- Organization. This is absolutely the most essential trait for anyone who wants to work from home, but it is especially important for work-at-home-moms. Not only will you have to manage every aspect of your business, from sales and marketing to communications to filing and billing to actually doing the work, but you will have to be the secretary and the maid, as well (keeping your home office neat and orderly, making sure that projects are on schedule, and ensuring that invoices are being paid). On top of that, you also have to contend with the demands of caring for your children and your household. If you’ve never been the organized type, you’d better learn (and fast!) if you plan to work from home.
- Multitasking. There will be days where everything goes according to schedule. You’ll put the baby down for a nap, take your conference call, start dinner, and whip out a spreadsheet before your hubby gets home from the office. But those days will be few and far between. Most of the time, you’ll be forced to take on multiple tasks simultaneously. You’ll find yourself feeding the baby to keep her from crying while you try to update a client on the status of his project and send out an email at the same time. Caring for kids and working at the same time is no easy feat, so unless you have four sets of hands or a couple of clones in the closet, you’re going to have to exceed at multitasking.
- Ambition. Starting a home-based business is a lot of hard work (as you may have guessed by now) and you’re going to have to put in no small amount of time and effort before you get anything back. In short, your only limits will be the ones you impose on yourself. So if you have very little ambition to begin with, you will likely end up failing at any business endeavor in which you are required to be the driving force.
- Discipline. Many moms work from home because it allows them to continue raising their kids in tandem with earning a salary. But with no boss pushing you to stay on task and meet your deadlines, you may quickly find yourself falling behind as other tasks take precedence (like cleaning, errands, and caring for children). Because it is easy to get out of the habit of working set hours, you’re going to have to practice a lot of self-discipline if you want to be successful.
- Flexibility. Although setting a schedule and trying to stick to it is ultimately going to help you get all of your many daily tasks done, you do need to prepare for the fact that life happens. Things will come up and they will throw your schedule completely off track. That’s okay as long as you can roll with the punches and rearrange at a moment’s notice. Flexibility is one of the things that makes working from home so appealing, so use it to your advantage whenever you can (to spend time with your family) and employ it as a useful tool when the unexpected occurs and blows your best-laid plans to the wind.
Jennifer Kardish writes for Lawn Care Tips where you can find information about how to care for your lawn and browse through do-it-yourself lawn care tips.