There’s nothing than being your own boss, right?
Despite many nine-to-fivers out there wishing to leave the daily grind behind, being your own boss can be a delicate balancing act that’s difficult to master. In fact, many new stay-at-home solopreneurs find themselves struggling in the early years of running their business because they have no idea how to be productive beyond the walls of a traditional office.
Between working seemingly endless hours to being unable to separate “work” from “home,” burnout is inevitable for those who can’t find the proper work-life balance.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure that you and your family stay on positive terms as you work from home without messing with your bottom line.
So, where do you start?
Establish Your Own Space
First and foremost, you need to foster a productive office environment. There are many elements of a proper home office that are easy to overlook if you’ve never worked from home before. If you think it’s as easy as sticking a new desk against the wall and calling that an “office,” think again.
For starters, you’re going to need to make sure you have the following boxes ticked for your home workspace:
- Privacy:you need a dedicated place to work within your home that’s ultimately free or interruptions and distractions (ideally your own room, but a section of another room can work too if you’re flexible)
- Comfort: from controlling the temperature via fans to stylish shading solutions such as faux wood blinds so you can control the light in your space, strive to establish a station where you feel comfortable and can therefore get down to businesses
- Efficiency: similarly, you need to make sure that your tech is up to date (think: your computer, smartphone and apps, for starters) so that you’re not needlessly slowing yourself down
Being a successful solopreneur means setting boundaries, physical or otherwise. Not only do you need to establish your physical space as your own, but also make it crystal clear to those in your life that working from home means exactly that. So, what boundaries do you need to have in place?
- Designated worked hours: this will prevent you from working from dusk until dawn and give you time to actually spend with your family
- Physical boundaries: this means that your dedicated work space is for work and nothing more (think: try not to double-dip your office with a home gym)
- Social boundaries: you need to let your family and friends know that when you’re working, you’re working and should only be disturbed if absolutely necessary
At the end of the day, a job is a job regardless of whether you’re at home or at a physical office. By treating your solo gig as such, you’ll get work done faster and foster an environment where you can focus.
In the case of all of these boundaries, however, communication is key. Don’t expect everyone around you to immediately adapt to your stay-at-home lifestyle: instead, remain friendly and positive to your friends and family about what you’re doing and accept that it may take some adjusting to get used to.
Don’t Be a Recluse
Working from home doesn’t mean shutting yourself off from the outside world, though.
In fact, there are plenty of opportunities to get out of the house as a solopreneur: sometimes you can even bring your family along for the ride. For example, consider the following options such as…
- Local coffee shops and co-working spaces which are freelancer-friendly
- Short vacations where you can get some work done via laptop in small bursts while also getting to spend time with your family
- Taking longer trips where you can both knock out work during your downtime (think: sitting in the airport terminal, on the plane or in-between activities at your hotel)
Sure, you should always make sure you’re consistently working for the sake of your bottom line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun in the process, right?
Becoming a stay-at-home entrepreneur can indeed be challenging for new to the lifestyle. That being said, by setting boundaries and finding that delicate work-life balance, you’ll be way happier and productive in the long-run.