Everyone says working from home is great, it is easy, you are your own boss, you work when you want, how you want, even wearing what you want...
Sounds Idyllic doesn't it... I would like you to know the truth... the things that people forget to mention... The reality that working for yourself is...
This is a story of courage and determination that I witnessed as a ringside spectator. I was close to the action, right on the edge, but although I saw the battles, and was always available for support I was, in the main, excluded.
The story I am, going to share very briefly is that of my wife, It is an abridged version, because it is long and depressing to go too deep into... however there are some particular traits that I identified in my wife, that I now look for in people who ask me to work with them in their online businesses.
Character Traits Of The Successful - Outsource
My wife had been a teacher at a local high school for over 15 years. She had achieved her degree whilst staying at home after the arrival of our third and fourth child, and when The Youngest reached the age of 2, Judi went out and got herself a job and employed a nanny to look after our two, and to have other people bring their children into our home, thus making the nanny self funding...
She Understood The Power of outsourcing even then, By Leveraging her ability to get things done by some one else (Especially the less glamorous or even tedious) she was able to create income, free up her time to do the stuff that really paid well, and also allowed her to be really creative with her time which is where she excels... Outsourcing takes many shapes and forms, but never forget to use it as it is the most profitable thing you can do for your business...
The Children thrived, and grew up well balanced, and eventually our nanny left got married and had a family of her own... Life progressed until 2 years ago, just after I had had surgery to a shoulder injury, My wife came home with the news that she had been laid off. Well to be more accurate her contract had not been renewed, and she was temporarily out of work.
Character Traits Of The Successful - Resilience
Judi was angry at her treatment, of course. She was hurt, the situation was unjust. However rather than be down about it, she turned her attention to me and said you need to get me a website sorted out I am off to get some equipment and my certificates.
There was no discussion, I would have urged caution I suspect. Judi just grabbed the bull by the horns and determined to set up for herself.
Opportunity Is not Always Dressed Up In Party Clothes
I am sure you have heard the expression as one door closes another opens, how many of us would stand and stare at the closed door moaning, may be for so long we actually fail to see the new door open? I know a few that have done it... Not my wife, she had heard about the urgent need for trainers to improve the safety standards in Technology College Classrooms, notably in resistant materials, food tech and sewing / textiles. There were grants available and plenty of work to bring the standards up to save teachers and classroom assistants from being sued.
Character Traits Of The Successful - Persistence Is Essential
The Grants were not available, the work was really hard to get... imagine trying to carve yourself a slice of the H & S pie in what had basically been a closed market. The word No was not in Judi's vocabulary however. The word Next was the battle cry. She marketed herself as the solution... Many schools had had law suites and she got me in my new found position of marketing director to get our message out there, do not be sued for sloppy record keeping, make sure your training is up to date. My marketing training was all cutting edge and up to the minute, but Judi's message was ruthless. And Constant.
Character Traits Of The Successful - Sticking to The Decision
Judi knew that she was definitely on the right path, I never questioned her conviction. I did question some of her methods, and some, of what seemed like to me, rash moves. Like buying three sewing machines that cost us more than we had in the bank, and left us with no money for food... I was appalled frankly, she took the decision with out any consultation... she needed the machines to run a series of courses. The first courses she had booked, and her speciality? Food Tech!
Can you Imagine the High Volume discussion that took place when I came home form hospital that evening to find her trying to teach herself how to thread the machines watching YouTube Videos!
I promise you, that was nothing compared to the noise when I heard that the first course had cancelled... We had no money, 3 sewing machines, and hungry children... what do you do?
If You are my wife you advertise a safety training course in textiles including automatic embroidery and overlocking! You pay for the advert with a credit card, and try to resuscitate your husband, why she bothered with the last I am not sure, because I wasn't being particularly supportive.
I would love to say that the course was over subscribed and we never looked back. Truthfully she got two students, one of whom still has not paid for the course, and in those days they used to get their certificates on the day. Now they only get them when they have paid, and they are normally sent to the school so that the school gets to keep it safely.
Character Traits Of The Successful - Sheer Bloody Mindedness
We struggled on bits of work here and little bits of work there. My marketing business started to get clients that paid their bills. I also started to attract students who wanted to learn what I was doing. But to say that life working from home was not easy would be a huge understatement. I have never seen my wife weaken in her resolve, but I have seen her work herself into the ground trying to magic courses out of nothing. Booking training venues for course with no students and then just filling them the day before. How she sleeps I do not know, I cannot... Her attitude is so strong, unwavering I call it. She certainly reads a lot of PMA books, and has loud talking books blaring all day with people I have come to love, like Tony Robbins, speaking... the positive goes in, and she keeps on working.
Do Not Underestimate how difficult this has been though. For Goodness sake, I am her husband and I did not believe in her, and what is worse she obviously knew that or she would have risked discussing some of her decisions with me. She knew I would not have supported her. But she knew what she had to do.
I trust her instincts now, Even though I have seen her fail short term. Fail enough to stop normal people, Fail enough to stop most non normal people to be fair. But she glides on in her sure fire way, with a grin and a chuckle saying as always. 'It will come good, eventually!' I have learned to trust her ability to get things to come good, certainly now we can discuss everything.
My last line of attack is... ' Would you do this without talking to me first?' If her answer is yes then we go with it, if she is not sure then we study the odds a bit more and try to get them in our favour, but in all honesty I would never ever bet against her, she just never gives up... and she loves the fight as much as the victory
Character Traits Of The Successful - Love What You Do
I do not know what motivates my wife, Do not get in her way was a lesson I learned fast. I do not think it is just money, what with her business and my marketing business taking off we are not hard up... we are not wealthy do not misunderstand me, but we are lot further in front than most. I think a lot of her motivation comes from the sense of wrong that she still feels about her losing her job, but that would not have sustained her this far. She is not vindictive and I have never known her hold a grudge.
When I asked her what is it that keeps her going she said I just love what I do, I have created this out of nothing... and it is by far one of the best things I have ever done... And in so saying she echoed the very words of The great Steve Jobs, His famous speech about loving what you do is legendary in this house now, and is the watch word of everything we undertake...
Datech Education now employs 10 trainers and various support staff like Virtual Receptionists, and outsourced workers that prepare course work and presentation material. Yes I still get to quote for her marketing work, but to be honest my business has flourished along side hers and we now both work from home all be it in entirely different industries... However when people apply to join me in my online marketing business, I know exactly the sort of people I am looking for, to join me, I married the template!
Meet Stephen Greenhalgh Here: http://sgreenhalgh.com/
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