Last Updated August 13th, 2018

What Does “Find Your Passion” Really Mean?

find your passion

One of the most common pieces of advice you hear when thinking about starting your own home business is to find your passion. It sounds like great advice, but how much thought do you really give to what that means? Is passion for your home business your ultimate goal?

Having a passion for your business means you have an emotional involvement. You have great enthusiasm for the project. The idea is that this will help you to succeed in a home business, as it means more to you.

But is that really how it all works out?

Not necessarily.

Can You Find Your Passion For A Home Business?

Finding your passion may not be as simple as “I love cats. I want my home business to have to do with cats.” That’s great, but is it something you can build a business around? You have to balance the practical with the passion.

Start out by thinking about why you really want to start a home business. There are all kinds of reasons, from wanting more time for your family to needing the additional income and so forth. However, keep in mind that your home business will likely take a lot of time and is a financial risk, so keep your expectations realistic, particularly in the challenging early days.

Don’t just go with the first business idea you have. Start brainstorming and write a variety of ideas down.

Some will appeal to you quite a bit and may be worth further development. Others won’t appeal at all as you give it more thought.

This brainstorming session may come up with some surprises for you. As you think of all kinds of ideas, both wild and serious, you’ll realize how many of your skills and interests could be marketable.

Where Are The Ideas?

You may have difficulty in coming up with ideas at first. Many people feel for a time as though they don’t have any good home business ideas.

You’re probably wrong about that.

There are lots of places you can get ideas from, ones that you can worth with and enjoy using. Here are a few:

  • Magazines you read.
  • Websites you visit.
  • Things you do for fun.
  • Things you keep doing.
  • Stuff you wish you could do but haven’t started doing yet.

For each potential business that appeals to you, make a list of ways you could make it into a business. Not all your ideas will be practical, and you want to weed the impractical out. Some may make great online businesses while others would do better offline.

This is one of the first steps to take in starting your own home business. It’s a wonderful challenge with a lot of hard work. If you don’t accept that challenge, the business probably won’t work.

If you don't accept that challenge, the business probably won't work.

Here’s where many people go wrong in this process: They expect that there will be passion for their home business. It will be fun all the time.

They don’t expect it to be work.

Any home business will be work at times, even if you mostly adore what you’re doing. There will be days that you’re slogging through it all, just getting things done because they have to get done.

No passion. No fun.

That doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong home business, not at all. It might mean that you need to remind yourself that hard work is a part of the process.

Do You HAVE To Find Your Passion?

There is no rule saying you must find your passion before you start your home business. It may even be a bad idea. Passion doesn’t always outlast the challenges you’re likely to face when starting a home business. Sometimes going more toward the practical makes more sense.

The problem with relying on finding your passion is that it assumes you have that one thing that you will love doing. It can be a fixed mindset. A growth mindset, on the other hand, can be better for running a home business. That says you can develop a passion for what you do, even if you didn’t have one at first.

This is something they teach at my kids’ school. The teachers don’t assume that the child who struggles in a particular subject will eternally be bad at that subject. Instead, they spend more time teaching the things the kids have trouble learning.

The idea is that eventually, all of the kids in the class will learn to do well in all of their subjects.

This is why the students may be broken up into groups at times so that the ones that need help in a particular area can get it, while the ones who are ready to forge ahead may do so.

A growth mindset gives you much more flexibility as you grow your business. You take something that you’re willing to learn, regardless of previous interest or ability, and you do it. Passion develops over time this way.

Passion for your work doesn’t have to be inherent in you. What you need is a willingness to work hard.

What you need is a willingness to work hard.

Don’t Limit Yourself

One of the great things about running a home business is that there’s no rule saying you can only have one at a time. While you need to be realistic about how much time each business needs and how much time you can spend on each, it makes a lot of sense to do more than one thing at a time.

For one, you never know which home business will really succeed. Sometimes the idea you thought wouldn’t work out succeeds wildly. The idea you thought would be an easy money maker fails miserably.

In the long run, most people will take earning a good living over passion. If they combine, that’s wonderful. You’re fortunate. But that will not work out for everyone. So long as you are willing to do the work, you’ll be fine.

Here’s the thing: You can always work on your passion project as a side gig or even a hobby. It doesn’t have to be your main thing.

Of course, you can only take on so much at once. Don’t do so many projects at once that you fail at all of them. Start with one, then add things on as you figure out how much time each takes and how much time you are able to give them.

What If You Lose Your Passion For Your Home Business?

Losing your passion for your home business is one of the worst things that can happen in many ways. It becomes so much harder to work on a project that relied on passion, and then you lose that.

