Self improvement and motivational tips

Having a work from home business is a dream come true for almost every affiliate marketer I know, but it comes at a price.

Running your own work from home business requires dedication, enthusiasm, lots of hard work and above all, plenty of self motivation.

Sure, you've got the freedom to do what you want, when you want ... or so you think. 

One of the things I hear most often from Internet marketers who have given up the 9 to 5 routine to work from home is how difficult it is to get into a work mindset when you're in your home environment.

Let's face it, your home is full of fun diversions and used to be the place you came back to after a day's hard slog to relax, put your feet up and forget about that ugly four-letter word : W-O-R-K.

Now your daily commute is usually from your kitchen to your office and the only staff member you have to greet in the morning is your cat. So, you have to learn a whole new way to get that productivity into full swing and stay motivated day after day, particularly when there's nobody looking over your shoulder or breathing down your neck.

That's why self motivation is the most important skill you can learn. Without it, you may have to kiss your successful work from home business goodbye!

1.  Be clear about your goals

To get motivated and achieve the success you want, you need to know what you're aiming for. Successful people are goal-oriented, so decide what your goals are and write them down. "I want to be rich" or "I want to lose weight" are NOT goals.

Your goals need to be specific, realistic and achievable and each goal needs to have a time frame - write down when you plan on achieving each milestone, be it next week, next month or in five years' time and be specific.

Get yourself a "Motivational Message Board" where you can write down your goals, pin up images of how your goal is going to look (for example, if one of your goals is a new car, find a picture in a magazine and cut it out) and add your favorite motivational quote. A whiteboard is a great idea because you can add new goals or change existing goals whenever you please.

Then place your "Motivational Message Board" in a spot where it's clearly visible as a constant reminder of what you are aiming to achieve. 

2.  Don't let your feelings get in the way

Even the most motivated people don't wake up every morning with the enthusiasm needed to power through the day, particularly when there's no time-card to be punched. Working from home requires a level of self motivation that those in regular office jobs can't even begin to imagine.

Feelings are only that - feelings; they DON'T run your life! Remember the old song "Some days are diamonds, some days are stone"? Well, life is a bit like that and some days you'll feel energized and on top of the world, other days you'll wish you'd never got out of bed. 

When the only person you have to answer to is you, make sure the messages you're giving yourself are positive ones. Hitting the "Snooze" button on the alarm is NOT going to make you or your business successful, so no matter how you feel.
Get up and get over it!

3.  Don't procrastinate

Procrastination is the enemy of self motivation, but procrastination can be overcome with a well-structured daily  schedule. Jason Gracia from can help you overcome procrastination in a few easy steps. 

Read his best-selling book The Motivated Mind and get yourself off the sofa in a few easy steps.

  • Planning a schedule can be difficult if you have a work from home business because no two days are ever the same. Start with a daily "To Do" list, including every activity you had planned to complete, then prioritize your tasks.

  • A disciplined approach to planning your work day will help you avoid procrastinating and make you more motivated to complete your tasks.

  • Do the least enjoyable tasks first so you can look forward to concentrating on the more pleasant jobs later in the day. And don't forget to reward yourself for each positive step you take in overcoming procrastination.

4.  Get organized

The goal in getting organized is to work smarter, not harder. When you can't find the keyboard under all the clutter, or it takes you ten minutes to find the login code and password for the website you're visiting, you are not only wasting valuable time but you are also causing yourself undue stress.

Whether you have your own home office or a space set aside in the corner of the den, get it in order. Develop a filing system that works for you and get rid of unnecessary paperwork and clutter.

Office efficiency experts suggest you should only handle a piece of paper once, so transfer that strategy into the paperless online world and only handle a task once. If you can't complete it immediately, reschedule it for a later date.

If you are in the affiliate marketing business, keep a well organized record of your websites, merchants, projects, usernames and passwords, hosting, advertising, articles, outsourcing and so on.

5.  Reward yourself

When you work from home there's no boss in the corner office to give you that bonus you worked so hard for, or a day off in lieu, so you need to be able to reward yourself for your achievements.

Whether you've completed an undesirable task you've been putting off or you doubled your sales targets, acknowledging your achievements gives you a sense of accomplishment you can't get in an office environment.

Your self motivation and self esteem will increase enormously if you can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Your reward doesn't have to cost a lot, in fact, it doesn't have to cost anything.

You can reward yourself with an afternoon off to go shopping or to play in the park with the kids. If you've had a financial success, play a round of golf or have a facial - whatever takes your fancy - it will make you feel great and inspire you to greater success.

For a comprehensive and easy to follow book that will inspire and excite you within the first few chapters, read Jason Gracia's The Motivated Mind.

UPDATED: October 6, 2011
August 15, 2006

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