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9 Mistakes Most Home Business Owners Make

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9 Mistakes Most Home Business Owners Make

Are you a home business owner or thinking about working for yourself and starting a home based business? If so, then you have to read the following mistakes that most home business owners make. These mistakes can cause many home businesses to fail within the first year.

1. They Treat Their Job As A Hobby

Most people who want to start a home business are looking for an escape of the daily grind. Of course the idea is awesome, but you need to keep in mind that a home business still takes a lot of work. If you are going to treat your home based business as a hobby, then you might as well keep your day job, because you won’t be making a lot of money to cover your bills.

Examples of treating business like a hobby:

– Sleeping in instead of waking up on time.
– Not completing all of the scheduled tasks.
– Going out with friends during set work hours.

2. They Don’t Dress For Success

There are so many people who say how great their home business is because they get to work in their pajamas. Sounds awesome, right? Wrong! Dressing up for success and putting on clothing that you would wear to an outside of home job set the tone for the day. Pajamas and messy hair set the tone of lounging and not being productive.

If your body and mind are in a relaxed state, then it’s likely that you won’t complete your tasks. No work means no pay, so get dressed for success.

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3. They Don’t Set Hours Of Operation

For most people, it’s hard to keep up with daily tasks and chores. Throw a home business into the mix and the schedule gets extremely crazy. Not setting hours of operation is the biggest mistake a home business owner can make.

Instead of randomly working throughout the day, take a look at your schedule and figure out how many hours you can work per week. Then, divide those hours into the number of days of the week that you are planning to do your work. Once you’ve figured out how many hours per day you are working, set specific time frames. If you have blocked off 8am to 1pm, then do not do anything else but focus on your work during that time slot. Of course, schedule your break time as well. Try to take about 10-20 minutes every hour to sit back, relax, take a restroom break or drink some water.

Tip: set your alarm for the time you start and finish work, as well as for all of your breaks in between.

4. They Don’t Set Goals

When a business owner doesn’t set any goals, a home business is doomed to fail. Goals help business owners be focused on tasks. Without goals, they are in the dark about how to run the business, what to do next, and how to reach their full potential.

Every home business owner should set short and long term goals. The short term goals will help to understand exactly what needs to be done each day/week and long term goals will give home business owners a vision and a passion to work towards something great.

Examples of specific short term goals: 

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– Write 2 blog posts per week.
– Share business with five new people per week.
– Sell X amount of products per day.
– Interact with customers on social media daily.
– Read 10 pages per day.

Examples of specific long term goals:

– Earn X amount of money this year.
– Add X people to my mailing list this year.
– Read 10 personal development books this year.

5. They Don’t Separate Work Time And Family Time

If you are a family man or woman, then setting work time and family time is extremely important. There is time for work, there is time for play, and there is time for family. Not separating these different times can lead to a lot of stress and discontent, both for you and for them.

Your family has to understand that when you are scheduled to work, you have to work. Share your schedule with them, so they know exactly when your working hours are. Similarly, when your working hours are over, don’t go running to your computer or making business phone calls.

6. They Don’t Provide Value

Many businesses fail because they constantly advertise, but don’t provide any value. Of course a big part of any business is to advertise and sell products, but in many cases it’s even more important to provide value to the customers.

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Customers are looking for answers to their problems. They are seeking someone to relate to them and show them how their problem can be solved.

Here are a few of ways you can provide value to your customers: 

– Give away a free e-book.
– Shoot a series of “how to” videos and give them away for free.
– Post something useful or inspirational to your blog or Facebook page.
– Ask questions and then answer them in timely manner.

7. They Don’t Grow A Social Network

Any business without a social network is likely not to survive for too long. A good social network is the bread and butter of a home business. A lot of new business owners are scared to get into social media because it’s a new frontier for them.

The more people you know and can share your product information with, the faster your business will grow. The best way to get to know people is to get on one or a few of the social media websites like Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. You can even give out your social media profile information to local people, so they can add you or friend you online.

You wouldn’t call all of your customers to remind them about sales, to give them coupons, or provide them with value on daily basis. Yet, you can easily do all of these things if you are connected to them on a social network, which means more sales for you.

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Adding all of your contacts to an autoresponder, such as Aweber, will increase your reach even more because you will be able to deliver your messages straight your customer’s mailboxes.

8. They Don’t Create A Business Website

Although not all home businesses will fail without a website, it’s very hard to grow a business without one local place where all of your your products and services can be previewed. A website can bring new customers who live outside of your town, outside of state, and even outside of your country.

A business website can give you the following advantages:

– Display your products and services.
– Help customers find you on a social network.
– Provide value through blog posts.
– Give away your digital products.
– Capture your customers’ email addresses.
– One local place to send everyone to for more information.
– Access to non-local population.
– A website can work for you 24/7, even while you are sleeping.

9. They Don’t Keep Track Of Their Expenses

Last, but not least, business owner who don’t track their expenses usually fail at running a home business. A lot of people put way too much money into a business, but don’t cover all of their costs by selling products and services. Knowing how much money goes out and comes in is crucial to sustaining a profitable business.

Additionally, every home business owner can write off business expenses. If you don’t keep track of how much you are spending, you may be losing tax money at the end of the year. There are a number of different software and apps out there that you can use to track all of your expenses. Simply type “business expense tracker” into Google and you will be able to find different options that will fit your budget or even be free.

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Featured photo credit: elegant business multitasking multimedia man using devices at home via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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