7 Work from Home Pitfalls (And How You Can Overcome Them)

Work at Home PitfallsBy Alexa Mason

Have you been thinking about taking your home-based business or freelance career full-time?

It seems like it would be fun, right? No boss standing over your shoulder, the freedom to schedule your day however you please, and the ability to choose work that you enjoy.

I’m sure you’ve at least thought about it.

I am officially in week number two of being a full-time freelance writer working from home. While I am happy with the choice I made, I can already see the potential pitfalls.

If you’re ready to make your home-based business or freelance career full-time, here’s what you may be up against.

# 1 – Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working from home. If you’re anything like me you have about 10 windows open in your browser at any given time. You switch back and forth between checking your email, refreshing your Twitter feed, and reading through a huge list of blogs.

The distractions keep you from really concentrating on the task at hand and just end up being a total time suck for you.

Tip: Block all other distractions whenever you are beginning a new project. Close your browser, sign out of your email and social media accounts, and put your phone in another room.

# 2 – Interruptions

Your kids starting fighting in the next room, your cell phone rings, your significant others wants to know what’s for dinner, and you just want to get your work done. There seem to be interruptions all around you, keeping your from doing your best work.

Tip: Accept the fact that work from home work, is still work. This may mean taking your kids to a babysitter, turning the ringer on your phone off, and asking your spouse to respect your work time.

# 3 – Lack of Motivation

When you pictured working from home, did you think it would be glamorous? That you’d be able to chill out and watch reruns of your favorite TV show and still have the money roll in? If so, working from home isn’t for you. Without some self-motivation you won’t make it. Plain and simple.

Tip: Work for yourself just as you’d work for an employer. Give yourself assignments and projects to complete with firm deadlines. Miss a deadline and you’re fired! (Okay maybe firing yourself is a bit harsh.)

# 4 – Loneliness

When you are working at home you’re most likely going to be by yourself. There’s no one to talk to when you get bored and no one next door to bounce ideas off of. If you enjoy mindlessly chatting with coworkers, you’re probably out of luck.

Tip: If you foresee loneliness being a problem, schedule special time with friends and family. You could also opt for a shared office space with other freelance workers or work from a coffee shop or library.

# 5 – Instability

The biggest and most common pitfall of working for yourself is the instability of work and pay. There will be up weeks and there will be down weeks. As a work from home freelancer, you never know when you’ll lose a big client or run out of work.

Tip: Create a savings buffer for those particularly hard weeks. Also, don’t forget to network. You may not need new work now but that could change in the future. Keep a list of strong contacts just in case.

# 6 – Ability to Multitask

As a work from home entrepreneur you are your business. You offer your service, create your projects, send out invoices, and find new clients. You’re the marketing company, the accountant, and the freelancer. You do it all.

Tip: If doing it all becomes overwhelming hire some help. You can find a virtual assistant for a relatively low price on sites like Odesk and Elance. If you don’t have the funds to hire an employee, seek out simple solutions to your business problems.

# 7 – Lack of Direction

As a work from home woman it can sometimes feel like your head is spinning in one too many directions. You have a long list of tasks to do but aren’t sure which ones need to be completed first. You are now responsible for the fate of your business and must decide which direction to take it.

Tip: List the top 3 goals of your business in order of importance. Now take a look at your to do list and determine which tasks are going to help you reach your goals. This well help you find your direction.

Working from home is enjoyable, but it’s not a walk in the park… it’s work. Possibly even more work than being an employee entails. The fate of your business (and your paycheck) is in your hands and your hands only. You will face work from home pitfalls but if you want to be successful you’ll have to pick yourself back up and keep your eye on the prize.

In the end overcoming these pitfalls is definitely worth it.

Alexa Mason is the blogger behind Single Moms Income, a personal finance freelance writer, and wanna-be internet entrepreneur. She shares her journey as a single mother trying to make it big at Single Moms Income.

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