Does the question ‘how much do you charge?' fill you with dread?

You’re not alone! Many of us find pricing our services a challenge. Especially when we’re working on different projects that come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no ‘1 price fits all’.

Female entrepreneurs, in particular, have a habit of underselling themselves. Yep, I’ve been guilty of that in the past too. We aren’t doing anyone any favors for not charging our worth.

Here are some tips to charge your worth as a business owner or freelancer….

What are the actual costs?

Always start by working out what your actual costs would be to deliver the work or project. Including everything from travel costs, supplies, to technology. or anything that you will have to pay to get the project completed.

The biggest thing is that we forget to charge for...our TIME!

Your time is not free. Remember that your client is tapping into your expertise or your network of contacts.

It took you years of investment to acquire your knowledge and contacts and taking advantage of that is a cost you must charge for.

Work out how long it will take you to deliver the project

Add some more time on for the unexpected time things take. It always takes longer than you plan. So it's better to factor more time in. You cannot go back to the client later and ask to be paid for extra time spent.

I’ve never known a project or service not to overrun even if just by a little. Give yourself a good buffer.

Price in your skills and expertise

People are coming to you because you are an expert in what you do. You have the skills and expertise that they need to make their project come to life.  Be it web design, accounting knowledge, coaching skills…or whatever area you work in. You have what they need.

Getting to where you are right now didn’t happen overnight right? I’m guessing you had to study and invest in your education. Possibly you took on lower paid jobs in the early days to get experience. All of this needs to be taken into account when pricing your services.

Clients aren’t just paying for your time, but also your experience and knowledge.

Look (and be) the part

If you’re a web designer charging premium prices, but your own website is outdated, has broken links and doesn’t reflect a quality brand, why would anyone think you’ll do differently for them? Your brand needs to reflect the price you’re charging. Do you want to charge a premium price? No problem. Just be sure you’re offering a premium service and have the credentials to back it up.

Taxes and extra costs

Don’t forget to include and work in the cost of any taxes to your pricing and don’t forget that you will be taxed on the profits. Personally, I quote all my prices tax-free and then add a note that all prices are plus taxes. In most cases, the taxes are recoverable to the client.

Have confidence in yourself and your abilities

Most of all, have confidence in your skills and abilities. If you don't then you will never charge what you are worth because you're downgrading the value of your services. If you have confidence that you can deliver an amazing result for a client, then toot your own horn if you must.  Self-confidence breeds confidence in you by third parties.

Got any other pricing techniques to help you feel more confident charging your worth as a business owner or freelancer? We would love to hear them! Share your tips with us below…

Want to chat with me about your pricing, book a FREE call at www.calendly.com/lorikarpman.

You can accomplish anything if you’re willing to fail along the way. Failure is a consistent part of success. The most successful people fail far more often than those who are less successful. If you see every failure as a lesson, then you will learn from your mistakes and use them on your road to success.

Life is full of setbacks. The question is whether you allow failure and other setbacks to derail your efforts. Everyone can learn to better deal with these common annoyances on the road to success.

Failure is a funny thing. It feels embarrassing and catastrophic, but that’s rarely the case. You fail every day. When you think your keys are in the kitchen drawer, but discover they are not, you failed. However, you don’t let it bother you. Instead, you just look somewhere else. Try to adopt the same approach to all failures.

Dealing with failure can be that simple. If your first attempt doesn’t work, try something else. The same can be said for your 30th failed attempt. Most people try a time or two and then give up. They decide it either can’t be done, or the stress of failing becomes too much to bear.

Try these recommendations to overcome failure:

Maintain your composure.

Nothing will derail your progress like becoming emotionally distraught or quitting altogether. Undesirable results happen more often than not. It’s important to understand this fact. When you expect that you’ll sometimes fail, it won’t bother you nearly as much when you do. Just keep going.

Determine what went wrong.

If possible, determine the error in your approach. Do your best to understand exactly what happened and why. If you don’t understand the issue, you can’t correct it.
Maybe you just need to try again. Some things just naturally have high failure rates, like sales. For some products and services, you might face 100s of failures between successes. There’s no reason to fret, just try again. And again. And again.

Alter your approach.

It’s important to keep improving your method. No matter how great you are at something, it can always be better. Take a few minutes each day and adjust your approach. Learn from others who are successful and have failed multiple times.

Look for alternatives.

Maybe you need to try a completely new approach. There are often multiple ways around any obstacle. Maybe you can find a better alternative. For example, if you’ve been cold-calling for clients, maybe it would be better to:

  • Cold-email
  • Ask people you know for referrals
  • Show up in person
  • Attend meetups or conventions
  • Send postcards
  • Pass out flyers
  • Send lumpy mail

If you’ve thoroughly investigated one method, try another.

Sharpen your axe.

Sometimes it’s not about how hard you chop at the trees. It’s about how sharp your axe is. Develop yourself each day. Work on your general sales skills, if you are a salesperson. Learn something new to advance your career forward, like a new skill or software application.

