Solopreneurship is the new oak milk.
This profound and accurate statement can be found in a recent (and really good) article on Medium written by Eve Arnold.
The gist of the article shares what many of us already know: entrepreneurs are shifting away from running mega corporations and managing huge teams to opting for jobs/businesses/careers where they can make a decent living while still loving what they do.
As a veteran work-from-home-pro, here are some Tips and Thoughts on Working from Home (Without Losing Your Marbles):
In a perfect world, working from home would get the respect it deserves and have the peace and serenity of an IKEA catalog spread.
But in the real world (not unlike MY world), there would be a mega laundry pile in your direct eye line, the kids would be bickering over the laptop, and the family pet would be begging to go outside for the 147th time that day.
It’s accurate to say that the people around us believe that working from home is da bomb and everything is harmonious and lovely.
Sometimes, maybe. But mostly, it’s a carefully orchestrated balance between chaos and control.
The reality is that working from home is not for the weak, and though it can be a blessing to be close to home and family, the situation also presents its unique set of challenges. It is way too easy for the lines of “work-life” and “home life” to become blurred as entrepreneurs and artists endeavor to conduct business in the same place they live.
We humans pursue the dream of business ownership for many reasons, but I can assure you it was not to fuel speculation about, “What do you do all day?”
If you are one of the many folks choosing to create and work from home, I have suggestions and thoughts to help you do so without losing your mind.
First, make it known that this is a business and you are working a job supporting the household.
For your sanity and family’s happiness, be clear on those boundaries and resist backpedaling.
Drawing boundaries about times during the day when you are available for personal matters or drop-by visits is crucial.
Everyone in your household needs to know your expectations, understand the validity of what you do, and how important your work is to you (and them).
This includes establishing work hours, “Do Not Disturb” times, and easy-to-follow rules like, “If my office door is shut, that means I am in a meeting or “No playdates until afternoon 1:00.”
Good communication is the key here, and family and friends will be more supportive and respectful if they have an idea of your wishes.
Dress for Work:
I know it’s incredibly tempting to rock those pajamas all day long but resist the urge.
Truly productive entrepreneurs know that they need to go through the motions of getting up and getting ready for work to get into that frame of mind.
Get up like the rest of your family and dress as you would for the office. And yes, that includes make-up, shaving, and putting on suitable day clothes.
This also will show family and friends that you are in full work mode and it’s not a play day.
This often can fall into the easier-said-then-done category. But a ninja trick for all creatives and entrepreneurs is taking advantage of pockets of time as they present themselves.
When it is important to complete a project or talk to a client, please try to do so when the house is quiet. If you are a morning person, that could mean working in the wee hours before the rest of the house wakes up.
If you are a night owl, you know your best time for creating and conducting business is after everyone else is snoring.
You can work around your family, outside commitments, and obligations so that no one feels slighted, and neither does your business.
Creating a flourishing business requires resolve and determination. Let others know you are serious about making family and business work harmoniously and take the steps necessary to “walk the walk” of an entrepreneur.