By Tammy Harrison
I've seen it happy many times. A mom starts working from home, works hard and her business begins to thrive, and then something terrible happens. Sometimes, it's a divorce. Other times, the mothering caregiver has to nurse someone back to health; be it her own child, husband or parent. Even simple daily living can get so busy that you don't have time to give your usual time or concentration to your business.
When circumstances such as these occur, there is more than just the family nucleus who endures the emotional upheaval - the home-based business owner must also try to figure out what to do about her business within the mix of the conflict or scheduling.
Last week was one of those weeks that I don't want to repeat until the next holiday rolls around. Our school-aged daughter had a full schedule of school and extracurricular activities. My husband was out of town on a business trip, for the entire week. My in-laws came to our house for the week, to help me with the kids. Business was booming and I had no time to do anything!
In my experience, I have always felt it is best to be up-front and honest with my clients. Those who wrote to me, wanting information were quickly taken care of with easy responses. Those who needed more were told that I'd get to it as soon as I could, barring any more family emergencies. These are simple answers to timing problems, and I find that most home-based businesses have timing issues.
But, what do you do when your whole business is threatened?
1) Take the time to focus on the most important aspects of your life. If that is your family, then take the time you need for them. Focus is difficult in trying times, and making sure that you are capable of focusing on one thing at a time is important for stability.
2) Having competent help to step in and help you is great. Most of us, working from home, have the misconception that we are going it alone, when usually, the reverse is true. I have made sure that my assistant knows every little thing about my business, so she can help me when or if I need it. Do not be afraid to ask for help, because we are NOT alone!
3) When you need to put your mind to your business instead of the conflict around you, stop before starting and mediate for a minute; take a deep breath, say a little prayer and close out the world around you so that you can motivate yourself to handle the immediate problems or issues.
4) Make a daily goals sheet and to-do list. Even if you are just going through the motions of making sure your home-based business stays afloat, writing down what you need to do helps with making sure you do everything needed and it also helps brings things to closure. Also, make a goal that you want to be back at work in two months (or whatever time-line you prefer) and work towards that. It's ok if it doesn't happen exactly as you planned, but the planning is important to helping you deal with today and move on to tomorrow.
5) Keep a positive attitude. Minutes and days pass, and issues get resolved in time and you will look back at the lessons you have learned from the experience. Take care of your mental health by leaning on friends and family and perhaps a counselor so you can work through your problems and keep moving forward.
Above all, remember that you must take care of your family first. Businesses come and go, but your family and yourself are what you have to live with forever!
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