Have you seen that picture on Facebook in which one box describes how you anticipated the journey and results of a project (a straight, upward line) versus the reality (an up and down, squiggly line). That’s a pretty accurate description of developing a work-at-home career. It’s a roller coaster ride of thrills and chills. There will be times when it’s hard, frustrating and discouraging. Over the 18 years I’ve been doing Work-At-Home Success, I’ve met many people who gave up the journey when it got tough. I wondered about the people who didn’t give up. What kept them going in the face of adversity? I decided to ask them.
This week’s question is:
“How did you stay motivated during the tough times when building your home-based career?”
Tracy Roberts and Suzanne Myers, owners of Piggy Makes Bank
Tracy: Having a business partner, someone I am accountable to makes a huge world of difference for me. Knowing that I have someone beyond myself that is depending on me actually getting work done helps keep me motivated.
Having said that, there are days where one or both of us just can’t so we give ourselves and each other grace and just don’t. By the next day, we’re over whatever was blocking us and we move on and get stuff done.
We’ve also realized that we can get more done in 2-3 focused hours per day so we strive to get the work done within that time frame. We work our time and then we’re done for the day. That seems to work better for us than sitting at the computer all day long and not being able to account for all the time spent while laundry still needs to be done and we have no idea what we’re having for dinner.
Suzanne: What’s keeping me motivated is working with a partner. Tracy and I started getting into writing and selling PLR. It’s a lot of hard work up front, but splitting it up between the two of us makes things a lot easier. We each get to work on the parts we like best.
It also helps to have someone to chat with and check in with several times a day. We motivate each other to keep pushing a little harder and get things done.
Daily to-do lists are also helpful. They keep me focused and I won’t let myself be done for the day until all the important stuff on the list is taken care of.
Alicia Jay owner of New VA Advice
We all have times where we feel frustrated, discouraged or unmotivated when working from home, whether we’ve been doing this for 5 days or 5 years. Here are some strategies that have worked for me:
- Take a minute to go back to your “why.” Why did you decide to do this in the first place? Was it to spend more time with your family or travel whenever you want? Write down your “why” and keep it in a place where you can see it daily. It will help to motivate and re-focus you.
- Think about why you’re feeling this way. Is it fear? That’s very often at the root of what’s holding us back. Then try this. List all the things that might happen if you reach your goals. Then list what happens if you don’t ever try. How will that make you feel?
- Sometimes perfection holds us back. Is that you? It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be done. Create that website or reach out to potential clients on social media. Get your stuff out there and then tweak as you go.
- Take a break. Sometimes we need to step away from the business stuff and clear our minds. Do whatever works for you: take a walk, play with your kids, go to the park, get a massage. It’s often when we completely take a break and step back from the thing that was frustrating us that a clear answer shines through.
Katie Hornor, blogging expert and founder of Comoblog.
I look over my long term and short term goals regularly, keeping myself inspired by the prize that I know is coming. I also have tasks assigned to different days of the week and the night before or in the morning I prioritize today’s list with most important or biggest thing to get done first. Being productive and crossing things off, seeing the progress in black and white, helps keep me motivated, because any progress in the right direction is positive progress.
Here are a few other responses shared on Facebook:
Dan R. Morris, Chief Executive Officer at Blogging Concentrated
This is year 3 relying totally on our online business. Needing to eat and pay the bills keeps me motivated. Everything else is because I love it.
Faydra Koenig, America’s Crisis Coach at Doing Life with Faydra
My stay motivated tip is to do a pattern interrupt when I feel discouraged or “off” I get out of the house or environment that I am in and do something polar opposite. This helps clear my head and stop the chatter.
Paul Taubman WordPress and Website Strategy expert at Digital Maestro
For me, I don’t really have trouble getting motivated. As Nike says, ‘Just Do It.’ I don’t think about it. I know that I have obligations that I need to fulfill so I get it done.
Like Dan R Morris said, when the family and house are on the line, you want to make sure the cash is coming in.
Surrounding myself with great people that inspire me also contributes to the ‘self-motivation.’ I have accountability partners that I report to – that helps me stay focused as well.
Finally, I keep my work diverse enough that if I don’t feel like working on one project at the moment, there is plenty to do to work on.
Carol Renee Waters, preparing to launch a non-profit to help domestic violence victims.
Reminding myself that tomorrow’s situations only change with today’s activities pretty much does it for me….and music…lotsa’ music.
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit. In fact, I think I did quit a few times, but my desire to be home with my kids and have total flexibility over my job motivated me to try again.
I think motivation is an individual thing; what works for me may not work for you. That means you need to be active in figuring out how to keep yourself motivated. What works for you? Music? A walk? Spending time with the family you want more time with? The ability to have more money at the end of the month? Whatever puts fire back in your dream, do it, often, especially when you feel like quitting.
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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