Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Home Business Disrespected

I have a feeling I'm not the only one who experiences this.
There's something about working for yourself from home that seems to make people think you can drop everything at any moment to go do something other people feel is fun or necessary.  I've often heard the comment " have no boss to put pressure on you must be heaven!"

The truth is quite different.
I've worked many jobs and though I tend to be a workaholic in whatever job I'm doing I've watched many do as little as possible to not get fired.
The worst I ever saw was working in a government situation, where one guy was constantly found at his desk sleeping, or sitting in the parking lot. He even tried to stuff the reports he should have done into the pile that was completed...I was on to him and I knew which reports he'd been given so they went back on his desk.
When you work for yourself there's no way to hide from the work, no one to push your work way to be lazy, not if you want to pay the bills.

The home office/studio works great if you're the only one at home but if there are others in the house frequently they don't 'get' that you're 'at work', and a closed door doesn't seem to deter them from disturbing or distracting you.
And there are distractions, at home there is always something to do non-work related so you have to focus.  They tell you to treat the home business as if you were going to work (ok, you can stay in your jammies) and for me I have no problem doing that...I'm what they call a 'self-starter'.

However, I do live with someone who has no respect for what I do....don't get me wrong, my mom thinks I make wonderful jewelry, but she does not respect my work time or space.  Today, my "I want to be independent" mom insists I take her shopping in the middle of my day....after her soap though.  Yesterday, it was, at 4pm, "you're making dinner today".  And if she stops in and finds me on FB or writing my blog I get "Oh, you're chatting again" as if I'm not working, and as we all know blogs and FB are how we do marketing these days.  Oh...and my fave, on a class day she says "Oh, this is your day to work".

You get the idea? I'm sure those of you with children at home when you're trying to work can add a zillion examples to that and have husbands who don't understand what the problem is.

Working from home has many advantages (yeah, the PJ commute) but it also has disadvantages and takes a lot of focus, commitment and determination.

So if you know someone who works from home respect what they do, don't get annoyed when they don't take time out of their workday to go for coffee, or shopping or want to chat on the phone for hours.

Me? When we move I'm getting a studio away from home :)


  1. SO TRUE. I sincerely hope that your new studio is still close enough for PJ's, but far enough to make that difference in the respect zone...

  2. The "oh, you work at home" comment with the condescension dripping, drives me nuts! I so hope your new studio works out perfectly for you! I am hoping that once our oldest has moved on to the next step in her life (within the next year), I'll be able to take her room and turn it into my studio. I feel like working on the couch in the living room is just not helping me to be productive.

  3. Mikki, I so relate to this...not sure where my other comment I literally am feeling sad reading this. I hear that "oh you don't work" line or "you're taking a vacation?, from what" line among just makes me feel so insignificant sometimes, but they just don't get is everything with designers, and beading takes time, effort, talent...I sometimes understand why artists are so ain't easy lol

  4. I honestly don't know how anyone gets anything done when they have kids at home, my hat's off to you guys.
    My mom will take up my time with things so I'm rushed to get work done...then she loves to say "You're always last minute,can't you organise your time better?" Argghhhh!!!!!

  5. In a nutshell, I'm a homeschooling mom (homeschooling was not a planned thing), we have a bunch of pets, and I'm an artist. Even when things are low key around here, its kind of hectic. I keep late hours so that I get things done and I multitask as much as possible. I don't share the business side of my life with family because they don't understand. How boring it must be to stay home all of the time, the internet isn't safe, social networking is bad, yada, yada, yada. My family supports my art, but they don't understand business side (except for my brother). My in-laws like the freebies, but aren't very good for spreading the news. Friends like the freebies too, but just don't get that its a business, not just a hobby. My husband supports my art and business, but doesn't totally equate the social networking with business. And then there is my muse - he doesn't always appreciate the business side of my art either. You're lucky to be getting a studio away from home. Great blog post... it has certainly gotten me thinking.

  6. My husband had a really hard time wrapping his head around the concept of me working from home, especially when I started working for He kept saying that he couldn't understand how I was going to make any money writing for a website from home. I pointed out to him that the electric hadn't been shut off, the phone still worked and they hadn't repossessed out car since I started working from home - I do the work that's required of me, and they pay me. The only difference is that I don't have to get in the car and commute to an office every day. For some reason, he understands better about the retail side of my business - he totally gets it when I come home from a farmers' market and have had a good (or bad) day of sales. But you're right - too many people just assume that my business AND my job are just "hobbies" and that since I work from home, I can just do whatever they want whenever they want me to. Granted, as the mother of a toddler, I DO make time in my schedule for play dates, play groups and other fun kid stuff for him, because that was the whole point of me working from home in the first place!

  7. Yes! If you go out to sell your wares then they treat it as a job but that's the last bit of all the work. Classes take tons of prep, as do kits and patterns...sometimes I think people just don't get that we make these things, even if they see us do it.

  8. How true!!!! the only one who understands that my time working at home IS work is my son, and that's probably because he has never seen any different and infact probably thinks that is "normal" :-) shame my friends don't see it the same way and they get insulted when i don't answer the phone during working hours or can't go for coffe with them at the drop of a hat!!! they should all read this post!!! :-)

  9. Work at home Mom/Wife here, clearly the sole caregiver to everyone who lives in the house. Also the maid, chef, secretary, personal assistant to darling, nurse, errand runner (sans car no less!), banker, budget balancer, cleaning lady, voluntary parent for school activities and excursions, all at no additional pay! My personal income comes from sales, and sales alone. Yet all everyone ever sees is the finished product (and NOT the design process, production, photography, modeling, "web mastering", listing, describing, networking, marketing, team work (I am a member of a VERY active street team on Etsy), blogging, photo sharing, and let's not forget materials hunting...).
    Oh, and I just LOVE how my 'friends' assume I "spend my life on facebook", cause, you know, it's my favorite networking and marketing tool. It's literally opened world wide doors for my businesses, but they see it as my just tooling around on the internets all day long. Funny thing is, they're the ones at their PAID jobs playing 'Jewels' and 'scrabble' all day long, and the ones constantly sending me invites for their stupid farmville/yoville/mafia wars games...


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