How does that happen?

It’s pretty simple.

The day to day slogging through, trying to earn a living from something can take a lot out of you. It really isn’t easy.

There are also some things that are fun to do just because they’re fun, but really hard to do as a business. Consider the following scenario:

You love to knit, so you start a home business selling things you’ve knitted. It gives you the perfect excuse to buy all the knitting supplies you’ve ever wanted. You make all kinds of beautiful projects to get started.

Then the problems start. Disappointed customers whose orders weren’t exactly as they pictured it. Other customers try to negotiate your prices to ridiculous lows considering the effort you put into your products. People demand custom orders faster than you can usually make things. Mistakes happen.

Now your favorite hobby is nothing but stress, stress, stress.

Some people can maintain their passion for their business despite the stress. Others come to realize that the thing they love to do for themselves or their loved ones really doesn’t make a great business.

Your interests will grow and change as you get older no matter what you do. What you love as a young adult may not be what you love later in life.

The real question you need to ask yourself if you lose your passion for your home business is “Can I keep doing this anyhow?”

Hopefully, the answer is “yes.”

That’s especially true if you have generally been having success with your business, but your passion for it has flagged. It’s a terrible thing to have a successful home business that you give up just because you’ve lost your passion for it.

The loss may be temporary anyhow. Don’t confuse temporary frustration with your business for a lack of passion or even interest in your business. Your love for it can come back with time and effort.

Give yourself that time. Figure out why you’re frustrated and what can be done about it. Solve the frustration, and the interest may come back.

Having a passion doesn’t mean you have unlimited motivation to work on that thing. If you assume that your motivation will never decrease, you’ll be incredibly frustrated when you go through hard times or find something difficult.

Avoid that trap. Understand that a change in how you feel doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path.

a change in how you feel doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path.

Don’t Confuse A Hobby With A Home Business

While it’s true that many people have turned hobbies into amazing home businesses, that doesn’t mean that will be the right choice for you. Consider what it takes to run a successful business as well as work on your hobby when you consider this.

Using the knitting example from above, you might decide to run an online store of some sort. That may not be too hard if you sign up with a site such as Etsy, although you will still need to learn to work with their interface and how to market your shop successfully.

You’ll  also have to:

  • Find your target market.
  • Learn which designs sell best.
  • Learn to track the costs of making your product.
  • Figure out prices people will pay which are still fair to you as a creator.
  • Figure out how to ship your product out efficiently and at a good price.

And that’s just the beginning.

It’s entirely possible that your favorite interest won’t suit you as a home business. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are a ton of things you can do for a business while still enjoying your hobby as a hobby.

Work On Your Growth Mindset

The more you live your life with a growth mindset, the easier it should be to work on your home business, whatever you decide it should be.

Know that your interests can be changed.

Know that if you decide to learn something, you can do it.

Be ready to work hard on whatever it is you decide to do in life.

If you do this, you’ll find your passion develops for the things you decide to focus on. It may evolve over time, but it won’t depend upon a fixed idea of what you want from life.

You might surprise yourself with the things you can do if you don’t rely solely on passion. Plan instead on doing the work it takes to make the life you want with the business you choose.

Do the work it takes to make the life you want with the business you choose.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated August 3rd, 2018

Murphy’s Laws of Parenting You Can’t Escape

Murphy's Laws of Parenting You Can't Escape

Raising a family is a lot of work. Fun, but lots and lots of work. So many things go wrong no matter how carefully you try to make them go right. With the right attitude, it can be funny at times. You can certainly argue that there are Murphy’s laws of parenting.

These are the things that make your day to day life as a parent more difficult. Some of them also make for great stories when talking to other parents, because they all get it. They’ve been there too. And so…

Murphy’s Laws of Parenting

1. Never claim to be done with the laundry. Your children will generate more dirty clothes spontaneously.

2. Your child will outgrow that perfect outfit right before you want them to wear it. This is one of the few rules that applies as well to infants as to teens.

3. You will find that box of handmedown clothes after your child has outgrown that size.

4. Teaching your child to help around the house is harder than doing it yourself. It will pay off eventually, but not as soon as you would like.

5. No, your child doesn’t like their favorite food today. Unless you’re eating it. Then they’ll snag all of it from your plate.

