Changing my lifestyle from getting up and going to work at my office everyday to working full time from home was much harder than I ever anticipated. I always had a home office but it’s main purpose was a place where I could answer emails and look at some documents. So long as I could find my keyboard (which was not always the easiest thing to do!) I was all set.
Then an accident and series of events left me disabled and with no options other than working from home. I also decided it was time for a career change. I have a family member who works full time from home as an affiliate marketer and I really liked the freedom it gave him to work the hours he wanted, take time off and just have a better quality of life. So I signed up for some affiliate marketing training, and was ready to get to work.
I knew I was in trouble the first day I sat down at my desk to take notes on my new course and couldn’t find a pen. After yelling to my wife to find me a pen, I started the course, and realized, yes you guessed it, I had nothing to write on. Another shout across the house to my wife and legal pads miraculously appeared in front of me. (Can you tell I was used to having a secretary my whole life!)
Ok, I’m ready, I’ve got the course, I’ve got a pen, I’ve got a legal pad. Time to get to learning. I start the course and realize, I have no speakers on my computer. The course is giving out all this great information, and I can’t hear a word of it.
That was when I turned off the course and again yelled to my wife to come into the room. I said to her “Honey we have to make a list of things I’m going to need to be able to work from home without losing my voice yelling for you every five minutes” Thankfully my wife has the patience of a saint and together we put together a list of the essential things I was going to need to make working from my home office a success.
- A better computer: Like I said earlier, I really only used my computer to check emails and open documents. Basically the same things you would use a computer from 1995 for. So I never noticed how slow it was and how often it crashed when I tried to do something crazy like watch a video. It was time to update the computer to the 21st century and get something fast, reliable, with a good video card and a sound card.
- Dual monitors: This one I never saw coming. I mean I would see other people sitting at their desks surrounded by monitors and think “What purpose does that serve? You can only look at one thing at a time?” My wife explained to me that dual monitors would let me watch a training video on one screen, and either take notes or look up research or do whatever else I needed to on the other screen. Then once she showed my how I could drag documents across the screens from one to the other like magic, I was hooked.
- Computer speakers: I think I’ve already explained why this one was a necessity.
- Color Printer: I always thought the only reason to buy a color printer was if you wanted to print out copies of photographs. I never realized just how much better documents looked printed out in color before mailing them away or keeping them on my desk as a reference. A color printer let me highlight things right on my screen so when I printed them out I didn’t need to scream to my wife to find me a highlighter pen, it was already done. Since then I have found hundreds of uses for my color printer and can’t imagine ever going back to just a black and white one.
- Comfortable headset with a noise reducing microphone: Why on earth would I need this? I mean I bought speakers? Well it turns out that my wife isn’t crazy about hearing my training videos playing across the house late at night while she’s trying to sleep. So a headset solved that problem.
- Portable generator: Ok, I admit this one is a little bit of overkill but let me explain. I live in South Florida, the hurricane capital of the world. During the summer and fall months losing power during a heavy rainstorm is the norm. No power means no work. No work means no money. No money means unhappy wife. So we decided it was worth the investment. We looked at the Yamaha portable generator. They had models ranging from $800 to $4,000 depending on how much power you needed and how big a gas tank you wanted. We also looked at Duromax generator sales and found they had some great models at discount prices as well.
But even more importantly I realized that, like any other business, affiliate marketing involved networking and the tool most people in the industry used to talk to each other was Skype. It’s free and confidential since you don’t need to give out your phone number to anyone to use it. Talking on Skype requires not only a good headset but a good noise canceling microphone so they other person can hear you and not the sound of the ceiling fan in your office or your dog barking.
The most important key to setting up your home office for success is to have all the tools you need and be organized. (Or have a wife who will organize things for you!). I learned I needed to treat my home office the same way I had treated my work office for the past 20 years. Once I did that and made sure I had the right equipment, I was finally able to accomplish the goal I had originally set out for myself and that was to listen to and learn from the course materials.
Remember that first section of the course that I couldn’t hear because I had no speakers? Turns out it was about how to make sure your home office was setup right!
About the Author: Dan Doran has spent the past 20 years working in the real estate field as an attorney, short sale negotiator, real estate investment advisor and consultant. He recently started working from home and has been researching all of the affiliate marketing training materials he can find.