I know I am very lucky to be doing a job I love. Though it took me long enough to work out what I wanted to do. It also took me a very long time to understand that I am happier when I am doing something I love instead of just working for the wage packet. I may be poorer in money terms but my happiness level is way off the scale in the other direction. For me it is more important to be happy than to have the latest gadgets, a fast car on the drive and latest fashions on my back and all the stress that goes with that. But being self-employed isn’t for everyone.
Through rose tinted glasses my day goes something like …….to the glorious aroma of coffee I wave my children off to school as I slip into my chair at my impeccably tidy desk. I make a few calls to customers and before I know it lunch time has crept on me. A freshly made sandwich sets me up for the afternoon. I work through the sign offs on jobs and then mark off the customers who eagerly paid me on time. I just have time to organise the work for the next day before the kids come home from school just after 3pm and I switch my computer off for the night, giving me the rest of the day with the children.
Now take off those rose tinted glasses and my day is very much different. I am normally found cleaning out the cat’s dirt tray, in my dressing gown, as the children leave for school. Getting dressed quickly and chucking dirty washing as I go, my next stop is my desk. My desk is normally hiding under various school books, my own books and lots of paper. I don’t have the luxury of having my own office or even a tiny room to call an office. Instead I have a desk in the corner of the lounge. It’s not ideal as when I am supposedly relaxing on the sofa I can see me desk. Its constantly reminding what needs doing and far too easy to jump on the computer in the adverts…..never to be seen again till the wee small hours. My mornings are first filled with calls, emails, work and cats jumping up on the desk at the wrong times. Then late mornings are when I do all my running around, be it for the kids, my work or shopping. The afternoons are when I am supposed to rest ( I have M.E) but I am normally still at my desk. Kids come in through the door at 3 and I do try to stop work for a few hours. At around 7pm I am normally found back at my desk or on my netbook on the sofa. There can be days when the kids are at their dads that the only thing I talk to are the cats, and the whole time I am working, on my own.
One thing I am getting better at and that’s defining weekends. When I first started out, the weekends merged into the week and weeks merged into months. Now I try not to do any work at the weekends. I must admit that sliding into my old ways is far too easy when everything stops with me. If I don’t get it done, it doesn’t get done. Customers don’t disappear at weekends, they still have questions or want things done. It’s a very fine line between being motivated enough and being a workaholic.
In the next post I will be going over the main attributes needed to be self-employed.