Many people are looking for ways to make money from home. However, if you have any of these bad habits, working from home is going to be a challenge for you.
I have been working from home for nearly a decade. And yes, I am 100% guilty of some of these habits. Which also means that I know the repercussions from indulging in any of these for too long.
The problem with working from home is that you have to be your own boss. On top of being pretty strict with yourself and your time management, you’re also in charge of all the content creation, marketing, and finances for your small business.
If you are just working on your side hustle after your 9-5, being your own boss at home is going to be even more difficult.
It’s natural to give yourself a break sometimes. But the best entrepreneurs are those ones who push themselves farther than they thought possible. They are the ones who break the habits I’m going to talk to you about today.
Making a living from your couch doesn’t mean working whenever you feel like it. It means working more than you’re already working. It means acknowledging your weak points and doing whatever it takes to make sure you surpass these barriers.
So if you really want to make money from home, here are 10 things you should NOT be doing.
RELATED: What Is Social Media Branding?
10. Don’t Check the News Too Often
2020 has been weird. This epidemic is going to change and shape our economy in unprecedented ways. One of the biggest urges we all have right now while working from home is to check the news.
I’m going to tell you right now that this is a habit that needs to stop.
I get it, though. During times of uncertainty (there are a lot of those times as an entrepreneur), you want to see how people in your situation are coping.
However, I have found that checking the news too often has more than one negative output. For one, it puts you in a bad mood. Even if the news doesn’t affect you directly, there is a layer in your psyche that will recognize this news as “bad” which will subconsciously put you in a lower or even depressed state.
Even if you can pry yourself away from the news, I bet the next thing you’ll do is scroll through social media.
Don’t worry… I’m guilty of this, too.
Reading the news too much will inevitably suck you into a social media hole. And sometimes once you’re in it, you are in it. Next thing you know, it’s 7 p.m. and you haven’t done a thing for your business.
9. Don’t Work When You Feel Like It
Entrepreneur Magazine says, “Around 550,000 people become entrepreneurs every month.”
But how many of those people actually become successful?
According to Small Business Trends, there is an 18 percent chance of success for first-time entrepreneurs. The reason for this is subjective, but you can bet that failing to break bad habits is one of the culprits behind their failure.
This is what brings me to my next point: you can’t just work when you feel like it.
Successful people get to where they are by discipline and consistency. They may not time block their daily schedule or do the same thing every day, but I can promise you that they are, at the very least, working long, long days.
How To Work Effectively
At the time of writing this blog, the state of California is on a quarantine lockdown. Despite the fact that I am one of the few who make money from home, this mandatory structure has really tested me as an entrepreneur.
My way around it? Set a quarantine schedule for yourself.
You can get up at whatever time you prefer… just don’t wait to work until noon. It’s all about finding a rhythm that works for you. Some people like time blocking, some people just want to make sure they put in their 8 hours (even if that is from 11-7).
8. Don’t Forget About Social Media
Now, I know that I said social media can limit your productivity, but it is still essential to your business. Especially during these times.
You are actually probably on social media more than you used to be. Which is fine… if you’re being smart about it.
The people who are trying to make money from home are on social media for a reason. They are using this free time to their advantage: as a way to grow their business.
Don’t forget about social media. In fact, you shouldn’t prevent yourself from using it at all. You should be on it daily.
Here’s the right way to use social media if you want to make money from your couch:
Smart entrepreneurs will be using this time to engage with clients on social media. Leave genuine comments on at least 20 posts per day. Try to start a conversation with your ideal client.
I use Later to make sure I’m posting consistently to social media. It makes coming up with captions easier, and I have all of my hashtags saved so I don’t have to manually type them in.
Posting daily is crucial during these times. It’s essentially the only way to ensure your clients don’t forget about your business.
Create videos or Go Live
Lots of entrepreneurs are utilizing Live features on social media. Whether you’re a beauty guru, a business coach, or a bartender, you can gain a lot of traction by posting videos or going Live on Facebook or Instagram.
7. Don’t Stop Working on Your Personal Brand
Now more than ever is the right time to focus on your personal brand. Since we are all online a little bit more lately, your online presence is going to be what people look to. If they can’t tell who you are and what you’re all about within the first few seconds at glancing on your profile, they’re going to move on to the next person.
This is why you need to be using this time to work on your personal brand. Potential clients need to know who you are and you need to give them a reason to trust you.
The best way you can do the latter is to remain professional. Keep your opinions on political or sensitive matters to a minimum. You wouldn’t believe how many businesses I see on social media ranting about their views on the economy. It may have given them attention… but not the good kind.
