WHAT WORKING FROM HOME FOR SIX MONTHS HAS TAUGHT ME


I've been self-employed and working from home for about 6 months now.  Since we moved out of London (read more about that here), my time has been my own and I've been able to start a business making an income online, mostly from my bed. I've always dreamed of working for myself, managing my own time, being my own boss and what not, but did the reality live up to the dream? Here are a few things I've learned from working from home for the past 6 months. 

Dream vs Reality 


Working from home or being self-employed is a dream many of us share these days. With social media glamourizing the 'boss babe' lifestyle and opening doors new doors, it's now possible to actually create your own business from your laptop, in the comfort of your own home, tropical destination or co-working space.  My bedroom and living room are now my office. I can get up when I want, I don't even have to get dressed if I don't want to (which is most days tbf). It all sounds so perfect, doesn't it? 

The reality is somewhat different. The biggest thing I've faced is how lonely it can be working from home. I'm blessed that my husband also works from home most days, but in the past, I've worked in big offices with lots of people, some of which were my closest friends. There was always someone to chat to, to bounce ideas off or just go grab a coffee with. When it's just me at home, I find there are days where I hardly say a word out loud. I have to force myself to pick up the phone or take myself out somewhere like the gym or a coffee shop just to have some sort of human interaction. 

Self-Discipline

I used to pride myself on my self-motivation and abilities to stay disciplined in my work. I am naturally a very proactive person, I like to get things done efficiently and get things done well. In the past, I've lead teams on big projects, organized schedules and completed numerous projects simultaneously - with not much effort. 

Working from home, and being my own boss has made me realize I'm not as self-disciplined as I thought. I mean, I still get things done, make plans, schedules and please my clients. But at home, there are so many more distractions and no one is actually checking up on me to make sure I get things done, so it's easy to procrastinate. Each day is a challenge to stay disciplined in my work, and a challenge not to just watch Netflix all day! Which definitely has happened. 


It's a Daily Rollercoaster 

When I was employed full time, I knew exactly what each day looked like and what was expected of me. I had regular performance reviews to ensure that I was working well and pushing for goals. I was praised for a job well done and affirmed that my skills were appreciated. At the end of each month, I knew exactly how much money I was going to receive.  Working for myself is a whole other story. Each day is a rollercoaster of emotions, let me talk you through my inner dialogue

"This is great, I can do this.
Oh, crap is that right? Maybe I can't do this. 
Will I make enough money this week? 
Am I charging too much? Am I charging too little? 
Maybe I should look for a job, this really isn't for me. 
Oh hang on, I can do this. 
I'm pretty good at this."

And so the cycle repeats itself. Sometimes daily. 


A test of Self-Confidence

The daily rollercoaster can really be a test of self-confidence. When I took the leap and set up my own business online I was full of confidence, I'd made a plan, made some great connections and knew I had the skills to make it work. Yet, I now doubt myself daily. It takes all of my strength some days to think something positive about myself or my work. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm doing okay and that I believe, with every fiber of my being that I can do this. 

I actually think my self-confidence has grown as a result. I find myself sending emails or connecting with people that I would have been afraid of doing before. I've learned how to pitch myself well to potential clients and take confidence that my services produce results. 



It's all worth it. 

I wouldn't blame you if you reading this and thinking it sounds more like a nightmare than a dream. I catch myself thinking that sometimes too, but despite all I've mentioned, It's been the most rewarding experience so far. 

I've been forced to learn new skills and to think more creatively. I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients from all around the world. I've challenged myself daily and found that I'm far more resourceful and resilient than I ever thought possible. It's all worth it. 

My lifestyle has changed too. I've been able to prioritize things such as my health, going to the gym regularly (so much quieter during the day), making space for spending more time with God (check out the awesome devotional I'm reading).  I'm spending more time with my husband and family. 

Working for myself means that time is my own, I don't have to ask anyone for a day off or for holiday. I managed to travel more, taking my work with me and still earning money while I'm away. Even now, I'm writing this sat in my garden with a coffee.  It's all worth it. 

My advice to anyone who, like me, dreams of working from home and being their own boss is to just do it. Recognise before you start that it's not all roses, there are struggles, good days and bad days. But ultimately, nothing has been more rewarding than creating my own reality working from home. 

XO