Working from home. A comfy couch, the TV on me in my boxers. That’s the dream, right? I didn’t have to fight traffic to get to work. I didn’t have to find a parking spot and walk through the rain. I didn’t have to do recon work to find out who switched my chair out with the one that squeaks. I simply rolled out of bed, poured myself a bowl of my favorite cereal that’s typically meant for a much younger audience and opened my laptop. Livin’ the dream, baby!
My friends certainly voiced their jealousy as they imagined how much simpler their lives would be if they could work from home as well. It would be all sweatpants and Netflix as far as the eye could see! A funny thing happens though – the novelty wears off. Working from the couch with the TV on felt rebellious at first. The listeners on the other end of the conference call had no idea you were actually watching an episode of Chopped or catching up on a marathon of Friends reruns. It was exciting! It was…
Now you’re making far greater use of the snooze button than you originally intended and even the cat seems to be judging you silently from the other room. Your work level drops in quantity, quality or both and inspiration seems to be at an all-time low for tasks that you used to enjoy! Something has to change.
One of my favorite motivational speakers is Les Brown. Not only does he have a great speaking voice, he’s genuinely entertaining to listen to. He tells great stories and has a laugh that’s sure to infect everyone within earshot. Among many of his sayings that I’ve committed to memory there’s one that stands out that I believe applies strongly to entrepreneurs and remote workers alike. He said
“The easiest thing that I ever did was make a million dollars. The hardest thing that I ever did was to believe that it could happen to me.”
Really?? I’ve tried to make a million dollars and I’m STILL making minimum payments on my truck! Wait…Have I tried to make a million dollars or have I tried to complete the requirements of my market rate job? Those seem to be two entirely different things.
What if I changed the way I saw myself? What if this moment is just a pitstop on my way to something bigger, something better? If it was, would it change the way that I worked? The way I dress? The way I acted?
A strong mind-set is one of the most important and effective tools you can have at your disposal. It starts with how you view yourself. When I began working remotely I viewed myself as being able to work in my boxers and catch up on my Netflix. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what I did! When I changed the way I saw myself – choosing to embody a successful, upwardly-mobile entrepreneur (who happened to have a day job alongside his other work) and I began to act like it! My work level rose in both quantity and quality. There were far less instances of late nights to finish up projects on time and other opportunities began to present themselves. All from simply putting on my shoes and tucking in my shirt.
Stay tuned, next week I’ll be putting on a tie, so look for me on the cover of Forbes!