Its been almost 8 months since I started working from home/ random cities and airports. I love it so far. Then again I may have a fetish for airplanes and airports so I don’t know if I’m normal. Working for yourself (from home) is fantastic because it provides a certain type of freedom that working in a corporate cultural can’t. For example, I am writing this sitting in a coffeeshop in Boston waiting to meet a friend for breakfast.
I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want to work at home and enjoy the freedom that it offers. The problem for most people is that they still need to contend with working a full time job and handling all of their other responsibilities. That is why, for most people, living the work at home dream is something that will always be out of their reach, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I want to start off by saying that not everyone can and should put all their eggs in one basket like I did. I walked away from a great position in a company and industry that I just wasn’t passionate about. I’m 28 years old, and felt like I need to take a leap, and that this would be the best time to do it. I don’t have kids, and I made enough with my side-business to have all of my bills paid covered without struggling.
It took me 2 years to build my network here, and by build I mean hardcore networking, volunteering for Regional Committees, sitting on Boards for Non-profits and for Profit companies, organizing events etc. It took a lot of my free time, but it also gave me insight into things that I loved doing and the things that I couldn’t be paid enough to do. As time when on I got to a position where I could pick and choose the things I liked and walk away from the things that stopped being appealing.
I also learned to value and hone the skills that are in demand and outsource the tasks that I don’t enjoy or take up too much of my time.
Here are some of my tips:
Have a schedule. Block out times for everything.There have been weeks where I put sleep, gym, eat etc in my calendar so I don’t forget to do them. Knowing that you have 2 hours to finish a task makes it easier to be focused.
Do a time audit for different tasks every 2-3 months.I look at how much time I spent answering emails. What questions keep popping up? Are they from the same people or different ones. Doing a deep dive helps me understand where I need to clarify better, and what gaps need to be addressed quickly.
Have and create time for yourself and your family.There is no ‘normal’ and more, so you have to create your template of that a ‘typical’ day looks like.
Invest in self improvement.This could be reading a new book a month, or go to a conference or a networking event. Make sure its part of your budget.
Automate everything that doesn’t need human interaction or conversation.There are a ton of apps that can help with this depending on what type of work you do.
Ask for help.I have a VA who saves my life almost everyday. Know that you can’t do everything yourself, and building a company needs more than just you.
Set Goals.I have daily, weekly, and monthly goals. This helps me and my team accountable. And I celebrate the little wins.