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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Glee Shots – Ideas for Home Makers to be Independent and Happy

Six years back I quit living as a professional to settle down as a family. Since then, the thought of 'did I do the right thing' kept haunting me. Seeing my little one growing healthy, socially responsible and morally active rewarded me. The good food and the new recipes I often discovered made the home maker in me quite happy. Hanging out with friends, window shopping and gossiping made the life more colourful. Yet, down under during the 'me times' I often found my life empty, dry and seeking something out of the box. I'm sure there are many 'mes' reading the blog feeling the same.

Like Shashi in English Vinglish (played by Mrs.Sridevi) making Laddoos and selling them, we all wish to expand our own little space. If not an entrepreneur, being a mere someone whose life is a bit larger than the stature of the home maker. The thought of being independent is far more than making money for your needs. You will be meeting new people who are in the same boat as you, with similar backgrounds and sharing your interests. In some time, people will start recognising you for the work you do. It very well gives you an identity beyond Mrs.Someone or mother of so and so. Suddenly you will find that your life is all colourful and filled with joy. And someday you will find even your partner appreciating the work you do.  What can be more joyous than having a successful professional life without compromising on the family?

And the best part is that you don’t need any educational prerequisite or additional qualification to be a self made woman. The only requirement for this role is a brave heart with the urge to be independent and the passion to strive for your goal even in the difficult times.

Discovering the self made woman in You

Every woman possesses some talent. Some are good with stitching, while some are good with cooking, some are good with managing people and so on. To be a self made woman you just need to put your talent to the use for the ones who need it. For example if you are good with baking, why not bake a birthday cake for your dear friend’s daughter? When you get appreciation for your work, you will be more than overwhelmed to bake another one for someone else. That way you will find your way to be the independent woman whom you aspire to be.

Let that be with baking, if you have the patience in managing kids and find easy to occupy them, you can think of starting a day care in your own house. Your friends will be more than happy to leave kids at your place, as they find that you take good care of their precious ones. A hobby class, music class, dance class or tuitions can be set up at home if you have a flair for any of those.

A boutique is woman’s easiest way to be independent. With minimal investment you can get ahead with it. Further, if you are talented in managing labour, you can launch your own designer wears. Be it artificial jewellery, apparels or home decors ranging from candles to handicrafts.

Having a good circle of friends and the ability to be nice to all who you meet can make you the favourite in your society. Such a person can be good with direct marketing of products like Amway, Tupperware, Modicare and so on. A similar person can also open up a recruitment firm where you can help people by offering the qualified personnel they seek.

The internet has opened up a huge bunch of opportunities to even the least talented woman. With least bit of training you can start with data entry and email marketing. If you have a flair for writing you can start up a blog of your own, be a freelance writer or open up a writing service.

Okay! That was a good bunch of ideas, but how to get started?

Once you discover what talent you have got, you can easily drive it to make your life rich with it. Yet the thoughts like how to start, can I do it, what others will think, managing finance and all can take you aback. Well dear, this is your life and only you can bring in a change. Stop thinking and start planning.

Importance of Planning

A plan is a map that can guide you on your journey. Planning helps you to mentally visualise your dream. You will know the sequence of steps involved in making it happen. Moreover, you will realise the possible hurdles early that could delay the process otherwise. A plan ultimately gives you a snapshot of what you are doing, where you are heading and how far away are you from chasing your dream.

For example if you intend to start a boutique, you have to plan in advance where will you set it up – at home or an office space nearby. How much money are you ready to invest? Also you should plan what all you will sell like salwars, sarees, stoles or kurtis. Who are your ideal customers? What range of apparels will sell well – cheap, moderate or elite? You have to plan about who will source you the materials and what is your profit margin. The ground work like advertising- be it by word of mouth or local notice board or in some dailies also gets sorted out in the planning phase. Similarly, though minute the details like packing and billing also gets finalised during planning. Make a step by step process of setting up the boutique and tick the ones as and when it is done. This way you will find that the main part is pretty easy.

Setting up Goals

Having a plan ready you are all set to get in to action. Once things keep rolling you will find your life full of activities, yet even a minor setback can put you down. You will find yourself looking for motivation. A goal helps you to have a fixed target in your work. You will work hard till you achieve it, no matter how severe the setbacks you have to face. Without a goal, whatever you plan and do will turn out to be mere time pass.

For example, your boutique can have initial goal like getting first 100 customers. Further the future goals can be set like achieving a turnover of 1 lakh or a profit of Rs. 30,000 per month. Always attach a time frame while setting the goal. You can target for weekly, monthly, yearly or a five year goal. That way you will have a fair idea of what you want out of this and where it is heading and when will it happen.

Implementation, Tasting Success and Scaling up

Once the plan is in place and goals are set, there is no looking back. Get ahead and work hard. You will see that your goals are finally taking shape and a feel of satisfaction will greet you. Tasting success in your business is as sweet as seeing your newborn for the first time.

Never let success get into your head. Keep reinventing your business to move forward. You can reset your goals to higher targets and even hire skilled people to make things run smooth. Many will be interested in investing money in your business, provided you have the proof of running it successfully.

Every established company in the present is expanding to scale up and reap more profit. You can also do that by adding more products to your catalog or by opening more business centres. Having the confidence from reaping success from the scratch, scaling up will be an easier process. 

Finding Time

Being a home maker, the biggest challenge to delve into anything is finding time. The household chores never end and managing time looks impossible. But remember, there is only one thing in the world that is shared equally among all; that is time. None gets more than 24 hours a day. The difference that you see is actually the way people utilise their 24 hours. Trust me, once you keep the focus on you will find time for everything- be it for your household duties or your professional commitments.

As a note to end, let me reveal the success story of my friend who is passionate about cooking. She cooks food with love and hence it tastes perfect. Two years back she got interested in baking and keenly followed baking recipes on internet and television. Her hands on baking started with chocolate muffins and it was a huge hit among both kids and grown-ups. With that confidence she started baking other sort of cakes and they were all yummy too. Right now she bakes cake for all the birthdays and other occasions. Even folks not in our circle have started ordering cakes from her. Surely, she is on a roll and has found her passion in this. Apparently, she is heading ahead to own a self operated bakery joint. She has done all this living within the constraints of a home maker. So if she can do, so can you!

No big company was built in a single day. People fall and learn. Learn from your mistakes. Read inspirational books to keep you motivated. Always think that life will be all better once this gets going. So let us treat this as a new beginning!