6 Skills To Become a Successful 'Homepreneur'
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The beauty of the digital marketing landscape lies in the real-time intersection of demand and supply through various touchpoints. Online marketplaces, with their ‘endless aisles’, delight customers with niche offerings that could traditionally not compete against mass produced and popularly consumed items for shelf space in a retail setup.
And the suppliers that can afford to make such a long-tail strategy possible? ‘Homepreneurs’.
Homepreneurs are freelancers who have come of age, having attained entrepreneurial awakening and business acumen nirvana. They may be working out of a home office, basement or garage, but their low overheads, uncommon offerings and knowledge of niche pockets of demand, make for an unbeatable combination.
Empowered by a multitude of tools and platforms online, homepreneurs can successfully vendor their wares and services in a flexible, self-driven framework and context.
Conventional office hours, distribution channels and operations have undergone a drastic change; the future of work will be remote working, especially as it is now known to be the most productive and engaging way to work.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Walt Disney and even Jeff Bezos may have started out from their tiny home offices, but what is even more interesting is how their own contributions have powered the global gig economy and ushered in the era of convenience. Their counterparts in this generation and the next have successfully scaled start-ups and achieved greater business milestones, all from the comfort of their own home. It’s the new normal.
From creative services, business support, consulting and even STEM projects, the right person, at the right price, is just a click away. The Internet eliminates the need for a ‘right place’, with a selection of experts available on demand, at all hours.
But with the power to be self-employed and home employed comes the responsibility to be self-driven at all times. The flipside of being a homepreneur and being able to choose your own hours of work is that successful entrepreneurship is very much powered by the work and hours choosing you instead. An idea and dream worth believing and bringing to life frequently takes on a life of its own, and demands hours of hard work far beyond a typical 9-5 job. Most work a 35-hour week. There is, quite literally, no switching off, in sickness and in health.
Till an idea takes off, a homepreneur is their own unpaid intern. When the idea takes off, the homepreneur handles the implementation of each function, as a veritable one-person army. To be successful, against the backdrop of these peaks and troughs in demand, homepreneurs need to get certain skills down to a science.
Being your own boss is freeing and satisfying, but getting work done remains paramount. Rather than remaining ensconced in the comfort zone that is home, maintaining a momentum of work and drive towards daily goals is crucial. Perseverance is key to maintaining a focus such that distractions and procrastination are minimized. Investing in and maintaining a dedicated workspace can go a long way in helping establish a mental boundary and balance between work and family life. After saving on commuting time, and the drudgery of a traditional workplace, it would be a frightful waste to be unproductive.
The drive to build something from the ground requires back-breaking work, unerring dedication, and a level of multitasking that is at times almost superhuman. A day without movement and expansion is a day lost. Homepreneurs need to have the hustle to constantly upskill, and connect between the dots to create tangible results. Putting in the requisite 10,000 hours towards the mastery of a new skill, and then starting work on another is mandatory, and brings a king of satisfaction that only passion for work can bring.
Whether it be potential investors, family and friends, or nosy neighbours and potential employees, there are always naysayers for the path less taken. A strong self of self, conviction in your objectives and vision can help chart a path away from the negativity of the ‘home-business’ or ‘hobbyist’ stigma.
Remember, studies show that most homepreneurs are not only highly skilled, but visionary risk-takers. No need to fit in when you were born to stand out.
It is easy to underwork at home, but the converse is also true. Beware of overcompensating for lack of a conventional work life by overworking. Work can soon become invasive, seeping into every hour and every aspect of life. Remember to switch off and be present for the little, priceless moments that make stress disappear, giving much needed perspective and downtime. After all, this flexibility is an undeniable perk of being a homepreneur.
Being a homepreneur does not mean that running a business has to be a lonely affair. With tech solutions to every problem, a constant effort is needed to maintain a humanized approach to service and interactions. In fact, it increases the importance of meeting more people, for expertise as well as moral support, as you evolve in business. Join groups and clubs, and constantly strive to meet supportive, like-minded people who can be erstwhile mentors in your journey. Meaningful relationships add value in varied ways.
Last, but not the least; in fact, the most important skill of all is imagination. Building a brand, identifying USPs and solving for pain points require imagination. Looking beyond what everyone else can see, and creating value requires imagination steeled with practicality. An entrepreneur’s vision and dreams serve as a beacon of light in uncertain times, buoying spirits and carrying the ship of dreams far into the horizon, where business giants are made in garages and home offices.