6. That food they tried for the first time off your plate and loved it? They’re never eating that one again.

legos

7. A clean floor will spontaneously generate Legos or other small toys to step on.

8. Your child will discover the magic that is scissors and hair the day before school or family pictures are taken.

9. The length of your child’s nap is inversely proportional to how long you need them to nap.

10. Glitter is forever…. forever in your hair, forever on the floor, the counters….

11. The more important the phone call, the less important the thing your child insists on telling you in the middle of the call will be.

painting

12. Messy crafts are more appealing than ones that are easy to clean up after. Some kids can make any craft messy.

13. Silence is suspicious. They ARE up to something.

14. Your bathroom is no longer a private place. It doesn’t matter who else is around, your kids will want YOU when you’re in the bathroom.

15. The messier your clothes are, the more likely you are to run into someone you know when running errands.

16. That thing you swore your kids would never do back before you had kids? Yeah. They’re going to do it.

17. If you throw away toys they no longer play with, they will want them the next day.

18. The cuter the outfit, the bigger the diaper blowout.

19. Babies will always soil a fresh diaper. Especially when you’re in a hurry.

20. The more diapers you pack for an outing, the more changes your child will need. Usually at least one more change than you brought diapers.

21. The thing you forget to pack will be the thing your child needs most.

22. A diaper will always leak on freshly washed bedding.

23. The box is more interesting than the toy that came in it.

24. The more your child wanted the toy, the faster it will break or lose a piece.

sleeping child

25. A  child who naps in the car will not continue that nap at home, no matter how badly needed.

26. The sicker the child, the more they will want to snuggle with you.

27. A clean floor attracts spilled food and drink.

28. The more tired you are, the less tired they are.

29. A sick child will appear healthy at the pediatrician’s office, then be sick again at home.

30. Your child will tell people exactly what you don’t want them to say. Even if that person is a stranger.

Most of these relate to when your kids are small, no doubt because that’s when they have the least control over themselves. Many of these challenges go away as kids get older.

That doesn’t mean you get a break. Older kids mean new challenges.

frustration

Teens, in particular, can catch you off guard. They’re testing limits and getting ready for adulthood, but they still need you so much. And the more they need you, the less some of them want to admit it. Which is why they have their own, separate section here. It’s harder to come up with generalized laws for parenting teens because they vary so much!

1. The more supplies a school project needs, the closer to the due date they will inform you.

2. They will make the same mistakes you did, even if you try to help them avoid the mistakes.

3. Plus new mistakes that weren’t even possible when you were young.

4. Their biggest problems come when you are busiest.

5. Even more than when they were little, they notice when you do things you told them not to do.

6. Teens can sleep better than babies.

7. All that time you spent teaching your kids to dress appropriately for the weather when they were younger won’t matter when they’re teens. They’ll wear shorts all winter or a jacket all summer.

8. Some days everything you say to a teen will be the wrong thing to say. Even “Good morning.”

Fortunately, teens can also be a lot of fun to talk with, as they develop opinions of their own. They may challenge your rules, but they’re also learning to face the world on their own.

So many of the little frustrations that come with being a parent of kids at any age will be things you look back on fondly later. Enjoy what you can and don’t let the challenging parts get you too far down.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 31st, 2018

How To Work At Home For Apple

How To Work At Home For Apple

One of the hardest parts of any work at home job search is finding reputable companies that offer home based jobs. It’s not easy at times. That’s why people are so enthusiastic when companies such as Apple offer remote chat jobs. Wouldn’t it be nice to work at home for Apple?

What Kind Of Work At Home Jobs Does Apple Offer?

Most of the work at home jobs for Apple are customer service related. Some positions are entirely chat based, but others can be both chat and phone customer service jobs.

Apple hires home based employees for both full and part time positions, but full time is more common, except for college students.

These are generally employee positions, not independent contractor. Apple provides some benefits even to part time employees.

Your training lasts about five to seven weeks and is done through an online program with a live instructor. You’ll learn about Apple products and how to do the required troubleshooting.

Does Apple Hire College Students To Work At Home?

If you’re a college student attending a participating college, you may qualify for the AppleCare College Program. This is a part time position available only to qualified college students attending participating colleges.

As of this writing, most of the AppleCare at home jobs were for college students, with only a few positions listed for non-students. This is subject to change.

Aside from being a qualified college student, you must also have a quiet workspace, which can be challenging if you have roommates.

Training for college students runs 6-9 weeks, either 24 or 40 hours a week, depending on when your training class starts. Fortunately, your regular work hours will be part time in the evenings and on weekends, so it is likely to be compatible with your class schedule. Apple may offer more hours or cut your hours as business needs dictate.

Apple offers tuition reimbursement. This can be a huge help to college students. You may need to check with them to see if there are any restrictions on the tuition reimbursement program.

work at home for Apple

What Are The Requirements?

