Working From Home Successfully

I started working from home back in 1994, just 6 months after getting married. I created a diamond wholesale/retail business to help make quality Engagement Rings affordable for poor college students. It actually started with my own search for a Diamond Engagement Ring for Jana back in December of 1993 when I proposed just 2 1/2 months after starting to date (when you know, you know.)

I have learned a few things over the years to make working from home work and here they are. This list is not all inclusive, I mean there are several little things that are obvious (at least to me anyway, i.e. keep good records, be professional, have a computer, give great customer service, etc. etc.) I even dressed up (yes I wore a tie) when walking from my bedroom to office-bedroom to start my day. I dressed for success for the industry I was in and because I was so young at the time I felt it was important to dress up for credibility. Times have changed today ... I do not feel this is as necessary, though depending on the industry it may very well be. Being a pastor I dress casual, but nice (*I don't wear flip flops, t-shirts, jean-shorts or anything ... of course this is because we live in Kansas ... if I lived in california I would) and I wear suits when I must (wedding, funerals, etc.)

*I am talking about when I am at church ... I wear all the things above when I am at home, or when I don't have any appointments ... obviously God doesn't get offended at flip flops, T-shirts or jeans ... only religious people do that, and God isn't religious.

All that said, you must find what works for you and the people you are working with.

1) SET a schedule.

In other words, HAVE OFFICE HOURS!

2) KEEP your schedule.

Don't let petty NON-WORK things mess up your work. If your office hours are 9 - 5pm then work 9 - 5pm!

3) INFORM family of your schedule.

This is huge. I remember after we had our first child, Jana would assume "since I was home" that I could watch our little bundle of Joy while she ran errands. And though I was "home" I couldn't work and watch our child at the same time (now this would be different if I had too ... like if I was a single father, or if you are a single mother, then you do what you need to do to make it work) but in my case Jana was a stay-at-home mom so I needed her to do what she did so I could do what I did to earn the money so we could live in a house, not in our mini-van down by the river!

4) Family should HONOR your schedule.

So if you are a spouse of a "work-from-home" person ... let him/her work! If they don't work, they don't get their job done, and when they don't get their job done they don't get money and if they don't make money, you don't have money, and when you don't have money you live in a van down by the river ... and that sucks!

5) Create a WORK area.

This can be the kitchen table, but I recommend have "a place", some place in the home you can set up shop. You don't need to spend a bunch of money, but you need to have a spot that is "your office" and everyone knows "that's mommy's/daddy's office."

Plus, this helps you get in the mode to work when you enter that spot. At least it does for me.

Peace to you and I wish you the best!