Work on your coping skills.

Figure out the best ways to handle the stress and other negative emotions that commonly accompany failure and setbacks. Keep your options healthy. Calling a friend, exercise, and meditation are examples of acceptable options. Using drugs, alcohol, or food are examples of unhealthy coping strategies.

The Other Side of Fear is Freedom

You can’t succeed if you can’t handle failure. Most of us are far more afraid of failure than we should be. Just remember on the other side of fear is freedom. A failed sales call isn’t a life and death matter. The most successful people fail more often than they succeed. It’s just part of the game.

One of the best ways to predict your success is to look at your ability to handle failure. Successful people handle failure without any undo fuss. Try this next time you fail and see if you can turn your failures into successes!

We would love to hear from you! What steps do you take to deal with failure or fear? Leave us a comment below.

Good Luck!

Often when people hear the term “Law of Attraction” (LOA), they usually respond by saying ““it’s all hooey” or “its voo-doo”.  However, for us believers, it is a life altering concept that can provoke profound positive (or negative) change in our lives.

According to Wikipedia, the Law of Attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from "pure energy". And that through the process of "like energy attracting like energy" a person can improve their own health, wealth and personal relationships.

Power of Our Mind

The work of quantum physics has demonstrably shown the incredible power our mind has over our lives.

You don’t ever have to understand the physics part to enjoy the benefits of the LOA. The LOA is a force in life whether you choose to believe (or utilize) it or not.

Every second of the day, the universe is responding to our thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative. By using our thoughts positively, we create positive outcomes by manipulating the universe into giving it to us.

Hundreds of years ago the Law of Attraction was first thought to have been taught to man through the immortal Buddha. Buddha wanted it to be known that ‘what you have become is what you have thought’. This belief is deeply intrinsic to the Law of Attraction.

Western Culture came up with the term ‘Karma’ for what the universe brings. What you give out to the world (such as joy, anger, love or hate). That is what will ultimately show up in your life.

Choose What You Want

In its simplest form, LOA is about choosing what you want. Then feeling the emotions associated with already having it, and then "releasing desire". That is, let go of the outcome and relax.

It's like putting an order in at a restaurant. Once you've told the waiter what you want. There is no point in getting anxious, because you know your order is on the way.

When we choose to utilize the LOA, we are choosing to manipulate reality to our benefit.

By choosing positive emotions we are telling the universe that we want more of these feelings in return.

And if you really want to get specific, you can use visualizations to tell the universe exactly how you want those feelings returned to you.

Affirmations and Visualization

To use the LOA effectively you must use cognitive reframing techniques as well as affirmations and creative visualization. These will replace limiting, self-destructive negative thoughts with ones that are more aligned with what we want... that is, positive thoughts.

A key component of the philosophy is that in order to effectively change a negative thinking pattern, you must also “feel’ that the desired outcome has already occurred. Meaning you visualizing the positive situation you want to create. This combination of positive thought and positive emotion is believed to allow one to "attract" positive experiences and opportunities by achieving resonance with the energy of the LOA. If you want to be in abundance, think, feel and act as if you are already in abundance.

Movement of Energy

The LOA is a universal law, similar to gravity, and is about the movement of energy. The concept of movement of energy has been scientifically proven. Everything emits energy and it’s the level of which will determine what shows up in your life.

The best way to ensure lack is to focus on “lack”.

What you focus on grows.

If you focus on abundance, your life will become more abundant.

Now this does not mean that business will just fall into your lap. You must take action consistent with creating the desired outcome. Like networking or doing a webinar for example, to gain exposure to people who want and can pay for your service.

However, more business will come your way from your efforts and positive beliefs. To make it work for you, you just have to set the intention of what you want and then become a vibrational match to it.

Let's say you want to lose weight for example. You would imagine and visualize how you would look and feel at your goal weight.

You Shape Your Life

The most challenging part of the LOA is accepting the realization that if we create what happens in our life then every single one of your experiences in life, good and bad, has been shaped by us alone. For many, this is a bitter pill to swallow. Especially if you feel that you have been dealt a particularly hard life or current situation.

Rejoice though because the universe is always on our side, it roots for us to win! The more time you dedicate to learning how to use the Law of Attraction effectively, the more fulfilling and rewarding your life can be. There are no restrictions; open your mind and enjoy the natural abundance of the Universe.

Life is a blank canvas of possibility; you are in control of what the finished picture looks like. If you can hold onto an idea and a belief, and actually see it in your mind’s eye, you can make it happen- with some effort on your part of course.

We all need time off from work to either “recuperate” or ‘recharge”, depending on your point of view.

Work Free Zone

The concept of a “Free Day” comes from the world renowned Strategic Coach program for Entrepreneurs. It is defined as a 24 hour “work free zone”.

The day goes from midnight to midnight and during this period anything or rather “everything”, work related is taboo. This means, absolutely:

  • No checking your work email account
  • Noo conversations about work with anyone
  • No catching up on industry reading
  • No planning
  • nothing work
  • Zip
  • Nada
  • Zilch.

