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A year ago today I had my last day working at my corporate job. I was in the process of teaching myself graphic design and web design, and knew that I wanted to go into business doing that. Working from home is exactly what I expect it to be like, and a little more.
I never envisioned working from home to be a holiday, but I also didn’t realize how difficult it would be to separate my work life from my home life when my office follows me around everywhere I go.
So if you find yourself ready to quit your corporate job to pursue your passions, read on!
You’ll Feel Relief
You will feel like you are on top of the world and can conquer anything that comes your way. After all, you are now one-stop closer to making your dreams happen! Waking up at 10am? Check! Sitting down to watch The Office on repeat at 2pm? Check!
You’ve got no schedule and you’re totally relishing in it! “Being your own boss is awesome”, you’ll think to yourself.
You’ll Feel Scared
After a couple weeks of lounging around, reality will start to sink in and you’ll put pen to paper and try to make your ideas come to life.
But then the doubts will start creeping in and you’ll wonder why you ever left your comfortable job in the first place.
You’ll have sleepless nights where you wake up sick to your stomach because you just don’t think you can do it. You’ll feel like an impostor and a fraud.
Don’t let feelings of inadequacy take over your passion! Remember, you can do it, it just takes time.
Your Schedule Changes
Say goodbye to your current 9-5 schedule. When I worked my corporate job I worked 7am-4pm, went for a run from 12:00-12:45, found time to eat every couple hours, went to the gym from 4:45-5:30, came home, ate dinner, and did it all again the next day.
I didn’t mind the consistency, but after working on my own I have learned that the consistency was good for someone who needed to produce the same thing day in and day out.
Working a job that requires me to do something different every single day means that keeping a consistent schedule like that is only going to leave me frustrated. Sometimes I just need to go with the flow. As I write this, it’s 8:00pm and I’m content knowing that I’m working during a time when I used to be getting ready for bed to wake up at 5:00am.
As much as I love being able to decide my own schedule, I’ve really struggled with sticking to some type of schedule. This doesn’t mean I need to set hours for myself necessarily, but I do need to limit the amount of hours I work or else I’ll find myself up at 7:30 and in bed at midnight.
This isn’t healthy or sustainable – so make sure you set some boundaries.
Your Appearance Changes
I have read so many entrepreneurs touch on the fact that they unintentionally let their appearances go once they started working from home. Whether it was from ordering in a lot more, skipping the gym because they just couldn’t manage to tear themselves away from their work, or just straight up not wanting to get out of their pj’s if they don’t have to.
I can count on one hand all the times I’ve worn makeup in the last 6 months and have put on cute clothes. Things like this, actually start to take a toll. After a while I started feeling a bit like a slob, so I make an effort now to get up in the morning and get dressed – no more working in my PJ’s.
And although I love makeup and dressing up, I really just couldn’t be bothered to look cute to sit at my kitchen table! Sweatpants and funbuns for the win, people!
My piece of advice to new entrepreneurs is to make sure you schedule in your time at the gym! You’re body and mind will thank you.
You’ll Miss People
This is coming from an introvert – someone who absolutely loves her alone time and could spend months staying in (seriously, there is nothing better for me than cuddling up with my laptop and watching some Netflix with my husband and our dog).
But I eventually really started to miss human contact and found myself in tears and feeling lonely. I never realized how much socialization my office provided for me, even if it was just having a quick 5 minute chat with my coworkers before going into my office.
Join a Meetup or find a Facebook group related to your niche and interact with people! I’ve also done a few Skype coffee dates with other entrepreneurs. Working from home doesn’t have to mean isolation.
No More Benefits
No more weekly massages paid by your company or visits to your favourite chiropractor to get an adjustment when you feel out of alignment.
Boy, I really do miss my amazing health benefits from my corporate job but now that I work for myself I find I have more time to take care of my body. If I feel a tension headache come on, nobody is stopping me from getting up and going for a run. When I feel under the weather, I don’t need to get a trip to the doctor approved by my boss.
If you don’t have benefits, sign up for some! And when your body starts to ache, listen to it and rest!
No More Company Parties
No more extravagant parties on your company’s dime. I worked for some big companies and was seriously spoiled with all the extra little perks we got. And I do miss that.
My piece of advice? You’re your own boss – if you want to have an impromptu margarita on Wednesday after lunch to celebrate a little win, go for it!
You don’t need a fancy party to celebrate!
Your Office = Your Bed (or Wherever Else You Manage to Find)
My “office” of choice is my kitchen table, where I have easy access to my fridge as well as a relatively unlimited supply of green tea to get me through the day!
Find a spot that inspires you to work. Whether that’s the same spot every day or something new. Try out different spots to see where you work best.
You Will Need To Learn A LOT
Do you know how to incorporate? Or set yourself up to pay taxes? Or how to create an invoice/receipt?
There is a lot to learn during that first year in business. All that stuff that you didn’t have to touch at your corporate job will now because something you are required to look at at least once a month.
You went into business to pursue your passion but now you find yourself being an accountant, a sales person and even trying to fumble your way through the legalities of your new career.
In this case, I suggest finding a mentor. My parents are my mentors and have been small business owners nearly their entire lives. My mom gives me advise on the administration side of things and accounting – she’s incredibly organized.
My dad helps me with the structure of my business and as well as any financing questions I have. I don’t know what I would do without being able to ask them questions. So find yourself a reliable mentor!
What difference did you find in working from home versus working at an office? Let me know!
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