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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to work from home and make it work.

Hi My Friends,

A question I get asked a lot is: How can you work from home and not go insane being there all the time?

After the crash of the economy in 2008 many people could not find work.  Some of the self starting entrepreneurial type people started working from their homes. It became a necessity not a choice, some have been able to switch comfortably, but many people found that they could not handle working on their own from the house and all the extra headaches that come with it. In the beginning when you start your own home business you do not have a weekly paycheck, you have to do your own taxes and bookkeeping and there is no safety net or days off- if you don't produce work and/or sell it, you don't make money. That can be horrifying and scary to many people.

BUT as to the question, the insanity of working at home can become overwhelming if you allow it to.  It sounds so great to be able to get up in the morning and work in your jammies and not worry about that hour commute to the office or dealing with one of those bosses (you know who I'm talking about).  WELL,  it's not that easy or simple.  Yes, you can work in your jammies all day and yes, you do not have to commute, BUT the loneliness and low human contact, besides family, on a day to day basis can be very intimidating and detrimental to your social circle, not to mention your psysche. Also friends and family members think that if you are home you are available all the time.  Although its nice to take breaks and have a visitor, you have to let them know, in a nice way, that you are actually working and cannot go out with them all the time. I usually plan a visitor and put them on my calendar so that it becomes an event. It is much more enjoyable that way.

 As most of you know I do work from home as an Artist and have for many years.  Actually my whole family basically works from home, my husband is a Real Estate Broker, my daughter is a Realtor and a blogger and my son is an Astrophysicist- well, he actually works wherever he is in the world on his laptop!!!
We are the kind of people who like to work on our own time, on our own schedule and create our own money.
Although I do go out to jobsites when I get murals, fauxwork etc, most of the time I am in my studio creating.

 I think a person who is comfortable being on their own can work on their own quite well. Although you do still need social skills to go out and find work.  I am involved with a networking group and I am very heavy into social online networks- Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name a few. Being an Artist, I'm usually in the studio on my own so it comes natural to me.  I do find that you have to be able to compartmentalize your "home life" and "work life" because otherwise you will be doing the wash, the dishes, the laundry, the whatever in the house you have to do, instead of concentrating on your work. Getting sidetracked is quite an easy thing to do. You also have to be able to get along with your family on an hour to hour basis, especially if they are working out of the home too. I am lucky enough that we all get along and  that I now have a separate area for me to create. I am still on my property, out here in the woods, but I'm out of the house in the backyard.  It has taken quite a few years to get her- I had my studio ..in the bedroom, laundry room, living room, lanai. basement...wherever I could find room- but it does feels good to have a designated space to conduct my business.  I still sometimes use the dining room table to do computer work though.

In my case, I have found that I tend to get up in the morning, relax with my cup of tea, then do some lite house work: dishes, laundry, picking up, beds made etc. Then I devote the next 6-10 hours for my art business.  I work late into the night  many times because I love what I do.  That can vary on what I am doing and I may decide to take an afternoon off if I have been a good time manager. Seeing that a lot of my work is done on the computer, I have to take breaks every hour or so, to stretch and walk around.  I like to mix things up so that I don't get bored - I may upload art for an hour or two to my online stores and then paint for a couple of hours, draw or weed the garden as a break ( and a treat for me- I know I'm weird!)  I have a show coming up in January so I am creating paintings for that, as well as keeping my online stores, blog, social networks, advertising,clients, active and up to date.

So...If you can let go of having a weekly paycheck, W2 lifestyle, and be able to work for yourself it is a great feeling and extremely satisfying. So don't let the fear of insanity stop you from becoming a self employed person.  America is still the land of opportunity and you can go as high as you want to go with your own business.  You could become the next Bill Gates. Try it you may find you like it.

"Red Sky at night..." 18"x 30" Acrylic on rice papered canvas

"Life has no heART without ART"

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