If friends are coming for a BBQ dinner there can be no discussion of work related issues. I can hear the cries of horror as I write.

Many if not most people will cringe and declare “I can’t do that, no email? no reading? or even talking about work??”

I can almost feel some of you convulsing at the thought of not checking emails or texts. You may be thinking, "What if a client sends a text?" "What if I have this deal going on???"

What if, what if?

Exhausted?

Well, what if you end up in the hospital because of work induced exhaustion? What if you are so run down that your body triggers a switch leaving you with a lifelong chronic disease?

I lived the latter scenario. I worked like a dog and ended up being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It was most likely triggered by the stress of working 65-hour weeks.

Although it is a 24-hour day, you do sleep during part of it. The day is based on waking hours.

However, do not take advantage. Free time only means time away from work. It's not from mowing the lawn or getting your taxes done. And, you can take it on any day.

Personally, my Free Day is Sunday. I am used to putting in some work hours on Saturday but Sunday is sacred. I enjoy hobbies, my dog and do my personal chores.

Common Misconception

Free Days are so important. Unlike the traditional thinking on “days off”, they are based on a completely different theory.

Current culture believes that you must work hard. If you do you will be rewarded with time off or a vacation.

The big problem with this theory is that by the time you take that vacation, or day off, you are too worn out and exhausted to enjoy it.

It’s a common misconception to think that it is a badge of honor to not haven taken vacation in years or to work 70 hours a week with no rest.

To me, that is not something to be proud of, but rather, worried about!

Time off is not a reward, it’s a necessity!

Free Days are based on the principle that you absolutely need to recharge your batteries at minimum weekly to face the days AHEAD with the vigor and vision to make them productive, to have the time to unclutter your mind, remove any thoughts of work, get respite from any stress, and to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for any upcoming obstacles you may have to deal with.

When you look at it as a necessity versus a reward or badge of honor, it becomes clearer how important this day is.

Fresh New Perspective

Some of my best ideas and solutions have come to me during or after these days and in general my work days are much more productive and creative.

These essential Free Days provide me with a fresh new perspective that was contained in my subconscious mind but with all that mind-numbing clutter in there- could not come to the surface.

Truth of the matter is you can’t afford not to take a Free Day. Your brain needs to regenerate and can only do so effectively when it is free of work related issues. It gives your mind a complete respite from any obstacles or challenges you may be facing, (or to come), and relieves any stress (good or bad) you may have.

Free Your Mind

By doing this you free up your mind to create new thoughts and novel ideas and solutions that your conscious brain never could have otherwise without this time for it to breathe. You allow your subconscious mind the freedom and the space to create the kind of brilliant ideas that usually come to you in a flash, like when you have “aha” moments.

These cannot happen if your brain is so full of negativity, worry and fear, or just plain stress, that a normal workday may have.

Albert Einstein once said, and I paraphrase, “You cannot create a solution using the same mind that is created the problem”.

So, it’s only by clearing out the mind clutter that our brains are free to roam uncharted areas of the subconscious and where unique and inspiring ideas can form.

Just A Little Preparation

The Free Day is part of a week that also contains Buffer Days and Focus Days. Too long to be discussed in this blog, (and perhaps an idea for second installment) Buffer Days are preparation, meeting and task days where you perform tasks that are important and need to be done but are not revenue producing.

Focus Days are for work that you expect will generate income within the next 90 days and work you are already being paid for.

Time Management System

These 3 days constitute Strategic Coach’s “Entrepreneurial Time Management System” (ETMS). Because everyone’s responsibilities are different the System is completely personalized based on each person’s situation.

An activity can be a Focus for one person and a Buffer for another. For example, if you are invited to give a keynote address at a convention, the drafting of it may be buffer for someone in the industry coming to talk about their experience, however, if you are a speaker by profession, you are likely to be earning a living from that speech so the drafting of it would be a Focus activity.

Once you have mastered how your tasks are categorized your quality of life will begin to improve dramatically, you will be more productive, work less and make more.

Dramaticly Change Your Life

I can guarantee you that if you implement this one change in your life, take a Free Day every week, you will see a dramatic change in the overall quality of it.

Even if you do not work or are a stay at home parent, this System gives you complete control over your time, not the other way around which is how most people live.

In turn, you will sense a reduction of overall stress levels, the ability to generate innovative ideas, increased confidence and focus and more, generally within a month.

The benefits are cumulative so the more you use it the better you get at it, especially if you are using the entire ETM System with all 3 different day categories.

However, the Free Day, in and of itself is a powerful regenerative tool. It takes time to master but is most definitely worth mastering!

Start off with 1/2 a Buffer Day and work your way up if you cannot do it all at once, but promise yourself and commit to getting to the full 24-hour period.

I learned the ETMS some 10 years ago, and it continues to have the most significant impact on my life. I enjoy an outstanding work/life balance and am immensely productive on the right things at the right time.

