Big Lessons from Ten Years of Working for ME

May 25th marks ten full years since I quit my job to work from home. I’m so proud of that. Very proud. No one could (credibly) accuse me of being a “flash in the pan”, “fly by nighter” or whatever other silly term there is for someone who’s not going to be around long.

I will never forget my boss telling me not to burn my bridges as I told him I’d be working for myself on the internet. I’m sure he thought it was a crazy plan and he was looking out for me, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve never been back down those bridges and I sure as hell don’t ever intend to!

In those nine years I’ve learned a lot about business, life, myself.

In those nine years I bought my first home, got engaged, broke my ankle (bad), had my second child and finally decided to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

I couldn’t possibly put all I’ve learned into one blog post so I’m picking the nine top things I’ve learned to share with you today:

  1. Your Life is a Direct Result of Your Thoughts – I know this is DEEP for the first one but it’s by far the biggest lesson! You can’t get anything out of life that you don’t first THINK you can have. It’s not just thinking it, it’s believing it deep down to the core. One of my biggest challenges at first was getting past the $3,000 per month income range. In my job I was making about $2500 per month and so I wanted a little more to be able to quit. Then I got STUCK thinking that was all I could make and believe you me I was keeping myself at that range until I started believing that $5k per month was not at all impossible for me!
  2. You Need a Network of People – Friends, Colleagues, Other People who can hire you, refer you, tell people you’re awesome, promote your stuff, be accountability partners with you and more. You can’t sit behind your computer all along and get very far for very long. This is not a lone ranger type of deal even if it looks that way.
  3. The BEST Way to Learn is by Doing – I see people all the time learning, learning, learning and waiting for that secret key to unlock all the mysteries of internet marketing. It’s not the way to go. By all means learn and keep learning (I still do) but then DO. Do stuff. Try stuff. Make stuff up. It’s OK you can always try again if you mess up.
  4. If Your Life is a Mess, So Your Business Will BE – I mean metaphorical mess AND literal mess. It’s harder to work when I can’t find my desk. It’s harder to have energy to work when my kitchen is too messy to cook a good meal. It’s harder to work when I’m fighting with hubby or I haven’t had any sleep. Take care of your life. Do not neglect it to work on your business because you’ll actually be destroying two important things at once if you do that.
  5. You Can Build a Business In Much LESS Time Than You Think -Before my daughter was born I used to work from Monday to Friday from 9am – 4pm when my son got home from school and often evenings and weekends, too. I had a LOT of time available to work. Then I had my daughter and had about 80% LESS time to work. I was completely SHOCKED that my income barely dipped even the first six months after I had her.
  6. Your Business Growth and Personal Growth are Connected – Personal issues like anxiety, stress, low confidence, social shyness and more affect you both personally and professionally. You have to take time to work on YOU and take time to do self-development. YOU are the driving force behind your business and the stronger you are, the stronger your business becomes.
  7. There is no “Good Time” for Anything – This goes for life too but all too often people are waiting for the time when they have the money, when their house has sold, when they don’t have a family member’s estate to deal with, when all the ducks are in a row. Life happens and it doesn’t stop happening so you MUST be willing to roll with it and work with it and do what you can. I don’t know how many people have said to me that they don’t know how I even get any work done with a little one. Well, I have to. I have to work to help keep our household running and I can’t blame life. Sorry to be harsh but forget about that notion that you’ll have this serene and empty time to build your business and go for it no matter how hectic life seems!
  8. Loneliness and Depression Can Hit You Hard – This is serious. There is an issue for many people who work from home and a cycle that can be bad for us, very bad. You can be so focused on the computer and obsessed with building your business that you don’t take care of you. You don’t sleep enough, shower often enough, eat well enough, get enough sunshine and it can REALLY start to take a mental toll. This can lead to a spirally situation of loneliness and depression. I’m not in any position to give medical advice but I know I’ve either been depressed or been very close. You’ve got to pull yourself out of that shit. Get up and go for a walk. Drink water! Sleep. Take care of you and GET OUT around people. That’s so very important. I get a weekly fix of “socializing” by going to the local coffee shop for an hour or two and I love that. Or I go work at the library. Don’t isolate yourself. ENJOY your business!
  9. The Opportunities Are Endless – There was a time when I was super frustrated with the idea of working from home. Back before I quit my job for good I was trying business after business and was so confused about why none of them “worked”. It took me a long time to realize that any one of those businesses could have worked, it’s just that I gave up on them too soon. There is no end to the ways you can make money. It’s simply a matter of finding a market and providing them something they want. It’s not complicated or even hard. The hard part is making ourselves believe it’s NOT hard and then actually doing the WORK (yes, shocker, work involved) to make it happen.
  10. You Can Level Out Your Income – Ok I know I said nine things I learned but I couldn’t leave this one off and I didn’t want to take any others off either. Another thing I struggled through was the constant “hussle” for income. Either through constantly looking for new website design clients or constantly trying to fill my group coaching programs. That was super frustrating and extremely stressful. I’m not saying I NEVER stress now but I certainly do a lot less of it now that I have and am working on more passive income. That’s income from my membership site, from affiliate marketing that keeps earning me money and from creating lead to sales funnels that do the selling for me. I’m actually really excited about where I can take this in the years to come.

Working at home is an amazing way to live. I enjoy and appreciate my true lifestyle freedom on a daily basis. I wish this for ANYONE who wishes it for themselves and I love to support entrepreneurs working on it. That’s why I’ve created my Laptop Lifestyle Business Club. I am currently actively looking for new, awesome people who are motivated to take action and build their own amazing lifestyle through an online business! If you’re looking to serve people as a coach, an online course creator, a blogger or any kind of business that gives you 100% freedom of choice then this group is for you. Check us out here. We’d love to welcome you!

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Angela Wills

About Angela: I have dedicated myself and my business to help busy women entrepreneurs (like me!) use active and passive income to create total business and lifestyle freedom. Get my daily laptop lifestyle teachings here.

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Avery - May 24, 2016

I love, love, LOVE this post. Number six really resonated with me. I’ve learned that successful people invest in themselves. They do this by continuing their education (not necessarily in a classroom setting), eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc. So much good advice–going to tweet this post now!

    Angela Wills - May 24, 2016

    Aww thanks so much Avery! You are one of those cheerleaders I could THANK for the support and encouragement. Every positive comment and happy customer can help build you up and you do that so well. Really glad you like the post and thank you so much for tweeting it out, too. 🙂 Cheers!

Cecilia - May 25, 2016

I got this on my email because I sign up for your list and I just had to comment. This is just a fantastic article. I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 12 years and this totally resonates with me. I’m currently expanding to the online marketing and I found what you wrote on point 3 so much in line with what I realised and that to me was a huge paradigm shift.
Thank you so much for sharing!

    Angela Wills - May 25, 2016

    Thanks so much for your comment Cecilia! Yes I was stuck in learning mode for a long time. I know some people will ignore that advice but I also know there’s a point in time when it just “hits you” and you know it’s time to stop reading/learning/buying and start SELLING STUFF! 😉 So glad you had that shift too.

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