11 Business Take-Aways From My First Year As A Work From Home Wife
Ah, the sweet, sweet month of February. A month that, before last year, I was otherwise quite indifferent to, except for loathing Valentine’s Day.
Things have changed, significantly. Thank God! (Nobody likes a SCROOGE.)
The month of February is officially my work-anniversary month – it’s been exactly one year since I've started my journey as a work from home wife.
I’m so grateful.
God has been more than kind in the past year – He’s been...GOD - unchanging - and unaffected by my whining, tears, and tantrums. He’s remained true to His word even in times when I failed to believe it.
Long Story Short
Two weeks before our wedding, I wrecked my car. It was totaled. After the wedding, we decided it would be best to remain content with one car for now.
Three months into our marriage our schedules took a major shift – we needed to be at work around the same time but in two opposite directions.
Danny believed God answered my prayer to work from home full time (I already had a few steady clients) and we both believed in our heart of hearts that this was connected to my purpose.
I left my position at a marketing agency on good terms. It was definitely a God thing, because the account I was working on at the time completely phased out the following month - March.
Ups and Downs
The first few months working from home were amazing!
Then, came the tests.
Around May our situation changed again.
From May to September there were a lot of tense moments and tears shed. We took hit after hit.
With so many transitions I felt like I couldn’t find my footing and we were still only in our first year of marriage, I didn’t know how to handle it.
I became depressed.
My faith shriveled.
The ease I had experienced in those first few months were no longer there and I felt like I was failing in every area. I thought,
How could this be God’s will and be so hard?
Danny remained convinced everything would work out fine. Not once did he tell me to look for something else. (I tried anyway but to no avail.)
During one of my crying fits I heard God -
“It’s easy for you to trust me when things are going well with you, but will you still believe me when things are difficult? My promise has not changed.”
First, it broke me. Then, it took hold of me.
I had become unable to see past my own discomfort.
The turn around we experienced towards the end of the year was preceded by confession and an expression of a sincere desire to change.
My desire was no longer that our situation would change but that my own faith would increase.
The shift in my perspective, from focusing on the circumstances to focusing on Jesus, and My renewed commitment to stay the course God had mapped out for us, helped me make it through when changes in our circumstances were yet to be seen.
In retrospect that time is exactly what I needed. It taught me, and gave me, the character I lacked – unconditional obedience To GOD (obedience not based on my emotions or personal comfort), a more resilient spirit, a fierce determination, and an unyielding, relentless hope and faith IN GOD.
11 Business Principles To Practice
I've always considered myself a good worker but this first year working from home brought several key business principles to light that can be applied regardless of where you work or the type of work you do.
Here are the 11 Business Take-Aways I pulled from my reflections on my first year. No matter what position or career field you find yourself in these principles can be useful when you work them.
Rely on GOD for EVERYTHING.
Whether you’re an employee with a steady income, a freelancer, a small business owner, you must never forget that God is Jehovah Jireh – your provider. It’s not your own efforts that produce income or increase, it’s God’s goodness.
Ask God for direction and believe He will answer.
Dedicate your business and work ethic to Him. Always work as unto the Lord.
Commit to Excellence.
Don’t do anything half-heartedly. Be flexible. Consistently produce high quality.
People want to know they are valued.
There will be times when you need to step away or when you cannot deliver on time (in the case of an emergency) and in these instances it is always better to over communicate.
Let people (clients, supervisors, coworkers, etc.) know you’re not neglecting your duties or them. It could be as simple as setting up an out of office message.
Write Everything Down.
As soon as possible.
You Will FORGET and lose track of all you need to accomplish if you do not write things down.
Find a System that Works for You.
Find those systems and processes that help you stay on track.
It may be a pretty planner or notebook you take everywhere with you, or an editable planner on your computer that you can reference daily, or a handy mobile app.
Whatever “it” is, find it, and stick to it.
Don’t Be Afraid.
It’s all trial and error.
There are good ways and there are better ways and sometimes there is a best way, but you won’t know until you have found it. Don’t be afraid to seek it out.
Whether it’s trying a new technique or applying a new trend in your field to see if it works for you don’t be afraid to try it out.
Don't be afraid to pull an all-nighter to make sure your final project is perfect, or to turn off your phone or the television, or to say“No” to friends, or to fail your way to finding the best way. It’s all part of the journey.
Do Your Homework.
Many times people jump to leverage their value without being thoughtful and doing their homework.
Find new ways to increase your value. Research how much you should be getting paid.
What are other successful professionals in your field doing in your field to increase their value?
Do you know how to negotiate?
What forms, documents, and/or contracts are pertinent to your position?
Create A Schedule.
A flexible one that doesn’t send you spiraling into boredom but a schedule nonetheless. This will help you stay on track and remaining focused guarantees increased productivity.
If you have a number of different projects organize your work according to deadlines. Then figure out which tasks you need to accomplish today.
Also, you don’t have to respond to every email, call, or text message right away. Schedule blocks of time dedicated solely to those checking and responding to those items.
Share with Supporters.
Share milestones and achievements; and also know when to share your need for encouragement with those who have your best interest at heart. Sharing will get you through the difficult moments.
Dreams and Sacrifice Go Hand in Hand.
Whether your dream is to get a promotion at your current job, find a better job, transitioning to a new field, starting your own business, etc. Whatever your dream is it will require sacrifice.
It will require you giving up some of your creature comforts to go the extra mile.
Many people are unwilling to commit to the sacrifice of delayed gratification that dreams require.
If God has called you to a seemingly impossible dream and you can stand to sacrifice, then you will reap the fulfillment that comes from “living your dreams.”
Today, one year later, I’m still living my dream of working from home, but it has been far from an easy road.
Thank God for His provision, our needs have always been met. (Although, not always according to my timeline.)
More often than not Danny and I have had to pass up on our “wants” to continue to remain true to the dreams God has given us.
It's been difficult. I experienced a range of emotions from frustration to embarrassment but here we are a year later, continuing to stand witness to God’s favor in our lives and more dedicated than ever to these dreams because they are not about us.
It's not easy but even in difficult moments knowing GOD remains faithful and that He is with us makes all the difference. It's worth it!
Here's to hoping these 11 business principles will help your God-given dreams come true!