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1. Give Yourself a Personality Check2. Be Patient3. Make a Plan -- and Stick to It4. You Work at Home. Don't Try to Hide It5. Keep Your Family Out of It6. Keep a Checklist7. Remember to Punch Out8. Practice the Art of Juggling9. Cut the Cord Every So Often
"Being a home-based business owner is not for everybody. Focusing has never really been my problem, but some people physically need to drive away from their house to find structure. The first part of starting a home-based business is recognizing what kind of personality you have. If you need someone else to give you that structure, or if you are a procrastinator, a home office is probably not the best thing for you."
--Jim Anderson, LeadDog Consulting
"A home-based business doesn't get started in a day. I was able to set up my website quickly, but I didn't make my first sale until a little more than a month after I launched IWearYourShirt.com. When I first started, I really had no Twitter following, either. But I said to myself that as long as I keep working at this, something will come of it. My persistence paid off because by January, only three months after launch, I had sold out of half my inventory for the year."
-- Jason Sadler, IWearYourShirt.com
"When we started Games2U, we put a list together of what we wanted it to be. We knew we didn't ever want to have a retail business -- mobile and home-based was essential to our concept. We wanted a business that needed very little head count, and one that anybody could own and operate on their own, which is what a lot of our franchisees do. They are their own boss and don't even have to have employees."
-- David Pikoff, Games2U
"First and foremost, I chose to run my business from home. When I started my Web consultancy, Soapbxx, it became a constant migraine with all the overhead and office space. I've been running Soapbxx from home now for four years. We are brutally honest with our structure and have never lost a client. I find that total honesty about being a home-based business makes everything run better and feel more authentic."
-- Amanda Steinberg, Soapbxx and Daily Worth
"Being a stay-at-home dad and a new business owner takes a lot of discipline. I usually get up early around 4 a.m. and try to get as much done in terms of planning and organizing until my wife leaves for work at 7. I work until my daughter wakes up around 11, and then it's her time. I try not to keep her around work too much, so we'll go into the other room and play and I'll go back to work when she's napping or once my wife gets home."
-- Chris Jordan, Atlanta Insurance Live
"Each morning, before you begin work, write down the items that you need to accomplish by the end of your day. It helps to rate each item according to priority, from high to low. Even if you don't complete your list, the high priority items will get done first. Remember, you can't blame unfinished work on your co-workers!"
-- Franklin Antoian, IBodyFit.com
"One of the downfalls to being a home-based business is that if you wanted to, you could always be working. When I first started Shop Around Tours, it was so important to build the business, so whenever the phone would ring, I would answer, no matter what time of night it was. After answering a call in the middle of the night and one at 6 a.m., I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore and resolved to answer the business phone during business hours. And that means no Sunday nights either!"
-- Deborah Mayer, Shop Around Tours
"Being a home-based business is a juggling act, and the key to it is knowing which balls are glass and which are rubber. I go into every day not trying to drop those glass balls, which are my two kids. I don't necessarily think that balance is possible because there is always one element that takes priority in your life and the key to succeeding is knowing what that priority is."
-- Michelle Tunno Buelow, Bella Tunno
"There are days where I won't even open my Twitter or Facebook accounts, just so I can tune out and focus on my goals. Just because you are connected all the time doesn't mean you have to be available all the time too. Set up absolute productive time for yourself where you don't go on IM, or you don't respond to e-mails. I also force myself to take at least an hour for lunch every day, otherwise it's very tempting to keep the laptop open while you're eating and not get any separation."
-- Michael Sitarzewski, Callisto.fm and HyperSites