Why don´t more people work from home? Why do so many give up so soon? Because they want, or need, immediate results. To solve a financial situation, or to have the guts to make the transition from their full-time job. The problem is, immediate results are either low paid or scarce.
I read about the concept of Invisible Results in the book ´The Slight Edge´ by Jeff Olson. Yes, it is yet another self-help book about how to change your life for the better. I was not expecting to learn any new life-changing information. However, the concept of invisible results makes so much sense.
He talks about the fact that successful people are willing to do the things most of us are not, on a consistent basis. They do this over and over, even when they don´t see instant results. They know the results will come later, from consistent effort.
As he says, we live in a world that wants immediate results. If we don´t get them, we think there is something wrong and we don´t believe it will work.
For those without a business mindset, we have no reference to know that the long term will get the results we want. We have no concept of time when it comes to investments of time or money. We live with a more short-term survival mindset.
- We need money.
- We need money NOW.
- We get a job to get that money.
- Immediate danger solved.
- Reinforced belief that a job solves our immediate problems.
- No time for anything else.
I know this is how I behaved. I grew up with two immigrant parents who worked very hard their whole lives with little to show for it at the end. They were only surviving. My mother was afraid of anything unknown, anything she considered risky. My father was the opposite. Frustration at knowing there was more, but with no idea how to get there meant he took risks. He lost money looking for short-term wins.
I inherited my fathers ´itch´ that there has to be a better way, a better life than getting by. However, it did not kick into gear until I found myself looking into a deep dark hole, scrambling not to fall into it.
I was in the hamster wheel of needing immediate results and took the first crappy jobs that came along. All those jobs I hated, all the struggle I went through, all had invisible results that allow me to be where I am today.
If I was still in London I would have given in and gone back to a regular job. Life would have been comfortable enough for me to get by. There would have been no urgency forcing me to make a radical change.
When you realise how long it takes to find something, how long it takes to get anything done, it is easy to give up. You have to have a reason to keep going.
- It takes time to find a work from home opportunity.
- It takes time to start a business, even online.
- It takes time to get results.
- It takes time to get past the mistakes you make and find the right thing for you.
With each mistake you make, with each failure you are learning something. You won´t appreciate it right now, but after a while you start to realise how the process taught you new skills.
- Low paid micro jobs taught me that even though they paid peanuts, there were options out there.
- Doing a soul destroying copywriting job made it easy for me to write.
- Selling real estate taught me sometimes you have to play the long game, waiting up to a year for money from a sale.
- Getting rejected for hundreds of jobs taught me not to care, not to take it personally (the first few really stung!). It´s a numbers game, you will find something if you try for long enough.
- Trying so many different work from home opportunities taught me what I am good at and what I should avoid.
Invisible results I did not appreciate at the time. All I saw was struggle, frustration, despair and lack.
Lucky I´m stubborn!
So my message to you is that if you are trying to find a way to work from home, whether it is telecommute, freelance or as an entrepreneur... DON´T GIVE UP!
It will take much longer than you expected or want. Remember that with each failed attempt you are learning something. All you have to do is keep going because if you are not looking, you won´t find anything new.