I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve had someone say to me, “John, you’re so lucky to be working from home. I wish I could do what you do”
All I can do is shake my head.
It might seem like I’m sitting at home eating breakfast cereal and watching cartoons whilst pulling in $5,000 a day, but in reality, it’s far from that.
I often work late, I’m often working weekends, and the isolation of working from home can be enough to do your head in.
So before you start rubbing your hands together thinking it’s going to be all cupcakes and candy canes, here’s 5 of what I would consider the biggest reality checks you need to be aware of before you make the plunge.
Every day is Monday and Sunday
Now that might sound odd, but let me tell you I often forget what day it is, because it’s been nothing but work for days on end, and occasionally I’ll have to actually stop and think about it. “What day is it?” I think once I actually forgot what month it was. But anyway, that’s besides the point. My point is this – when you’re self employed, there are no days off, there are no weekends, there are no public holidays. Even still now, after having run my SEO business I still look at people strangely when they say things like “Awesome, its a long weekend this weekend!”
Not for me it isn’t. It’s just “another day”.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. Some days I might sit in a cafe for an hour and a half, or I might spend some time with my girlfriend shopping, or just go for a drive or hit the gym – whatever. But in the back of my mind, I know I have work to do. So it’s give and take. Yes, you can work your own hours, but that work isn’t going to go away magically. You have deadlines and shit needs to get done, regardless of what day it is. Monday or Sunday.
The isolation can be a killer
Working from home isn’t for everyone.
If you’re the type of person that enjoys a chat in the office with your workmates, then working from home may not be the best option for you. For myself personally, I’m usually pretty good at keeping my own company, but there are definitely days where I just about lose my mind and need to get out of the house – even if it is to a local cafe. Just to see other people and interact.
There have seriously been times where I’ve gone a week straight without leaving the house – and that in itself is bonkers. Honestly, it’s bed, computer, bed, computer, bed, computer. I might break it up by moving about 5 feet to the lounge room and watching some Netflix, but that’s about it. Sometimes I’ll leave the house to go to the supermarket for food and be on my way into the store and need to stop and check to see if I’ve put pants on. That might sound funny, but its true.
You can find yourself living in a bubble if you’re not careful, so before you quit your job, be mindful of it, especially if you live on your own.
Thankfully I have someone living with me, which definitely helps.
You’re entirely financially responsible
I remember someone asking me once, “How do you stay motivated working from home? I’d be too tempted to just sit around watching TV or doing whatever” I said, “I don’t have any issues with motivation, because I know if I stop focusing on what I should be doing, the money stops, and if the money stops, I’ll be back in a shitty job.”
Staying motivated and getting the work done has never been a problem for me, but I could imagine that it might be for others. Being self employed and working from home, you’ve got no one to kick you up the ass if you start slacking. It’s entirely on you to get shit done. Sitting around watching TV or fucking around on Facebook all day is eventually going to catch up with you – so that shit needs to be kept in check.
Don’t get me wrong, I make great money, and I could easily spend most days fucking around, but I know that getting complacent is dangerous, so every now and then I’ll go back over previous leads, and emails etc and put the hammer down.
Ensuring the bank balance is moving in the right direction is vital if you stand any chance of surviving.
It’s always going to be your fault
When you’re working a regular job, it’s easy to point the finger and blame someone else when things go to shit. But when you’re the boss, there’s no one to blame except you.
- Missed that deadline? It’s your fault.
- Fucked up someones billing? Its your fault.
- Forgot you had a meeting scheduled? Its your fault.
- Client sent you a nasty email? Its your fault.
- Client cancelled? Its your fault
There’s no one to blame except you.
The pressure of that, along with everything else that goes on with running a business can get stressful, especially when you screw something up big time and have to apologise to a client, or admit to yourself that you really fucked up.
Emotional roller coasters can be exhausting if you’re not careful
I would certainly say that the worst part of being self employed are the emotional highs and lows that come with the job.
There are days where I absolutely love what I do, and other days where everything goes to shit and I want to punch someone in the face. Thankfully those days are fewer now than what they were when I first started, but for someone quitting a comfortable 9-5 job where you don’t have anything to think about once you clock out for the day – running your own business is entirely different.
There are certainly times where you’ll be busy as fuck, where you can barely think, and other times where you’ll wonder if its even worth it at all. Then on the flip side there’ll be times like I had just recently where I cleared $21,500 over a weekend or today when I closed a $9,000 web job.
The best way I can describe it is seriously, an “emotional roller coaster”.
Some people are great at handling the ups and downs. To be honest, Im still learning, but I could only imagine that for some, the massive peaks and troughs that come with being self employed, and working from home, might be enough to have them calling their boss and asking for their old job back.
It’s not all bad
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, and I certainly wouldn’t swap the lifestyle I have now for anything, but starting and running an SEO business from home can be incredibly challenging, and this is why I offer the services I do – to help people just like you who are thinking of going out on their own.
I remember when I first started. I would’ve given anything to have someone help me get setup without all the mistakes and lost time and money, but that never happened. I had to figure everything out on my own.
Again, its not all bad, and its certainly not as bad as working a shitty job, but if you are thinking of setting up your own SEO gig from home, then you need to be well aware of what’s ahead of you so you know you’re making the right decision.