Working From Home: Balancing Life and Work in One Space

A conversation with business consultant Adriana Monique Alvarez
By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times

A home-based business sounds like such a great idea, doesn’t it? Technology now allows business owners to reach their target market while lounging in their pajamas and eating their favorite snacks from the comfort of their own home. Xanadu.

If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business from home, there are some considerations to take into account. I spoke to publishing and business consultant Adriana Monique Alvarez, founder of AMA Publishing & Business Consulting about her advice for making working from home work

The Epoch Times: What are some common misconceptions about running a business from home?

Adriana Monique Alvarez. (Courtesy of Adriana Monique Alvarez)

Adriana Monique Alvarez: Three common misconceptions I hear about when it comes to running a business from home are: 

“It’s most likely a hobby that doesn’t create any substantial cash flow.” If you’ve ever mentioned that you work at home to your neighbor who is, for example, a pediatrician, chances are they don’t think you actually do anything all day other than sip wine.

“You don’t need to have a structure in your day.” Unfortunately, most who dream of working from home do not realize it requires a great deal of discipline. Being a self-starter is a requirement, otherwise it’s easy to behave like an employee secretly hoping the boss is going to keep tabs on how things are running.

“Everyone is working in their pajamas.” While there are perks to working from home, the truth is, most aren’t running their business in yoga pants and dry shampoo. Many successful business owners are behaving as if they were going out and meeting clients in person.

The Epoch Times: What are some of the biggest challenges people who work from home face?

Ms. Alvarez: Having business hours are a must for anyone who expects to run a profitable business. Working from home provides for more flexibility, and yet without clear boundaries it’s easy to waste time.

It’s important that business hours are used to focus on money-making activities. Answering personal phone calls, doing laundry, and scrolling social media are not going to move the business forward and create income.

The Epoch Times: What are your best tips for balancing family life with working from home?

Ms. Alvarez: My best tip for balancing family time when you work from home is to have traditions. For example, having a weekly date night with your spouse or bedtime ritual with your kids creates meaningful moments and memories.

The Epoch Times: In what ways can one prepare the home environment to be conducive to running a business from home?

Ms. Alvarez: One of my favorite ways to create an environment that is conducive for a home-based business is to write out weekly income goals and keep them next to the computer or on the fridge. It’s also nice to work in a clean and organized home. I love to diffuse essential oils and have fresh cut flowers at my desk. Surrounding yourself with beauty and signs of abundance are sure to affect your energy as you work.

The Epoch Times: How can entrepreneurs benefit from working from home?

Ms. Alvarez: Working from home is a great way for entrepreneurs to run low overhead businesses that allow them to move into positive cash flow more quickly. Nothing is more important in the start-up phase than to create sales. Once there is money in the bank, business owners can decide how to best invest, but in the beginning, it’s important to not bury yourself in unnecessary expenses.

The Epoch Times: What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business from home?

Ms. Alvarez: My advice for anyone looking to start a business from home would be to have a conversation with your family and friends. Let them know the vision of your business as well as the boundaries that are necessary for you to be successful. 

Women often fall victim to surprise visits from girlfriends, doing errands for their spouse, and attending to other people’s emergencies, when in fact their business requires space and attention to truly thrive. Train everyone around you to treat your venture like a business from the beginning, and it will serve you well.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza