Sunday, May 6, 2007

Balancing Work And Family

Being able to spend more time with family is a popular incentive for people looking to work from home, and it is also a reason that many home-based businesses fail. You need to be able to perform a delicate balancing act to ensure that you will have time for your family while concurrently running

a successful business in your home.

Just as you would schedule an appointment with a client, it's essential to set aside time for your family. When you work in an office you are, in essence, already doing this. You "schedule" in your family for the waking hours of the day that you are not at work. The same holds true when your business is run from home.

It is important to stick to a schedule when you are working from home. This is much easier during the school year, but it can become almost impossible during vacations. When your family sees you at home, they naturally assume you are at their beck and call.

You need to watch out for the other extreme as well. Resist the urge to work at all hours and cut into valuable time, which you should be spending with your family. You need the support of your family in this new venture, and spending too much time working may have the opposite effect.

Sit down with your children and discuss why you started working from home and stress the importance of being able to get your work done. Explain to them the importance of your income and what that money means to them — food, a roof over their heads, the shoes on their feet. This is an excellent way to educate your children not only on respecting your time but also on the realities of the world.

Working At Home And Your Family

Combining a family and a home based business can take the juggling ability of a circus performer, the patience of a Saint, the negotiating skills of a high profile diplomat, the organisational ability of a Army Logistical Officer and the tenacity of a Bulldog.

There are, however, steps you can take to ease the stress on both you and your family when you decide to work from home. These simple techniques will ensure that the major tasks required for the family to continue functioning will be completed while still enabling you to meet your new responsibilities as a small business owner.


Partner’s can’t support something they don’t understand. Explain to your partner and your children why your business is important to you and what you hope everyone in the family will gain from you working from home.

As your business grows and gets busier (and it will) set up systems to ensure everyone in the family understands what is happening from day to day. A large wall calendar where everyone in the family must write down the activities they are involved in on a daily basis will be invaluable. A shift-working husband leaving in the early hours of the morning can quickly check the calendar to know what work activities you have on that day and whether he needs to drive Joey to soccer practice without having to disturb you.


It is vital that you schedule time for both work and family in your life. When your children are young this schedule will be dictated around them. You may prefer to leap out of bed and begin working on your latest assignment but a one year old and a three year old are unlikely to allow that to happen. Instead concentrate your work during nap times and after they are in bed for the day.

As your children get older it becomes easier to explain to them your need to complete work before they receive your full attention. This can be as simple as saying to your children "I will be working this morning until midday, when I get finished we will have lunch and then we will go to the park for the afternoon".

When you have set your schedule stick to it and relax! Don’t spend your work time feeling guilty about not being with the children and don’t spend your time with your children running through your “to do” list in your head.


Prioritise both your work and home responsibilities. Do the top two off each list every day and move the rest forward. Your partner and children will not suffer if they have baked beans on toast for dinner on the day you have client meetings, similarly, your work will not suffer if you take an afternoon off to watch your daughter’s ballet recital if you have completed the number one and two priorities for the day during your scheduled work time.


Nobody can do it all. Learn to delegate some of your responsibilities. Work through your list of responsibilities with your family and assign tasks. Sharing the load eases the burden for everyone. It also helps train children for life after they leave home.


Share stories of your success (and despair) with your partner and your family. Let them know when your latest proposal wins you a new client. Celebrate together by using your business money to shout a pizza for dinner or take the family out for a special treat.

When the day has been a disaster explain about your bad day, don’t leave them guessing about why Mom is moping about the house. Most importantly don’t take it out them by being grumpy and shouting. If you have an office in the house close the door and “clock off” from work for the day, if your office is a desk in the corner of the lounge room clear it and don’t go back until your next work day begins.

Get Serious

If you don’t take your business seriously nobody will. By scheduling your work time you are indicating to family and friends that you are a professional with a commitment to building a successful business. Don’t take personal calls during your work hours (screen with an answering machine or install a second line), don’t arrange children’s or personal activities in the time you have committed to working on your business.

Gradually partners and children learn to respect that you cannot be disturb during your work time (unless there is an emergency involving blood or fire).

Get Help

As soon as you can afford it pay for help to do certain tasks. Hire a cleaner once a fortnight, or a babysitter for a couple of hours in the morning to allow you some extra work time, contract out the ironing -- whatever helps you to maintain both your home and your business.


Allow your family to be involved in your business, children can stuff and label envelopes and be trained to answer the telephone. Ask for both your partner and your children to provide opinions on problems or issues you face with your business. This helps you beat the isolation of working from home by providing a great “brainstorming” session. Husbands and children feel valued when you consider their opinion as important. This is a unique opportunity to allow your children to learn work related skills from the cradle!

Be Prepared

Take on board the old Scout’s Motto and be prepared for the worst. Discuss contingency plans with your partner so that when your oldest child develops chicken pox on the day of the convention you have spent six months organising you immediately call into action Plan B and start telephoning the babysitters you had screened months before for just such a situation.

Have Fun

Working from home will take you on an exciting journey of self discovery as you have to adapt to new situations and challenges but make time to enjoy the journey. Drop everything to race outside and play under the sprinkler with the kids on a steaming hot day, marvel at a butterfly with your toddler instead of making that extra call occasionally.

After all, we are charting new territory here, never before have so many people opted out of mainstream employment to work from home. We left traditional jobs because they didn’t suit our new circumstances. So lets make our own rules at home and lets make FUN part of those rules.

Hidden Advantages Of Working At Home

Working from a home office offers numerous ways to directly save money, and to increase your tax write-offs. Many of these are well known, such as declaring work space that can be written off your rent or mortgage. But in today's Workshop contributor Jeff Moses offers some less-obvious financial advantages of establishing a home-based business.

