Read these 12 Lifestyle Issues Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Office tips and hundreds of other topics.
I am most grateful to Microsoft for a little utility program called "Free Cell" in their Windows programs. There are 32,000 possible games, and I haven't even come close to scratching the surface of those, yet Free Cell has provided me with many, many hours of diversions from the frustrations of work.
I once had lunch once with David Ogden Stires, "Major Winchester" from the old M*A*S*H program. His advice: "Nothing is totally worthless, it can always be used as a bad example." I'd take that further; you can always find something positive out of a negative experience. After the recent 9/11 attack, my wife, a former army sergeant, looked into joining the reserves as a way of helping the country. She started walking/jogging to get in shape. And I started going with her. It was a remarkable opportunity for us to get even closer in our relationship.
I've talked recently with a friend of mine, who is making the transition from "job" to "home office business owner." After about six months in business, he's having his frustrations. He had a brief flurry of work, which were the results of his intense marketing efforts. Then he finished the work, sent the invoices, and now he's waiting for the checks to arrive. But one thing he's not doing, is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
Instead, he's putting his nose to the grindstone, and cranking up those same marketing efforts that brought in his first round of work. With a little hard effort and belt-tightening, he's convinced he's going to make it through. I'll let you know how he's doing.
We own a small home, and consequently my home office is in a very public area of the house. And this has happened more often than I've liked: I'm on the phone with the CEO or Marketing VP of a client company, and at that moment, one of my sons has decided to put a good tease on my three year old daughter.
There's no good way to undo that; however, I do often remind my clients that I work from home, the kids live here, and the quality of my work speaks for itself. (A happy subcontractor is a good subcontractor!)
When I get frustrated that the kids are making too much noise, I try to remind myself that there really is no place like home, that they're all home and safe, and that I really have a good thing compared with all those folks who have to put up with traffic, annoying bosses, and now, threats of terror in the workplace.
As a home office business owner, my biggest frustration by far is poor cash flow. The best way I've found to deal with that is to be pre-emptive in my sales, and in fact the whole way I have structured my business. Over the years, I've dealt with slow cash flow by trying to sell (and succeeding, to some degree), larger, multi-part projects that recur on a regular basis.
Is a client or customer making unreasonable demands? That old saying is true: "the customer is always right." If you can't give them what they want, give them their money back. It may seem like a costly thing to do, but the real value is in the good will you buy with that extra effort, or with the refund money. A good name is worth more than gold; you never know how it will come back to benefit you in the future.
Does "going it alone" seem like a frightening prospect sometimes? Check out www.tinygiant.net - here's a person who's been on his own for more than 30 years.
Chances are, he's had to face obstacles far greater than you or I have ever had to face. Yet he's built a career of his own that would make most people quite envious. Check out his story, at www.tinygiant.net.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|