Here's a NO-BS list of the things that you may not know are important when you work from home, but they are.
1) You've got to learn to spark conversations.
Gone are the days of grabbing lunch with your colleagues between meetings or breaking up your day with friendly office chatter in the coffee room. Your dogs are now your human resources department, and they’re pretty damn quiet. So the mail man, that lady standing in front of you at the grocery store...they’re all your new friends. Spark conversations everywhere you can, not just to keep yourself sane, but because you never know whether the next person you meet could hold the key to an exciting new adventure. Or in my biz, a super fun, collaborative and lucrative new profit center.
2) The Work-From-Home 15.
Wait, what? Yes, this can be a thing. For me it was actually 10, but I’m practically a midget, so it’s like 15 on most people. You go from running around all day (sometimes in very high heels) to a life that includes yoga pants (that many days never actually make it to yoga) and a more sedentary lifestyle that lives next to your kitchen. Friends, please take my advice and incorporate exercise and activity into your day. Take breaks to walk around the block, work standing up, walk around when you’re on the phone. Move your ass and exercise, even in the middle of the day, because now that you’re the boss you can and must! Stock your kitchen with healthy plant-based snacks. And get dressed in clothes that don’t have an elastic waist and forgiving lycra at least a few times a week.
3) You work more when you're your own boss.
You may have decided to become your own boss because you crave more time with your kids, to travel more, hang with those friends you haven’t seen in ages and chase your dreams. Here’s the reality: building even a small empire may not leave you a ton of free time at the beginning, or even the middle. And let’s face it, we entrepreneurs carry an extra chromosome of hustle that predisposes us to become a workaholic. If you’re like me, you’d rather work 80 hours for yourself than 40 for someone else. It’s tricky to maintain some semblance of work/life balance, which is why it’s essential you set up a strict schedule of when you’re gonna work and when you’re gonna play. Making sure you’re doing the hard stuff first, because it’s the most important and critical to the growth of said empire. I’m sooo passionate about this topic there will be lots more coming from me on this, so stay tuned.
4) "So, what exactly do you do?" And other Q's to have A's for.
You’re going to get a lot of questions, so perfect that elevator pitch. Whatever you need to do to feel prepared to confidently answer questions about what you do, why you’re passionate about it and why the person you’re talking to should care. Maybe you used to answer these questions with a fancy title or acronym that was created to sound uber-impressive (or at the very least something everyone readily recognizes). But now you’re finding yourself trying to explain or defend your career veer to your gynecologist while she’s doing your annual check. You’ve become someone who now speaks in paragraphs to explain what the hell your dreams are and how competent you are at chasing them. You gotta do better than that because that will lose people, or at the very least bore them. Instead, get really clear on your short explanation of what you do and why, no defending required. And remember, even your dentist and your cousin Judy are still works-in-progress and trying to figure things out. So own your truth and be proud of the dream chaser you are.
5) You'll want to quit (more than a few times).
Somewhere along the way (and perhaps it’s already happened three times today), you’re going to question everything: your gig, your dreams, your career change, almond vs. oat milk in this morning’s latte. Heck, you may find yourself lying in a pile of tears alone on that hill of laundry you haven’t had the energy to fold and put away and think that you don’t have the courage to go on. You may even daydream of working at your local boutique until you snap out out of it and remember that you’ve come this far to do what you love. And guess what? YOU’RE DOING IT! So quit for ten minutes, grab some tea or a power walk and get back at it. You can quit again tomorrow.
6) It's all so totally worth it.
You, my friend, are so brave. You tapped into your guts and gusto to do what makes you happy. You need to be your own cheerleader on the tough days. You need to surround yourself with a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs who can encourage you on the days you feel like giving up. You need to fill your own cup with healthy food, sleep, exercise and positive messages constantly going into your noggin. Designing a life you love isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’re making it happen and you’re doing a pretty damn good job at it. Bravo!