Several years ago, I realized I was in financial trouble and going downhill quickly. I was over my head in debt and unable to afford moving out of the severely depressed economic area where I lived. As a young, single mother, I soon realized it was costing me around $12 a day, after travel expenses and babysitting fees, to work the minimum wage jobs in the local area. I was headed deeper in debt doing what everyone had always told me was the “right” thing to do: get a job and work hard every day for someone else!I sat at my kitchen table with my weekly paycheck, calculator and notebook and saw the numbers before me in black and white. The “right” thing wasn’t working; slaving at the local burger joint waiting for a better job to open up was not going to fix the problem. I decided to learn more about self-employment. It was a turning point that brought me down the path to where I am today.I gave you a little about my background to demonstrate I know where many of you are coming from. Many others are experiencing the same financial dilemma of dead-end jobs and growing debt today that I experienced then.Today, I’m a marketing consultant for a new online home-based business operating on a shoestring budget. I researched many online businesses before settling in on this one.With all of that said, I encourage you to allow yourself to explore your home-based business dreams. I would, however, offer you some key elements to consider that I learned the hard way.1. Don’t try to learn everything you need to know before you decide to begin. While research and knowledge are important to success, too much will overwhelm you and paralyze you with information overload.2. Don’t think there is a magic program for sale out there that produces overnight wealth without putting in some serious effort.3. Don’t think that you can figure it all out and manage it all on your own! BIG no no. A mentor and team are necessary for your learning process and long term business survival.Number three is key. Had I understood that one and found a mentor early on, it would have saved me from learning the first two lessons the hard way. The hard way is almost always painful and expensive!Finding a good mentor and a support team you trust is very challenging and time-consuming. Many with the “work at home” bug avoid dependence of a support system and struggle blindly through the dark days of their small business startups. This is an ego problem that must be overcome. It is okay to need a little help learning the ropes.Another lesson I learned that doesn’t conform to what we are taught is that the best mentors are not friends and family, no matter how successful they may be. Nor will great mentors be free. A good mentor is not there to make you feel good about yourself, be your buddy or do the job for you. A true mentor assumes a great responsibility of delivering honesty and guidance through their own expertise. Friends, family and free mentoring are often misguided by emotion and personal motives.When considering self-employment, factor in the costs of a good coach who will take a personal approach to understanding your resources and business development goals. This is the secret weapon of the most highly successful home-based business entrepreneurs. Follow this advice and you are one step closer to your own success.
29 8月 2012