One of the beauties of being a new mom especially in North America is being able to get a maternity leave for more than a year. Being a guy, I am well aware (but will probably not understand… ever) that being a mom is a full-time job and can be very exhausting. However, I still want to encourage and challenge you to also use this time to invest in yourself in spite of a tiring and busy schedule.
It is very easy (and probably a really valid reason) to excuse yourself to just sleep or binge watch on Netflix whenever your baby is sleeping as a reward for your hard work. However, what if I tell you that equipping yourself with new skills and trying out new things is as rewarding and recuperating as finishing a series on Netflix? What if I tell you that you can use learn a new skill and use that skills to make money within a year or so? What if I show you ways to develop yourself and teach you home based business opportunities that may become the key to your financial freedom, thus an opportunity for you to be with your little one for as much as you want?
Is it Really Possible to Start a Home-Based Business?
In today’s internet age, you can develop a new skill without leaving your house. You can then use these new skills to create your very own online content that you can monetize. I understand that many of you are introvert and would not dare to speak in front of a camera. Don’t worry, I have a great news for you! You can still do other types of online business like writing a blog, starting your very own online mall, becoming an online freelancer, buying from online auctions and selling those items on eBay or other platforms, becoming a stock market trader, or creating a review site coupled with affiliate marketing.
Creating an online business is really for everyone. You do not need to be a genius. You don’t even need a diploma or a degree. All you need is creativity and a determination to be successful in life.
Oh, one more thing. Your online microbusiness has a potential to generate profits big enough to enable you to quit your job and be with your little one as long as you want… plus you are your own boss.
How do I Start?
What I am about to share is not a get rich quick advice or a blueprint for a successful business, instead, I will share some personal growth and development tips that I believed, when mastered, will have the potential to help you generate additional income no matter where you are in the world or when you plan to do your business. I am convinced that some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world prioritize personal growth over profit or reputation. Aiming for personal growth is important in making your business profitable because it cannot be stolen by others nor get bankrupt because of a weak economy.
Have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
The first thing that I want to encourage you to develop is to learn how to create a Big Hairy Audacious Goals for yourself. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras originally coined the term Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) on their book, ” Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. In a nutshell, BHAG is goals that are borderline impossible but achievable. Accomplishing your BHAG should also give you a great reward for yourself. It should be a picture of a preferred future for yourself or love ones that produce an extreme passion in you. Finally. Your BHAG should be in-line with your skills, talent, and passion.
An example of a great BHAG could be turning your hobby or something you are good at into a profitable online micro-business, so you can resign from your work before your maternity leave ends to enable you to be with your child until they turn teenager.
(For more details about BHAG, please consider reading ” Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies By Jim Collins”)
Aim for Growth
Having your very own BHAG is only the first step to success. It is easy to feel productive by doing a lot of things without really going anywhere. BHAG will act as your GPS that will help you navigate through a myriad of activities and priorities.
Once you have your BHAG, the next step that you should focus on is your personal growth. A good BHAG would require you to develop new skills because your current state is not enough. This is great news because we are wired to discover new things, develop new skills, and solve problems, therefore, focusing on growth will give you a sense of fulfillment in life.
Another importance of focusing on your growth is it cannot be stolen by others nor will get bankrupt due to a bad economy. You will always have this skills and character so you can always transfer it from one business to another or even from one life situation to another.
(To learn how to start your growth journey, please read “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential” by John Maxwell)
Start a New Habit
Most experts believe that having a strong vision/goal is the key to success. Others argue that perseverance and grit are important qualities to have to help you realize your vision. I agree with these statements, but I also believe that a person with excellent habit can become more successful than those who have an excellent vision or shows excellent perseverance.
Take a moment to reflect on the following scenario. Most people go to work for about 40 years. If you ask your friends (or even yourself) if they love working, most will say they don’t and would prefer to run their own business, volunteer for a non-profit organization, take care of a family member, win a lottery, travel around the world, etc. However, if you show them ways to make money that is different from a conventional job, they will politely turn your offer down and would reason out that they are not qualified to do these things.
Are they really not capable of doing those things or they are simply so used to a habit it is hard for them to end it and create a new one?
Think about this. We are disciplined to go to school at a very young age. Every class we attend has a different boss (boss) who sets varying expectations. We do (or do not do) the tasks given to us and in the end, we get a reward (grades) depending on the quality of job we did. What do you think will happen to us after graduating university if we do this routine for about 16 years?
Even if we know there are other ways to make money, we will not dare pursue it. The reason behind this mindset is not because we don’t have money to fund our business, nor we avoid financial risk, nor we have family that leans on us, nor we don’t have skills but the real reason why we chose not to do alternative ways to create income is because we are trained at a very young age to do a certain habit.
It is very possible that these people have financially risky but a very rewarding dream for themselves. However, they don’t act on it because it is not the habit they nor the people around them grew up with so they follow a mediocre vision that was given to them by their parents or by their peers instead.
These peoples are very hard working as well. They are able to persevere and they stay in their jobs even if their work is repetitive and offer no mental nor emotional reward. They come to work day in and day out and gets a little bit excited at the end of the month when they receive their rewards for working hard to make someone wealthy.
In contrast, those who decide to make it a habit to find a way to make an extra couple of hundred bucks a month will truly become wealthy and more successful because it becomes second nature to them to find a way to earn extra cash. Their daily routine consists of researching and equipping themselves so they may reach their simple goals.
If you want to be successful, then you need to start a new habit. It could be as simple as writing down your learning goals/ business actions steps that you want to accomplish that day in the morning before your baby wakes up, make an effort to accomplish these goals in between doing house chores and taking care of the baby. Finally, cross off those you have finished at the end of the day and celebrate your progress. I know, that looks impossible, but if you truly want to achieve something, then you really need to work hard for it.
(A good book that has a good information about Habit is ” By Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business ” by Charles Duhig)
Journal Your Progress
I’m going, to be honest. When I was growing up, boys will tease or bully other boys when they found out he is keeping a diary. Several decades later, I would learn that keeping a diary or journal is important to personal success.
Journaling is one of the best ways to see how far you have progressed in your journey, it tracks down inefficiencies in your activities, and it keeps records of your successes as well as your mistakes. If you routinely do your journal every day, then you would know where you are in your journey thus allowing you take the appropriate actions to ensure that you are progressing toward your goals.
Tweak Your Process
Writing in your journal is the best thing you can do to record your progress, but journaling is useless if you will not learn from both your successes and mistakes. As you start your home business, expect to face a lot of unknowns and to face a lot of inefficiency in your process. Your journal entry is your key to understanding how your microbusiness works and how you can make it more efficient.
Chances are, you are not the first one to invent the wheel, so instead of reinventing it from scratch try to find sources on how to do one. Study how others did it and jot down important information. Apply what you have learned to your project and journal your success so whenever you start failing you can easily remember what steps you took to succeed. Likewise, journal your mistakes, research for solutions then write down your new actions steps to improve your process.
Traditional business will require the owner to write a business plan before they can start. Since we are in the microbusiness, I urge you to write a plan on how to develop and grow yourself. The greatest investment you can do if you are doing a microbusiness is to invest in yourself.
I have given you five steps on how to grow and develop yourself. Once you determine what you really need to do in your life, I urge to do step 4 to step 5 over and over again until you achieve your desired result.
I can’t promise how long it will take before your BHAG gets realized, but I can assure you that if you take my lessons seriously, then you will enjoy the journey more than the results. To be honest, I am not sure if you will ever reach your results because as you grow and gain knowledge and experience, you will constantly raise the bar.