As a popular work at home employer, Apple can be strict about their qualifications. They aren’t unreasonable, however. The exact qualifications may vary by the position you apply for. Most work at home for Apple jobs are some kind of customer support. Supervisory positions for the jobs may also be home based.

You have a better chance of getting a support position if you have at least two years experience in customer support. You must also be able to tailor your communication to your audience, as Apple users range from people who mostly know what they’re doing to people who find the whole thing overwhelming and incomprehensible.

You will be expected to share your expertise and feedback as necessary with coworkers.

Many times, you will need to use more than one tool at a time to resolve the customer’s problem. You must be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time, all while talking or chatting with the customer.

You must be able to type at least 40 wpm while dealing with customers.

Obviously, if a particular position expects you to be fluent in a particular language, they will have high expectations in that area. Verbal and written fluency are expected if you’re supporting a particular language.

Qualifications

Applicants must have some experience in supporting customers by phone, internet or in person. They must be enthusiastic about solving problems.

As you will be dealing with technology, you must show that you are comfortable with technology. Consider what you know about computers, smartphones and tablets as you prepare for your interview. If you don’t know much about them, this will be a difficult job for you.

As a work at home job, the ability to work independently is a necessity. There’s no one right there with you. You must be able to work your assigned shifts.

Multi tasking may be required.

You must be able to use multiple tools to research and solve problems for customers. Problems may require you to use more than one system at a time.

You must have a home office space with a door you can close, a desk and ergonomic desk chair. You may be required to submit photos of your home office to prove that it is suitable.

There will be a background check performed.

Technical Requirements

You must have high speed internet of at least 5 megabits download and 1 megabit upload. Apple provides an iMac and headset.

Does Your Location Matter?

For many work at home positions for Apple, your location doesn’t matter, so long as you are in the United States. Don’t focus on what city the position is listed under – check any work at home job listing and see if it says that you can be in any city in the US. If it does, you’re fine.

These are generally not international positions.

For college students, what matters is that you’re a student at a participating college. If you attend a participating college, don’t worry about which college is in the title of the listing, you can probably apply for the position anyhow.

Apple work at home office

Is The Work Flexible?

From everything I’ve read, work at home jobs for Apple are flexible in Apple’s favor, but not always in the employee’s favor. This may depend on your supervisor. I saw complaints from full time employees about an excess of overtime required. Many other reviewers loved the work and were happy with their hours and their ability to get time off when needed.

You may have to bid for the shifts you want well in advance. This can be nice if you know when you need time off. Holidays, however, are difficult to get off, as that’s a high demand time.

Most positions require at least some weekend work. Overnight shifts are a possibility.

In other words, the flexibility is much like any call center job. You probably won’t get every day off that you hope for. There will be times when it interferes with your ability to do things with your family. That’s typical of many jobs, work at home or otherwise.

What Are The Benefits?

One of the great things about working for Apple is that even part timers get some benefits. These include product discounts and paid time off. You can also participate in the company stock plan.

Your pay depends in part on your experience, but the numbers I’ve seen are quite respectable for this kind of work. Employees sign an NDA, so there are few instances where the pay rate is discussed, other than to say that the number is in the teens.

They’re also interested in helping your career grow. Stick around and you might go from At Home Advisor to At Home Team Manager or even to At Home Area Manager.

How To Apply To Work At Home For Apple

You can apply for work at home jobs for Apple on their jobs site. They have a special section for potential At Home Advisors. This includes the area where college students may apply for jobs.

The application process takes time. Don’t expect to go through the process in just a week or two – two to three months is not unheard of. Be patient. Sometimes it goes fast, but other times it’s slow.

Some interviews will be via FaceTime or Skype. Others will be over the phone.

Be enthusiastic. All employers love it when applicants show enthusiasm for the job they want. This is especially true with companies such as Apple where they have such a reputation of having extremely enthusiastic employees available to help their loyal customers.

If you’re ready to apply, go check their At Home Advisor job listings and see if there are any positions that you qualify for. If it doesn’t work out, consider these other ideas for working at home and keep searching.

Good luck!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 26th, 2018

Coping With Boredom As A Stay At Home Mom

Coping with Boredom as a Stay at Home Mom

One of the biggest complaints stay at home moms have is boredom. Being a mom is rewarding in many ways for most moms, but it’s not always all that stimulating. Doing the same thing day after day with little interaction with other adults can wear you down. How can you cope with boredom as a stay at home mom?

You can’t just rely on that shower alone or that first cup of coffee to get you through the day. They’re important, but you deserve more.

Most moms don’t want to live the life of the perfect homemaker and mother, and there’s no reason why you should. Especially not at the cost of yourself.

