Working from home can feel a bit like the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities. "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
When we begin to work from home, we have an image in our head of how things will be. All of that freedom and flexibility we yearn to experience is within our grasp. We have time for ourselves, our business, our family. We get to go on long lunches with our friends and mosey through the shops when they are quiet and not overrun by all the women "running to the store on the way home." We are one of the Privileged Few. The Elite. The Independent Business Owner.
Then Reality bites our behind. We begin to quickly understand that running a successful business from home isn't quite what we expected.
The Pendulum Effect
Imagine your work from home experience as a pendulum.
The first day you work from home, you get up early and hit the ground running. Because, after all, if you've been working in a traditional environment you are wired to get up and out of the door and on the job.
And, you feel a little bit guilty about having this new leisurely lifestyle that allows you the freedom to make choices about what and when you work. So, in order to prove you've made the right decision, you set about working like mad. You don't know exactly what to do, but you will do SOMETHING.
You will take a lunch break - just like always. But then you'll head right back to work. When your children arrive home from school (unless you've opted to go and pick them up) you greet them with hugs and hellos and ask about their day. They look at you a bit like an oddity from the rare animals museum because they don't quite know what to do with you. So, back to your designated work-space you go to complete a bit more of SOMETHING to prove to your children that you really do work.
You will stop a bit early to make dinner so your family can appreciate the value of having you at home instead of running in and throwing a box of mac and cheese and corn dogs on the table.
This routine will last a week or even two. Then the pendulum swings to the other extreme.
All of a sudden, you find yourself watching daytime tv you never even thought about before.
You'll stay in your pj's, drinking coffee until 11. Then you'll hurry and take a shower so you can run and meet a friend for lunch and shopping. You get home just in time for school to be out and realize you didn't take anything out for supper. Mac and cheese and corn dogs it is. Or maybe you'll order a pizza.
This phase of the swing can last weeks. You fiddle around in your business day by day but you don't really get anything accomplished. You feel like you're working all the time - but actually you're only thinking about it. If things don't change in a hurry, you'll find you are totally OUT of business and have to start all over again.
Creating a balanced schedule is a great way to start taking control of this Stage. It doesn't have to be in stone, in fact, it won't work if it is. What you want to do is decide how you best work. For instance, do you focus better if you work In blocks of time? Are you project thinker or a goal achiever? How would it look to have a theme for your year/month/week/day? Then you simply decide how your activities fit into the picture. Danielle LaPorte suggests we ask ourselves how we want to feel about what we're doing and then do the work that will move us toward that feeling.
The Emotional Roller Coaster
There are a lot of emotions which live in the world of the working from home woman.
There's a great sense of pride at taking the plunge and leaving the 9-5 behind.
There's fear of failure and fear of success.
We battle criticism from our friends and family who believe we've given up on a career. We doubt our choices and get mad at them for not understanding.
We wish we could be content with working a traditional j.o.b. but the thought of returning is akin to drinking a bottle of vinegar straight. Not going to happen.
We hope we can generate enough income to stay even and fear we'll run the family finances into the ground.
When we gain clients or sales or contracts we are ready to party with anyone who will party with us.
When we lose the sale, forget to follow-up or blow the negotiations we feel like the worst kind of failure.
We go to bed worrying and wake up hoping.
And all of these are just one day's worth of emotions.
One of the most powerful skills we can learn is how to rule our emotions and keep them in check. It's important to check in from time to time to ask ourselves WHY we are feeling the way we are. Are the emotions grounded in fact? Were they triggered by something someone said or a dream? Are they leading us to be more powerful in our work or are they crippling us?
Artemis Limpert says, "having a (work from home) business is really a self-improvement course in disguise."
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." NIV
Philippians 4:8 encourages us to, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." NLT
Without a doubt, the war of the mind is where everything is won or lost. You will either move forward to continue to grow and build your business - or you will falter and give up. And it all depends on what you do with what you think.
As a free gift to help you along, please enjoy my 4 part Video Series and Training titled, "Get Your S.E.L.F. Out of the Way" 4 Master Keys to Improve Your Mindset.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T For Working At Home
All we want is a little respect, right?
I mean, really, come on! We keep the household running smoothly, we run errands, we work our business, we pay attention to the needs of our children and husband, we serve in the community and in church. But, somehow, people think we don't do anything.
On the one hand we battle a modern feminist view of what it is to be a successful woman. If we aren't putting our degree to good use we're wasting our talents.
In that realm there is a lack of respect for the power of the female entrepreneur! On average, only 10% of the population has what it takes to work from home. Of that 10%, only a fraction will press through the challenges in order to see financial and personal success.
These attitudes are changing because of the shift to working from home as a valid career option.
Many Boomer women are beginning their 2nd or 3rd career by creating a work from home business.
72% of millennials want to quit the traditional workforce and create their own startup or work from home business.
Via The Culture-ist. Original story here.
Sandwiched in between, are GenX women who have experienced job losses due to the economy, and have not found a suitable traditional job to replace them. Many GenX and Boomer women not only care for their immediate family, but have the responsibilities of elder-care.
As more and more women ditch the traditional route, RESPECT for the work from home woman will continue to grow.
In the meantime, women working from home must continue to support one another on the journey and to advocate for one another.
It begins by honoring yourself and the role you play in the larger scheme of things. Your contributions to the stability of family, community and economics cannot be overemphasized. And, depending on the type of entrepreneurship venture you are involved with, you may also be creating opportunities for women and families around the globe. Working from Home isn't just something you do until something better comes along. It is changing the face of the nation and the world.
Based on information collected by Coca-Cola(R) in 2014, if female entrepreneurs were a country, we would represent the 5th largest GDP. Additionally, women typically reinvest 90% of their income back into the community and those dollars represent $3 TRILLION.
So, until the rest of the world catches up,
it's time for YOU to Crown Yourself!
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