Oh friend, I bet when you think of the idea of working from home you envision it as binge watching Netflix, laying on your bed or couch with your laptop, and a big bucket of popcorn, am I right? Or at least close? Trust me, on my days working the 9-5 corporate world I so wanted the freedom to do something different. I had my 9-5, I had my photography part time, and was working a million hours a week to make it work, I knew there had to be more to life.
And then as I was feeling so safe in life, with my awesome job and benefits, I got let go. I would love to tell you I chose the perfect time to quit my full time job for my passion. I would love to tell you that I was prepared and ready for it. But sometimes life just happens. I was left with the choice of finding something else, or making photography work full time. I chose the latter. How much could I accomplish if I devoted eight hours of my day working for ME. That’s when magic happened.
Even though I’ve had a studio for years, from the beginning I made the decision to keep my office at home. I thought of all the times I wanted to take a nap after lunchtime at my cubicle, and couldn’t, and swore to make this new work life different.
Working from home isn’t from everyone, but if you want to give it a go, here are my thoughts:
1. YOU ARE THE BOSS. At first this sounds like the best thing ever, right? And it is great, BUT, it also means there isn’t anyone telling you what to do, when to do it, giving you guidelines or deadlines. You will have to be your own manager. I am a firm believer in lists and crossing things off. Having a daily plan, a weekly plan, a monthly plan. That makes working for myself, and from home, much easier.
2. YOU HAVE TO FOCUS. You know the Netflix and popcorn thing? If I were to spend my days doing that, I would not be able to accomplish everything I have to do in a day. That’s because I don’t want to work all day. Distractions can make a 5 hour work day turn into 8, or 8 hour day turn into 12. I turn off the tv, I stop checking social media, and I work item after item on my list. It is amazing how much you can do when you focus. For example, if I’m in the middle of something I someone calls I let it go to voicemail and return the call when I’m done.
3. YOU HAVE TO TAKE BREAKS. For most of you this will probably be easy, but for me, once I’m in the zone I barely want to stop to eat. Taking breaks is necessary and healthy. Every now and then when I get tired during the day I do take a nap, because that’s one of the perks of working from home.
4. YOU MIGHT GET LONELY. If you’re a social butterfly this might be a hard one. It does get lonely. No co-workers, no group potlucks, nobody asking you about your weekend or life. In my case it’s just me, my computer, my list of to-dos, and my cuddly cats (Max & Ty). Since I don’t like distractions I work very well alone, but I do miss the social aspect of a regular desk job.
5. YOU ARE IT. When you work from home AND for yourself, the success or failure of your business depends 100% on YOU. Oh boy it’s scary. You can’t blame anyone else for your mistakes, and your success will be a direct result of how much work you put into your business. It’s scary, but it’s also fantastic, because I truly believe if you put in the work, you will be successful!
If you can handle all the above, you’ll nail it! What’s the scariest thing for you when thinking about working from home?
p.s: I believe in you!