Is Being a WAHM For You?

Working from home can be a scary thing. Going through the motions to get to that point can be even scarier! A ton of questions go through your mind- Can we make it on one income if or until my business takes off? Can I focus enough to get a business off the ground? Am I qualified for what I want to pursue? What kind of business do I want to get into? What if I fail?- These are very scary things. Of course compounded by the fact that you have children to provide for and to complete the circle of these thoughts, the whole reason you are even going through this is so that you can be there for your children.

It is a doable process and is a rewarding venture once you know how to start and accomplish your goal. First and foremost, I have to stress networking and support!! Those are two words that should not be far from a work at home mom’s mind. Not only in your professional life but your personal life as well, these two things are essential. You will find that once you are a work at home mom, your professional and personal lives get somewhat blurred together at times, even more reason to keep those two words close at all times.

Support-  Having a support team is one of the first steps in my mind because #1, you will feel more at ease as you go through the rest of the steps and #2, you need to know that as you get further down this path, you will not be alone.- Is your spouse on board with you? Have you spoken about the financial cuts this may bring to your family? Is it understood that you will have to invest time in your new venture? That you may have to invest money? Have you discussed the possibility of being away from home on evenings and weekends if you are going into a business that requires you to give home parties? Have you spoke about the fact that though you may be home during the day, you are still working and need support with the household as you would if you were working outside the home?- Do you have friends or family who are willing to step in once in a while with childcare?  Do you have someone to lean on when you are frustrated or feel like giving up? Are your friends and family behind you in your venture? Will they understand that what you are trying to do is hard work, deserves the respect of a work outside the home job and that you are in no way taking the easy road? Do they know your reasons for working from home? These may seem like negative, harsh thoughts but they are all things I have encountered over the years with women who wish to work from home or start their own business. Essentially, you are not doing this alone and you need to have a solid support foundation under you.

Networking- For me, networking is an extension of support. It can mean different things in different situations. You want to get a solid foundation of networking underneath you. In this case, women in your situation on all levels. Women who have made it successfully to a comfortable spot with their business, women who are just starting out and women who are still on their journey to success.  It is amazing how much you can learn from another woman who is where you are or was where you are. Women seem to be afraid to network, I guess it is in our nature. Afraid of competition, afraid our ideas may get stolen or afraid you will not measure up. I was once there. I avoided networking and support groups like the plague. But you get to a point where you realize you NEED this foundation. It was like a breath of fresh air when I finally took the step toward building my networking base. I found that contrary to my beliefs at the time, women are awesome at motivating, supporting, inspiring other women and are great at getting the word out for each other. I have made many great friends and business connections by opening up my mind and giving my time to other women in business. It is a step that is essential to your success. So where do you start? Get online! Join a yahoo group, there are a ton of wahm and women in business groups. Go to Google and type in key words like wahm, women in business, wahm resources, wahm advertising, wahm blogs, you will find a whole world you had no idea existed! The wahm world is a huge network of blogs, resource websites, advertising websites, radio broadcasts, retail stores, ezines, newsletters and more! Get involved! Join your local chamber of commerce, find other women in your area who own shops or sell for direct sales companies, joinan expo or home show. There are endless ways to find other women to add to your networking group. The key here is that you find them and you listen to your instincts when adding them to your networking round table. Not all women get along, not all women are right for each other’s networking group, you need to be comfortable with the people you surround yourself with. This is not to say that anyone is a bad person, you just need to surround yourself with people you can get along with, open up to and be able to trust. Don’t give away all your trade secrets but have a group (even just one or two people) you can go to to bounce ideas off of, get help when you are in a rut, people who will advertise for each other, do a favor to help out your business, things that will help all involved.

