When you first realize the possibilities about working from home, it’s normal to get super excited and believe everyone else will be too. But often times 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.
Provide Your Research to Them
Many times your family just cares about you so much that they simply want to protect you. 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 going to get scammed.
Give 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 amount of money and all while working from home. Explain what they do, and put the bug in their ear of the possibilities and potential.
Write Out a Business Plan
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 for your business, showing them everything down on paper will impress them.
Transition Slowly Timing Is Everything
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. Spouses 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 are being taken by someone in their home office.
Work after Hours to Show Them the Money
If you’re not getting any place with discussion, start working after hours until you can 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 to the Children about “Work” Time
You’re going to have to talk to the children a lot about work time. You might even need to have this talk with your spouse too. It’s a myth that you can work in chaos and constant interruption. You need a place you can work, and that people realize to leave you alone when you’re doing it. You can use a sign on the door, timers, and other incentives to get everyone on board and understanding of your needs. 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.
Turn Your Family into Partners
As your family gets accustomed to the idea of you working from home, reward them by making them part of your business. You can hire family members and spouses on a contract or hourly basis and pay them. Then deduct these expenses from your business taxes. Once your kids or spouse is making some extra money from your business, they’ll be truly invested in your success.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
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 you 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 and want you to be successful. Sometimes it’s just because they’re not aware of what working at home means. This is especially true of older individuals who may not understand technology.
We live in a brave new world that offers unprecedented opportunities to work at home and be the captain of your own financial ship. Getting your family on board and believing in what you are doing will be one of the important pillars of your long-term success.