Running a small business from home sounds wonderful. No commuting. You can work in your pajamas at midnight. There’s a continuous supply of coffee, food and chocolate.
But while running a home business promises fun it can be stressful, particularly in managing areas you may have no training in…like marketing yourself, setting fees and managing taxes. There is considerable stress in managing a variable workflow and unpredictable income. And it’s lonely. I know these things!! I’m now running a business from home for the second time.
So in addition to looking after your health, nurturing your attitudes and mindset is necessary bring out your best. Here are some mindsets I’ve been nurturing to help me bring out my best. Perhaps they’ll help you too.
Be kind to yourself
When you work for yourself from home the buck stops with you, for everything, all the time. And things inevitably turn out differently to how you’d expected. When these things happen try to be kind to yourself about why they might have happened.
Being kind to yourself means nurturing yourself and giving yourself a break. Banish blame and guilt. If it is inappropriate to “beat up” or criticise a direct report when things go wrong, then it’s equally inappropriate to beat yourself up. Consider yourself your own direct report and talk to yourself gently and positively.
So give yourself permission to be kind to yourself – you deserve it.
Adopt a solution focus
Running a business can be stressful and because you are working on your own it can be easy to obsess over problems and wallow in worry and panic. This keeps you stuck in the cycle of stress and negativity.
A more positive approach is to adopt a solution focus. When things get difficult…think solutions. What can you do to help resolve the situation? Get creative. Solutions could be anything… like thinking of another approach to setting fees, or developing a passive income stream, or writing blogs on your site more frequently.
Whatever it is, thinking about solutions moves you from negative disabling emotions to a positive action based space that is empowering and energising.
Connect with others
Working from home can be lonely and professionally isolating. So developing and nurturing a network of professional contacts and peers is vital.
A network helps you connect with your peers, provides you with a “brains trust”, can help you generate leads, and can provide opportunities to work collaboratively. And it can help stave off loneliness.
So get out there and network. Be solution focused – there are many ways. Keep in touch with friends and colleagues in a way you are comfortable with – phone, email, or social media. Follow up people you know less well – invite them for coffee – with the sole aim of relationship building. Join online groups and forums…and contribute.
Have faith in yourself
Running a business from home often involves a leap of faith in yourself in leaving the security of employment. It can be difficult to remain self-confident, particularly at the beginning.
There are many decisions to be made and it can be hard to be sure which is the right way to go. But keeping faith with yourself, boosts your self-confidence and can help keep your attitude positive.
If you would hire yourself, then others will too. So nurture that faith you have in yourself. Then go out and write your way to success.
Celebrate your achievements
Like everything in life, running a business can take time to master and learning new attitudes can take a while to master too.
But remember you are on a journey – and that the journey is often times as meaningful and enjoyable as the goal. Each small step on the way is sweet…and deserves celebrating.
So celebrate your achievements in the journey of running your business…big and small. It’s quite OK to be proud of yourself and celebrate the small things. In fact, I’d say it’s mandatory.
… start working on nurturing these attitudes… be kind to yourself, adopt a solution focus, connect with others, have faith in yourself and celebrate your achievements. Then you’ll be well on the way to bringing out your best. For your business…and for your life.
These attitudes will also work for people in any work or life situation – so why not give them a try.
Dr Jocelyn Lowinger is a doctor, writer and consultant with 20 years experience in the health industry. She has a medical degree from the University of NSW as well as postgraduate qualifications in public health. Follow her on Twitter @DrJoLow and read her blog Snap:Connect:Inspire.
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