If you had asked me, in 2014, what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? I would have told you this:
- Complete my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and possibly retain that minor in Communications
- Earn my Doctorate in Cognitive Psychology (locally) or in NeuroPsychology (remotely)
- Find a job where I could help families who were new to the autism diagnosis
- Open a comprehensive center that would cater to families with children on the severe end of the spectrum
- Write a few books and become a well-known and respected author, speaker, and researcher
- Work with big name companies like Disney and Universal to develop autism-friendly programs and spaces
I had almost everything planned out. I even had snippets of speeches that I would give at conferences.
And then I realized that in order to pursue this dream? I would have to give up being a stay at home mom.
So then it came down to this: was I ready to give that up in order to be a stay at home mom? Could I possibly find that same sort of satisfaction?
And the answer, as I watched my youngest child babble incoherently; was a resounding yes.
For me, it meant focusing on something else. And that something else started with blogging.
But how then, would I find continued success? How could I possibly achieve my goals and fulfill my dreams of becoming a successful working mom?
And was it really necessary for me to be a successful working mom?
Fast forward to the beginning of 2016.
My goals of obtaining my doctorate in psychology have shifted.
If I decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree, it will be in Communications.
I have also started to look at various options to have a multi-faceted business.
How to Evaluate Yourself For Sucess
There are certain qualities that people who work at home must have. It’s not for everyone, this WAH thing. Some people just handle it better than others. But there are a few qualities that those who work at home should have.
Working at home requires good organization. You must be able to handle organizing your business, your home, your personal life and everything else that is in your life. You should be able to handle the myriad of details that your multi-faceted life requires.
If you are rigid and expect everything to go the way you think they should, you will likely be disappointed as a WAHM. You must be flexible so that when a child gets sick, or the dishwasher breaks, or your invoices don’t get paid, you can handle it.
You should be willing to say “yes” as much as you say “no” and be able to handle the changes in schedule well.
As much as you should be able to say “yes” you must also be able to say “no”. It’s sometimes hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that a mom who stays home is working full time, that’s she’s contributing in a significant way to the family’s income.
That means that often you will be called up on to do things at school, to watch other peoples’ children, or to do thing that takes you away from the thing that – during the day – is the most important thing to you, and that’s work.
To that end, then, you should be able to say “no” just as often as you say “yes”. You should find some flexibility and willingness to go with the flow, to change the plans as necessary, as well, but ultimately you should be able to reply in the negative.
This quality is a necessary requirement for a successful WAHM experience.
Do you have self-discipline? Can you work hard when nobody is looking, when nobody might know that you instead spent the day in the bathtub? That quality, the ability to be disciplined about your work, is essential to having a successful WAHM business.
Not everyone has self-discipline when it comes to work, and that’s not always deadly in business.
Some people just need others around to ensure that they will do the work they are supposed to be doing. But if you work at home, there won’t be other people to egg you on, to encourage you to work, to join in with when it comes to work. You need to find it somewhere within yourself.
This goes hand in hand with discipline, but it’s a bit different. To make your self discipline work for you, you must first have self motivation. You should want to do your job and get to it as soon as you must each day.
Unlike an out of the house job where there might be a supervisor keeping an eye on your efforts, at home it’s just you.
If you aren’t self motivated enough to get up in the morning with an eye toward what you need to get done that day – without anyone reminding you of your responsibilities – you might not be well suited to working at home. But if you are self motivated and are able to keep yourself going even in the face of many bumps in the road, you might do well working for yourself at home.
Multi tasking abilities
Working at home, especially when you’re a mom, take a certain level of multi-tasking expertise. You should be able to handle the house, the kids, and the work. You should be able to handle all of it and sometimes all of it at once.
If you get very stressed when things don’t go perfectly, or if you can’t focus on more than one thing at a time, working at home might not be for you.
People who work at home must have a certain level of entrepreneurial initiative. That is, they work independently and are willing to take the necessary risks to achieve some success. If you want to work at home and be successful, you too should have this independent streak.
Do I have what it takes?
In short, yes. I’ll spare you the resume and accomplishments, I won’t show you my GPA or awards.
But I know that I have what it takes to succeed.
I am ready to own this role and to take on working at home and succeeding.
And that, my friends, is half the battle. You can have all of the ideal personality traits, a letter perfect business plan, start-up money. You can have all of that and more in place.
But if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to succeed? You won’t get very far.