Most of my readers are building a presence online to market their home based business so they can make money, have more free time, and more choices in their lives. They are brilliant, caring, creative people who are possibility thinkers with great big dreams. They are working hard, balancing jobs or businesses, and most of them are also raising amazing kids….
…and more than half of them are broke, living paycheck to paycheck, hanging onto their business dreams, hoping and praying that this year, they will figure it out and crack the code on the lock of success for their home based business.
Most of them set goals every January (most of them even write them down), planning to double their income in 6 months, wanting to be able to quit the jobs they hate and be able to finally stay home with their kids, or to simply not worry about having to choose between taking the kids to the dentist or fixing the breaks on the car that gets them to work.
And sadly, most of them didn’t reach their home based business goals this year. They are right where they were at the end of 2009. Some of them blame the economy, and some of them blame other issues, like family needs and such, for the reasons they didn’t achieve their goals.
And while they are gearing up for New Year Celebrations with family and friends, they are once again, believing that…this year will be the year!
Because, as you know, there is always that tiny seed of doubt that lays deep in their souls like a vaccination for self preservation, so they can protect their positive spirits and heal their broken hearts, if by chance, this year turns out to not be the year they are uber successful in their home based business.
How do I know? Because this has been me year, after year, after year…until this year.
While I end the new year with some unreached goals in certain areas of my life, like my weight for instance, there are other areas of my life, like my home based business, where I’m so excited. And I can’t help but to end 2010 with a grin on my face and a feeling of excitement for the year to come.
I’ve written in my previous 3 posts about the things I’ve learned in 2010 that are related to mindset, marketing, motherhood and today I write about money. While this is not a typical topic on my blog, it is interwoven in many ways to my journey in building my home business, that I feel it’s important information to share.
If you want to read the previous three posts, here are the links:
Right Brained Money Lessons for a Home Based Business Owner:
They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Well, this year, taxes were my teacher.
We make pretty decent money between my husband, my home based business, and my side work as a VA, but we have frequently struggled when surprises come up, and this year was a biggie! We started out the beginning of 2010 feeling like we had things under control; until we had our taxes done.
We’ve never worried about our property taxes before because our income tax refund always covered the majority of them. But I made significantly more money in 2009 than I did in 2008 because of my growing business, and we were caught off guard when we realized that our income tax refund wouldn’t even make a dent in our property taxes. This experience taught me many lessons about money and my home based business:
Home Based Business Money Lesson #1: If money can fix it, it’s not a real problem.
I panicked, I cried, I was angry, and then I took action. I started to think about all the good things in my life and I focused on being grateful for what I had instead of beating myself up. Of course I started with the basics, I’m healthy and I have a wonderful family. I’m a great mom, I’m a faithful and loving wife, I am supportive and encouraging of others, and even if I hadn’t done a fantastic job of forecasting our money issues up until that point, I still had tremendous value. I have learned to do so many other things, and I could learn how to be a better steward of money as well.
This helped me to look at my finances as a number and not a personal judgment on me. I learned that there was no sense in punishing myself for past mistakes, it will only make me feel negative and hinder my future decisions.
Home Based Business Money Lesson #2: Stop Dreaming and Get Real!
Once I overcame the shock I had to get honest with myself and took a look at our finances. I added everything up. (I can’t even begin to tell you how scary that was for me to do.) That taught me that burying my head in the sand was so much more stressful than really knowing. The numbers are just facts and seeing them on paper helped me to see our finances from a whole new perspective.
Home Based Business Money Lesson #3: Stop Embezzling!
As I was taking a close look at our finances, I realized that one of the big drains that caused our frequent financial droughts, was that I was I was embezzling money from our family to buy training courses and things for my business, and to compensate for that, I was embezzling money from my business to buy groceries and diapers when our checkbook was empty.
I set aside an amount that I would pay myself with, like an “actual paycheck” once a month, and the rest of my business income would be reinvested into things to help my business grow and into training products. I canceled every membership I was paying for that was not essential to my businesses’ success. I stopped the automatic renewal of domains that were not being used or didn’t have a plan in action to use them. I pretty much pared down to my auto-responder, hosting, and cell phone.
I made a promise to myself that I would stay within my “allowance” for training courses, no matter how amazing they looked or how much I felt like I needed them at the time. I had so much awesome training on my hard-drive anyway, and there is so much free information online as well, that I learned I could build my business on a shoestring and still make it grow.
Home Based Business Money Lesson #4: Get Creative.
Internet network marketers have a business building method they call GPT, Get Paid Today, where they will sell an affiliate product or training that helps them to generate leads and an income at the same time.
This concept inspired me to make a list 100 ways I could come up with the money that didn’t involve drugs, child labor, or prostitution, and would help my home based business grow. (BTW: This process has proven to be a very effective way for me to solve problems that come up many areas of my life as well!)
I picked a few of them that could help me the most, interested me the most, and were things I could do right now, without having to spend money on training. I set realistic goals and planned how I was going to achieve them. I picked blogging as my way to expand my business online because it offered me several ways of monetizing my marketing while I was generating leads and I’d recently purchased a course on it.
Money Lesson #5: Remember it’s not about perfection, it’s about improvement.
Probably the biggest lesson I learned this year relating to money and my business is that I don’t have to be perfect make progress.
Sure, we’ve slipped up and overspent, I’ve made countless mistakes online, and I’ve made mistakes in my home business too. But, when I look back at the progress this past year I’m amazed at where we are.
Yes, our taxes were paid. We’ve also paid down close to $20,000 in debt this year. My blog is established and generating leads on a daily basis. I’ve sponsored people into my network marketing business. I’ve generated some affiliate income, and while it’s not replacing my husband’s income by any means, I’ll still take it.
And overall, we were still able to feed the dog and have a life.
So why did I create all four of these post?
Because I want to show you that building a home based business online isn’t hard. I taught myself this year that it simply takes focus and consistency.
There is so much truth in the quote by Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” If we show up, stop being spectators, and start taking action toward our goals several things happen: our mindsets shift, we learn how to market, and we learn how to prioritize our lives to include our businesses. And when we get honest with ourselves and figure out where we’re starting from and what resources we have available to us, we can create a plan to get us to where we want to go. I’m sorry to say, that dreaming won’t get us there, only “doing” will.
Building a home based business is as hard as you want to make it. You can sit on the sidelines with big dreams or you can get into action and make them happen. The choice is yours. I know which one I’m choosing. 🙂
Please share this post with others on facebook and twitter and please comment sharing what you took away from this series and/or a home based business money lesson you’ve learned!