Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the corporate world knows what it feels like to be longing to be doing something else. The stress of being in such an environment is palpable. Rest assured, you’re not alone in wanting to find a way out. You know deep in your gut that there is something else you could be doing for a living that you want to do.
With the steady increase of very good and affordable internet access and the added power available on home computers, the number of people who choose to start their own home-based business or who telecommute has been increasing. Why not give up the daily commute and the number of hours you’re stuck in traffic? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to roll out of bed, pour yourself a cup of coffee and go into your office that’s just a few steps down the hall from your bedroom or kitchen?
For a record number of Americans, working from home is even a step beyond the American Dream. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that some 60 million people either make their living from a home-based business or are able to telecommute to a corporate job and work remotely. Most of this is due to the Internet – which has become the great equalizer. It’s the Internet that makes it possible for anyone to work from almost anywhere at any time.
Here are some ways you can make your dream of escaping the corporate cubicle and into working from home:
- Ask yourself if you are self-motivated enough – One of the biggest stumbling blocks for would-be at home entrepreneurs is staying on task and on focus when they are not in a corporate or office environment. It’s great to be able to sleep in during the time you would usually be driving, but are you going to make the deadlines that have been set? Some entrepreneurs find that they have no problems staying on task – even if they are in their pajamas and bunny slippers. Others find that they just can’t seem to get in the right mindset unless they get dressed as if they are going to a regular office job. Know what works for you and stick to it.
- Consider trying it part time – Many successful entrepreneurs who work from home started their dream job in the evening or on weekends. They eased themselves into it until they could fully walk away from their other job and strike out on their own.
- Begin setting up a dedicated space – If you have a spare bedroom or empty basement, you may be well on your way to your own home office. If not, consider dedicating the corner of another room, an alcove, or even a closet to the venture. Any of these could serve as your home office space.
- Consider what equipment you would need and the space to set it up – Most mobile devices and smart phones today do the same functions that much larger equipment did even a short time ago. Computer technology has also gotten smaller, lighter, and far less expensive. Internet connectivity is most often bundled with cable television or other utility services to make it more affordable. If you don’t have either space or an Internet connection, that’s ok. Many businesses and venues like restaurants or coffee shops, public libraries, community colleges and public spaces offer free Wi-Fi. Often a public library will also have free meeting space or private rooms for their patrons that can serve as temporary offices for an hour or two. If you’re using your own laptop, be sure to have the latest antivirus / antimalware software installed. Most antivirus programs also include a VPN (Virtual Private Network) as part of their software package. A VPN is invaluable when transferring personal or confidential data because it keeps the connection private or hidden from prying eyes.
- Entrepreneurship loves company – If you know of relatives, friends or others who have done it, ask them to tell you their story. They will be the most likely people who can give you useful advice, give you tips and tricks and be able to tell you about resources and pitfalls along the way. After talking to them, you will likely be convinced that making your escape from your cubicle isn’t impossible. It does, however, does take planning and persistence in order to make your dream come true.
You hold the power to transform your life!