I'm a service provider with a home office.
And it's awesome.
Here are just a few reasons why having a home office is so awesome:
- Rent is cheap. Some might even say it's free. Either way, you can't beat using a dedicated space in your home as your office instead of paying rent at a separate location. Factor in what you save on time, gas, and wear and tear on your vehicle, and you might as well be getting paid for your decision to work from home.
- You can wake up, stretch, roll out of bed, drink a glass of water, and literally get to working.
- You can take breaks to clean up, make a healthy meal, and scratch your dogs' bellies. Win.
- It can be as quiet or as loud as you want it to be. There aren't many other offices where it's cool to blast nerdcore on Spotify.
- If you would otherwise work in a major city like Miami or Los Angeles, you avoid the stress of traffic. OH THE STRESS OF TRAFFIC. I think I lose 13 days of my life every time I find myself stuck in traffic.
Living the dream, right? Well, before I made some major realizations about the health of my business, here are just a few things that were going wrong because I have a home office:
- I didn't actually have a dedicated work space. Now that might not be a big deal for everyone who works from home, but it was for me. Don't get me wrong, I had, like, a desk and stuff, with a big girl's chair and everything. But it wasn't long before my work space became one with my personal space and I found myself doing everything but working.
- To literally get to working after waking up, stretching, rolling out of bed, and drinking a glass of water, you have to...errrrr...wake up....and get out of bed.
- My breaks went something like this: "Oh, look at me just sitting on my couch watching Scandal. It's cool because I work from home. Actually, I'll take a quick nap now and keep working when I'm feeling super duper fresh..." [4.2 hours later...]
- Blasting anything and everything on Hulu counts, right?
- OK, there's not much to say about this one. I didn't leave my house if I didn't absolutely have to, so I definitely avoided traffic. Like, all of the traffic.
IF YOU DON'T TREAT IT LIKE A BUSINESS,
THEN IT'S NOT ACTUALLY A BUSINESS
Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day, I always accomplished the tasks I had set out for myself and my business. But despite all those long naps I was taking, I found myself exhausted and felt like I wasn't achieving as much as I could be. More importantly, I didn't really feel like I was running a business. Instead, I felt like an amateur hobbyist. Feel me?
So what are the two things I did to change that?
- I get out more. Whether it be to attend networking events or to grab a cup of coffee with friends, I now make it a point to interact with others. A home office can be a lonely place, but your business doesn't have to be. In fact, you are hurting yourself by not getting out there and meeting new people and connecting with familiar faces. The health of your business depends on your reputation in your community and among your target audience. After making this change in my own business, my bookings doubled, easily.
- I treat my home office like a "regular" office and I set myself a schedule and gave myself rules and I stick to them. After implementing this into my business, I now find I am almost too productive. No joke. I am tremendously efficient and now I have extra time to tackle new projects or just simply relax without the anxiety of feeling like I got nothing done. My big girl's chair is now a #girlboss chair and my business is no longer just a hobby, but is instead my livelihood and something I nurture almost every day.
It will be hard at first, because breaking old habits and creating new ones is always tough. But trust me, you won't regret it.