Monday, August 20, 2012

Last week was Sarah's first full week of work with no office in sight.  Whoa.  Yeah, she felt it.  We, like many of our lovely readers, are both self-employed and work from home.  Yes, there are many advantages, but with being the boss lady and the in-home office and/or studio, come unique challenges as well.

My own self-employment has taken many paths in the last 3 years.  Not even paths, more like back country black diamond, jump from a helicopter ski trail paths.  I have been self-employed since pretty much forever.  My early days as a working artist, even if I was teaching, working as a grant recipient or selling at a gallery, I always had something brewing on the side.  Whether it was dog walking, crafting, or up-cycling furniture, when one work day ended, another began.  The biggest shift occurred several years ago when I went from working two jobs and an internship, to just being at my private practice.  Yikes.  I remember feeling like I was at the end of an electrical cord.  I was yanked out of the outlet, forever looking for the power supply.  It definitely took some getting used to.  Of course once I was comfortable life changed.  Fast.  I took a leave from my practice, became pregnant shortly after, went back to teaching, stopped teaching, had the Bean, founded Zelma Rose, started blogging, closed my practice, and the rest is chaotic history.

I have said it before, but it's worth repeating, I like to swim with the sharks.  I'm happiest when the water is right below my chin and there is a far and furious swim to the shore.  I'm comfortable out there bobbing in the waves.  Crazy.  With all the unexpected that each day brings, I am actually a lot better at what Sarah and I like to call, getting shit done.  I used to sit on things forever.  Duh, I'm totally analytical. At least I was.  Now, things don't sit on my to-do list for very long.  If it needs to be done, I just do it.  I don't put anything off.  I can't.  I simply do not have the time.  Give me 15 minutes and you will see a hell of a lot of shit getting done.  I love it!

This way of being is so different than my life before becoming a mom.  I had NO idea what free time was.  NONE.  Not even a hint of an idea.  Sometimes I would just sit and do nothing.  Yeah literally nothing.  I don't even know what nothing is anymore.  Every minute of my day and night is full and I work hard to make each moment count.   By all standards I should be exhausted.  Worn out. Burnt out, but I'm actually thriving.  Having more to do has meant that for someone like me who likes to swim with the sharks, I can respond to tasks much more easily.  It takes a good amount of stress for me to respond to something.  I'm just one of those people.  Having a full plate means that I have deadlines everyday.  One down, another to go.  Always.  And I love it.

Yeah, I do have days, last week was certainly full of them, where I have a hard time making magic happen.  That's when being the boss and working from home gets really challenging.  No one reminding you about deadlines, no one knocking on your office door asking for that email or meeting. Staying motivated those days is hard.  Still, life must go on.  And it does. I can promise you time will continue to pass.  It's science.

Sarah is going to chime in tomorrow with her thoughts on self-employment and working from home.  I'm going to follow up later in the week with some ideas on how we respond to stress, what kind of learners we are and how knowing about how you respond and learn can make all the difference when you are the boss lady.

For now, Happy Monday and don't forget to share your self-employments thoughts below.  We can't wait to hear them!



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