Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Work from home? What is it that you do all day?!

I wouldn't exactly say that I work from home, but if you've seen my storefront you know that there is an apartment above it. That's where I live. So I don't work from home, but it's pretty close.

I've been inspired to write this little entry for the simple fact that there is a misconception that just because you work from home, that work is easy. I'll admit, there is an advantage to living above my storefront. For lunch, I can just run upstairs and make myself a quick sandwich, I don't have to worry about not being able to let out dogs on time, and if I need to switch the laundry around I can.

But the hardest part about working so close to home is that you're never away from work. I may be able to pop upstairs for a moment or two but the majority of my time is spent working downstairs in the store.

Working so close to home has prompted many people to ask me what I do all day or how I do it. First of all, let me say that owning your own business is not a job, it's a lifestyle. Everything I do revolves around my business, just ask my husband. Our outings together usually include getting clay from Hobby Lobby or getting cups and spoons at Sam's Club.

So what is it that I do all day? Easy...work! If you stop in and see me sitting at the desk at my computer, I'm not playing, I swear. Believe it or not, I do use my computer for more than just facebook and games... :) My day usually starts off with cleaning and general maintenance, then I tackle the paperwork. When that gets finished, I try to complete a few new crafts in between answering phone calls and helping the customers that come in to shop. I also take the time to update the website, look for new crafters and advertise my store.

How do I do it? Some days I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with the fact that I refuse to stop trying and I refuse to let anyone stop me. I've always wanted to own my own business and I'm not letting go of it for anything. It's not easy owning your own business but it's the challenges that come with it that I love. It's really exciting for me to get an idea and put it into action and watch the results, whether it's making and selling necklaces or when I get a great response when I hold an event. It's hardest to think about how I do it when things don't go right, like when something I made turns out to not be a great seller. But that's what business is all about, you can't have success without failure and everyday I go to work ready to face that challenge.

My biggest inspiration comes from my crafters. I work really hard to support my crafters and help them sell their creations. I truly enjoy watching a crafter succeed, knowing how difficult and disheartening this whole crafting business can be.

So if you were wondering just how and why I do what I do, hopefully that's explains some of it. I'm sure I could go on and on about the how's and why's but I think I'll save that for another posting. Instead, I'll leave you with a few tips for those who own a home business or are thinking of owning one:

This may sound like something you should already know but I feel as though I have to say it anyway: Take your business seriously. If you don't, neither will anyone else.

Be sure that you have your own private workspace. Kids, spouses, and to-do lists can be very distracting.

Dress like you're going to work. If you have any visitors, they will take you more seriously if you're dressed for work and not just lounging around in your pajamas.

Don't let friends and family become distractions. Because you work from home, it is most likely a more relaxed environment compared to a corporate office. Friends and family may want to stop by without notice or call and chat with you. Post your work hours so that they know when you are available.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to make time for yourself. Working from home can make you feel like you're always at work. Go to the gym, take a walk, visit with some friends or take on a hobby. You can get burned out by work so find something you enjoy to maintain a healthy balance between your work and home life.

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