Working From Home

The Beginner’s Guide to Working From Home: 3 Steps to Making it Happen!

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I walked out of my last outside-of-the-home job over 15 years ago, and to be honest, I haven’t missed working in a traditional work environment for a second.

Now to be fair, the first few of those years were spent pregnant and giving birth to my eldest son and being a full-time stay at home mom, but pretty early on, I decided that I wanted to create a situation for myself that would allow me to be my own boss, set my own hours, and spend as much time as possible with my kids.

It seems like more and more people these days are gravitating towards this model, and it really doesn’t surprise me. One of the things that used to stress me out more than anything was the commute to and from work. Even before I had kids the daily slog in a crowded, claustrophobic subway car as well as having to deal with weather, unexpected delays, and a million other people doing the same thing used to drive me nuts.

After I had kids, if I had been back in that environment but with the added stress of worrying about getting back in time to pick them up from school or daycare, not to mention worrying about forking over a huge percentage of my income to pay for said daycare, I’m pretty sure I would have been incredibly unhappy.

So, I decided to look into working from home and what I needed to do to make that possible.

My first career choice was to become a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN). I enrolled in the course through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition when my eldest was only about a year old, and graduated with my RHN credentials about 2 years later. I loved the idea of helping people with their wellness journeys, and it’s still a passion of mine to this day.

It’s not what I currently do as a job, but I’ll definitely be touching on some wellness topics that are dear to me right here in this blog in the near future, so watch this space!

The second choice for a work at home job was as a Pilates teacher, which complemented the holistic nutritionist services very nicely. I worked several months towards certification, and eventually was able to teach small private classes in a couple of locations near where I lived, as well as in my own home, (I bought a reformer and set up a mini studio!) and I loved how rewarding and flexible it was.

Both of those options were great, and I enjoyed them immensely, but they required a lot of time to get going as well as to build a client list through word of mouth, and the truth was at that time,  I had zero idea about marketing and how to promote myself, and when my circumstances changed practically overnight, I was forced to rethink.

That change of circumstances involved my marriage ending several years ago, at which time I found myself looking for another option which would allow me to work from home, but something which would be easily and quickly scalable and that would start bringing in a regular income far more quickly.

I wanted to lay out for you here the basic steps of the process I went through of discovering and implementing a completely different course for my life at that time; a course which would eventually lead me to what is currently my main career, that of a freelance voice-over artist!

These steps may not be exactly what you need, or what works for you, but perhaps you can take a little (or a lot) of my experience and utilize it in your own journey towards finding that one job or situation that is right for you!

1. Manifest what you desire!

The first step for me was that I focused my energy and thoughts on manifesting a job that I could do at home, and that felt right to me. I realize this may sound a little vague or new age-y, but hear me out.

For me personally, what this entailed was that I mindfully and intentionally spent time thinking, daydreaming, and sending my question (and so my energy) out into the universe, with an open mind and a belief that some thought or idea would come to me.

The idea of manifestation is something that many of you might have had some experience with, and I’m a big believer in our ability to shape our lives with it! Here’s a great article on some habits to implement to successfully manifest what you desire.

And, lo and behold after some quality time spent on that endeavor, an idea for a possible work from home job did come to me!

I had done some voice-over work many years ago when I lived in Japan, and the idea literally popped into my head like a lightning bolt one day, a little voice telling me that I should look into what it would take to be a professional voice over artist in this day and age.

I figured the VO business landscape may have changed significantly with the evolution of internet since I had first dabbled back in 1999. (Oh boy it sure had!)

So how can you do this for yourself? It all depends on your current situation. Maybe you already work remotely part of the time with your current job and can negotiate with your company to transition to working from home full time!

On the other hand, maybe you’re hoping for a major change and you already have an idea or two in mind for what you’d like to be doing. If that’s the case, skip to step 2…

What if you’re like I was, and not quite sure what your options are or what appeals to you?

Take some time for quiet reflection, and try and shift your mindset to one that invites creative thought and inspiration.

Meditate, take long walks in beautiful places, especially out in nature or surrounded by art, allow yourself to dream, and open up your mind to the possibilities that might be floating around the periphery of your consciousness.

Perhaps consider activities or projects you’ve worked on in the past that you enjoyed or have seen others doing that may have seemed interesting.

Don’t be afraid to mentally step outside of your comfort zone during this time. There’s no risk here in simply considering ideas and possibilities! Some of the best ideas come from an open mind allowing the possibility that there are no limits to what is achievable.

And once you have narrowed it down to a work from home job that appeals to you (or two or three)…

2. Research, research, research!

We live in the age of information, and whatever it is you’re thinking might be something you’d like to do, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there is a whole group of people who have not only done it but have also written a book about, blogged, vlogged, or otherwise documented their journey, that you can take advantage of.

For my research, I bought several books on the subject of becoming a voice-over artist and read and re-read them. Next, I spent a whole lot of time watching VO vlogs on YouTube, and reading the blogs  and articles of not only the authors whose books I had found useful but also many others who were successfully working as full-time VO artists.

I focused next on what their advice was to newbies trying to break into the biz, and spent another few days reading about equipment, studio and software recommendations.

For some of you who are considering a career change, your research may involve not only learning about what it is you want to be doing as your new career and how to be successful at it, but also the steps you’ll need to take to transition to it from what you’re currently doing. It may take time, and almost nothing is an easy or linear journey, but as we’ll talk about in the next step, attitude is everything!

Regardless of what you decide on as your next chapter, the next step is to:

3. Jump in with both feet!

This doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to a career in whatever new choice it is you’ve made for the rest of your life.

What it does mean, is that whatever your choice is, it should be a mindful one, made with intention and a clear goal (or set of goals) in mind. It should come with a belief on your part that you can find a way to make it work and be successful, and that things will fall into place because you believe they will.

Write your goals, write a plan, write down where you see yourself in a year; it will all help to make it a reality. All of these tasks are steps to manifesting this change in your life.

Some might call this attitude “fake it until you make it,” and that’s definitely another way of expressing it.

If you take the necessary steps to learn everything you can and truly focus your energy on your belief in your ability to do anything you’ve set your mind to, the universe will conspire to make it happen for you, and you’ll see what it is you’re focusing on expand.

If you half-ass it on the other hand, and consistently focus on what you lack, while doubting yourself and your abilities, your chances of success plummet. Again, since what you focus on expands, you’ll be setting yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We all have moments of doubt, of course, that’s just part of being human, but choosing to ignore the critical voices you may have rattling around your head and keep grinding towards what your goals are, will make all the difference.

In my case, I chose to believe I would be successful as a voice-over artist, and that I could make it work as a full-time job. I threw myself into that world and learned as much as I could as quickly as I could, and then dove into it with absolute faith that I could make it happen.

I’m happy to say that despite a steep learning curve, I was able to make that goal a reality within a year. I am still constantly learning and working on perfecting my craft of course, and I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be professionally, but that’s pretty normal for most people in the biz.

I will say, that I have no doubt that my belief in myself from the beginning has made all the difference in my success thus far.

What about you? Do you have a dream of changing things up in a major way, and creating a life where you are working from home, maybe even being your own boss!

Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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