"An entrepreneur is someone that steals office supplies from home and brings them to work." -Auren Hoffman
Before I started my business, I had visions of working just a few hours a day in cute coffee shops, taking long lunch breaks with girlfriends, all while wearing the perfect outfit.
The reality? At the start, there were days my guy would come home to find me perched at the coffee table, in front of my laptop, still wearing the same clothes I woke up in.
He was often the first human I'd seen all day, and I'd give him a bleary-eyed kiss and launch into a monologue about what I'd spent my day working on.
Anyone else been here?
There seems to be a fake bill of goods being sold to new entrepreneurs, and it doesn't set us up for success.
I love being an entrepreneur and being able to work from anywhere, but it isn't all beach chairs and mimosas.
Here are a 7 ways I make it work at home.
7 Tips for Making it Work at Home
1. Have a schedule and stick to it.
I know. Boring. You didn’t escape your corporate 9-5 only to have a schedule. You wanted freedom! I hear you, I do. But, you’re your own boss now. Most of us do better bossing ourselves successfully with a plan and schedule in place.
I’ve found if you don’t schedule your time and the tasks you need to complete to move your business forward, the days tend to evaporate, often into the abyss known as Facebook.
You can absolutely be a cool boss to yourself and make a schedule you like. You can take days off in the middle of the week. You can create self-care days. You can work whatever hours make sense for you and your business.
2. Shower and get dressed.
It’s tempting, especially on those days we have a whole lot to get done, to roll out of bed and into our office when it's right there at home.
This is your business. Treat it and yourself with respect. Show up like the pro you are. Yoga pants are acceptable and recommended attire, as long as you didn’t sleep in them.
4. Create a designated workspace.
If you don’t have a home office or rented workspace, designate a place in your home for work.
This acts as a trigger to let you know, it’s time to get to business. It also makes it easier at the end of the day to shut down.
A designated space helps us avoid distractions, like that pile of magazines you've been meaning to throw out after you read them one last time. If you have family, kids, or roommates, this acts as a bonus and let's other people know you're at work.
5. Schedule "brain breaks".
One of my business mentors, Melissa Caesura calls these ‘pleasure breaks". I call them “brain breaks”. Whatever you call them, schedule in and create breaks of time for some non-work, whitespace.
This is uber important for our productivity and creativity. (Our brains function best when we work in 45-60 minute incriments.)
Brain breaks also keep burn out and resentment at bay.
6. Connect with others in your industry.
If you haven't always worked from home or for yourself, you’re probably used to having other people around you to talk to, collaborate with, and who get the ups and downs of your gig.
It can feel pretty isolating when you’re working for yourself and there’s no one to bounce ideas off of or lean on for support.
Finding a community of like-minded people you can share ideas with, learn from, grow with, be held accountable by, share your frustrations and wins with is invaluable and hugely important as a part of my survival.
This can be free or paid and can come in the form of online groups, masterminds, in real life groups, events, working with a coach, retreats, etc. The options are endless. Look for your people and connect, your future self and business happiness will thank you.
7. Don't talk non-stop shop with loved ones.
When it's just you, yourself, and you all day long doing your thing, it can very tempting to want to share every detail about what you've up to with anyone who will listen.
I used to jump into a monologue about my day and all the exciting things I'd been working on as soon as my guy would walk in the door.
Bless his heart for listening. Ditto my friends and my mom.
Share your passion and excitement, but no one is going to care about our work as much as we do. They shouldn't, and that's ok. Do the people in your life a favor and make sure you keep the conversations two-sided.
Being an entrepreneur is an amazing, but it doesn't come with a guidebook on day one. Making it work for us is as important as working it!
Be a better boss to yourself and set yourself up for success. It makes the journey much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Wishing you your version of success!