Working for yourself isn’t always sunshine and roses. There are challenges, long hours and confusion as to what to prioritize. It’s up to you to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons. It’s good for you to know in advance what the pros and cons of working for yourself are so that you can be realistic about what you’re getting into and how that fits with your lifestyle and personality.
* Work and Home Life Often Collide – Due to the lack of routine (this may or may not be your own fault), and no clear delineation of work versus time off, you’ll find yourself working odd hours to accommodate the needs of your family; thus feeling as if you never have a day off. Set boundaries and a schedule and plan your days in advance to counteract this.
* You’ll Do a Lot of Work for Free – Much of the work you do for your business is not billable, therefore will feel like free work until you start making a profit. It can be hard to push yourself to do things that aren’t producing income at the beginning, but you must push through so that you can keep your business running smoothly. Keep learning, don’t give up. The income will happen if you’re got a product or service that helps other people.
* Family Will Ask You to Do Stuff (since you’re at home not doing anything – HA!) – Not just family, but sometimes friends will start to depend on you being there for them for everything. They’ll ask you to do their chores like watching their sick kid so they can go to work. Your spouse and children may stop helping out around the house as much since you’re there anyway. If this is happening, you are the one who needs to stress that those are working hours. You aren’t any more available than someone else who is at an office job.
* You’ll Crave Being out of the House – Sometimes you just need to get out. The beauty of working virtually is that you can do just that! Take several vacations throughout the year, take your laptop outside in nice weather and find a change of scenery if cabin fever starts to set in. You don’t have to be tethered to your home office.
* Stuff Will Distract You – Without supervision, even the most studious and organized individual can go off the rails due to the internet, television and stuff that is around to distract you from work. It’s up to you and only you to set up a good working schedule to help you avoid this. Don’t check facebook if you’re working. Wait until you break for a meal. Don’t dig into personal tasks that need to be done (or get them done before work so they’re not crowding your brain) while working.
* No More Living by the Clock – If you arrange your business right you can wake up naturally without an alarm forcing you to get up when your body isnít ready. You can also go to bed when you want to as well. It’s freedom not to always live by the clock. Let your clients and customers know WHEN you are available and stick to it.
* No More Traffic Jams – One of the best perks is not having to be caught in a traffic jam during rush hour when you need to pee. You won’t have to do that anymore and it will be a relief, most especially on bad weather days when everyone else has to trudge through the snow or the heat wave.
* Fewer Work-Related Interruptions – Office chatter can get overwhelming at times and it can be difficult to get work done due to it. Not to mention office meetings. Be honest, did you ever really get work done due to a meeting? During the meeting, you’re thinking about how you could be getting work done right now instead of talking about it.
* You Really Can Work in Your PJs – Oh yes you can. You can wear PJs, yoga pants, or a moo-moo; no one cares. You can even get inspired right out of the shower and work naked if you want to. It’s your business and your house.
* A Flexible Schedule – If you have a parent-teacher meeting you don’t have to ask permission to go. If you want to get your hair done, go for it. Whatever you want to do during the day is up to you as long as you find time to also get your work done so you can get paid. Your schedule is your own.
* You Can Eat Healthier – Going out to work often causes everyone to eat out for lunch five days a week. That can not only be super expensive, but it is also very unhealthy for everyone to do it. Now you can prepare healthy lunches for yourself or eat leftovers from dinner the night before. Save money, and save your life.
*You can focus on what’s most important. Think about what really matters to you and cut the rest out. Do you really NEED to be doing something work-related, do you even WANT to? Is it relevant? Ask yourself if what you’re spending your time on will matter 100 years from now. Take a look at the big picture and create a lifestyle that reflects things that last.
Working from home offers many benefits and even a few drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine if you have the personality for it. You’ll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business.