Challenges of freelancing as a coach (28-Feb-2013)

Even with all its advantages, or maybe because of them, working at home is not without its challenges. I realised this early on in my career when I made a conscious decision to work flexi-time and flexi-place so that I could be more involved in the growth and schooling of my children. Some common problems I had to overcome to be successful as a flexi-place worker were: • Distractions from family and friends: If you have children, at first they wont understand that even though you're now at home full time, you still need to separate your time. You will constantly be bombarded with questions and requests. Friends may also feel that it gives you more time to talk, shop, visit. Spouse also feels that since you are at home you are responsible for everything that needs to be taken care of at home. • Not being taken seriously: As a worker, you need to be taken seriously by their clients, customers, supervisors, family and friends. The best advice to be given in the factor of seriousness is you'll only be taken as seriously as you take yourself. Sure, you can stay in your pajamas until late into the evening hours, but what mindset does that give you? Is it professional? Is it serious? • Ending up working too much: this is a natural trap to fall into after not having to leave the house to make your money, and not realizing how many hours passed while you were at work. • Inability to separate work and personal life led by family interruptions, housework that needs doing, deliveries, friends, pets. • Lack of support system • Not enough space • Feeling of isolation: Once the euphoria of your freedom and free will wears off, you will be tested. You cannot lean back in your chair and peek over into the next cubicle and catch your neighbour’s attention. No social interactions at the water cooler for you. This is all you and only you. At first, it's a beautiful thing. Then, you start to feel isolated. • Lack of privacy since you work in the same area where you live. Visitors can have a peek into the most intimate areas of your life through your kitchen, the way rooms are kept, photographs etc. What helped me: Self-discipline and self-management so that I could meet deadlines, was ready for every daily deliverable and at the same time not feeling overburdened.


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