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Yes, I work from home, and the toughest thing I found is scheduling time for myself.
I get up, and while still in bed, I read all my VIP emails (clients, family), and sometimes I have something so urgent that needs done, so I skip everything and get to working.
When it’s super busy, I work 70-80 hours per week. When it’s not super busy, and I work only 50 hours/week, I actually have a schedule.
work out (cycling, swimming, hiking, walk)
start some chores like laundry (I can do laundry all day, as I love the smell of clean laundry)
coffee/lunch on my back patio or out with friends – why not?
work: 7-9 hours
another hour or 2 of light work, or just relax with friends
sleep for 8-9 hours
but this is perfection, and it doesn’t happen like this.
And somehow I would NEVER AGAIN trade my current life for a 9-5 corporate job (HA, I said “never”, lol)*
Quite recently I was offered a really nice corporate job, doing a lot of the things that I am already doing now, supervise more people than I currently do, with a bit bigger scope, as it is a Fortune 100 company. The benefits were spectacular, the salary was great, what I was going to do would have been something I already do every day.
So why am I not thrilled with this job offer? Because it was IN ATLANTA, no traveling with no actual flex time. Yes, excellent benefits. Yes, great pay. Yes, good credentials for my résumé. But I felt like I would have had to sell my soul. I would’ve had to show up for meetings early in the morning, and I do not function early in the morning. I do function early in the morning if I say up working through the night, but getting up in the AM is never been my cup of tea. On top of my personal preference for an afternoon to evening work schedule, this job was with a company that I do not believe in, and really, this was the worse thing about it. I can work hard for something that I believe
Currently, (and it’s been this way for a good 5-7 years) I work WHEN I want (I start work after 12, and end sometimes after 5-6 AM), I get to choose my clients (and oh, how I love my clients), and I get to work FROM WHEREVER I AM (anywhere that has an internet connection). Did I say I love to travel?
In the past 7 years I have worked and traveled to Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Italy, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Romania, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Spain. All those trips were #workcations, where I worked and I travelled, as in visited the places I’ve wanted to visit my entire life. What right do I have to complain?
We can complain about how hard we have it working from home, but all my friends envy me my freedom, and my travels.
And most importantly, working for myself, and working from home makes me happy, and productive.
There is no water cooler gossip, there is no colleague that interrupts me mid-thought and I can’t remember what I was thinking about implementing, there is no boss/colleague that takes credit for my work.
This ain’t no 40 hour a week kinda endeavor!
I work hard, long hours, sometimes 80 hours/week. Harder and longer than I’ve ever worked. Not because I wasn’t dedicated to my job before. I work really hard before, while in corporate. The kind of work that I do now it represents me, completely. I work hard, and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I don’t feel like I should complain when a client is reaching out to me needing something urgent done, while I’m at dinner. No. I answer the email/txt, cancel after dinner plans, get home, and get the project done. This doesn’t happen often. My clients understand personal time and understand that not all emergencies can be accommodated, so that’s why I have built contingencies in place.
Nobody pays for my health benefits. All health expenses come out of my pocket.
No paid vacation days. I take a day here and there, but I have to budget time accordingly, to not screw up my projects.
No severance packages: When the job is done, the job is done. My clients don’t owe me anything after. Maybe a recommendation, maybe a friend referral, maybe a testimonial. But my clients tend to stick with me long-term because they see the value, and they see the benefits, and sometimes it might take them a few days/week/months/years (yeah, years) to realize what I am actually bringing to the table, and how I am actually making their business better, but they do see it, and they do appreciate my hard work, and my dedication, and my commitment to improving myself and my skills.
And how about retirement plans? There really ain’t no retirement plan here. But I am starting to put money aside, and think about retirement, but not in the conventional/traditional way. I don’t see myself at 65 y.o. sitting on a beach with an umbrella drink. Do you? HA! I’ll explain in a future blog post all the great retirement options available to the self-employed.
Personal time is almost non-existent
Yes, I’ll give you this one. And this is a hard one for me to deal with.
When I’m home, I work. And when I have all these projects going, with all these deadlines, with all these plates spinning in the air, it is difficult to put myself first, and go work out, or spend quality time with my husband, or go take a yoga class, or get a massage, and some days I go without a shower which is quite embarrassing to admit, but there you go, lol.
This being said, the pros and cons weighted, I love what I do, and I love working from home, wherever that home may be. Like Malcolm Reynolds says in Firefly: “you can’t take the sky from me”, for now at least.
What I would suggest is have EVERYBODY work from home. Yes, there are children and chores, and oh my, everything else. But you get a kind of freedom that doesn’t exist in the corporate world.
As a closing remark, I think that as long as you LOVE WHAT YOU DO, it really doesn’t matter where you work from. But as the gas prices keep going up (yes, there was a 30¢/gallon price dip recently, and don’t you think that it will stay like this), with traffic getting more chaotic, and with more people with stress disorders caused by traffic alone, not to mention globalization, I think it might be a good idea to start thinking about working from home, and migrating the work force to their homes. This will accomplish a few of Environmental Protection Agency’s objectives too, and it will definitely reduce pollution.
Thanks for reading, folks!
See you next time!
I am crediting Joe Casabona with the idea for this blog post. This blog is in response to Joe Casabona’s post on Nov 5th, 2014, entitled Have a Daily Schedule when Working from Home
*I did say “never”, and I shouldn’t have said that. “never” is that magic word that brings forth whatever you thought you would never do, or never say… So the lesson here is try, yeah TRY, not to say “never”.
*This is my opinion, now, in November 2014, and it might change. Perspective is personal & it could change, and it definitely differs from person to person. As long as you are happy, I think that you should continue doing what you’re doing, whatever that may be
truth love light be with you always.