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Joshua Lombardo-Bottema is a two time entrepreneur who started his first company at the age of 18 in the property beautification industry. He grew that business for 8 years to over 20,000 customers, 80 staff and 10 managers. He successfully exited that business at 26 and a year later founded “GoWrench Auto”. Now at the age of 29 he is successfully scaling GoWrench Auto to more cities. GoWrench Auto brings “Auto Repairs and More Right to Your Door”. They send certified mobile mechanics to your home or work to fix your car!
1) How did you get started working from home?
Like many startups with limited resources and a great idea, you start around your kitchen table at home. Right from the beginning research through to setting it up and getting your first client and growing the business, most has been done from the kitchen table, a small home office or even right on the couch or sitting in bed into the wee hours of the night.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I always wanted to have the flexibility to work where and when I want. That just happens to be all the time and everywhere now! Working from home saves the commute time, I can eat well and focus on things right from the morning to the night. If I want to get out of the house then I set up meeting in coffee shops or offices that I have access to.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
It just started with my laptop, an internet connection and a coffee. Over time you get more organized utilizing calendars, Customer relationship management software, domain names, websites and more. Instead of hiring staff, I originally used businesses and contractors to help me with tasks that I didn’t know how to do. There are so many great solutions that are hosted in the cloud that allow you to be flexible and work from anywhere, especially your home which is great.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
Networking! When you work from home you need to get out there and make connections. Get out to the local networking events, get your social media up and running, promote your business or profession on your personal social media (but not too extreme) and of course get at least a simple, professional website set up which you can do for cheap with drag and drop solutions like squarespace.
5) How do you market your business?
We market primarily online and through social media and through direct selling to larger clients.
6) What does your usual day look like?
Wake up, go to the gym, come back, shower and make food while I check e-mails and get back to anything pressing. Then I work on projects I had planned for the day and make time to follow up on anything pressing from the day before. I make a list of all things I want to accomplish that day and start working on that list. If possible I try get out in the evenings to events or social gatherings to ensure I’m networking and still making time for people that matter to me.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
It won’t ever happen the way you think it will. There will be challenges along the way, distractions, bumps and side swipes. Stay focused on the goal, make your lists and decide what you are doing on a daily basis by prioritizing with A,B,C,D,E.
A- These are the most important and should get done first and foremost.
B- Less important but need to get done so long as all the “A” tasks are done.
C- Would be nice to do if there is time but not a priority
D- “DELEGATE”. If someone can do it better then you and you hate doing it but it’s still important, then delegate it.
E- “ELIMINATE”. Often times we focus on things that we don’t need to. Don’t be afraid to eliminate tasks that you know would be NICE to do but not crucial to your success.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Make a space that you ONLY work at. It’s much more effective to not combine your work space and living space. Also it’s not about what you do, it’s also about what you DON’T do. Set yourself up for success by walking the dog early, cleaning before hand, making food before hand etc etc because you want to remove as many distractions as possible so you can be as effective as possible during your day.