How many of us really enjoy keeping an immaculate house while entertaining an infant or toddler, or even multiple children? It may be fun for a while, but eventually, most moms want more. Deserve more.

painting

Enjoy Your Hobbies

One of the most important things to do is not give up your old interests just because you’re a stay at home mom. Keep up with your old hobbies. You may have to figure out which ones can be done in short bursts rather than sitting and working for hours undisturbed, but some of your interests should still be possible.

If you don’t have a hobby, start one. Learn to paint. Work on crafts. Learn to solder. Build things. Get some books at the library and start reading.

Find something you enjoy doing, whether you’ve done it before or have to pick up a new skill. You’ll have fun, and the kids will see you as a more interesting person.

dragon-mom

Get Out With The Kids

Get out of the house, even if it’s only for a walk. This can be particularly difficult when you have an infant who always needs a nap, but it does get better as they get older. But remember that an infant will nap just about anywhere, and that includes the car seat and stroller. While those aren’t the best places for regular naps, there is nothing wrong with the occasional nap in them.

As kids get older, trips to libraries and museums make a nice switch from heading out to the park, especially if the weather is too warm or too cold. Many museums have kids free days regularly, so this doesn’t have to cost a lot.

If there’s a place that charges admission you like particularly well, see what a membership will cost versus paying for each time. A membership is often worth it, especially if it also gets you free parking in a place that charges for parking.

All these activities have one huge advantage when the kids are little – they’re likely to take a nap after. Hopefully, it’s more than just in the car, but tired kids nap longer. That means a better break for mom.

When the kids are older and past the napping stage, regular outings mean they’re happier about the fun things you’ve done as a family. You’re building memories together, and probably doing things that are more fun for you as well.

grocery store

To Take Kids On Errands Or Not?

As a stay at home mom, you may often take the kids with you on errands. It’s the easiest way to get things done most days, even though it can slow things down tremendously. But is it the best idea when you’re bored and maybe even frustrated with the stay at home mom routine?

That may depend on the errand.

When my kids were small, I would joke about how getting to grocery shop without the kids was almost a vacation, and how pathetic that was. You’re keeping pretty busy, after all, if running an errand with no kids feels like any kind of a break.

Some errands can be fun to run with the kids as they get old enough. My kids always love going on a Costco run with me because we usually get lunch out, and you never know what the free samples will be. Lunch there is cheap enough to be affordable on many budgets. Order a pizza before heading down, and there are even leftovers.

If you need a break – ANY break – from the kids, running an errand without them may be a great idea, at least until you can take a real break. It is a chance to catch your break and clear your mind for a little while.

date

Get Out Without The Kids

When I say to get out without the kids, I don’t just mean run errands. Doing that can feel like a break, but you deserve more.

Getting out without the kids should be about doing something you want to do.

Maybe you head out on your own. Maybe you go on a date with your spouse.

Whatever it is, the time is about you being you, or maybe you and your spouse. Try not to spend the entire time talking about the kids. Have fun just being you for a while. You’ll think about the kids some, and talk about them (I think we all do that), but do other things too.

It can be hard sometimes to figure out what to do when you’ve spent too much time being “Mom.” You’ll figure it out. You’re in there somewhere.

If you can’t afford a babysitter, get a family member or friend to agree to do babysitting trades. You watch their kids, they watch yours. Grandparents are also willing in many families. This can allow date nights with your husband or just time to get something done without interference.

mom friends

Make Friends With Other Parents

Take the time to meet up with other moms. Even if you only have an infant it’s good to get out and socialize. As your children get older this can get easier, especially if you get along with their friends’ parents.

My favorite parents to meet when my kids were younger were the ones whose kids’ age differences were similar to the age differences for my kids. It made getting the kids together so nice since each child had a friend their own age without having to make arrangements with a lot of parents.

Of course, having children of similar ages is not the only reason to make friends with other parents. It’s better yet if you have common interests. You’ll all have more fun then.

You do not have to be friends with every parent you meet, of course. There are some you simply will not get along with. The friendships your kids have may still make it worthwhile to be in contact, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be friends with that set of parents.

Your friendship with other parents doesn’t have to be just about the kids, of course. Get out together without them. Get coffee together, go to a paint and sip class together, exercise together, just do things together that aren’t all about the kids.

online friends

Make Friends Online

Get online! The internet makes it easy for even the most homebound stay at home mom to make friends.

Facebook has a lot of groups for parents to join, for just about any interest. You can be a nerdy mom, homeschooling mom, single mom, sports mom, or just about any other interest. Having something in common makes the groups more fun to be a part of.

