Being a work at home legal nurse consultant may sound like an ideal arrangement. You don’t have the expense of maintaining an office, and you can produce income while still being a work at home parent. It is often the only way legal nurse consultants can start a business.
My first desk was a board placed over two filing cabinets in a corner of our family room. My sons were 4 and 11 when I started my legal nurse consulting business. I was a work at home legal nurse consultant for 9 years before I bought an office condo. At the time I sold my legal nurse consulting business in 2015, I had 3,600 square feet and 5 employees working in an office condo.
Being a work at home legal nurse consultant requires planning, cooperation and a lot of flexibility. It can be difficult to accomplish if your children are small. Here are some tips to make it work.
1. Know your best time to be a work at home legal nurse consultant
When is your energy highest? When do your children need the most attention? If they are little, are their nap times predictable? Can you get in an hour or more of work time before they get up and again after they go to bed?
2. Create a schedule
Knowing the routine of your children helps you plan a schedule. This gives you and the children structure. Can you make marketing calls to attorneys’ offices while the children are napping? Is this an ideal time to work on your social media marketing? Can you make headway on a case analysis? Can your spouse provide the children with attention on a weekend so that you can work on your business?
3. Discipline yourself with a to do list
Your time is precious. When you have a block of time, use it for your work at home legal nurse consulting business, and not for socializing with other stay at home parents or on social media. Create a list of high priority tasks for each week and chip away at them during the week.
4. Have rules about who answers the phone
An attorney is not interested in talking to your two year old. Have a separate phone line for your business. If your children are screaming when your business line rings, let voice mail take over.
5. Use automation to work smarter
Schedule your social media posts using free tools. Get details on 15 free tools at this link.
6. It takes a village
You can’t run a business at home without a support system in place. Other people in your life will need to pitch in. That person may be a neighbor, spouse, hired babysitter or friend. If you have a deadline to complete a case, attorneys are often unforgiving about the sick child. This is business. And frankly, it is hard to run a business with children under school age at home. It gets a lot easier when they go to school.
7. Remember your children are little only once
I will never forget the afternoon my son asked me for attention, and I self righteously told him, “I am working”. He burst into tears and said, “I feel like such a pest.” This reaction provoked me to hire my first employee to help me with the business. Although people repeatedly told me that “they grow up so fast”, I did not realize how true that was. My son learned many entrepreneurial lessons that enabled him to run his own business at a young age. But I still regret the lack of balance I felt in running a business at home. If I had to do it all over again, I would have followed my own advice in this article while I was a work at home legal nurse consultant.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC has come full circle. She runs her legal nurse consultant coaching practice at home. She is a past president of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.