When I get asked what I do for a living, I immediately respond, “My dream job.” They say when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s true. I’ve learned a lot from having my own business and working from home. It’s the early mornings, it’s the late nights, it’s the chance to make a mark in the world. That’s why I love what I do.
People will have their opinions on what you ‘do’.
It’s sad to say. But like I mentioned in a previous blog post, people will always have an opinion. (Even if you don’t want it!) One of the big things I’ve learned working from home was that people would think I didn’t have a ‘real job’ and that I did nothing all day. I’ll be frank with you. That wasn’t the most hurtful thing I’ve heard. I don’t know, I may have missed my calling to be a real housewife of Atlanta. It must have been between those late nights, weekends, and emails.
Putting your heart and soul into owning your own business and working from home isn’t always as ‘glamourous’ as it may look. In a world where we all strive to have that picture-perfect life represented through an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed, I’ve found the important thing is to know your worth. You are so much more than a creative business owner. More importantly, your emotions shouldn’t be determined by Instagram likes, sales, and what people think of you. The truth is, I’m a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and daughter of God. I’d much rather be remembered for these roles than the role I play in my business. As much as you may want to punch these people in the face, have some grace. They honestly just don’t know any better.
“You must stand in the rightness of your vision and let your success silence their doubts.” – Jasmine Star
It’s hard to turn it off.
I thought this would change when we moved into our home. I took over one of the rooms as an office, and told myself it’d be easier to leave the room and walk away. (HA!) I can hear my fellow creative business owners laughing at me through the screen. No one told me how addicting it could be. No one told me how easy it was to have your whole being wrapped into your business.
When you work a 9-5 job, most of the time, it’s just that. You get to leave everything at the office and go home for the day. When you own your own business and work from home, it’s always there. You’ve put your whole self into making it successful, and it’s not always the easiest to put down. (Even for just a night!) Although this was one of the quickest things for me to realize, it is one of the things I struggle with the most. I don’t like to be idle, and I’m not a fan of doing nothing. I hate to admit that sometimes my husband has to call me out at 10:00 at night for me to realize it.
Spoiler alert: trying to get around it by bringing your laptop to the couch to ‘watch TV’ doesn’t count as logging off
The importance of a schedule
I’m a sucker for to-do lists. There’s only one problem. I don’t know when to step back and put the rest off for the next day. Plus, looking at a long list of tasks can be a little overwhelming. I’ve found that scheduling out your tasks is just as important as making your to-do list.
Because it’s so hard to turn it off at the end of the day, I’ve learned the importance to make a plan for myself. Every Sunday night I sit down before bed and plan for the upcoming week in my planner. I write down my commitments and schedule tasks in between for different days during the week. I’ve found that smaller to-do lists scheduled strategically throughout your week are so much less daunting and overwhelming. Plus, I feel so much more accomplished at the end of the day when I’ve completed my mini list.
Sometimes you need to take a break – and that’s okay!
It’s no secret that sometimes we get swept up into the hustle of owning a business. You have to work hard. Really hard. But, it’s important to remember the reason why you decided to pursue that dream of yours at full throttle. I wanted to build something for myself and not for whatever company I was currently working for. I also wanted to build something that would allow me to be more present for my family one-day. In the midst of chasing our dreams, why don’t we allow ourselves to rest? (or do the things we started our businesses to be able to do!)
I’m sure, at one point or another, everyone has experienced a ‘burn out’. Just like you would need a break at a regular 9 to 5 job, you need a break when you’re working for yourself. It’s extremely important to make time for things that inspire you. I’ve learned that those coffee dates with other creatives, lettering doodles, and the long walks I take with the pup are not only fun. They’re necessary. Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to mix work and pleasure like everyone else.
“There are 1,440 minutes in a day, it’s okay to take 5 minutes to sit, breathe, and appreciate the moment.”
You feel better when you still do your morning routine.
Don’t get me wrong. I love working from home in my pajamas as much as the next person. I’m pretty sure that’s why Saturdays are in existence. I especially love the PJ life when the rest of my week is filled with meetings and commitments where yoga pants are frowned upon. I’ve approached my days in the office at home both ways. But, in the end, I’ve learned to love the days that I do more than just take that trek down the stairs to my office.
Not only do I feel more productive during those days when I get moving in the morning and get dressed, do my hair, and put on make-up. I feel more put-together. (Literally!) I feel so much better about myself and what the day has to offer me. There’s a reason why we, as women, feel like we can conquer the world when we wear heels and red lipstick. It’s about setting yourself up for success every day when you get out of the bed. (Not to mention, it’s nice to look cute for my hubby when he comes home from work. 🙂 )