Freelancing Online Jobs: Dirty Little Secrets About Working From Home
You think you want to start an online business because you want to work from home in your PJs and make ALL the money. It may sound like a good plan, but before you take the leap, you really need to know the dirty little secrets about working from home and freelancing online jobs.
I’ve been working from home for nearly 15 years, so I’ve got some first-hand knowledge on this topic. Working from home sounds like a dream to most people, but it’s the kind of thing where you should really know the truth about what it’s really like.
There are a lot of great things about working from home. I live them regularly, and I’m not sure I could ever go back to a 9-to-5 job. But let’s be honest — the stereotypes of working from home in your PJs and not showering exist for a reason.
There’s a lot to love about staying home to work and making money online, but the truth is, it’s not all glitz, glamour, and kitten snuggles. To be successful, you need more than an internet connection.
Here’s how to work from home AND be wildly successful in the process. And even if you’ve been at this for a while, there are a few good reminders in here for you too.
Have a Routine
You need a routine of some type — even if that means you roll out of bed at 10 a.m. and don’t start work until 2 p.m.
A consistent schedule helps you form good work habits and actually get your work done. It’s hard to do your work when you’re not actually following any type of routine day in, day out, and then tomorrow becomes never, and you’re in hot water with a huge backlog of work that’s piled up.
Working from home shouldn’t mean you work all the time. You need boundaries between when it’s work time and when it’s not. (And that goes the other way too as you shouldn’t be on 24/7 for your clients because your office is in your kitchen.)
Part of creating boundaries is carving out a physical workspace, if you can, preferably somewhere with a door of some type so when work’s done, it’s done. This is also helpful for times when you’re working with others at home so you can ensure they’re not all up in your space.
It’s also important to clearly communicate with your family or people you live with about what’s going on so your work time and space can be respected. I tell my son when I’m on a call (or video call) so he doesn’t bust into my office.
Ensuring You’re Professional
Yes, you work from home, but you’re still running a business. Maybe you’re gonna have a PJ party on your bottom half on video calls, and that’s cool, but you need to show up and deliver the goods to your clients.
That means minimizing interruptions and distractions as much as possible. And for days when you do have video calls or meetings, you’ll need to pull yourself into some type of presentable look. Just because they know you work from home, doesn’t mean they want to see you looking like you just rolled out of bed.
Get Out of Your House
Yes, seriously. It’s easy when you don’t leave the house to go to work every day to go into hermit mode —especially when you can use Amazon or Hello Fresh to get everything and never ever leave.
Be sure to make plans and do things with your friends or family. Don’t just stay home because you need to work or you’re slacking on making plans. In short, leave your house and SEE people. Talk to them. Laugh with them. (Plus, this forces you to shower, cause sometimes it’s far too easy to let that slide when you never go out.)
Set Clear Goals
Set a clear goal and plan for your business because, otherwise, you have a hobby, and that’s not really why you’re doing this. You want everyone to take your business as seriously as you do — and that starts with you having a plan for what you’re doing.
Taking the time to set clear goals and mapping out how you’re going to get there will help keep you on track and ensure you’re making real money. Set revenue goals, operational goals, and even marketing goals, so you’re doing the work to move your business ahead.
And as we wrap up, here are a few extras:
- Plan your lunches in advance. If you’re on a roll, it’s easy to skip lunch or reach for something quick. (This means you won’t turn to the popcorn every day.)
- Say no. Your work time is sacred. Yes, you’re flexible, but it doesn’t mean you’re responsible for all the things or have to say yes to things that infringe on your work hours.
- Tell people you’re running a business. Be clear with people that you’re not lying on the couch eating bonbons all day and that you’re working.
Think about what can you do — starting today — to make sure your work from home experience sets you up to be successful. Start by choosing one habit or practice that you need to put into place so you’re making real money freelancing or working online.