When you first realize the possibility of working from home, it’s normal to get super excited and believe everyone else will be excited for you. But often, the family isn’t as happy as you are, nor as trusting.
They think it’s just a pipe dream, or worse, a scam. They haven’t done the research you have so they do not realize the true possibilities and potential surrounding the idea of working from home.
I know, for me, it was not easy explaining my new business adventure to my family. My husband was very supportive but the rest of my family…. Let’s just say it took a long, long time for them to finally see the light.
Below are a few things I learned along the way that helped me communicate with my family on my plans to work from home, I hope they can help you too.
Show them your research.
Your family cares about you so much that they simply want to protect you, therefore they want you to play it safe and get “a real job”. But, if you show them the research that you’ve done, they may quickly realize that you’ve done your homework and that you’re not making the decision lightly. That you are taking the steps you need to ensure you are not being scammed.
Show them examples of others doing it successfully.
More than likely, at this point you have a circle of influence that includes work-at-home success stories. Let your partner and family in on the fact by talking about how so-and-so is making x dollars and all from working from home. Explain what they do, and put the bug in their ear of the possibilities and potential. Now, be sure you are not using examples of people who are trying to sell you their program. Only tried and true stories, of people you have connected with and trust.
Write out a business plan.
If you know anything about me, you know how important I feel a business plan is, this reason is no exception. Banks want business plans to ensure that you’ve looked at all aspects of the business you plan to run. They want to see the numbers, and how you plan to make more money in the short term and the long term.
Your family will feel better seeing these numbers, too. Even if you don’t plan to get a loan or find investors for your business, showing those you love the plans you have made, down on paper, will impress them.
Transition slowly, timing is everything.
Success doesn’t happen overnight, neither will 100% support. Don’t expect everyone to be on board from day one, the idea takes time to sink in for some people. Mostly out of concern for you, but sometimes also from fear. People fear what they don’t understand and not everyone is entrepreneurial or likes taking what they see as risks.
Even though telecommuting has been around a while, it’s still rare enough that people are shocked to find out that their home shopping orders, or pizza orders, even travel plans are booked by someone working in their home office.
Show them the money!
If you’re not getting any place with discussion, you might want to start working a little bit extra to show them the money. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the movie, Jerry Maguire, had it right.
People think differently about many things when they see the cash. If you have a spouse or family like that, you can work around their schedules doing something to earn money and then show them by paying for something fun, like a family vacation.
Explain about “Work” time.
You’re going to have to talk to your family, a lot, about work time. You might even have to with your spouse. There is no way you can work in chaos and constant interruption, no one can. You need a place you can work, and that people realize to leave you alone when you’re doing it. Just like if you had an office outside of the home.
You can use a sign on the door, timers, and other incentives to get everyone on board and obtain understanding. As for family that live outside your home, just don’t answer the phone or door when you’re working. Everyone will get accustomed to it eventually.
Get your family involved.
As they start to get on board with the idea of your working from home, reward them by making them part of your business. You can hire family members and spouses on a contracting basis and pay them, and deduct if from your business taxes.
Plus, they will start making money too and that will make them really get on board. Children can file, spouses can sometimes do what you’re doing or offer technical help. Family can assist with errands, deliveries, pick-ups…the list goes on.
Keep the lines of communication open, always.
The most important aspect of talking to your family about working from home is to keep the lines of communication open at all times. You want to be honest with what is working and what is not working, and you’ll be surprised at how much your family is on your side with the goal of your working from home.
Family can sometimes be a hard sell, but it’s not because they don’t love you. It’s because they do love you. Sometimes it’s just because they don’t really understand the idea of what working at home means. This is especially true of an older individual, with them, you might want to let them see you working so they get it.
Now, I would love to hear from you! Are you struggling with getting your family on board with you working from home? Or you have any tips or ideas that might help others through this time of their career? Let us know in the comments or in the TVS Network Community on Facebook!