Research- I think that this is the step we as women have the hardest time with. We want to work at home, we want to do it now and we run with that. Taking the time to research is something I did not do enough of. I learned from trial and error. That method taught me a lot and I would probably not change how I learned but I like to put this step in to help save other women the frustrations I encountered. When you are deciding if you should be a wahm and what kind of work you should do, research!! Do you want to go into direct sales? Do you want to run an affiliate website? Do you want to start your own online business selling items you make? Do you want to open an online shop using a drop shipper? Do you want to do other work such as typing or data entry from home? Do you have a talent or degree in graphic or web design or marketing? Get online, go to Google or Ask.com and plug in some key words, read as much of what comes up as you can. I have gone as far as 32 pages into s search reading and taking all I could from other sites. I have checked the page ranks of other wahm sites, I have looked at who advertises with them, how many hits they have gotten, the whole nine yards. I have taken bits and pieces of knowledge from hours and hours of just looking at what other people have done and then translating it into what I have wanted to get across. I have not copied other women, just noted what they have done that has worked or not worked. I have read articles and e-books, blogs and group postings. I have taken in all that I can in the wahm world and there is still so much I have not gotten to yet! Talk with other women who are doing what you want to do. Find out their obstacles, their challenges, their accomplishments. If you find a company you want to work for, research them until you can�t read any more! I am telling you, Google is my best friend some days! I use it all the time! Keep a binder of information that you want to refer to later, bookmark sites you have taken inspiration from or would like to learn more from. Do all you can to get as much information about the path you want to take. Then decide whether it is right for you or not.
Realism- I like to include this step because it is one we tend to side step. I never had any focus on the “what-ifs” because that was just not positive and I did not want to get myself down. Then reality hit. It is so important to keep a positive attitude, don’t get me wrong, you can not be successful without it but it is also important to keep perspective about things. Chances are, you are not going to be a huge success off the bat. It does happen from time to time and that is awesome but don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up if it does not happen. It is not realistic to go into the path of being a wahm with the idea that your business will take off, you will be rich and life is going to be a piece of cake from then on. It is a lot of work to work from home and run a successful business whether it is working for a direct sales company or starting a business from scratch. It takes determination, willingness to accept defeat from time to time and a whole lot of “You Go, Girl!”. Chances are, you will not succeed at your first attempts. Great, you have learned what not to do and what to do better and you go again. You may have chosen a direct sales company that is not right for you after all. Okay, move on to another. You may have started with one plan for your business and ended up with something totally different. Kudos to you! The most important thing is that you realize you are not a failure ever because you tried and that successful people get that way from falling, learning, adjusting and getting back up again to do it all over. This is the time when your support and networking are so essential!
Planning- Once you have decided the path you would like to take. Sit down to form a plan. What will you need for this venture? Do you need to invest money-where will it come from? Do you need to sit down with your family to talk about a new schedule? Do you have the space you need for a home office, inventory or workshop? Do you have a plan for recruiting your downline or finding customers- or at least a way to find someone who can help you with those things? Do you have a strategy for advertising and getting your name out there? Do you need marketing materials-business cards, flyers, a website? How will you get these things? Have you started looking into forming a solid networking foundation? Do you need to find a mentor in the business you are going into? Do you need to invest in supplies- how will you do this? Do you need to be bonded or have insurance? Do you need to have a business plan written up? Will you write and submit a press release-how do you do this? Do you have a “plan B”? These are some of the questions I have encountered either with the businesses I have run or with women I have helped in finding out where their path was leading them. There are of course a different set of questions for each person but these are some of the most common I have encountered. You need to sit down and write our your plan. Having an informal business plan, maybe just a list of goals and ideas is a great idea! If you have a question you don’t know the answer to, get on the computer and find it! There are so many women out there willing to help.
I have almost 10 years under my belt as a wahm. I have learned through trial and error and the observation of other whams and women in business. I have had two moderately successful businesses that I no longer promote but still do business for existing customers. I have gone down many paths thinking they were the right ones and ended up on a totally different path. That is okay, it has been awesome! It has taught me so much and brought me to meet so many people that I have learned so much from. Let your path be a journey that not only is lucrative but joyful and fulfilling. I think as women we do what we think we have to to take care of our children and homes. We lose ourselves in there somehow. I know there is the very real notion of making money to feed the family. I was a single mom and HAD to work even though I wanted to be home with my brand new baby girl. When I finally had the chance to stay home, I made the most of it and dove into being a wife and mother. There is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with being a wahm and finding fulfillment in your business as well as your family. As I said earlier, the two get blurred sometimes and it is hard to pull them apart when you are working form home. There is no reason you have to give up one to have the other or that you can not find joy in both. Not all women are cut out to work at home just as not all women are cut out to work outside the home. We need not judge each other but follow the path that is best for us. If you do decide to be a wahm, know that there are so many women out there who are willing to help, support, mentor, inspire and take you under their wing. Networking is the key, I just can not say it enough!
About the Author:
Heather Piehl is a WAHM to 5 beautiful children. She has almost 10 years of experience being a WAHM including two original businesses, working in direct sales and as founder of Minnesota Women’s Source (http://www.mnwomensexpo.com) and the Minnesota Women’s Small Business Expo and Sale.
This article may be used on related websites and newsletters as long as the resource box remains intact.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have almost 10 years under my belt as a wahm. I have learned through trial and error and the observation of other whams and women in business. I have had two moderately successful businesses that I no longer promote but still do business for existing customers. I have gone down many paths thinking they were the right ones and ended up on a totally different path. That is okay, it has been awesome! It has taught me so much and brought me to meet so many people that I have learned so much from. Let your path be a journey that not only is lucrative but joyful and fulfilling. I think as women we do what we think we have to to take care of our children and homes. We lose ourselves in there somehow. I know there is the very real notion of making money to feed the family. I was a single mom and HAD to work even though I wanted to be home with my brand new baby girl. When I finally had the chance to stay home, I made the most of it and dove into being a wife and mother. There is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with being a wahm and finding fulfillment in your business as well as your family. As I said earlier, the two get blurred sometimes and it is hard to pull them apart when you are working form home. There is no reason you have to give up one to have the other or that you can not find joy in both. Not all women are cut out to work at home just as not all women are cut out to work outside the home. We need not judge each other but follow the path that is best for us. If you do decide to be a wahm, know that there are so many women out there who are willing to help, support, mentor, inspire and take you under their wing. Networking is the key, I just can not say it enough!
About the Author:
Heather Piehl is a WAHM to 5 beautiful children. She has almost 10 years of experience being a WAHM including two original businesses, working in direct sales and as founder of Minnesota Women’s Source (http://www.mnwomensexpo.com) and the Minnesota Women’s Small Business Expo and Sale.
This article may be used on related websites and newsletters as long as the resource box remains intact.   

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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