This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Melissa Heisler of It’s My Life, Inc. Melissa Heisler is a stress reduction expert, Type Me coach, speaker, and the author of From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop “Doing” Life and Start Living It. She is committed to guiding entrepreneurs and professionals to improve their health, increase their mental clarity, easily deal with difficult people, find peace in their current jobs, and improve their business effectiveness all through reducing their stress levels.
How did you get started working from home?
Almost twenty years ago, I had a short stint working from home when a company I was working for moved out of state. I loved it. Seven years ago I began working with coaching clients on nights and weekends while working full-time in a marketing position. After a year, I was laid off from my day job and moved to working on my coaching business full time.
How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I wanted a business with low overhead which also gave back to the world. I was always interested in psychology and self-improvement. My own experience overcoming the negative side effects of stress gave me the tools and desire to help others take back their life.
How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Two main areas needed to be addressed to get started. First was creating the tools and systems I use to work with clients. Although every client is unique, over time I created programs and worksheets I can pull from to help them through the process. Having this toolbox allows me to be more efficient when working with my clients. Second was setting up the business of being in business. Purchasing a computer and data backup, choosing a phone system, setting up an accounting system through Quick books, and creating a marketing plan.
How did you get your first client or customer or job?
My first clients were obtained through face-to-face networking. Due to the nature of my business, I need to gain the trust of potential clients. It took time to build up my network and create that trust.
How do you market your business?
Mostly I market my business through writing and through maintaining my network. I use my words to gain the trust I used to receive through face-to-face interaction. My focus is on creating my own blog posts and newsletters, contributing to the Washington Post and Huffington Post, sharing my blog posts through Linked In and other social outlets, utilizing Help A Reporter Out to be included as an expert in articles, and am now maximizing my social media presence. With a long sales cycle to secure a client it is necessary to provide constant connection to gain trust. I also utilize a customer relationship management system (In-sightly) to help remind me to follow up with leads and to stay in touch with power partners.
What does your usual day look like?
Monday through Wednesday are client and networking calls. When not on calls, I write, answer emails, focus on social media outreach, and reconnect with my network. I work seven days a week but, except for client calls, the days are flexible. I don’t have a set routine but rather goals for the week. This way I can choose to work on whatever feels most appropriate in the moment instead of, for instance, trying to force myself to write when the muse is not there.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I spent a lot of time my first years trying to market my business the way “others” said it “had” to be done. Many of the tactics were not in alignment with how I think and how I want to go about business. Had I initially started marketing in the way I do now, my business would be further along.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
It is important to create a work space and a life space. Working from home it is easy to either always be working or to always be distracted by home needs. Be vigilant. Second, I would recommend following your heart not experts. Many firms out there wants to trick you into their get rich scheme or the perfect way to get more clients. Trust your own intuition and knowledge. Trust yourself and choose a line of business and marketing strategies which are in alignment with you.
To connect further with Melissa, visit
Website URL: Its My Life Inc
Twitter Handle: @itsmylifeinc
Facebook Page: /itsmylifeinc
Youtube: Its My Life Inc
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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