Don’t feel bad about joining a group for a little while, then leaving if it’s not the group for you. No one will notice in most groups. It takes time to find the right group, and sometimes you’ll find that a group that sounded good from the outside is absolutely not a match for you once you’re in. No need to announce your departure in that case – just go.

Facebook isn’t the only place to meet other parents online, of course. You can find forums or use other social media sites. Just look around until you find the right group of parents to socialize with online.

exercise

Get Exercise

Taking time to exercise regularly is a great idea. You’ll be healthier. It gives your brain a break from focusing on the usual household stuff.

Join a gym or the local YMCA if you can and take classes. This can help you build a regular routine. It’s too easy to skip out on fitness if you don’t have a schedule.

If you can’t afford a gym membership, you can still exercise. There are lots of free exercise videos on YouTube, or you can walk or ride a bike around the neighborhood.

online learning

Improve Your Education

When you’re a stay at home mom, it’s a great time to update your education. Maybe you plan on being a SAHM until your kids are grown, maybe you plan on it for only a few years. Either way, make the most of this time to get a better education.

There are lots of legitimate online courses you can take. Many good schools now offer online degrees. You need to be careful, of course, to ensure that you are getting a quality education. There are too many schools that are essentially scams. Read up on any online schools you attend to ensure that you will get your money’s worth.

You don’t have to improve your education only in ways that will help your future career, of course. You can also learn things just because they’re interesting. Education can be fun. Try courses through sites such as Udemy. You can learn to do lots of things online.

wahm

Find A Way To Work At Home

You may have decided to become a stay at home mom so you’d always be there for your kids, 100%. It probably didn’t take that long to realize that you want more out of life.

I strongly encourage all stay at home moms to have some way to earn money from home, whether it’s a work at home job or a home business of your own. It’s a vital safety net, in my opinion.

Let’s start with the big reasons: divorce, death, disability, and unemployment. Any of these can impact your life when you least expect it. If you don’t have money of your own coming in, these reasons can spell disaster for your family. And they’re mostly out of your control.

But those aren’t the only reasons.

Working at home can be fun. I especially like working for myself on this site, but I started out as a medical transcriptionist at home. Working at home is a way to do something as an adult.

Succeeding as a work at home mom is an accomplishment. Being a mom is too, but it’s not the same.

Working at home can be especially important if you want to go back to your career someday. It removes that break in your resume due to being a stay at home mom. Given how difficult it can be for a stay at home mom to find work later, that’s pretty important.

If you want to start simple, start a blog. It’s not difficult or expensive to get started. Maybe you earn money from your blog, maybe it’s just a hobby. But it’s a good introduction to working at home if you set yourself a schedule and try to keep a good routine going.

depression

Be Aware Of Depression

Sometimes being bored as a stay at home mom is more than just boredom. Depression is a very real issue for people in all walks of life.

Depression in moms doesn’t always start with postpartum depression, although that should be considered if relevant. Sometimes it comes years later.

If you’re concerned that you’re becoming clinically depressed, get help. It’s not easy to ask for help, I know, but find a way to get help.

Clinical depression means you need more help than just getting out of the house. It’s best if you can talk to a psychiatrist about medications that might help, and a therapist to talk things out.

Your network of friends may be able to help to a degree, but not in the ways a professional can. Clinical depression is not something to mess with. Check sites such as psychiatry.org to find help if you need it.

Stay At Home Motherhood Isn’t Always Fun

You’re going to get bored occasionally as a stay at home mom. Sometimes you simply will not be able to do the things you would rather be doing. But that’s true even if you work outside the home.

Taking care of children is hard, repetitive work. Young children, in particular, have a love of repetition that can be very hard on a mother. But if you can look at how your children are growing and changing you may be able to appreciate even the parts of your life that are otherwise quite “boring.”

Find ways to keep on being you, not just “Mom.” It’s a great title, but it doesn’t have to come at the loss of the rest of yourself.

And don’t forget to complain sometimes. Babies and toddlers can be exhausting and boring to care for, no matter how much you love them. They aren’t great conversationalists. They’re messy. The fact that they’re also utterly adorable isn’t enough every day, and it doesn’t have to be.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 23rd, 2018

Don’t Feel Bad About Learning to Work at Home in the School of Hard Knocks

Don't Feel Bad About Learning to Work at Home in the School of Hard Knocks
Working at home successfully doesn’t come quickly to all of us. Many people have to try several opportunities, whether they are stay at home jobs or home business opportunities before they find the right match for their availability and income needs. Learning to work at home doesn’t come that easy for many people.