-- Tremendous savings can be gained from reduced costs for clothing and cleaning. We underestimate how caught up we can get in the fashion game while working on-site in a company's office. Suits and ties for men, dresses and accessories for ladies -- the yearly tab on new clothing can run into the thousands of dollars, especially in high-profile industries such as advertising, law, banking, jewelry, art galleries, interior decoration, etc. Money spent on dry cleaning adds significantly to the total outlay. Working at home allows you to dress casually most of the time, with the rare public appearance demanding the professional image of dress clothing. This doesn't mean that you should let your standards go and start working in your PJ's, but it gives you the option of simpler and less-expensive work attire.

-- Meals can be quicker, less expensive and more healthful when cooked in your kitchen rather than on-the-job corporate lunches. With the time left over from what it would have taken you to travel back and forth to the restaurant, you can catch up on some personal errands or relax and take a refreshing walk.

-- When you work out of your home, you save greatly on all car expenses, including gas, maintenance, repairs, tires, and general wear-and-tear. The most important immediate and long-term saving may simply be avoiding the wear-and-tear on yourself from those many stressful hours commuting.

-- Parents working at home have the option of caring for children instead of plunking them in expensive day care. By planning ahead you can arrange activities that absorb your child's attention (and perhaps even let them learn something beneficial) while having you close by. This situation is often too valuable to put a price on.

-- Even if your self-employed work keeps you too busy to spend long hours with your child, by picking them up from school you can be with them for after-school homework sessions. In the long run, this can prove tremendously beneficial for their educational well-being.

-- The ultimate financial value of working at home is that if you manage your time well (avoiding unnecessary interruptions) you should be able to achieve more during the day than you would in a workplace, where interruptions are commonplace. As Dilbert said in one of the cartoon's daily strips when he was telecommuting from home (and I paraphrase), "Now that I've worked for two hours and accomplished more than I would have during a full day at the office, should I kick off or keep working?" Of course, you'll normally keep on working, accomplishing as much as you possibly can during a day. This will translate into both greater career satisfactions and greatly enhanced income potential.

Work At Home Jobs Are Hard To Find

For many of us, the turning point in our lives that made us urgently want to become work at home moms was shortly after the birth of our child. It was then that we realized our priorities in life had changed and would never again be the same. Then that we knew in our hearts we wanted to be stay at home moms and get work at home jobs so we could remain with our children during the most important part of their lives. A full time working mom that places her child in daycare at the age of twelve weeks loses about 34,425 precious hours of time with her child by the time her or she reaches the age of twelve! Additionally, much of the time left to spend with her child is non-quality, "chaos" time during which mom is either busy or too stressed to actually enjoy the time she has with kids.

Fine. Let’s just hop on the internet as new moms, surfing dutifully as our little ones slumber. Everyone knows that the work at home revolution has taken place. Millions of people now enjoy work at home careers. Let’s take our rightful place among them. Work at home jobs are bountiful. Let’s browse those gazillions of employer web sites, you know, all those thousands of respectable companies that allow their employees to have work at home jobs, choosing selectively whether we want the cushy work at home job for Big Blue or that other Fortune 500 company. Goodness knows there should be a huge selection of fantastic work at home jobs to choose from for us highly qualified, highly motivated stay at home moms.

Wow, do you remember the moment that charming fantasy came to a screeching halt as it slammed into the wall of reality?

Wait! How can this be? The gazillions of web sites are all scams! Scam after scam after scam, each one more insulting than the last. Envelope stuffing jobs claiming to pay $7.00 an envelope… data entry jobs in which you can earn big bucks in your underwear… “order processing” jobs that reek like the envelope stuffing scams… medical billing school that promises a great career after we graduate… fly by night outfits promising all sorts of ridiculous things. The most trusting among us fell for a few of them, only to become angry at the internet that fed them to us and even more depressed and confused when our best efforts to become work at home moms or stay at home moms weren’t successful.

“Where can they be?”, “How can this be happening?” you rhetorically asked yourself.

Before giving up your work at home idea altogether you spent hours and hours in frustration, searching the monster-sized job search engines for simple work at home jobs that work from home moms, like you, could do. When that didn’t work you tried the smaller cutesy-named job search engines. When that didn’t work you started searching for new job search engines you never heard of before. You put in every work-at-home-related keyword you could imagine. You tried every combination of choices. You found a few technical work at home jobs that you could do if you knew things like what PHP and C++ stood for, but no real jobs that a smart, computer-savvy mom like you could do at home. No matter what you did, those gazillions of work at home jobs were nowhere to be seen. Some of us had a great small business idea and started home based businesses. For the rest of us wanna-be work from home moms, our search finally came to a sad end when we accepted the reality that all those work at home jobs just didn’t exist. But deep down inside ourselves we knew it wasn’t true. We knew those jobs are out there somewhere. We just knew it.

Well, you were right all along, they were, and are, out there. If you’re already a member of our website and and have already discovered the HUNDREDS of great work at home jobs at our site, you already know that. Still, you may want to know why they were so hard to find without our help. Finally, you’ll learn the answer.

Understand that:

  1. Most employers can recruit for their home based jobs very effectively without spending a single penny by simply announcing job openings to their office-based employees. They have no need to advertise their work at home jobs anywhere where people like us might find them.
  2. Most employers who do make the mistake of posting work at home jobs on the internet find themselves regretting it, getting spammed and swamped with responses from all over the world. Hundreds of millions of people surf the net. That’s a lot more responses than most employers are interested in!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Do You have Idea's?

If you have any ideas on working from home or you have a business opportunity that you would like to share, please do so. I would love to hear about it as I am sure others would too. Please feel free to email me at anytime.