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Samantha R. Strazanac has been working in sales and marketing for over 10 years in a variety of industries and management positions. As a hobby and to remain on her toes with marketing across various industries and mediums, she offered freelance marketing services to surrounding area businesses in need of marketing consulting and social media services. She started Strazanac Solutions LLC in 2015 as a way to validate her expertise in marketing when working on freelance accounts. Within 6 months of its inception, the growth and success of Strazanac Solutions had exceeded the financial income of her full time job and she left the corporate world to pursue Strazanac Solutions full time as her career.
1) How did you get started working from home?
It’s pretty simple. I got tired of being laid of, fired and micromanaged by others so I started my own company. To keep overhead costs low I transformed my spare bedroom into a full-fledged office.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I had experienced the downfalls of the corporate world and didn’t like having my life and income controlled by someone else. I wanted to control my own destiny, my paycheck and my freewill. I knew I loved marketing and I wanted to continue working in the industry, but I also knew that the areas of marketing I excelled at were services most businesses needed. The businesses that were not focusing on their marketing (especially social media and content) were usually small businesses with limited manpower, budget and know-how. There was a demand for a marketing consulting firm in my area to specialize in small businesses with limited budgets…and I was going to supply that demand.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I used my connections. I asked for advice on starting an LLC, the name of a good small business advisor and accountant and for words of advice from other business owners I knew and respected.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
My first official client came from a job interview I had when I was still attempting to stick it out in the “corporate world” job market. I explained in my interview that I often did consulting and freelance jobs for businesses to keep my mind fresh on the changing marketing industry and the various business markets out there. While I was not offered the management position I was applying for, I was offered a contract consultant position to come in and train their staff on some marketing strategies they were unfamiliar with and consult on a few larger NDA client accounts. The have continued to be one of my biggest clients by sending my various projects and accounts to assist on.
5) How do you market your business?
My business is mostly marketed by word of mouth and referrals but the occasional social media inquiry does trickle through. In fact, I consulted a magazine in New York last year who sought me out on Twitter. The power of networking through word of mouth and social media is what has kept my business afloat. As I have been in my city all my life, word of mouth has proven to be golden.
6) What does your usual day look like?
My day starts around 8am each morning with a trip to the gym. I find starting my day with exercise and physical activity both wakes me up by getting my blood pumping and endorphins running, but it also allows me time to reflect on this amazing life I have created for myself. Upon my return home, I shower and get dressed. I do not wear pajamas in my office, but dress as if I were going to a brick and mortar office. I find this puts me in a zone of focus that this really is my job and career, not a hobby. As I mentioned before, I have a separate office space in my home. I do not eat, drink or socialize in my office. It is for work only. After reviewing emails, I check my client accounts and start attacking the to-do list I created the night before. I find adhering to a strict to-do list keeps me focused and on target with my goals. Everything I do is scheduled out, including lunch. If I don’t set a lunchtime in my calendar I often forget because I get “zoned” in work. My day can end anywhere from 3pm to 8pm depending on my workload and the amount of out of office meetings I had that day. Sometimes I like to sneak back into my office late at night (after 10pm) and write my client’s blogs and press releases. I don’t get many emails or any phone calls at those hours so I do my best writing then due to the lack of distractions. Before I leave my office each day for good, I review and reflect on my completed tasks that day and create a to-do list for the next day. When I enter my office each new day with a game plan for success, I set myself up for success and thus…I am more successful.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I had known that how important it was to reflect on the day’s work. I originally kept looking to the future and what was next, now I slow down and review what I did each day to determine what worked and what didn’t. This allows me to set the next day on a positive note and make each new day a more successful one than before.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
If you are going to work from home, have a separate office space. Working from the kitchen table or living room couch doesn’t give you the same opportunities as having an allocated space for your work. A separate allocated space can help you focus, stay organized and stay on task. When you have to set ups, clear and re-set up your space before and after every meal because you use the kitchen table, you are breaking the concentration of not only your work but your mindset. A separate space when you work from home is a must!
Website: Strazanac Solutions
Facebook: Strazanac Solutions
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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