Working From Home Entrepreneur? Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid!
Unfortunately, it happens too often. People start working from home as an entrepreneur, only to one day fail. Soon they find themselves back where they started with their tail between their legs. If only they knew the pitfalls that lay before them, perhaps they might have avoided making costly mistakes. This is a common scenario especially with people who come out of the corporate world. So whats really going on here?
I’m always grateful for my corporate experience and training. However, as entrepreneurs, we must learn to let go of the past, be open-minded and embrace new challenges.
It may explain why I struggled so much when I left the corporate world many years ago. The biggest hurdle was trying to ‘unlearn’ what I had been taught. It was a shock to the system. I had to equip myself with the ‘right’ information to survive and thrive in this new world.
Speaking to thousands of people, its interesting hearing the reasons WHY they struggled and failed as entrepreneurs. Here are my top 5 pitfalls to avoid, for every entrepreneur considering starting a business and working from home.
Pitfall #1 – Change Your Spending Habits To Adapt Your New Situation
If you are working from home and maintain the same spending habits from your corporate days, you are at risk! You will very quickly find yourself having cashflow issues and going into debt. This will immediately put you on the back foot from day one. I learnt with painful experience that I continued to burn cash due to poor spending habits from my corporate job.
I was lucky to get a small payout when I walked away, but because of my extravagant habits this didn’t last long. However, we learn through our mistakes it’s important to remember that every dollar is precious. Be wise, frugal and conscious on where you spend/invest. Don’t let some bad habits blow it all away!
Pitfall #2 – Get Some Support Behind You And Have a Mentor or Coach Guide You
Without a nurturing environment to support you, this will result in your business stagnating or failing. In one of my consulting gigs I remember trying to beat the odds, win more clients and make more money. What I didn’t focus on was having the right support and guidance I needed to get me through the tough days. I failed to map out a plan for how I was going to achieve my goals.
Working from home as an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey initially. I had to stay self-motivated, as I was on my own each day dealing with rejection, endless calls and presentations. If you find yourself in this situation, do yourself a favour and find a group of like-minded people who you can learn, leverage and lean on for support. Invest in a good business program that supports you. Get get a good business coach. You’ll never regret it.
Pitfall #3 – Have A Clear Strategy Before Starting Your Business
A lack of strategy can waste a lot of time and money and leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated and broke! It’s not uncommon to find people who’ve left their corporate jobs to get away from a bad situation. Perhaps they’ve not wanting to put up with the stress, politics and anxiety in their working environment. They then start their entrepreneurial journey working from home without a clear vision or plan. More often than not, this leads to a series of bad decisions, resulting in the business failing.
My reason for leaving corporate was actually not of my doing but by being forced out through being made redundant. Without a clear plan or strategy its easy to act irrationally and jump on opportunities out of sheer desperation. One way to protect yourself from this is to have a strategy and contingency plan in place as a backup. Take the time to evaluate your options carefully before leaping blindly.
Pitfall #4 – Make Sure You Do Your Due Diligence Before Investing In A Business
Lack of research makes the learning curve very hard and just prolongs getting the business off the ground. Often I see people investing their savings into all sorts of schemes and money-making opportunities that appear great on paper. They have little knowledge or experience in these businesses and often get sold by clever marketers. Unfortunately, many of these people never recoup their funds and end up making losses. Quite often they realise they have been scammed, because they didn’t do enough research at the start.
I always suggest doing your due diligence and assess every opportunity carefully before jumping in. Do you have the skills and competency to be able to run that business? Is it legal? Does it have the potential or track record of long-term success? Have you spoken to others that are in this business that can vouch for it? Look at all your options carefully. The risk if you don’t, you leave yourself extremely vulnerable and exposed. Not understanding the business or industry well could mean it takes years to take off or worse, it never does.
Pitfall #5 – Let Go Of Your Corporate Ego As That Will Not Help You
Your former ego can lead you down a false sense of security and accomplishment. This can in turn undermine your ability to get help or be coached in your new business. Many ex-corporate business owners still carry a lot of their former ego with them. It’s understandable because they may have been very senior people in their past corporate careers. I know many senior and executive managers, who pursued an entrepreneurial dream working from home. They often struggled in their transition as they were very much attached to their former ego.
Don’t get me wrong. Confidence is a great trait to possess and self-confidence is an asset. Unfortunately, believing you are successful in business based on your previous success from corporate is a recipe for failure. It’s a false sense of security. Better to be humble and accept that you’ve climbed down the corporate ladder only to begin the climb on the entrepreneurial ladder. As time passes and experience is gained, you will develop a true measure of self-worth and success.
What did you learn from your experience leaving the corporate world, becoming an entrepreneur and working from home on your business? Reply below to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts, as your insights can help many others just like you. Best responses will get shared on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
Gavin Sequeira is an author, mentor, speaker and facilitator and has inspired thousands of people around the world over the years, with his work in the area of personal and business coaching. He is both founder and director of Break Free From Corporate and Reset Revive Thrive, both offering help, advice and community support to people trying to navigate their career crossroads. If you would like to contribute and share your ideas on our blog, please contact us through the ‘Contact’ page and we look forward to connecting with you!