Are you ready to be your own boss? It's both easier and harder than you think. Yes, a lot of people would like to work at home, but only some of us would actually be good at it. While the dress code might be more relaxed, it takes a lot of hard work and a strict schedule to be successful when working from home. Here are six qualities that will be found in any work-at-home superstar—do you have what it takes?
Anyone can give themselves a lofty goal for success, but if you're serious about working from home, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and give yourself hard, detailed deadlines. Look into the 7-Step Formula for Setting Goals as offered by Aaron Broyles in his book, Do Great Things: Applying Proven Entrepreneurial Methods to Achieve Success in Everyday Life. Even if you aren’t a big goal-setter now, you’ll need to get in the habit of making plans, writing them down, and following through if you want to successfully work from home or launch a business out of your garage. Generic goals will only get you so far, so if you don’t know how to set and reach goals, now is the time to learn!
It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. That's the golden rule of Outliers: The Story of Success, a manual by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. If you plan on working from home as a freelancer, entrepreneur, or startup genius, you'd better be prepared to spend countless hours improving your craft until it's profitable. Without a boss looking over your shoulder (literally or figuratively) it will be up to you to continually seek for practice and perfection.
"So much of entrepreneurship is dealing with repeated failure," says Mike Colwell, the founder of Business Innovation Zone. "It happens many times each week." You have to know how to shrug off your losses and get back on the horse even if that means constructing a new business plan. Many work-at-home superstars must learn to go with the flow and adapt—your path won’t be traditional, so you might need to get creative and keep pushing through when things don’t work out.
In his book, Sam Walton: Made in America, successful entrepreneur Sam Walton argued that a "bias toward action" is one of the most important qualities a self-driven professional can have. He applied this philosophy to himself when he was first starting out, and the result was the founding of Walmart. You might be worried about having success when working at home because you are not easily motivated. If this is your tendency, you have a long road ahead. But when you develop a bias toward action, you’ll be able to find motivation and press forward, rather than merely making plans.
This may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but since recent studies have proven that confidence actually has a measurable effect on the brain, it's critical that you stay positive and proactive when working from home. If you work at home or start your own business, you won’t always have a team to back you up, or a manager to cheer you on. Along with toughness and tenacity, you need the ability to rise after a fall. Even if you have a bad quarter, keep on trying. Your orbitofrontal cortex depends on it.
Conscientiousness is one of the "big five" personality dimensions that make a successful entrepreneur. As reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology, you need to be thorough, careful, practical and detailed in order to make a living from home. With no boss looking over your shoulder for mistakes, you're the one who has to catch them. This is why it can be a good idea to start small when working from home—you can get a feel for how you operate on your own, and learn from your mistakes.
If you want to say goodbye to your cubicle for good, start a self-improvement campaign with these qualities at the forefront. While any of these qualities can be adopted with the right amount of discipline, working from home or running a business from home isn’t for everyone. However, if you can master the characteristics above, you’ll turn into a work-from-home superstar-machine-hybrid, that answers to no boss and enjoys an office-free work week.
The information for this article was provided by the professionals at eMerchant Club, who offer online work from home business opportunities.
Back to Candidate blogs