It’s often a school of hard knocks before you really get it. You may feel like a failure for months or years before you really get things moving the way you’d like to.

Don’t be Ashamed of Falling for Scams

Falling for a work at home scam is perhaps one of the hardest knocks you can take when you’re looking for the right way to work at home. It’s embarrassing when you realize that you’ve fallen for a work at home scam. It happens to lots of us. That doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail as a work at home parent. It means only that you made a mistake.

uncertainty cloud

The only way you fail by falling for a work at home scam is if you don’t learn anything from the experience. It may be painful, especially if you have to admit monetary losses to a spouse or other family members, but it’s something you have to do.

If you fall for a scam, look hard at what made it possible. There are a lot of different reasons why people fall for scams. Here are a few:

  • Greed – the money looked so good you had to try.
  • Deception – the scam successfully imitated a legitimate opportunity
  • Laziness – the work looked so easy!
  • Scarcity – you believed the marketing hype that told you it was limited.
  • Too trusting – you were too willing to believe.
  • Desperation – you need money badly.
  • Fear – the scam hits right on something you fear.

Some people find avoiding scams to be the most difficult part of learning to work at home. I once had someone contact me repeatedly, concerned that a particular opportunity was a scam. I confirmed that it was, and explained why.

The person then asked me if another opportunity was a scam.

Not only was it a scam, it was essentially the same scam. I explained the warning signs again. They sent me a third opportunity to look at for them.

You guessed it. Same scam.

Some people want so badly to work at home that they have trouble being sensible about it. They can’t see what’s right in front of them. You have to learn how to look at these things carefully so that you catch the warning signs.

The prevalence of work at home scams is why it is so very important to really think before signing up with any opportunity. Do your research. Ask around. This will help keep you from falling for scams.

You May Not Always Earn What You Hope to Earn

Whether you find a work at home job, do freelance work or start some other sort of home business, you probably won’t always earn what you hope to earn. It’s not a good feeling to come up short on your goals, but you have to be realistic. It takes time to get things to where you really want them to be.

Be realistic with your financial goals, and don’t give up on them easily. You probably wouldn’t make your dream income working outside the home right off either. Most of us have to work up to it.

Sometimes you may have to accept lower pay to get started. Don’t do this for too long, and don’t go absurdly low.

It amazes me how often people suggest doing online tasks that pay well under minimum wage. Sure, they’re saying to do it in your free time, but isn’t it better to find work that pays better even then?

Some jobs have a learning curve where you’ll earn less than minimum wage at first, but as you improve, so does your income.

Transcriptionists often face that problem. I remember when I first started out as a medical transcriptionist. It was difficult to earn more than a few bucks an hour. But I quickly improved to where I could earn $15+ per hour.

The learning curve was worth it in that case. If your pay won’t increase significantly with experience, the low pay won’t be worth it.

You Won’t Always Have Perfect Cooperation and Respect for What You Do From Family and Friends

Supportive family and friends are a huge help when you work at home. It’s hard to get everyone to take you seriously when so many people you know are certain that you’re getting scammed, or it won’t work out, or just don’t think what you’re doing is real work.

What matters is that you take it seriously.

The people you know will take their cues from you on how to treat your work. A few may never get it, but the more seriously you take your work, the more seriously most others will take it too.

Talk to your spouse and children about what you need from them. They’re the most important part of your support network, as they are the most likely to be in the house with you when you need to work.

Working at Home Doesn’t Always Mean Working When You Want

There’s the old bit about how you can set your own hours when you work at home. It’s one of the most appealing parts of working at home. The problem is that it’s not entirely true.

Many people are dismayed to find out how many hours it really takes to successfully work at home. It’s not easy. You may work more hours than you would have outside the home. You can’t always choose which ones you want, at least not if you want to bring in an income. Sometimes your work hours are set by the needs of the kind of work you’re doing.

trouble ahead

Working at home also tends to blend into daily life and family time. Your work is always right there. Learning to separate work and family time takes practice.

It’s even rougher when you have infants and toddlers who really need your attention. You may find their needs and the needs of your job or business don’t mix too well. Despite any intentions otherwise, many work at home parents do resort to paid childcare so that they can get work done. That’s not a failure. That’s dealing with reality.

Fortunately, you often will have flexibility. Be prepared, however, to deal with the times when you need to sacrifice some of the fun times to earn a living.

Self Discipline May Not Come Naturally

It takes a lot of self discipline to work at home. There are a lot of distractions. Little things eat into your schedule. If you don’t have the self discipline to minimize these problems, you will have a hard time learning to work at home successfully.

