Do you dream of being your own boss and being able to work at home running your own business? Many people who dream of being able to work at home, overlook the degree of isolation they will experience when working at home, and don’t stop to think about how well-equipped they are to deal with it. Your ability to cope with isolation will depend upon your personality. The degree of isolation you are likely to experience, and the way you will be able to cope with it should be given careful consideration before you commit yourself to a work at home career.
There are two basic elements to consider before you choose a home business: 1. how happy you are when you are alone for long stretches of time; 2. how much time you will need spend working on your own .
You need to be careful to decide how much time alone is enjoyable and how much would seem unbearable to you. We are all different in the way we react to being alone. Some people are perfectly happy to live an almost reclusive existence while others start yearning for company after an hour or so alone. It is important to realistically assess which of these types is nearest to your character before looking closely into possible home business ideas.
The joy of being your own boss will not last long if you are the type of person who needs prolonged daily interaction with colleagues but have chosen a home business which requires you to spend most of the day working alone. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that it will be different when you are working for yourself: personalities do not change that dramatically. If you are an extrovert who needs to be with other people for most of your waking hours, you won’t suddenly find yourself overjoyed to be a hermit just because you are working for yourself. Being your own boss brings many changes but a complete personality change is not one of them.
Running your own business from home does not necessarily mean you will have to spend all day, every day as a prisoner in your own home. We often use the phrases “working at home” and “working from home” as synonyms but there are plenty of businesses that you can run “from home” without actually spending much time “at home”. In fact, as a home based business owner, you might find you spend less time at home than you would if you were working as an employee at someone else’s business premises.
Think of all the self-employed plumbers, electricians, landscape gardeners, decorators, mobile nail technicians, car valet services and repair services of all kinds. These business owners do all their actual work outside their own homes, the only part of the business that takes place “at home” is their paperwork; even appointments are usually booked via a mobile or messaging phone service.
At the opposite extreme are the people who use the Internet to work at home. Their business is conducted entirely online and usually in solitude. A person with a home based Internet business can spend anything from a couple of hours online each day up to (and sometimes over) a full twelve hours. The time required depends upon the type of business and the personality of the owner. If you work online as, say, a virtual assistant, your business might involve fulfilling orders at short notice and you will need to choose whether to put in some extra hours of work or to decline the job (and possibly risk losing a customer for good).
In between these two extremes there are home based businesses where you spend part of your working life at home and part of it mixing with other people. For example, if you have your own sewing business at home and specialise in making garments to order, you will have contact with your customers when fittings are needed. If you have a home based craft business, you could spend up to half your time travelling to craft fairs and selling your products there. Working as a personal fitness trainer or providing any sort of tutoring will involve a high level of contact with clients.
There are endless ways to make money working at home, so there is no need to rush into starting a home business without carefully considering every aspect of what it takes to run your own home business. Don’t forget to include an assessment of your isolation tolerance level.