Some of the Greatest Businesses Started from Home

Here’s What They Have in Common and How You Can Adapt These Traits to Take Your Home-based Business to New Heights

Apple, Hewlett Packard, Amazon, Google, Disney, Mattel, Square, Tesla, Nike, Dell, to name a few.

Maybe you don’t aspire to be one of these global behemoths, yet it is entirely possible that your home-based business could grow into the next motion picture studio, technology leader or social media surprise. And just maybe you won’t even have to move out of your house to do it.

I STARTED A SOFTWARE COMPANY OUT OF MY CLOSET 

It was perfect really: 6×8 feet. I put in a long shelf along one wall that hosted my computer, printer and plenty of room for stacks of stuff. On the opposite wall was a giant white board that I wrote on regularly.

I had a contractor put in a small window that brought in light and was positioned directly across from the most vibrant pink dogwood tree that always seemed to be in bloom. I was happy every time I looked at it. It reminded me of the beauty of doing what I wanted, where I wanted and when I wanted. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

Being happy with your work is key to enjoying that freedom. When you are happy, time flies by and you become absorbed in your efforts. Life flows easily.

When the founders of each of these giants developed their radical ideas, they were happy. They were doing something they loved and were committed to. The joy of doing work you love helps you to persevere, even when that steadfastness takes you in new and different directions. Maybe you find that one of your best clients comes from a vertical industry you never thought of. Possibly you grow slow and then hit your stride. Regardless, if you go to bed on Sunday night thinking TGIM for the day ahead, you are right where you should be.

While my software company didn’t become the next Apple or Amazon, it did open doors to even more exciting opportunities – each of which I was completely engaged in. My path has been a journey of joy and fun and challenge and success. I started them all from home.

Now as a Career/Life Coach, Company Happiness Culture Strategist and Author, I have the ultimate home-based businesses that I can take with me anywhere in the world.

TIP: Make sure you are happy with your home-based business and that it is something that truly interests you. If you choose a business just for the money potential, it will never work.

“The only way to do great work is to do what you love” – Steve Jobs

Sometimes having a home-based business can be frustrating due to potential distractions. Throw in a load of laundry, go for a run, get dinner ready, break for a snack, mow the lawn. You may rationalize that, because you have no commute, you have time for all the little things in your day. Yet, to be successful in a home-based business, you need self-discipline.

“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.” – Harry S. Truman

Philip Knight, the CEO of Nike, started by selling Japanese Tiger sneakers out of the trunk of his car. He had many stumbling blocks along the way when it came to funding, late shipments and having to start all over (which was when the name NIKE was born). But he persevered because he believed in a quality sneaker. Having a home-based business can be humbling and filled with rejection, but when you persevere, a big break can be right around the corner.

“Be prepared for a lot of hardship and unexpected setbacks. For me, there was nothing that I would have rather done.”

– Philip Knight, NIKE

TIP: If you have passion for your home-based business, even if your idea is way out there, then regardless of what anyone else thinks or says, stick with it. Sticking leads to results. If you find yourself frustrated and progress leads to roadblocks or slumps, it may only be temporary. Be disciplined. It will pay off for you.

BE THE VACUUM

First rule of thumb in creating a successful home-based business is to not operate in a vacuum. Rather, be a vacuum that devours valuable input. Your product, service or solution may be the best yet, but if you are going it alone, you need input. There are wise people who are willing to help. Reach out to them. You need to be willing to do this when you know what you don’t know.

This does not mean you are a failure because you need advice. Just make sure the advice isn’t family and friends. Reach out to the business community at large in the area where you specialize (or want to). Ask them how they did whatever it is you need to know more about. Bring on advisors if you need them. Hire interim help or freelancers if it will help you move your agenda forward. Use existing solutions to streamline or grow your enterprise.

Larry Paige and Sergey Brin knew in 2001 that they needed help, so they hired Eric Schmidt, the ex-CTO of Sun Microsystems to be the CEO and to guide them. They knew what they didn’t know and were willing to bring in someone with more experience to fill the gap. When they went public in 2004, the right structure was in place and the company took off. Larry Paige became CEO again in 2011.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just make sure it’s not too close to home.

Trusting your internal voice, your instincts, your intuition, your sixth sense, can take you far in building your home-based business.

Walt Disney dreamed of an amusement park that was out of this world, yet in the world. A place where he could take his children to play and imagine, and a place where families could have fun. It was a novel concept, but he trusted his intuition. If he loved it and he knew his children would, then wouldn’t other families too? His intuition, in combination with asking for the best help available to build rides and amusements, along with dedication, persistence and the joy of watching his dream become reality, built Disneyland. The rest is history.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” –  Walt Disney

TIP: Trust your dreams. They won’t disappoint you. You know what to do if you just listen quietly to the voice inside of you.

Finally—Never give up. Never. Ever. Never give up. If this home-based business runs its course (and you will know), then see where the path leads. If it feels right, it is right.

Here’s to your success!



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