You can’t rely on feedback from your employer if you have a work at home job. It may not come in time.

Self discipline is even more important if you’re running a home business. Your success depends in large part on your self discipline. If you don’t have it, working enough hours to make money from home will be very difficult.

Setting up a comfortable home office is a huge help when it comes to self discipline. It won’t solve all of your problems, but it gives you a regular place to work.

Ideally, your home office should be quiet and have a door you can close. Closing your door when you need to work can close out a lot of distractions. Depending on what you do, you may or may not need to work in your home office every day. But it should be available to you.

But you need more.

You need the discipline to start work on time, and to work hard through the hours you need to work. Distractions abound, such as:

  • Television
  • Chores
  • Online games
  • Social media
  • Friends and family
  • Pets.

If self discipline is a challenge, set goals and rewards for yourself. Some should be relatively easy (but not too easy) to hit. Others should take steady effort over days, weeks or even months.

Teach yourself to work even when you don’t feel like it. You’d have to do that if you worked outside the home, after all. Take your work at home job or home business just as seriously.

Overwork Comes Too Naturally

If you have enough self discipline to work at home, you may find that you also have the tendency to work too much. Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult.

overwork

Now, this may sound like a great problem to have. And there are times when the ability and willingness to work long hours will be to your advantage. But there can also be too much of that.

When you overwork yourself, you become too tired to do a good job. This can impact your creativity, accuracy, and how fast you can work.

It also impacts your life outside work. What happens to family time when you work too much?

Boundaries matter when you work at home. You must learn to stop working and be a part of your family when your work day is done.

Sure, there may be times when those long hours are necessary, and even a benefit to your family in the long run. But they shouldn’t happen all of the time.

Expenses Catch You By Surprise

Working at home can save you a lot of money. You don’t drive to work every day. You can dress however you like most days. But there may be some expenses you haven’t considered.

Work At Home Job Expenses

Some work at home jobs will provide you will all the equipment you need. They may even help pay for your internet connection.

Others will require you to provide your own equipment. This is especially true if you’re considered an independent contractor rather than an employee.

If you provide your own equipment and need to repair or replace something, that’s on you. When it’s time to upgrade, that’s on you. If you don’t own a piece of equipment you need, you guessed it, that’s on you.

Some work at home jobs provide on the job training or will help you keep up your skills with ongoing training. Others will require that you get your own training.

These are some of the work at home expenses you might not be expecting:

You’re working at home, kids in the background. Over time, you come to realize that it’s just not working. They’re too distracting.

Trading childcare or having family members help out turn out to be not enough. It’s time to pay for daycare.

You may have to spend some money getting set up to your employer’s standards:

You have a nice home office setup, and a solid wifi connection. But your employer requires a wired internet connection. You have to pay to run a cable to your home office.  This may be as simple as finding a long enough cable for the job, or as expensive as having a professional set you up.

Home Business Expenses

If you are running your own home business, of course all of these expenses will fall on you. It can be a very good idea, in fact, to budget for training to improve your skills. You can improve your business much more quickly if you learn new skills from someone else than if you try to figure it out on your own.

You’ve tried your hand at social media marketing. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram… you’ve tried, but you just aren’t getting results. You’ve heard about the amazing results other people get from social media, so naturally you want to do better too.

Time to figure out which social media training course is right for your needs.

Don’t forget basic advertising expenses:

Social media marketing isn’t enough.  Time to buy some ads!

Home business expenses can add up, even though the basic costs of hosting your website are quite affordable.

Some things can wait on your budget, which is nice when you’re starting on a shoestring. But many of the things you can do to improve your home business a little more quickly will cost money. They also aren’t guaranteed to work, so your risk is increased.

Successfully advertising your site, for example, often has an expensive learning curve. You can take a course that will teach you to run successful ads, but you might not find the right mix right away.

Don’t Let Learning To Work At Home Get You Down

Learning to work at home can be frustrating, especially if you do have to go through the school of hard knocks to find success. You have to keep trying or you’ll never find the right way to earn money from home.

Don’t let the naysayers get you down. They probably mean well, but telling you over and over that you’re going to fail isn’t helpful. There may be a fine distinction between a naysayer and someone who sees something you don’t however, so don’t dismiss all criticism out of hand.

Don’t let your mistakes get you down. Learn from them. A mistake isn’t a complete failure if you learn from it.

Learning to work at home takes time. Not everyone succeeds at the first thing they try to do from home. Even if you start the perfect work at home job or home business right from the start, there are plenty of other mistakes to make. Give yourself time to make the progress you need to do better. You’ll get there.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.