This is a guest post by Haim Pekel.
If you aspire to walk the Hometrepreneur path, you must wear the entrepreneurial boots, and boots, my friend, were made for walking!
Everyone knows that working from home requires sitting on your butt for a few months (at least), in the same room, grinding it out, day-in and day-out to achieve deadlines and goals you’ve set for yourself. You do that with hopes of creating something out of nothing. Let me tell you, nothing in your life will compare to this period. No challenge can ever prepare you for this type of endeavor. If you don’t learn how to commit and focus in a relatively isolated environment, you’ll surely fail.
To improve your odds of success, make sure you have extracurricular (non-work) activities; make sure you have fun! You probably thought I was going to tell you to take it on the chin and keep working hard (well that too).
Why should you? Because it is a make or break period full of challenges. It can send even the most productive “ex-employee/would-be entrepreneur” running back to the safety and stability of the more social employment circle. Yes, if you fail to socialize while you’re working from home, you’ll probably fail also as a Hometrepreneur.
We’re social beings with social needs and we’re required to polish our cognitive skills with other people on a daily basis. That’s why you have to become a master in managing and controlling all matters social. You need to maintain a framework with boundaries that will combine your work and social activities, here’s how…
Maintain Solid Boundaries: time, space and relationships
Other people don’t take working from home seriously. They don’t treat your home office hours as they would treat hours spent in an office away from home. They tend to imagine that you’re having fun on the internet or playing games all day. You know that’s not the case. You’re working long hours to produce what sometimes seem like meager results. Often, you are in conflict with your environment.
You see and feel the pressure to be like everyone else everywhere. Back in the old days, it was more extreme of course; if you didn’t convert to the majority’s religion or looked slightly different, people would regard you as a heretic and persecute you.
Today, thankfully, it calmed down a bit, but you can still feel society’s assimilation pull on you. If you’re not in the circle, you get questions that might make you feel unpleasant about what you do; even if those questions are asked with the best of intentions.
There’s a good reason why it feels that way. It’s imprinted in us. We must follow the group’s behavior; it doesn’t matter if you belong to a group of rebels or a group of billionaires. Everyone who diverts is regarded as an outsider; outsiders, in our primitive past, were regarded as danger. That’s why they’ll try to assimilate you or get rid of you.
The best way to deal with those intrusions is to set unbreakable ground rules. Your time at work is not an opportunity to socialize in a coffee shop, you can do that after; set strict hours of operation. The room you work in is not a nursery or a public room; it’s your stronghold for work objectives only. The most sensitive one issue: your relationships with your family (who share the same space as you) should be limited during work hours to professional activities only.
Nay Sayers will say nay, no matter what you’ll do. You’ll have to live with it without trying to prove them wrong because it’s a waste of energy.
We tend to become self-righteous hermits and isolate ourselves when the going gets though
For some reason, when there’s a lot of work to be done and we can’t see the end, we’re the first to condemn ourselves to solitude; slaving day and night without seeing anyone. The reason you ask? It’s FEAR, fear of leaving the eggshell we created at home, fear of the accumulated tasks we’ve been putting off, fear of what the outside world will have to say about our new relatively income-less occupation, and the list goes on.
Like most fears that derive from pride, the dialog behind this fear is internal. No one can offer you help when you reach the “hermit stage” because you’ll defend what you do tooth and nail. It’s like a gambler on a losing streak who’s waiting for the one hand of blackjack that will save him.
Socializing and exposing yourself to likeminded people can help you break that hold. It’ll fuel creative juices, reconnect you to what’s important, and ensure you don’t divert from your targeted goals. You must fight the hermit mind frame and maintain social activities because it’s one of your only anchors to reality at this stage.
Social activities and environments during and after work hours can include:
- Exercising with other people (and socializing on the way). You’ll get two birds because exercising will make sure your mind remains sharp for longer hours at work, pumping oxygen better to your brain, improving your health and increasing productivity.
- Entrepreneurial gatherings such as conventions, meet-ups, and conferences hold great appeal both in the networking department and in the socializing arena. They can help you gain a foothold in an exclusive club and widen your network of connections. This opens new opportunities for you and your project, helping you return back to your home office with renewed vigor to tackle anything.
- Work hubs/lounges provide both a place to work and likeminded people to socialize with. You’ll get out of your home office environment to a workspace that functions as an office for all purposes. Plus the added benefit of having other professionals who are bent on making it on their own just like you.
In the previous company I built, I worked for almost two years from home: making phone calls, running errands, filing reports, selling, writing, creating, designing, learning, the works! Only after those two years, after working almost day and night from home, I was able to move into an office environment. I learned the following social lessons while at home, the hard way.
I’m Haim Pekel, IQTELL’s Marketing Director. I’d like to invite you to join us on our GTD app IQTELL. On our Getting Things Done App you’ll be a part of a highly communicative community supported by a team of GTD experts who love what they do!…Contact us on our Google+ account if you’d like an app grand tour!