You're In Control

Just imagine for a second how incredible it would feel to be completely in control of your agenda and how you use your time. How would it feel to control your time instead of it controlling you?

Enjoy your Free Days with abandon, without guilt or remorse for not “working”.

Just know that this time-out makes you a better “worker” and someone who controls their own destiny!

Please comment and share your first Free Day experience with others.

Want to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Time Management System? Reach out to me!

Have you recently decided to shift gears or make a change in your life? Anything from learning a new language to changing jobs or your career can be both exciting and frightening at the same time. Why?

You can prepare but you can’t always control the pace of your progress.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary transition means “passage from one state, stage, subject or place to another (i.e., change)”. Some of the synonyms for transition include development, alteration and the word shift, which is where I’ll focus for a few minutes.

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck behind someone who’s new to driving a car with a manual transmission (aka stick shift)? It gets obvious pretty quickly when you’re on a hill and they start to drift backwards.

There’s no way to avoid this newbie because you’re on a two-lane road and can’t pull around them. So you sit helplessly -- watching and waiting for impact.

Sometimes you may feel, regardless of your efforts, your progress has slowed to a crawl. Let me remind you... even though you’re only inching along (like in rush hour traffic) and it feels like you’re sitting still - you’re NOT.

So STOP being so hard on yourself!

Even when a shift or transition is positive it doesn’t happen without detours.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking we have to be “perfect” even when we know that’s unrealistic.

Follow a Process

When you’re trying to learn new skills or brush off old ones (like interviewing for a job in a new arena or starting a business) you need to remind yourself there’s a process, and possibly a learning curve to get from points A to Z.

Every goal requires a process. Occasionally, the sequence doesn’t matter, but usually doing things out of order take much longer and that’s when you are able to execute the steps that way.

Using my car example, I never thought of myself as being well coordinated, but despite that perception I still had to follow a specific sequence of steps.

After starting the car, I had to put it in gear to drive it. I had to depress the clutch, then shift to first gear, depress the clutch, shift to second gear and so on as my speed increased. All the while I had to maintain consistent acceleration with my right foot.

The first few weeks were mentally exhausting - probably the way you’re feeling as you learn a new skill (language or instrument), search for a new job, prepare yourself for a new career or business, etc.

Eventually, you’ll discover your rhythm and won’t have to think about each step. Once you have a plan, you’ll have a better idea what you need, and how to get there.

Just remember, you aren’t the first person learn how to fill in the blank. There’s only one way overcome your hindrances. You have to be willing start over even when you have temporary failures.

People Who Overcame

Thomas Edison was told he was “too stupid to learn anything” as a child and even fired from his first two jobs because he wasn’t his productivity was didn’t meet the standards set by his employers.

Lucille Ball was seemingly a late bloomer as an entertainer but “I Love Lucy” has been in syndication for decades. She also ended up being the first woman to run a TV production company (Desilu Productions).

Walt Disney failed and declared bankruptcy before forming the Walt Disney Company.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the celebrities who uses both her first and last names but is known worldwide by only her first name. Yet, she’s been very open about the multiple episodes of molestation and rape she endured as a child. Still she overcame those traumatic experiences as well as several in her professional life before launching her Oprah show which ran for 25 years. Of course, she started her OWN Network after walking away from her popular Chicago-based show.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States endured many public defeats, as well as private ones. Before he was elected president in 1860, he experienced devastating events such as his sweetheart dying, business failure, a nervous breakdown and political losses.

Read more inspiring stories here:

Despite situations that would have deterred many people, these leaders in their fields persevered. They stayed focused on their goals rather than dwelling on their defeats or being deterred by them.

When they experienced failure they kept going. Use their examples to inspire you. Your goal may not be life-saving but it can be life-changing, which means somebody is waiting for you to step up and tell people what you have and how you can help them improve their lives, their businesses, etc.

In summary:

Shifting gears can be both thrilling and scary at the same time, but transition allows us to find more fulfillment as we enrich the lives of others.

Sometimes we are Our Own Worst Enemy.

It's important to remind yourself when you set a goal, it doesn’t mean the achieving it will be all smooth sailing. You may stumble and even feel like giving up occasionally.

Although, it may be intimidating the most direct path to attaining our goals can be met by following these steps:

  • Identify your goal.
  • Picture yourself achieving it.
  • Implement your plan.
  • Be patient with yourself during the process.
  • Reach your goal!

Share in the comments the one goal you are working on right now.

Have you encountered obstacles? If so, how have you motivated yourself to keep going rather than allowing them to stop your progress?

The key to success in a home office-based business is to conduct yourself as you would at an external office.

Home offices have many advantages including the savings on traditional business expenses such as rent and transportation, meals and parking. There is usually no traffic jam between your bedroom and your office! There is generally also less staff to manage and the total overhead expenses are very low. Additionally, you save time by not have to commute to work and can set your own hours and priorities.

