I wrote this a few months ago and having spoken to a few of my clients, it still resonates and rings true for many, so if you missed it, here it is!
What have you done all day? Do you work from home and suffer that dreadful
‘what have you done all day guilt’?
Does any of this resonate with you?
Do you find yourself having to excuse, apologise, acknowledge, explain to your family, friends, your partner what it is you do all day, what you have achieved, how much you have done, what you did, when you did it, how you did it?
Do you have to explain to a well-meaning partner that you are actually working when sat in front of the laptop all day?
Do you feel bad that the washing and laundry is piling up because you have a load of business stuff to attend to, client calls, orders, and appointments?
Are you made to feel guilty because you haven’t cooked a home made meal from scratch but thrown together a quick meal or succumbed to ordering another take away for the third night in a row?
If you go to a business lunch or networking event you feel like you have to explain to your partner, friends, family and the dog that yes you were out for a couple of hours, but no you did not come home with that lucrative contract or a new customer because networking and business lunches/events are all about building rapport not going full steam ahead into an event to sell to the room?
When your partner is home with you of an evening, you get the eye rolling, the glares, the pleading of ‘please can you turn off your phone or laptop’; just as you are scheduling social media posts, writing a blog, making notes or reminders for the next day so you don’t forget the ten million things you have to do or remember, it makes you feel bad and misunderstood and you want to shout out loud ‘NO I AM NOT ON FACEBOOK BEING NOSEY I AM ACTUALLY WORKING’ or ‘NO I AM NOT TEXTING MY FRIENDS, I AM WRITING NOTES SO I DON’T FORGET TOMORROW ALL THE STUFF I HAVE TO DO’.
When you have to do a Facebook live, client call, write an email, work in the evening because quite frankly, a) its when your clients are around and b) you’ve had so much to do in the day and juggle school stuff, medical appointments etc. you have still got some work to finish while its quiet, your partner feels sad because you are not spending time with them!
When your friends or family drop you a message inviting you for a ‘quick coffee’ or a ‘impromptu lunch’ and you have to say ‘No I am working sorry’ and you then get the ‘but you can take time off when you want as you are the boss’ and you then have more guilt loaded on your already guilty mind!
When you are having the very rare five minute coffee and sandwich and your partner pops home and you feel like you have been ‘caught in the act’!
I could go on.. But you get my drift!
Why do we feel this guilt?? Pressure!! Simply we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to be all to everyone, families, kids, parents, partners, clients, and co – workers/business friends.
Simply put, because we work for ourselves we have this expectation that we can do it all, each and every day, if we work from home we assume as does the world around us, we can pop out for coffee, we can put the laundry on, we can make a 3 course home cooked meal and bake a flapjack or two for the kids to take to school in their efficient, healthy packed lunch!
STOP trying to be so darn perfect, stop trying to be all to everyone and please put you first!
Remember in our businesses we do have choices, some freedom of time but also we have to not only work really hard, we have to be accountable to ourselves first and foremost, don’t forget the buck stops with us.
So yes, sometimes we do have to work late, we do have to throw a meal together and say no to the coffee and lunch dates, BUT, its all for the greater good of being able to run our businesses, to earn an income with no ceiling or limits, to be greater versions of ourselves and to have something to be proud of in the future.
So to finish off.. And make us all feel better about being business owners, here are some positive things we can do purely because we work from home or have our own businesses!!
We can have an hour of to see our kids school plays, sports days without asking the boss.
We can start work slightly later than the norm, but often we have to work late but it’s our choice to do this, with no boss breathing down our necks.
If our children are poorly, often we can work around this with a laptop and the sick bowl next to the poorly child, run the business from the sofa just for that short period.
Often we don’t need to rely on childcare as we can work during school hours.
In the main, Income is down to us, we are not waiting on a bonus or an employer giving us a raise, if we want to earn more we can usually do it with hard work and determination or even to evolve our business into new areas.
Relationships, yes rapport and relationships, we can reach out to those like minded business owners for support or help when we need too, if we just stop getting in our own way and ask for the help!
Control! We are in control of our businesses and our lives!
If its sunny, we can often work in the garden or start early and finish at a reasonable time, have the weekends off or bank holidays and sometimes, even though I talk about boundaries a lot, we can work remotely in our businesses!Its totally acceptable if you are working from home to wear whatever you want! If you want to work while wearing PJs and slippers you can!!
That dreaded Monday feeling is a thing of the past because most of us absolutely blooming love what we do, even on the bad days we are motivated enough to pick ourselves up again.
We don’t have to commute to an office where people are forced (in the nicest possible way) to get along with one another.
You make your own coffee, you don’t have to pay into a coffee fund or make small talk by the kettle or go out for biscuits!
We don’t have to queue to use the toilet or the photocopier!
No two days are the same so we get variety!!
We are forced to be creative, to think differently and be motivated to keep going.
You are the only one doing what you do! Yes for instance in my case, there are loads of business coaches, but there is only one of me with my background, my experiences, my life and my techniques!
We have more opportunities to learn, to develop and meet new people, even if the new people you meet are in forums or groups online! Most of the time, the people you speak to daily you may never meet in the real world but they are a valuable source of support daily!
Boundaries, we do need to set boundaries, we do need to ensure a good balance so we don’t naff off the partner or the kids because we are glued to the laptop or our phones, we can switch off and we know deep down when its ok to spend an evening on the sofa with the kids or date night with the partner so they don’t feel like we are all consumed in our businesses.
Self employment, being your own boss, running a business is down right hard work BUT its so so worth it, give me the odd bit of guilt every now and then over and above being employed any day!
That’s all from me, I am off to cook a home cooked meal from scratch and be mother and wife of the year..
Only kidding! I will probably be throwing something random together for dinner but will try and not work late tonight and actually sit with my husband so I don’t get the ‘eyes rolling’ again!
Take Care and thanks for reading