This article was originally written and posted in February 2013 on a friend’s blog as part of a challenge. I realized I never posted it to my blog, and am doing so now. Enjoy, comment, share, and come back often. Thank you in advance.
The Ugly Side of Business from My Perspective
For many, people like to see and hear all the great things about working from home; how much money you can earn, the trips, cars, compensation plan, financial freedom, etc. Those are all great things, they DO happen, and when it does, the world is your oyster. However, many who decide to get into this business are not prepared for all the WORK involved. In fact, I like to say, some are downright LAZY. That’s right, I said it…LAZY!!! Lazy to the fact that this doesn’t happen overnight, and the success stories of others also include plenty of struggles and hardships, sacrifices, late nights, early mornings, missed events, arguments, tears, struggles, hair pulling and many reasons to quit. Many aren’t really prepared for what’s involved when you start your own business, and in reality, they just want the glory without all the hard work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
My Life as a Work from Home Mom
Working from home has its good and bad points, and I have seen and experienced quite a few. When I say that some are downright lazy, I mean all they see are the dollar signs; the big bucks and THAT’S all they want. What some don’t seem to realize is that it takes TIME. I am in a relationship business, and what that means is you have to be willing to develop relationships with others before you even approach them about what you do. People have to feel (and know) that you care about them and are looking out for their best interests.
I remember listening to a training call from one of our top leaders. She talked about when she connects with someone, especially if it’s someone she hasn’t spoken to for years, she will wait a whole YEAR before she even speaks to that person about the business. I almost fell out of my chair. I thought, “A YEAR?!?!?! What is she crazy or something? I don’t have a year. It has to happen NOW!!!” But that has stuck with me and I realize that she’s right. I have to be willing to invest my TIME in someone; find out all that I can about that person; show a genuine interest and let them understand that I care about THEM. It’s hard, even tempting to jump all over them with what I have to offer, but more often than not, that tends to scare people off. This business isn’t going anywhere; in fact, it keeps getting better and better every day. I like to think of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, because sometimes, slow and steady wins the race.
Working from home has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that I can roll out of bed and not have to worry about gas, tolls, day care, a boss, etc. The downside is, because you’re home, you also have your other responsibilities. The kids need you, the house needs to be cleaned, everyone needs to be fed, the bills have to be paid, time with your spouse, time, time, time, time. Oh, and you are running a business from home. As I am writing this, I’ve had to stop to tend to my oldest who’s been throwing up all weekend; help my youngest who almost had an accident; feed the boys (again) and break up a few fights. This is LIFE, people. You can’t turn it off!!! What I have come to understand is there really is no such thing as TIME MANAGEMENT. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; no more, no less. It’s how we utilize our time that makes all the difference. I make To-Do Lists, and do my best to follow that list as much as possible. I’d say that I am 80-85% successful with maintaining my lists, and when I do, the results are mind-blowing.
Choices, Decisions, Action
Life and business are about choices, decisions, and action. We can choose to be happy, sad, indifferent, etc. We can decide which mood to be in and how to act on them. You’re going to be dealing with many different personalities that will more often than not, clash with yours. Others will look to you for guidance, support, encouragement, and to let them know that you will be there and lift them up. However, when things aren’t going so great, some of those same people will look to you as the blame. I’ve come to realize that regardless of what’s going on around me, my successes and failures are a direct result of MY actions…no one else’s. Some will choose to go with you, some will start and leave, and some will take their own path. But as long as you stay on YOUR course, you will get to your destination.
Overall, the Benefits Outweigh the Struggles
My experience working from home has had its ups and downs. Lately, there have been more downs, but what I have come to realize is that just like life, my business hits some bumps in the road. I’ve experienced success, failure, I’ve helped others succeed, watched others move forward, while others have turned the other way. I’ve met some amazing individuals who have been such an influence on me personally, professionally and spiritually. The friendships I have made, I will cherish forever, and my mentors have been my biggest support throughout this whole experience.
The biggest and best reward of all is that I am doing it. When I started my journey in 2008, I was scared out of my mind. I had no clue what I was doing or what I got myself into. But, I believed in what I saw, my values and beliefs were in harmony with the company’s mission statement, and I wanted a piece of the action. It’s taken some time, but every day, I wake up and I set out to make a difference in someone’s life. There are days when I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to deal with the craziness. I’ve dealt with lots of no’s – I think the no’s outweigh the yes’s most of the time. I’ve had people tell me I’m wasting my time; I should get a “real job;” I’m taking advantage of people and I will not succeed in this business. It’s hurtful and I have to force myself to NOT take it personally. At the end of the day, are those people who said no going to pay my bills? Are they going to give me the life I want? No!!! That is up to ME and no one else. On those days when it seems like the odds are stacked against me, I look at why I do what I do – my boys and my husband. They trump everything else.
I AM a success story. I am very critical of myself and I need to look at all I have accomplished. I have to learn to not compare myself with anyone except me. Today, I have to be just a little better than I was yesterday. I am making a difference in my life and the lives of others, and I celebrate all the victories I’ve accomplished. I am thankful I was introduced to this company, and given the chance to create my dream life. I truly love what I do, and I love when others are on board to change their lives as well. It’s so much fun taking the journey with others and being part of a team. I love seeing and hearing the success stories of others because they are doing what is necessary to succeed. My journey is ongoing, and each day is a new chapter in my book. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.
Re-reading this blog has also prompted me to do a little series on this, so be on the lookout for more content on “The Ugly Side of Business” because there are many ugly sides.