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Working and Studying from home this year

Hey peeps! Happy December! Welcome to the lovely month of Christmas! I am happy this year is coming to an end at last. It feels like it has gone on for ages. Having said that, the year has been good to me. It did come with challenges and opportunities like most years, and it has been a learning curve for me. I plan to take all I have learnt along with me to 2020 and I can’t wait to get started.

I started studying for a new degree in Psychology this year and it has been a lot of fun. The modules I choose are fun and I am really enjoying them. I am finding adult education really exciting.  It is amazing what you can do when you are determined. The determination is what keeps me going. Working and studying from home while caring for 2 very active kids is not easy. Sometimes, I wonder how I get all I get done.

 

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Working and studying from home this year

I am studying with The Open University and it is so different from the traditional universities I have previously studied in. It is a distance learning degree in psychology, so all my studying is done online. There are opportunities to attend real life classes but I haven’t attended any. I prefer the online classes for now and they work with my busy schedule.

The reason why I decided to study with The Open University is because of how flexible the learning is. For me to study at this point in my life, I need it to be as flexible as possible in other to fit it all in. The twins being in full time school helps massively as I get loads done while they are in school, and play catch up on anything that needs doing in the evenings. It all seems to be working great since I passed my first 2 assessments in flying colours.

 

Why study again now?

This question has been asked directly and indirectly by many people. Many wonder why I am studying for another degree (this is my 3rd degree) in my 30s with kids when I already work for myself. So here is the simple answer –  I decided to study this new degree in other to serve as a psychologist in the next few years. I feel it is my life purpose to do this and it is impossible for me not to. The blog and all it brings will always be there. It is part of who are am and I won’t be giving up this space ever but life is about growth and this is the next step towards my growth. I got to a point in my life when I wanted more. This is my way of giving and receiving more.

 

 

So far, working and studying from home has been great. It takes a lot of planning but it works well if you are passionate about your work and your study. Do you work or study from home? How are you finding it? Do you have any tips to share from working and studying from home?

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Business Focuses: Turning Negatives Into Positives

*Collaborative post.

When it comes to starting your own business, in those early days you can’t help but be full of positivity, passion and motivation to make it a success. This idea you had that you just couldn’t shift, that you finally took that leap of faith to create, is finally happening. So you are not even contemplating the fact that so many startups fail in their first year, and that if you are not careful your business could fail as well. 

While there is an element of truth to that, there is no point dwelling on the negative side of things. After all, you believe wholeheartedly in the product you supply or the service that your business offers, so there should be no reason why this isn’t going to work and be built upon to become the success you imagine it to be. However, there can be elements of the day to day running of your business, the things that can go wrong, that can be seen as negative. So with that in mind, here are some of the ways you can turn those negative things into positives and, in some cases, use them to your advantage.    

 

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Avoiding creating a business plan from day one

Were you one of those entrepreneurs that didn’t see the value in creating a business plan? You are not alone! But if you happen to have not done one in the past, who says you can’t start right now? Creating a business plan, or at the very least, setting some goals and intentions for your business can highlight areas that you may want to work on and also things that you can take action right now to help you to get where you need to be. It isn’t a negative when you start making some positive changes, and this could be the ideal way to help you get back on track. It can also prove useful if you do feel like you are at a bit of a crossroads with your business. We can all get to that stage where we are unsure of the direction to take and what we can do to help choose the right path. Setting some goals and thinking about the future could help you get there. 

 

The emotional strain on yourself 

One of the things we don’t really take into account is the emotional strain that running a business can have on you. Originally, starting your own business can seem like the ideal option to strike the right balance between work and home life. But often, in those early days it can be far from that. You put all of the hours in to get your business off the ground, and this can cause emotional strain and stress on your mental health and your relationships. However, the best advice would be to not focus on this as a negative thing. It can actually be a huge driving force to get your business where you want it to be, and to also help you to move the business along quickly. It can also work hand in hand with setting goals and intentions for your business. So you can take some time for yourself as well. 

 

Expanding too quickly 

Expansion is a key area of business growth, and one of the ways that you can determine the success, but often expanding too quickly can cause more problems than good things. It is often trying to find the right time to do these things so that you can build upon it. Expanding into a shop when you may not have found the right place or even have the right investment in place for it. Expanding your products or services without the necessary research to check whether there was a market for it. Many business owners have made these mistakes in the past, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Expansion is something that you can’t undo, but you can make the best of the situation. Ensure you focus hard on the marketing aspects of it, and try and thrive under the pressure, rather than worry about it. Things will work out in the end. 

 

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Losing decent members of staff 

There can be many different reasons why you lose decent staff members, and often you are never too sure of the reasons. It might be down to the workplace environment, and the leadership that you provide, or it could be that they find that they can get better benefits and workplace incentives elsewhere. If you are noticing a trend, then it may be time to start thinking about an exit interview and the questions that you can have. Websites and articles such as https://getsling.com/blog/exit-interview-questions/ have some great suggestions. This can give you some excellent insight into things and to also help you to make some great improvements to the workplace and to your business. The fact that this has happened can actually be a positive thing for you. 

 

The wrong sort of marketing focus 

Marketing is such an important aspect of your business, and these days it can be one of the easiest and best ways that you attract new customers into your business. But, having the wrong marketing focus can cost you. This is when you may want to think outside of the box from traditional methods and explore other options. The positive is that it gives you the push you needed to look at what else you can try. It might be that you really want to up the ante when it comes to your social media. Or you could look at the local community and focus on your advertising there. Many people want to support local businesses, so this could be an amazing focus to shift your marketing campaign towards.  

 

Not focusing hard enough on the digital aspect 

On the subject of the marketing side of things, we all know that the digital element of it can prove to be very useful when it comes to your business. So much is done online these days that you may want to focus more energy on how your output looks on your social media platforms. Are you consistent enough/ Is your content on point with your rband? These things can be changed quickly and can start to help you see improvement. 

 

The worry of investment 

One of the biggest worries that businesses have when it comes to moving forward is the worry of investment. Finding it at the beginning, but also the worry of reinvestment and how you can make it work for you and to make the business work. This isn’t always going to be an easy one to switch to a positive, but investment is a means to an end, and can get you to where you need to be. So it may be worth focusing on that aspect of it. 

 

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Not having the work and home life you imagined 

It is never going to be easy to start your own business. Some people have big plans and think that working for themselves is going to be an easy ride, but the truth is, it can be hard to overcome at times. Especially when you know you need to push through those early months and years. However, your own business can give you much more flexibility, and the way you work and how you use your time wisely can help you achieve the work and home life balance that you crave. Sometimes it can be about creating a routine, and understanding when you are at your most productive. 

 

Dealing with the undesirable side of things 

There will always be undesirable side of things when it comes to business, and dealing with them without it affecting your mental health and also your own work productivity can be a challenge. There may be bad review to contend with, issues with social media or your marketing plans and campaigns. Knowing when to move the business forward and to expand. But this is all positive news, because it often means that your business is doing well and you are on the right path. Embrace it!

 

Knowing what path to take

Sometimes knowing the path to take can be tricky, and when it comes to your own business you may not know one hundred percent the best options to take. However, this can be part and parcel of your business journey and can be very exciting. You will know thanks to research and spotting gaps in the market exactly what options to game when it comes to the path your business can take and also what gaps in the market there are. Having reassurance and trusting your instinct is all part of the process, and it can be one of the best avenues to explore when it comes to your business and growth. 

 

Let’s hope that these business focuses and suggestions can help you turn some of the negative aspects of running your business into something that is positive.

 

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