Every now and then a client says something to me that I really didn’t expect. A week or two ago a client told me that he was so incredibly happy to be in a co-working space and around people again. That didn’t surprise me. He is a natural extrovert and people person. What did surprise me was this: He said that he had felt guilty about not enjoying working at home alone in his PJs and “Living the Dream.”
I asked him if we could discuss that a little more. He added that most of the people he knew were part of the lifestyle business community and that he had achieved the goal of serving clients and being able to work wherever he wanted, but that he kind of hated it.
Being alone at home must have been pretty depressing for him. Now of course he got out to networking events and went on client calls and had phone calls, etc. – but the bulk of his time was spent doing his work alone wherever.
What a difference a change of location made! When we had our weekly call he was very happily settled into his new office. He was gushing about how productive he was, and that made me very happy.
Another client also didn’t like working from home but she had a slightly different issue. She liked to collaborate and work in teams. As a solo business owner, you can certainly work with clients or other business owners, but the types of projects she had been getting mostly required her to write, and that was solo work that she did out of her house. She might have benefited from a co-working space with people around her or from working at a client site, at least some of the time.
Here’s the thing: “The Dream” may not be your dream.
Now I am the consummate lifestyle business professional. I deliberately built a virtual business where I could work from anywhere. I prefer to work alone, and just to add some color to this, I am currently in LA (although I live in Chicago) and am writing this blog post in my PJs after having completed a client call.
I am living MY dream but it might not necessarily be yours. You may want to work primarily alone, and sometimes work from a coffee shop or co-working space. Or you may want to work primarily in a place where there are other people. It’s a personal choice. And depending on your mood or the project you are working on, the optimal physical location may be different.
Like that disclaimer for investing results, your results may vary. Figure out what works best for you and don’t try to live someone else’s dream.
How do you like to work? Where do you like to be? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
(By Catherine Morgan)