Thursday, May 1, 2008

When People are not Supportive of your Work at Home Venture

Many people dream for years and years about working from home either in a telecommuting job or owning their own business. When you finally take the leap, you may be the only one happy for you.

I hear from people, mostly women, all the time who encounter a lot of negativity toward their working from home. This negativity comes from spouses, family members, former co-workers, friends, and neighbors. These attitudes are often generated from misunderstanding, jealousy, and fear. If you are to gain the support you need and want, it is vitally important to understand the other person’s point of view.

Those who misunderstand what you are doing will probably be the easiest to win over. Often when people think of work at home jobs the think of one of two things. Either they think you are not really working at all, and just being lazy, or they think you have been take by a scam artist. So simply sit down with these individuals and fully explain what it is you will be doing with your time, why it is legitimate, and how you and your family will benefit from it.

There is little you can do with someone who is jealous unless there is an opportunity for them to do the same thing you are doing. Even then, most often they will not take advantage of the opportunity due to their own fears and insecurities and will simply continue to be jealous of you. In this case, you will have to come to terms with it and realize it is their loss not yours.

Fear can be a very difficult emotion to overcome, but not impossible. Knowledge is the first step. People, especially spouses, may be fearful that you will fail and that you will succeed, imagine! The fear of your failure is pretty self evident and can only be overcome with time and planning. Fear of your failure will generally center around financial concerns. If you are working a telecommute job, you simply need to explain that you are still a true employee, working a real job that will pay you X number of dollars for X hours of work on a specific schedule. If you do not get paid on time, address this issue swiftly and decisively. If you are starting a business, this is where planning is crucial. You must have a back up plan. Know your finances, understand how much money you can and need to invest, how long you can commit to running your new business without receiving pay, and what will happen when time is up. Getting a new business setup and successful takes time and money. You must be in it for the long haul. So have a back up plan and exit strategy if you do not earn enough money. The fear of your success is a little trickier. A spouse may fear that you will become too successful and leave them when you no longer need their income. They may also worry that it will take over your life and home. If you become too involved in your business, will you still have enough time for the kids and your spouse? Will you need to carry inventory and take up space in the house that might currently be used for other purposes? The best way to overcome these fears is to talk them out, offer reassurances, and set up ground rules such as space allotment, “business hours”, and family time/date night.

Working from home can be a dream come true. It is exciting and challenging. You will need support from those who are closest to you. So work with their preconceived notions, fears and opinions in a kind and understanding manner and you will be able to help them understand and support what you are trying to do.

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