This content may contain affiliate links which may result in my being financially compensated for purchases site visitors make through said links.
Remote work has suddenly become a hot topic of conversation.
I mean, I’ve been talking about working from home for quite a while now, but certain world events have really brought it to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Now unemployment is on the rise, and many people are turning to working from home as a means of creating a new source of income and keeping themselves afloat.
Since I’m… how shall I say it… outspoken about the benefits of working from home, I’m frequently asked what advice I would give to someone who is looking to change careers or looking to make some extra income to keep the wolves from the door.
What’s the first step they need to take to start working from home?
What should someone do if they’ve found themselves in a situation where their financial future — and possibly their retirement plan — is at risk?
My answer is a three-parter, and it’s something I covered in-depth in my book Work at Home, but I want to touch on it here to give people a roadmap to follow to turn their situation around.
Step 1: Free Your Mind from the Lies That Hold You Back
I came up with these steps from looking at myself and my students and figuring out what everybody who’s been successful has in common.
So what’s the first thing successful people do that makes them more successful than others?
You might think, “Oh, well, they go out and they get clients and they make money.”
Wrong! That’s actually Step 3 in the system.
There are two other steps that need to take place before you get to the point where you can get clients and keep them.
Step 1 is to break free from the lies that have been holding you back.
What kind of lies am I talking about? What kind of things have we been programmed with that stand in our way?
I’m Living on a Fixed Income
One lie I hear over and over again is that income is fixed.
I hear this most often from people who are retired or who are hoping to retire soon.
They write in to me and say, “I’m living on a fixed income, and I just can’t afford to invest in training. I need my retirement savings for later.”
Well, inherent in that statement is the assumption that their income is going to stay fixed forever, even if they add new skills.
The thing is when you add new skills and your confidence grows, you realize that you’ve been living inside a box you’ve created and that a lot more exists on the outside of that box if you’re willing to open it and look outside, poke some holes, maybe shove an elbow through the ceiling of the box, or set it on fire.
It’s clear in the emails I see that people think a fixed income is the reason they can’t invest in themselves.
And so that’s a prison cell that they’ve constructed.
But you can grow.
You can grow and become something that you never thought possible because things exist now that were never possible even ten years ago.
We’re all cogs in a wheel
Many of us were programmed by our upbringing — in school or by parents or churches or other organizations or groups of people who have some kind of vested interest.
For many of us who went to the public school system, we were programmed with this idea that we get an education by going to school, we get a regular job, we incur some debt like school loans and a mortgage, and we’re going to be pretty much middle-class for the rest of our lives.
After all that we’ll retire and just sit home and watch TV all day.
That’s basically what we do; we are taught to be cogs in a wheel.
We’re taught that money is a scarce resource, and there’s not enough to go around.
Identifying that, while we have been victimized by a system, we are not victims forever, and we can do something about it.
I’m too old
There are other lies we might need to break free of as well.
Lies that we tell ourselves like, “Oh, maybe I’m too old, or it’s too late.”
There comes a point where you may need to identify what lies you’ve been telling yourself all these years. Now might be the perfect time to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “You might be the one standing in my way right now.”
You just really have to get real with yourself. Be honest with yourself. Be your own best friend, instead of your worst enemy.
In order to break free from the lies, you have to identify them.
And then you can move on to step two, which is leveling up.
Step 2: Level Up Your Mind and Your Skills
What does level up even mean?
To me, it means two things.
One: leveling up by replacing the lies you’ve been hearing from other people or telling yourself all your life with the truth.
You need to take those lies that you were told — those myths — and replace them with things that are true about yourself, about the world, and about your potential in it for growth.
It’s about cultivating an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset.
And two: identifying what your current skill level is.
In order to level up, you need to identify what your level is right now and figure out if you need to add skills or polish existing skills.
Learning changes everything!
Learn how to invest in yourself so you can improve your impact and income.
Learn how to avoid the way-too-many scams that exist in the work-at-home world.
And learn how to take action on the opportunities that fit your skills, passions, and personality.
Step 2 is really a continuation of Step 1. It’s about being honest with yourself and assessing yourself at a practical level.
Because when you’ve done that hard work, then you’re ready for the good stuff: launching!
Don’t skip Steps 1 and 2 because they’re going to build up your confidence in a big, big way. They’re going to make launching much easier.
Step 3: Launch
This is the fun bit!
I have an extra credit assignment for you to help you launch your business quicker…
This one is for all the people out there who are reading this and thinking, “Yeah, I don’t think there are enough jobs or opportunities out there.”
I want to challenge you.
If you’ve got a social media account of any kind, go on there, make a post, and just say, “I’m putting out some feelers and seeing what’s out there.”
You can word it however you want.
But the goal of your post is to find out what kind of problems business owners are having in their business.
Maybe give them some examples, so they know what to say to get their brain juices flowing.
“Are you having problems with your website?”
“Do you have problems with accounting?
“Do you have problems with uploading your videos or not understanding social media?”
Get them to talk about the problems they have; get them to complain.
Set up a picture of you holding a sign that says, “Complaint Department,” and make it funny.
Get them to participate. You want to know what their problems are.
The reason why you want to know what their problems are is because that’s how you’re going to figure out what skills you need to solve those problems.
Because solving problems is the key to making money.
If you want to make money, you have to learn how to solve problems.
What’s amazing is that it’s going to show you that there are opportunities out there in your existing network.
What you’re looking for is a problem that you could potentially learn how to solve by just getting some training that doesn’t take very long.
Most of the time it really doesn’t take that long to polish skills that you likely already have.
Don’t be afraid to ask people for help.
When you’re a business owner, you have to ask for help. Go talk to some other business owners. Ask them about their businesses, and see what kind of problems exist that you could potentially solve.
That’s the fastest way I know to launch a business.
I adapted this blog post from an awesome podcast I did with Eric Brotman over at Don’t Retire… Graduate. Make sure you hop on over there and listen to the entire episode. It’ll bust any fears you have and give you the confidence you need to build a business at any age!
Not a podcast listener? Here’s the transcript just for you!