Many equate home-based businesses with small returns but that is the farthest thing from the truth. Home businesses can earn just as much, if not more in many cases, than bricks and mortar ones. And at significantly less expense. Like any business, returns are based on effort and productivity.

It takes a real commitment and discipline to work at home. The commitment aspect was discussed in Part 1 of this blog series.

Home Office Setup

In this post, we will look at the important considerations in setting up and running a home office.   Let’s look at what is required to make your home office one that supports you, your business and your success.

EQUIPMENT

The first step is to make a comprehensive list of all the things you will need to run your business.

Being successful in a home office requires creating a space that promotes efficiency and productivity. It also must be a space you enjoy spending time in.

It must be set up with the same tools, furniture, and equipment that an external office would have. This includings a computer and printer, business phone, storage, a proper desk (not an Ikea table!), office supplies and personal decorative items.

Insofar as equipment is concerned, a phone, a computer and an all in one printer are the standard basic requirements.

If you are working on your computer all day a dedicated work desk may be all you need.

It can be tempting to skimp on key equipment and splurge on less necessary items, such as office carpeting. Money should first be invested in creating a proper workspace. Invest in a good solid wood desk and a comfortable executive chair that can provide back support.

If you see clients at your home office you will need guest chairs and maybe even a small conference table, space permitting.

STORAGE

Most businesses need storage, but how much you need depends on how paper-driven your business is and the number of supplies you use daily and/or if you are required to carry inventory.

A bookcase can be an excellent storage unit. You can put your files in nice file folders and supplies into decorative baskets. Then add some fun and interesting personal items to make it feel like a reflection of you.

I personally have a separate dedicated home office space with a big mahogany executive desk (that I am in love with!) 2 chairs, 2 small filing cabinets, and a bookcase. All in all, my home office is a real “workplace” designed for work and nothing else.

As a decorating note, the color blue is associated with success. My office walls are a lovely sky blue.

Making your list of requirements will help you to determine how much dedicated space you will need for your office.

DEDICATED SPACE

This can be a separate room or a secluded part of the house where you can work quietly.

Sometimes you can use partitions to create the enclosed home office feel.

If you are always on the phone then enclosed dedicated space is best, unless you are home alone while you work.

If you are using a room in your home you can deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage and utility expenses from your revenue at income tax time.

ROUTINE

Next, you need to create a daily workday routine and determine your office hours. Setting a routine will help you differentiate business hours from private time. Your hours should correspond to the hours that your clients keep so you can always be available to them.

If you need to leave the office forward your office telephone to your cell phone.  Being available is quintessential in client-based businesses.

Establishing regular office hours can also help minimize distractions, and unannounced calls, or drop-in visits from friends or family.

Once your office hours are set, don't forget to hang a clock on a wall or place one on your desk, even though your computer has one. When working from home it is easy to lose track of time and before you know it you have worked 15 hours 4 days in a row!

GO HOME!

Even though you work from home, there still comes a time when you have it to call it a day and “go home”.

My morning routine consists of getting dressed for work, putting on my jewelry and then opening the lights in my office. At the end of the day, I close my office lights and door, change clothes and remove any jewelry. It may sound silly but removing my jewelry is significant as I do not wear any in my private life. Now my private time begins.

INVEST

Invest in your home office. If you need to purchase equipment such as a computer or a printer, for example, do not try to save a bundle. These are your work tools and you need to have items that will stand the test of time; not break down just when you need them the most.

When it comes to phone lines make sure you have a separate and dedicated business telephone number. You don’t want your children to answer the phone or be able to pick it up during one of your own calls. This gives the impression that you are not running a real business. Of course, this can include using a cell phone, or a VoIP (Internet-based) phone.

A toll-free number is always a good idea.

LIGHTING

Have lighting right above you and a smaller task or desk lamp for close up work. This prevents eye strain and headaches often associated with long term computer use.

DIGITAL SECURITY

When it comes to your digital data make sure you purchase a backup drive or subscribe to an online service. You should automatic backups scheduled every day, or even several times a day.

Losing all your information in a crash or from a virus is every business owner’s worst nightmare. There are great online backup service providers that back up to a cloud and are not expensive. Personally, I like Carbonite, as it is efficient, quick and cost-effective.

It is important to have a battery backup for your computer in the event of a power failure. This gives you the time you need to save documents and close files before it all gets lost.

Make sure you always have the latest anti-virus software. A virus can shut you down for good.

INSURANCE

Make sure to purchase proper business insurance. Home office contents are not generally covered by a standard home insurance policy and therefore requires an extra rider.

You should also consider business interruption insurance against loss of income. This will protect you in the event that you cannot operate your business because of a flood, fire or theft.

Ensure your assets are at replacement value (and not at today’s value). This would be what it is going to cost to replace the item years from now.

If you are required to carry inventory you will need additional insurance coverage for it.

BRANDING

Make sure you have a professional email address with your company name, not a Yahoo or Gmail account. A proper email address shows your professionalism and realism.

