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5 Things I Learned While Working For Myself

Working from home isn’t for everyone. In fact, 5 years ago I worked from home and hated it. But this time around I wouldn’t change a thing. This time around I’ve approached working from home differently and have learned a few things about myself and my workflow that has made working from home truly enjoyable.

The “typical” schedule doesn’t work for me.

Before I started working from home I was at a 9 – 6:30 pm office job in Center City. As much as I hated sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day, when I started working from home it felt strange if I wasn’t at my desk the entire time from 9 – 5pm. It took about three months for me to figure out and give myself permission to create a schedule that works for me. I enjoy the fluidity of my schedule and find that my work life balance is much more healthy now. Since I started working this way I’ve become much more productive and enjoy what I’m doing more than ever before.

Quickbooks isn’t that scary.

The aspect I dreaded the most about working for myself was the business side of things. My last experience with Quickbooks was over 10 years ago in high school. Thankfully since then, they’ve done massive updates to the infrastructure and it’s much more user-friendly and intuitive. I’ve never been the one that’s “good at math” (reading is more my thing) but it was a lot easier to figure out Quickbooks that I expected. Plus, they have a great chat support feature which has helped me solve problems quickly.

I never work in coffee shops.

I don’t know why I had this idea, but for some reason I had this vision of bopping around to different coffee shops, setting up station, and getting to work. But in reality, I’ve worked at a coffee shop maybe three times during the past year and a half. Basically, it comes down to this: I have a large screen desktop at home that makes working with multiple programs at once (Lightroom, Illustrator, Chrome, etc) much easier. I’m not one of those people who buy one coffee and nurse it for three hours.

Typical work-from-home rules don’t apply.

Every article I’ve read about the work from home life encourages having a separate office space (one that is not in your bedroom) and getting dressed every day as if you were going into the office. My office is in my bedroom and if I don’t have appointments that take me out of the house, I’m keeping it comfy at home. I haven’t had any issues falling asleep in my bedroom even though my office is in it.

Some people don’t think I work full time.

While I do have some flexibility in my schedule, I have a full workload and can’t just take the day off to visit a cool place or meet up for a chat all the time.  Sometimes I feel bad saying I’m unavailable because technically I’m the one who controls my schedule and I don’t want to come across as rude, but I also have deadlines and responsibilities.

Do you work from home? If so, what has been surprising to you? 

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  • Exploring my backyard which turns into national forest at the edge of my property. Somebody tell me this is real life.

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  • Peas in a pod.

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  • When you’re pregnant dog wakes you up at 5:30 in the morning to go outside the silver lining is seeing the sunrise making pink snow.

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  • I think I’m going to try and get away with *not* snow plowing this time. #springtimeincolorado

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  • I've been cracking code all day working on a new website design for a client and yet it is STILL snowing up here in the mountains so I've been building fires all day.

I gotta admit tho - the sound of a crackling fire does me some good. Calms my nerves and helps me get cozy on the couch when cranking out new WordPress websites. All in a day's work. #webdesigner #westcodigital
  • “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou #mondaymotivation
  • I recently decided to write down my values - the principles that act as a foundation for everything I do. When things get tough, these are the values I re-read, the ones that ground me and steer me in the right direction.

Transparency - Communicate honestly with compassion.

Dedication - Work Hard. Innovate.

Servant’s Heart - Treat others with respect. Follow the golden rule.

Quality - What I do, I do well.

Integrity - Be real.

What values resonate with you?
  • Spent that past week doing things I love. 10/10 would recommend. What makes you happy? Fresh mountain air is definitely top three for me. Photo by @danielle_conyers 
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