Who said working from home is easy?

OK, I might not have to battle snow and ice to get to work. Or worry about sleeping in an extra half-hour after a late night watching the post-game shows. Or even wrestle with the perennial chore of what to wear every blessed day.

But working for yourself from home is not without its challenges. I tell people who ask me about it (with dreams in their head and longing in their eyes) that it’s not for everyone.

You have to be self-motivated. Nobody is checking to make sure you’re at your desk, doing whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing to earn a living. You have to forget there’s a TV a few feet away, a refrigerator full of food, rooms that need cleaning, a novel begging to be read, or an Internet full of time-wasting at your fingertips.

You have to deal with the insecurity of not being sure of your next paycheck. Or the one after that or the one after that.

You have to find all the jobs, pay all the taxes, buy all the supplies, and make all the coffee. You have to be your own cheerleader — attaboys are hard to come by. The very best you can hope for is that they’ll call you again next time.

Working solo means usually being alone. No one’s around the water cooler to rejoice over the big win, lament over the big loss, or dish about what so-and-so said when you-know-who told him about you-know-what. Lunchtime is no different from any other time. There’s never any birthday cake at 4:00 in the conference room. It’s isolating. You have to have the temperament to deal with that. And no, everyone else is not checking e-mail all day long. Your computer is your lifeline in so many ways, but it’s not always attached at the other end.

And, there will be other obstacles you didn’t anticipate. For example, it’s hard to write when you can’t see what you’re writing.

blocking-the-screen

And it’s hard to type when you can’t move your arm.

asleep-on-my-arm

And yes, you may end up wearing your bathrobe for an embarrassingly long time.

I’m just saying. Just so you know.

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. 
                                                ~ James Matthew Barrie

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