What Working From Home Is “Really” Like

I spent 2 long years growing a business while working a regular job so that I would have control of my life, so that I could work from anywhere,  and any time.  I didn’t want to have to ask permission to do the things I want.

Last June I reached my dream, and I couldn’t be happier. My life has changed in ways I can’t even describe.

But, working from home and for yourself is not always great. I still have bad days just like everyone else.

People Think You Are ALWAYS Available

One thing I have discovered is that people think because you work for yourself, and from home, that you are available all the time.

Friends and family who are at regular jobs and need a “quick favor” call all the time. “Can you swing by the house and pick this up for me?”, “I’m on my way to your house I need help with something”, and “I have today off from work and need help around the house I’ll need you here in about an hour”.

Now, to be fair I don’t mind helping people out, in fact, it is part of the reason that I wanted to work for myself. The problem is though that working for myself is still work, and though it’s true I don’t have a schedule, I have things I have to get done.

I have client projects, Amazon orders to fill, podcast interviews to schedule and do, and on and on. So in order to get all of this done, I make a “schedule” to follow (which I’m really bad at by the way).

Clients Reach Out 24/7

In addition to friends and family thinking you have all this free time, the opposite is true of many clients.

Clients seem to think that you’re working 24 hours a day and no matter what issue they are having it’s at the top of your priority list to fix.

I have received “urgent” emails, texts, and phone calls as early as 4 AM for things that are by far not “urgent”.

The vast majority of clients are great, some better than great, but those few rough ones are the ones you always focus on.

When Was The Last Time I Ate?

Another great benefit of working from home is access to all of life’s luxuries. I have my 4K TV my wife bought me last year, I have my entire kitchen (no brown bagged lunch for me), and no dress code.

I also have no need to use any of the things around the house while I’m working. The TV shouldn’t be on (honestly though I sometimes have Netflix running while I work), though I could cook a nice meal I don’t because often times I forget to eat.

That’s right. Since I started working from home I actually eat far less. I work and get wrapped up in what I’m doing. Hours go by and I have no idea, so often times my wife will ask me what I’ve had to eat today around 4 or 5 in the evening, and either I don’t know or I haven’t eaten anything.

There are also many times I don’t leave the house for days at a time, meaning my only human contact is with my wife or the UPS driver bringing my packages.

That being said I have a pretty healthy social life and volunteer work so I know other people who work from home that go weeks without seeing other people. After a few hours, I start to go a little crazy so I can only imagine.

I Can Never Go Back

With all those negatives of working for yourself, you would think I would want to go back to the way things were.

Let me assure you, not only do I not want to go back, I honestly don’t think I could.

Yes, people think I’m always available, but many times I am. Just yesterday an older woman needed some help with her TV and I was able to go over and get everything set up for her. It was a simple fix for me, but for her it changed her week.

I’ve also got some clients I love working for and they make up for the few 4 AM calls I do get.

I have had more lunches and dinners with friends than ever before. I get to spend time with people I love and I don’t think I’ve ever, in the 6 years we’ve been married, seen my wife this often. It’s fantastic!

Not only that, but working a set “hours” just terrifies me. When I worked my normal job if I finished all my work for the day and had 2 hours left on my shift, I had to stay those 2 hours and do absolutely nothing.

Working for myself, I work as much if not more than I did when I had the normal job, but when I’m done work I stop working.

If I don’t want to work another 2 hours “because I’m scheduled” then I don’t. I get the work done that needs to be and that’s it.

Will You Try It?

I think everyone should have some sort of side hustle. So with the good, the bad, and the ugly here will you start one?

I’ve spoken a lot about the different kinds of side hustles out there and how much you can make with them. Why not give one of them a try.

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