A website is especially important even if it is only one page, Again this shows that you are in business for real.

Separate the personal from the professional in order to keep things in order.

FINANCES

You will need to set up a proper business bank account. Income and expenses of your business and your personal income and expenses should never be mixed.

Store personal bills, checks, mail and records in a different place in your home from your office. Fully segmenting these two parts of your lives.

At tax time this is invaluable as there are many deductions to be had for home office space, equipment, and supplies. The more you can prove that the office is a completely separate and dedicated entity the better in terms of tax benefits.

What this all comes down to is that a home office is a place of work during working hours.

The more effort you put into creating a dedicated workspace that suits your needs, personality and lifestyle, the more productive and hence, successful you will be.

You will be spending a lot of time in this space to take the time to really “make it yours” with personal knick-knacks, photos and other items that make you feel supported and productive.

TIPS OR QUESTIONS

Share your home office tips or questions with us below. We would love to hear from you!

8 Million People Work At Home

Over the past 10-15 years the number of home-based workers has increased exponentially.

There are 2 types of home workers; (1) those employed for corporations and working at home often called “tele-commuters”, and (2) business owners and the self employed.

According to recently released data from the US Census (2018), 5.2% of workers in the US worked at home in 2017. That’s 8 million people!

The rise has been aided by improved internet connectivity and the demand for more flexible work environments. In fact, the number of employers offering a work from home option has grown by 40% in the past 5 years. The number of regular telecommuting employees (excluding the self-employed population) has grown by 115% since 2005.

Increased Productivity

The same study showed that two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home have increased overall productivity.

What’s more-, 86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone at home as it is devoid of distractions like the noise, the water cooler gossip, loud colleagues or meetings that are a waste of time.

Sixty-eight percent of millennials say that the option to work at home significantly increases the value of a position and would greatly influence their desire to work for a particular company.

I do a lot of work in the franchise industry and home-based concepts are enjoying a growth spurt of enormous proportions. There is a home business for every skill you can think of from financial services to home cleaning, to décor, coaching and consulting, and literally hundreds more. A large proportion of home-based workers are women.

I have had a home-based office for nearly 20 years, and I must admit I love it. Many people who work in conventional offices comment on how lucky I am and that they too wish they could work from home. But, having a successful home office is a challenge and must be worked at.

Self Discipline Is Key

A home-based office is a wonderful place to work and can extremely lucrative provided you have the self discipline to manage one. Discipline is the key to success. You must still have a “work routine” even though you are not in an external office.

This means getting up every morning at the same time and getting dressed “for work”. It is not a license to get up late and work in pajamas. Your clothes have a large emotional and psychological impact on your productivity. When you are dressed for work you feel more professional. You do not need to be dressed to the nines, casual Friday attire is acceptable. You should be appropriately dressed so that if someone wants to meet you at the last minute, that you would be able to go out with some small changes or as dressed.

It also means that you do not do any chores such as laundry or cooking during working hours. You would not have this luxury in an external office so why would you at home?

Working hours are for business only- otherwise the day is a blend of personal and business tasks and nothing really gets done well. When work gets mixed with chores, the days blend into one another and people wonder why they are not productive or generating enough revenue.

This takes a high degree of discipline and commitment. It is essential to treat your home office in the same way you would treat an external office.

Dedicated Space

A home office is a professional space dedicated solely to work. It is not a corner of your dining room table but a distinct space that is equipped and organized like an external office. Ideally it’s a separate room, or a secluded space where screens can be used to delineate the office boundaries.

Dedicated Time

The next essential task is to develop habits that signify the beginning and end of the work day. I come to work in the morning and my day begins when I open the lights in my office. I am now at work.

At the end of the day, I close the lights and “leave” my office. It is only at this time will I do errands or chores.

You must develop some meaningful action, such as closing your computer or turning off the ringer on the phone, to signify that the work day is over. This is essential so that your working hours are more productive and when you leave the office your time is your own and you can enjoy it without guilt.

Days of the week will become meaningful and you will enjoy a balanced quality of life. While it may sound silly- I only wear jewelry on work days. For me, putting on and taking off my jewelry signifies the beginning and the end of the work day and differentiates work from play time.

No Better Place to Work

The reason people fail to be successful in a home office is because:

(1) they do not treat their home office with the same respect as an external one and/or

(2) they lack the self discipline required to create and maintain routines and structure.

It is critical to maintain a normal workday morning routine as discussed above.

Respect and discipline are the keys to home office success. There is a misconception that home businesses make less money and are small business. That could not be further than the truth. However, like any business it depends on the efforts of the owner.

Working from home actually adds challenges. But if you have the skills to meet them, there is no better place in the world to work.

In Part 2 we will discuss how to set up your home office for success.

Your Home Office

How do you make your home office a success? Share your ideas and comments below.

