It’s always interesting to talk to people about what we do. We get all sorts of reactions, almost always accompanied by one of these five myths about working from home:
1. “It must be so nice to work whenever you want!”
Yes, it is. We can do things we were never able to do when working for someone else.
However, you might be surprised to know that we still work on a schedule most days. When you work from home, following a routine is absolutely essential. We schedule social media times into each day so we won’t get sucked down the Pinterest or YouTube vortex.
We have young children, so they go to a babysitter a few days a week (Gasp! Yes, we still use childcare). We have to cram most of our work into those days because it’s really hard to get things done when the kids are here. Not to mention, we don’t like to work when they’re here because we like spending quality time together.
Many times, we are at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. We record podcasts at all kinds of crazy times depending on when guests are available. These are all things you have to consider when you don’t have office hours.
2. “You take naps every day, right?”
I think this was Shane’s main motivation to start our own business. The truth is that we rarely ever take naps. When you’re able to get an appropriate amount of sleep every night, you don’t need to.
When we worked for someone else, we had to be at work at 7:30 every morning. Doesn’t sound too early, but when you consider having to get up early to get the kids ready, dropping the kids off at child care, and the 20 minute commute, it’s a rude awakening (literally). My alarm went off at 5:40 every morning. To get a decent amount of sleep, we should have gone to bed before 10:00 each night. I can tell you that rarely ever happened.
These days, we go to bed around the same time we always did, but we’re able to get up at 7:30 instead of two hours earlier. We’ll have to adjust our schedule somewhat once our son goes to school in August, but it’s so nice to feel well-rested every day instead of living on caffeine and praying for the weekend to come quickly so you can catch up on sleep.
3. “It must be challenging to work with your spouse every day. I think I’d kill mine!”
I won’t say it’s all sunshine and roses, but Shane and I get along pretty well most of the time. We are very different people, so we differ a lot on our business philosophies sometimes. Shane helps me branch out and do things that are out of my comfort zone, and I rein his crazy ideas in and help him focus on the details of each project.
I honestly think our differences make us stronger, though. As the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
We spend a lot of time together, but it’s fun. Most days, anyway.
4. “I bet you have tons of time to go to the gym and clean the house!”
Ah yes – the gym. The thing you always swore you’d do more if you didn’t have that pesky job holding you back. The truth? I do have lots more energy to go to the gym these days, but I go about as often now as I did when I still worked for someone else (around 2 times per week). Working out is a priority for me, but there are still 24 hours in each day, so you have to prioritize your time.
As for the house, we still struggle with this, too. In the past few weeks, we’ve been successful with dedicating one day to cleaning. When I worked for someone else, Saturday was cleaning day (unless we had other plans). Now it’s usually Monday, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that our house is probably never going to be perfectly clean and straight.
I’d love to say I have plenty of time to do all my work, finish all the chores, and make a Pinterest-worthy meal each day, but that’s just not reality. One of my personal goals for 2014 is to continue to create systems to achieve better balance in this area.
5. “Isn’t it nice to not have to think about work all the time?”
This is probably the biggest myth about working from home. The truth? We think about work during almost every waking hour.
The difference between us and people who work for someone else is that we honestly love every minute of it.
Having your own business is so exciting! I love the freedom we have now, and it’s so amazing to do work we truly love. We never need a vacation like we did when we worked for someone else because we don’t really need an extended break. Not to mention, we can do our jobs from anywhere! When we feel like taking a trip, we go!
What do you want to know about starting an online business? If you have already taken the plunge to self employment, do you have any myths to dispel? Talk to us in the comments!