Miller Mondays: Nontraditional Work

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Welcome back to Miller Mondays!  In this, the last section of 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan talks about going into “nontraditional work” – not being a “regular” employee, but rather finding something creative to do with your time and your life, while still making an income!!

Our take home points today are:

1.  There are mountains of choices in the work environment today.  Sometimes the best options are just a small shift from what you are already doing.

2.  Focus on results, not time – this will open up new opportunities!

3.  You don’t have to change who you are to start your own business.  Incorporate your skills and abilities, personality traits, and values, dreams and passions into your new creative endeavor!

There are some basic questions to ask yourself to see if you have “what it takes” to do something on your own.  Dan goes into more details on all these in the book, but here’s the quick-and-dirty questions.  The more questions you can answer “yes” to, the better suited you are to running your own enterprise.

  1. Are you a self-starter?
  2. Do you get along with different kinds of people?
  3. Do you have a positive outlook?
  4. Are you able to make decisions?
  5. Are you able to accept responsibility?
  6. Do you enjoy competition?
  7. Do you have willpower and self-discipline?
  8. Do you plan ahead?
  9. Can you take advice from others?
  10. Are you adaptable to changing conditions?
  11. Can you stick with it?
  12. Do you have a high level of confidence and belief in what you are doing?
  13. Do you enjoy what you are going to do?
  14. Can you sell yourself and your ideas?
  15. Are you prepared to work long hours?
  16. Do you have the physical and emotional energy to run a business?
  17. Do you have the support of your family and/or spouse?
  18. Are you willing to risk your money in this venture?

Dan tells us that about 60% of American homes are operating a home-based business.  On average, in 2003, home-based businesses generated around $52,000 in income!

Do you have to be so creative that you develop the newer, bigger, better mouse trap?  Absolutely not!

The trick here is to find something you are passionate about, and start running with it.  You don’t have to be completely original – often all you need to do is be 10% better than everyone else who is already doing the same thing!

Take Domino’s pizza for example.  They didn’t come into the pizza market with a better tasting pizza, a better sauce, a cheaper pizza.  All they did was add delivery to an already popular food choice.  Ta da!  How successful have they been?

Do you have an idea for an improvement on an already popular product or service?  Do you have an idea you have been thinking about “maybe doing something with sometime in the future?”  Make your future now!  Ready, set, go!

Having said that, Dan does recommend what he calls “soft transitions.”  Don’t quit your job today with the thought that tomorrow you will start a webpage and on Wednesday you will be replicating your previous income with your new venture.  Recognize that it may take some time to get the ball rolling here.  Work on your new business idea in your spare time, in the evenings, or on weekends, while still in your “regular” job.  Set some goals for yourself, and project a timeline.  Set a deadline for yourself – for example, “When my home-based business is creating 50% of my regular income, I will quit my day job and focus full time on my home-based job.”  Then go for it!

Be creative, be insightful.  Good luck, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!

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