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The lifestyle of the home-based entrepreneur can be an incredible one and can offer you as much workplace satisfaction and freedom as you could ever have dreamed of. The key word, though, is “can.”
Turning your home business venture into a fulfilling and uplifting way of life involves plenty of diligent hard work, focus, and planning. But it also requires you to be pretty mindful of all the things that can go wrong and to take steps to guard yourself against those issues.
If you’re working as a home-based entrepreneur, the odds are high that you are running an online business of some type – or, at the very least, that you are relying on somewhat fickle digital devices on a daily basis.
In addition to that, there are elements of the self-employed lifestyle that are just naturally insecure by default, and that need a good amount of work to be made reliable.
Here are a handful of tips for improving your security as a home-based entrepreneur.
Keep your work backed up and secured in multiple locations
If your work disappears from your computer or is corrupted and irretrievable, you may well miss deadlines, lose valuable clients, and have your whole business fall apart around you.
To secure yourself against this issue, you’ve absolutely got to keep your work backed up and secured in multiple locations. This is the kind of thing that everyone knows they should do, in theory, but that many people simply don’t do in practice
Consider using cloud services (but only reliable ones) to automatically back up your work, and then also be sure to store offline backups on portable hard drives and similar devices.
Extra points if the programs you are using have excellent auto backup features, too. Scrivener, for example, is good at this.
Always save up more than you think you need
When you work a conventional job, you’ll generally be entitled to various employee benefits, and assorted protections against being fired without warning, and with no money to cushion your fall.
As a work-from-home entrepreneur, though, your situation is a lot less “innately” secure. You can never be sure when a client will drop you, or when you’ll have a bad month with low sales, however, you also have the option to always find new ones. It’s kind of a mindset game, but in reality, if you’re prepared, you aren’t any less secure.
You’ll have to provide your own health insurance and have a cushion of taxes due and other unexpected expenses.
Bearing all this in mind, it’s essential that you always save up more than you think you need, to create as much of a buffer as possible against uncertainty.
Ideally, you should aim to have between six months and a year’s worth of living expenses saved up. This is an ambitious target, but it’s something worth aiming for.
Develop your skill to do “deep work,” and become a difficult-to-replace asset
The quality of the work you do, and the service you offer, is, obviously, going to have a lot to do with how well you perform as an entrepreneur, and how secure your circumstances are.
According to the academic and writer Cal Newport, the best way to ensure high quality in your work, and to become a “difficult-to-replace” asset, is to hone the skill of “deep work.”
Deep work is about focus. And focus is a skill you need to develop. Get good at filtering out distractions, and paying attention to one thing at a time, and the quality of your work is bound to improve significantly.