I dreamed of working on my own for many years. Finally I was able to start doing that this year. Ever since I started, people have been telling me “I wish I could do that!” and “Now that’s the life!”. Working on your own from home is not all it’s cracked up to be though. It really is work! During these few months I’ve been self-employed, I have come across many unexpected challenges. I thought I’d share 3 of the biggest ones for those who are looking to convert from the 9 to 5 job to working from home.
Sure a boss looking over your shoulder is irritating, but at least it made me get my butt in gear. With nobody motivating me to get stuff done, I have to rely on myself. This is extra difficult when the weather outside is nice and all I want to do is take my mountain bike for a ride. I have been forced to get strict and set aside a certain amount of hours per day to get stuff done. If I don’t discipline myself properly, nothing gets done and the business suffers.
When I first started working from home, I treated it like a normal day job. I would wake up early, start work, then end it at around 5pm. This didn’t work for me. I found that my writing was much better late at night, around 11pm to 3am. Now I schedule my work accordingly. I try to devote a certain amount of hours into working each week, and get it done when I’m feeling it. Specific hours just don’t work for somebody who writes for a living.
This one’s a big one! I have nobody to talk to all day. Sometimes I go several days without seeing anybody except my girlfriend. The result is an extra clingy Mitch when she gets home from work. I’ve tried to use Twitter and chat to get me through the day, and that helps a bit, but nothing compares to talking to a warm being. Lately, I have made a better effort to go out with friends whenever I can.
With no proper, corporate-like structure in place, working from home is always a learning process. Hopefully I can stay out of the daily grind and learn to adjust to these challenges.