Did you know that by writing 150 guest posts, Buffer grew from 0 to 100,000 users in 9 months? Wow! That's crazy! But you can do it too. Plus... you can support and help grow along with the blogs you partner with.

The best way to get started is to start on smaller sites and work your way up to the more popular blogs in your industry. You can get your name everywhere by creating really valuable content - even though it's not on your site.

This strategy accounted for over 70% of Buffer's daily signups!

You need to be everywhere in your niche. Providing valuable content on other sites outside of your own will help you build a growing and engaging audience. Once they know, like, and trust you, you can then market your product or service to them.

We would love for you to join YES! Women's Network as a guest blogger.

YES! Women's Network is all about helping women around the world connect with each other, support each other, and help each other in business and in personal development.

Here are your benefits:

  • Expand your brand
  • Get in front of our established community
  • Have our help spreading the word about your post
  • Adds back-links to your website
  • Generate traffic to your offerings
  • Become an affiliate with YES! and earn
  • Grow your email list
  • Grow your influence
  • Gain credibility

What we are looking for:

  • Fresh new content that is not published anywhere else
  • Valuable content that will help teach and/or uplift our audience
  • Get the conversation started and participate in our group
  • Be willing to share the post with your list and social media platforms
  • Do a Facebook live with us to promote your post
  • Send quality images to go with the post (we will add our logo, and you may also have your logo on it as well)
  • Respond to comments on the post (we will let you know when they are there)

If you feel like you would be a good fit for our blog. Please complete the form below. That's it! We can't wait to hear from you!

Whether you’re saving for a family vacation or you want to buy your first house or you just want to increase your savings, you’re not alone.  It’s more important than ever to have a financial plan in place. For some that may include turning their hobbies into cash. This can be easily done with the right resources and can be a lot of fun; no matter if you're wanting just a little extra cash or if you want to turn it into a full-time business.

FB LIVE: Turn Hobbies into Cash - Here's the HOW TO!
KUTV Fresh Living: Top 3 Steps
Come see me speak about this at Joyful Living Conference in Richfield UT on Feb 17th! Use code "richfield" to save 50% off your tickets.

 

More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs, especially in Utah. Utah is listed in the number one spot on CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has Utah listed #1 for innovation and entrepreneurship and #2 in high-tech performance in 2017.

 

With the economy like it is many people are spending less and becoming penny pinchers due to lack of income. We are finding that we aren’t able to have as much fun as we wanted five years ago.

There are a lot of very talented women who could turn their skills and/or hobbies into cash or into a real business. It’s not as hard as you think and there are loads of amazing free resources to help when you're ready.

 

I quit my day job in 2011 when I found the need to be home with my children due to their health.  Now 7 years later I have been providing services for and mentoring and training hundreds of women all around the world on how to start, build and grow their own businesses from home. Many have started virtual assistant businesses, health. life, or fitness coaching businesses, and other businesses as well including small online shops.

 

The Internet is full of amazing people who are ready and willing to help. However,  there are some that just can’t be trusted. More than half of my clients over the last 7 years have told me horror stories of being ripped off my online providers. I myself have been taken advantage of a few times when I didn't do my research. That’s why I want to help be a resource for women who want to find the right people to work with so I started YES! Women’s Network.

Aren't sure where to start? Join YES! Women's Network today for help getting started by meeting women who are already doing what you want to do.

There are a lot of ways you can turn hobbies and skills into cash; and it’s lots easier with trusted resources, free or low-cost training, and inspired connections.  The good news is... you're in the right place!

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about how you could earn some extra cash:

#1 - Crafts

So many women are blessed with the gift of craftiness. Homemade creations are highly sought after personalized gifts. If you are crafty you could turn this into a surefire way to make money selling your goods. Homemade and vintage items are where many shoppers are turning for original creations. Especially if you are already selling your creations at local festivals and farmers' markets. How many times I find items that I want to be able to buy more of and when I ask the owner if they are online and they say no. This surprises me! If you are crafty be sure to consider not only offline sales but online sales as well. Before you know it, your homemade creations, whatever they may be, could be the latest Internet craze.

#2 - Shopping

Do you like shopping? I’m not a fan of shopping and I avoid it at all costs, but my daughters love to shop. Becoming a personal shopper could save you money and make you money at the same time. There are so many busy men and women who would prefer to hire out their shopping. If you’re a great shopper you could help your clients with everything from making travel arrangements, finding hotels, buying personalized gifts, or even doing personal shopping like for groceries and household items. Personal shoppers could help their clients find clothing, pick up medicines from the pharmacy, or even just running errands. Personal shoppers could charge anywhere from $15 - $20 an hour or 10 to 15% of the total purchase according to paysale.com.  Just be sure you don’t shop for yourself while you’re shopping for your client or it would defeat the purpose.

