspirational post. Working from home is really difficult as it takes lot of desire, motivation and self-disciplined as well. One can have many excuses while working from home but you should be inspired enough to achieve your goal..

  21. Very good post. I also work from home when I ended up working in the corporate world. Just recently, my freelance career has gone stable and stronger making my profits better than just working in the company.

  22. Sometimes I think you're looking over my shoulder and know when I need a little push in the right direction.

    • I just might be... :mrgreen: Just kidding! πŸ˜‰

      Even I need a reminder every now and then, and I make it a point to keep my focus on the long term goals. It's easy to drown in the daily tasks and chaos. Without an objective, it becomes overwhelming. And fast.

  23. I really want to be able to provide for my kids like you do yours. My big goal for 2010 is to get health insurance for myself and the children. I don't think that I can ever thank you for the guidance and the direction (and the friendship) that you give!

    • I appreciate your friendship as well, Lisa πŸ˜€

      I feel really fortunate that my children appreciate how hard I've worked to create our lifestyle, and that they're only semi-spoiled (lol). My son especially, as he is older, has seen it all unfold firsthand. He's now 18 and deciding things for his own life, and taking steps towards those goals. A proud moment for me!

  24. This post was quite touching and motivating, thanks for sharing this; it's the nudge that I needed to finish the year off strong and welcome the new year with gusto. You're a great mom and a great the way, how did the "responsibility" meeting with your kids go?

    • Thank you Kimmoy πŸ˜€

      It went well, and we're all on a roll here which is nice. I find the last half of the year to be a bit harder, especially with my daughter in public school. The first quarter is always a great time for a fresh start on things as we're adjusted to the school schedule and ready to set goals and get busy!

  25. Really great post, thought-provoking and inspiring! And true, for me as for you - self disciplin is certainly a factor of self motivation! I'm happy that I discovered your blog (living in a different part of this globe) and certainly will come back frequently ... I'll even mention your blog on mine, though it's german. πŸ˜‰

    Keep going, you are just great!

  26. Just like you every single decision that I have made in my life was taking into consideration what was best for my boys. Being a mom turned my head completely and the way I perceive life. I'm not motivated by "ego", "money", "success" and all that jazz. I understand that this motivates others and I'm not devaluing it for them at all. It just doesn't fuel me one bit.
    The other thing that really motivates me is helping other people. That really makes me feel fulfilled and brings me joy. I don't mean to sound corny but I think that loving others is a great motivator too. We can do so much when we think about making a difference in other people's lives. I know that this is what motivates you too Lynn. And this is what differentiates you from those IM wolves out there.

    • So true Eren, and thank you! Like you I think that each person should have their own goals and their own motivation, and I totally respect that as an individual personal choice.

      It pays to know what makes you happy, and create a lifestyle around those things. Life is too short not to spend every minute the way you want to...

  27. Lynn,

    Great post and so true. It really gives people an idea of how much work is needed to run an online business. It's not instant success and cash. Great picture of you and your daughter, you look like twins.

  28. Hi Lynn,

    I just love your post, very motivating and inspiring. I have tried hard to keep my motivation level up, posts like these keeps me inspired for weeks and then a small failure and Im back to thinking if this is what i wanted to do...I think staying on track and keeping the motivation level up plays a great role esp. for the ones who work from home (self business). But your post has added a different meaning altogether and makes me think about a whole new things about life and Im sure this will help me a lot. Thanks a ton for sharing your thoughts with all of us.


    • I'm really glad to hear it, Jenny πŸ˜€

      It's common for motivation levels to fluctuate, and for self-doubt to creep in. That happens to me from time to time too, but I've learned ways to get myself back in hyper-productivity mode - mainly by reminding myself of my goals & intentions and keeping my focus there.

      When that fails, I take a break and come back to it fresh πŸ˜‰ And that's cool, as long as you always come back and keep on keeping on!

  29. Virgil Cook says:

    It really is true how hard it is to stay focused and motivated when you are your own boss. You really do have to treat it as a real business because it is. If you do not treat it as a real business you are not likely going to have the dicipline or the motivation to work it rather than going out to play. You make some very good points and if someone is reading your material then they should read it seriously because everything is true and when taken literally and then take action on what you learn a person would stand a much better chance of succeeding with their online marketing or whatever it is they are involved in...

  30. Like you, my motivation is my family and spending more time with them.

    It's not really the money, it's the ratio of money vs time with my family.

    So I'll gladly accept less money doing things that allow me flexibility with spending more time with my family.

    Internet Marketing has allowed me to do that, and while it took a while to equal my income as a Computer Guy in a traditional job, I'm much happier doing my own thing.

  31. Ethan Brown says:

    Honestly, I never had a chance to work outside. Right after my board exam, I don't really feel like working in a company and be a slave of my boss. Maybe, my experiences way back in highschool up to college with my very own small businesses are absolutely a big factor for me to choose this online career.

    I think the first challenge on my online career is nobody believes on what I'm doing. Not even my parents and siblings. Well, I proved them all wrong. I was able to fix some of our financial problems that happened for our family business and our personal assets. That absolutely helped me trust myself more and to improve how I make decisions for every aspect of my life. If I'm not mistaken, I'm only 22 years old that time.

    Looking forward to more opportunities online.

  32. I keep coming back to your site because I find it boosts my motivation just reading your blogs. I must admit Lynn that you have what it takes to be a great motivational speaker! Not just for women but for men too! I lost my offline job a few years back when our company folded up. Doing internet work is what I'm into right now. And I'm just starting. Keep it up Lynn! You're a source of inspiration for many of us!

    • Thank you DG πŸ™‚ I've had a lot of opportunities to speak, but I rarely do. It's just not on my list of "fun things to do" and goes directly against my goal of being home creating and enjoying my lifestyle.

      I aim to do more and more virtual events, and hope to continue to inspire & motivate real people that want to start a real online business, without sacrificing the lifestyle I've worked so hard to create for myself and my children...

  33. Christine says:

    What a star mum and business women you are and all for the meaningful purpose of lifestyle rather than greed. I too work from home, however, I unfortunately waited until my children had left home. How sad! Had I known what I know now I would have done this years ago. Thank you again, and good luck to you all.

  34. Cursos marketing online says:

    Really great post, thought-provoking and inspiring! And true, for me as for you – self disciplin is certainly a factor of self motivation! I’m happy that I discovered your blog (living in a different part of this globe) and certainly will come back frequently … I’ll even mention your blog on mine, though it’s german.

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