If you’re not sure where to start with your personal brand, join my FREE 5 Day Personal Branding Masterclass!
6. Don’t Isolate Yourself From Others
While you should utilize real-life social distancing, you don’t want to completely disappear off the face of the Earth.
Instead of total self-isolation, be active online. Start working harder on your blogs, podcast, IGTV, or YouTube videos so that you have big stuff coming out at least once a week.
And yes, this is in addition to creating and scheduling daily content on social media.
A bigger step you can take is to coordinate online collaborations with other entrepreneurs. See who might be interested in partnering up with you for a Live event on Facebook or Instagram. On top of connecting with other industry leaders, this works to bring you closer to your audience. The goal for these collaborations is to work together to find solutions for your ideal clients during this hard time.
5. Don’t Post Irrelevant Information
The number one mistake that I see novice entrepreneurs making is posting irrelevant content. In this day and age of making money from home, many people are looking to quick cash grabs (a.k.a multi-level marketing campaigns).
The problem with these types of online “jobs” is that your content is consistently irrelevant and isn’t tied to your brand. These are the people on your newsfeed who are promoting a mascara brand you’ve never heard of one day and then promoting a fitness product the next day.
When people do this, it’s clear that they’re only in it for the money. Unless you’ve built your brand around cosmetics, don’t start randomly promoting a makeup company (especially if they’re not paying you to). If you’re not a fitness expert, people are going to take your pre-workout recommendation with a very thin grain of salt.
All this to say: don’t post about topics outside of your expertise. Right now, you need to work on staying on brand to build that like, know, and trust that your clients are looking for.
4. Don’t Depend On One Source of Income to Make Money From Home
Working for yourself means you need multiple streams of revenue. You can earn solely off of your clients, but a smart entrepreneur will be looking for ways to make passive income. This can be through YouTube or blog ads, paid digital products or even sponsorships.
Unfortunately, the latter will be hard to do without a built-in audience. That’s why your personal brand and social media presence is so important. Here are a few ways you can make more money from home once you have a strong brand:
Create free content
You can turn potential clients into paid clients if you give them a free way to see what you have to offer. This can be done by creating an email “freemium” such as a free eBook, a free template, or a Free 5 Day Personal Branding Masterclass (shameless plug).
Create paid courses
Once you have a recognizable personal brand, you can create paid courses. A lot of people will utilize Skillshare or Teachable to host their courses, and it’s a nice way to make some passive income (after you make the courses, of course).
Make paid products
Paid products are a great way to make passive income. However, you don’t want people to start associating you with as an eCommerce company, so make sure your paid products relate to your brand. You can make a t-shirt with your popular “slogan” or sell laptop stickers with your brand logo.
3. Don’t Take On More Than You Can Handle
Working from home means you’re a jack of all trades. You’re in charge of the marketing, the finances, and the day-to-day operations. However, it’s important to recognize when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. If you get overwhelmed, consider outsourcing.
Personally, I have found that social media managers, photographers, and copywriters are all solid investments when it comes to building your brand and your company. If you’re just starting to make money from home, this will come later. When it does, it means your business is ready to start generating even more income for you and your employees.
As a personal branding strategist, I take pride in being able to help take weight off of your shoulders. My favorite part of my job is guiding founders into developing the key aspects of their business that will help them stand out.
2. Don’t Stop Learning
You should always be learning. Especially in the era of social media where things are quick to change from one day to the next. Make sure you are reevaluating your hashtag strategy at least every quarter, and pay attention to your analytics. These will be able to tell you which marketing content is working and which isn’t.
In addition to keeping up with the social algorithms and changing sales tactics, you should be keeping up to date with your industry’s latest information. Are there new tips and tricks that others are sharing? Is there a new trend that you need to hop on?
Staying relevant within your own industry will also ensure that your personal brand is seen above your competition.
1. All Work and No Play
Finally, if you want to make money from home, you need to make sure you have the appropriate work-life balance. Everyone needs a break, even when you work from home.
Here are a few core strategies I suggest:
Set time aside for yourself: Read a book, get into the habit of self-care Sunday, or simply indulge in your favorite show for an hour or two. Working from home absolutely does not mean all work and no play.
Remember to exercise: I want you to get out your phone right now and open up your alarm app. Set a reminder to go off every hour, reminding you to stand up.
Many of us seasoned work-from-homers know that sitting at a desk (especially in your own home) can lead to complacency. In addition to stretching your legs every hour, make sure you carve out 30 minutes for exercise. My recommendation is to do this at least 3 times a week.
Are you still trying to figure out this whole work from home thing? I have tips on finding that sweet work-life balance while working from home!