#3 - Baking

Baking is a talent that so many busy men and women are envious of. Who doesn’t love a homemade fresh cookie or loaf of bread? Many entrepreneur friends of mine have said that having a personal chef is at the top of their bucket list. If you have this skill you may want to take advantage of it and share your talents with others while making some cash. I see on Facebook several times a week one of my friends selling her cinnamon rolls. She posts that she is going to make x number of pans, how much she wants for them, when they will be ready, and they sell out every week! The majority of people who don’t have time to bake are willing to pay for it, especially if they can pay online and pick it up on their way home. This could turn into catering small events like baby showers, weddings, family reunions, small office parties, or other gatherings. As long as you're selling baked goods that don't spoil (like cream pies, etc.) you don't need a license to sell at most farmers' markets, although some do require you meet their standards and guidelines to be accepted [source: mt.gov]. If you stick to one or two items and do them well -- bread and muffins, for example -- invest in a creative logo and packaging, and set up a plate of samples, your products should sell themselves.

#4 Pet Walking & Care

Do you love pets and just can’t get enough? Why not try doing dog walking and pet care? Instead of spending money to get your own why not have the freedom to care for other people’s pets? Most dog walkers charge between $10 and $18 per walk depending o the location and the number of dogs. Overnight dog sitting can be billed for even more according to Christine Rochelle in her article for aol.com.  It’s best to start your business with people who know and trust you. It’s a big responsibility to take care of someone’s pets. Once you have established a small list of clients you could ask them to recommend you to their friends and coworkers.

#5 Organizing and/or Cleaning

“I would pay someone to just come in here clean up and get me organized!” I’ve heard this many times from entrepreneurs who work 10-15-20 hours a day. Many of us spend our days sitting in front of a computer and simply don’t have time to clean out the garage, deep clean our kitchen, or take care of our yards. If this is something you enjoy doing, I can practically guarantee you that you can do this and make some pretty good money. I actually know several organizers personally who are doing pretty well. They are hired to take care of hopelessly unorganized people for a fee. The organizers I know will to and either helps their clients or actually do the work for them. Everything from cleaning out a disorganized closet to shopping and stocking their homes with things like linens, toiletries, and everyday items. Especially around the holidays when they also help with the putting up and taking down of decorations.

#6 Administrative, Writing, Editing, and others

This is how I first got started as a real estate virtual assistant! When I first needed to work from home I wanted to take the skills I had from the Corporate world to start my business. I loved working with real estate agents helping with their paperwork and I knew I could do it from anywhere as long as I had a phone and the internet. From there I grew my skills into being a speaker, digital marketer, coach, mentor, and creating this network. Now, my daughter does editing for many of my clients and I help with building online businesses. If you think about it, anything an administrative assistant does now can be done from anywhere except putting a piece of paper in a folder. An most offices are digital and filing in person isn’t needed. So, if you like writing there are businesses looking for you to help with their blogging. There are businesses looking for help with editing, marketing, data entry, editing websites, research, help with social media, graphic design, and many other administrative skills. There is a virtual assistant academy on YES! Women’s Network that will teach you what you need to know and other resources to get you started as well.

Other hobbies that could turn into cash:

  • Photography
  • Website Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Drawing
  • Music
  • Couponing
  • Blogging
  • Affiliate Marketing (selling other peoples products)
  • Mowing Lawns and Shoveling Driveways
  • Selling from our Garden
  • Canning
  • Garage Sale Flips
  • Tutoring
  • Teaching Classes
  • Decorating Homes
  • Running Errands for the Elderly
  • YouTube - Teach Lessons

Here are a few hobbies turned cash of clients and friends of mine. They are all having a lot of fun. Some are making more money and have turned into a real business than others, but all are making money from home which is super cool!

Lanmom Originals
Ridgetop Virtual Solutions
Pam Bennett
GigiGoes
Tiia Lin
Primary Wellness
The Happy Gal
Everflect
Paula's Kitchen
Somer Lang
Scrap n' Things
Love to Bake You Happy
Love You Dear Photography
New Mexico Farm House Designs
Build It Mom
Just One Elle
Romance Enhanced Consulting
1 Sister 2 Sister
Crafty Thrivin LLC
Beyond the Shaker
Hand Picked Daisy

Decide what you like to do and what you want to do then join YES! Women’s Network and let’s find a way you can turn that into cash!  Be sure to join our community and share your ideas with us so we can all pitch in and help you get started today.

As a member of YES! Women's Network you are able to have a free membership at Blue Bottle Biz. This is super valuable and has loads of benefits! We are blessed to be one of their valued partners.

You'll find a collaborative learning platform where you have access to more than 50,000 business books and videos. Within the group, you'll find content recommendations, see what your peers are learning about and more.

This is an open space for women who want to learn, collaborate and share ideas, suggestions, and knowledge. Talk to amongst yourselves and share knowledge! Come join us and find loads of valuable learning opportunities!

Here's a quick walkthrough with our contact Christian at Blue Bottle. He was kind enough to show us how it works and what you get access to. This is so exciting! The only way to have access to all of this goodness is through a partner like YES! We are pleased to be able to share this with all of our members! (Yep, the free silver members get access too!)