If you’re the creative type, the entrepreneurial type, or have ever been unemployed, the thought has probably crossed your mind to start your own business based off of your passion. You hear that a lot in this century, and it seems to be more normal to be a start up business than to go work for one of the large corporations.
As a writer, and in particular, as an author or freelance editor, I will be running a lot of my business from my home and will need to have good boundaries for running the business rather than letting the business run me. Here are some of the things I plan on doing in my future.
Have a separate phone for work calls.
Anyone who has ever given their phone number to a boss knows the joy of having a phone can go right out the window when you look at that screen on your day off and see a request for your expertise or they needed a completed project (that you’ve never heard of) yesterday. There are a few options for how you can do this. Option one: have a landline. Option two: buy a $15 flip phone and a plan for $5-35 a month, depending on your provider. This allows you an opportunity to turn off the phone during your “closed” hours, and can also add a level of professionalism to your from home business.
Have a separate email for work communication.
In the writing and editing business, it’s extremely likely that I’ll “live in my inbox” so to speak. When freelancing, it’s extremely possible to get 30+ emails in one hour, and without proper boundaries it can make wading through your personal email a pain.
Create a new savings account.
Again, in the writing and editing business, I’ll likely be paid in advances. An advance is a set sum of money that I get up front when I sign a contract. If it’s for my own novel, I won’t get royalties until I’ve sold enough books to make up the advance, and somehow I’ll need to live in the time between the advance and the release of the book. By placing half (or more) of the advance in the separate bank account, I’ll not only have something stored away for dry spells, but I’ll have a good way to keep track of my earnings.
Have a home office that is only used for your job.
If you really are working from your home, it is still important to “get up and go to work” every day. That can get difficult when you can “go to work” in bed, at the kitchen table, or on the couch. Having a place set aside for your work creates a place for you to go to where your focus can be set on work, and you can leave it behind when you walk out of your office to be with your family or do what you enjoy in the day.
Have a work desktop.
I have a Mac computer, and often run into the problem of mixing work and play in my internet tabs. On a Mac, it is extremely easy to switch over to another desktop and leave whatever’s open on the other desktops as they are. By doing that, you create a specific space for your work where you don’t have to be tempted by the other distractions.
If you work from home, what do you do to make sure you keep your work life and home life separate? Let me know in the comments.
J. J. Hanna is attending Taylor University for a degree in Professional Writing. She has published multiple devotions and book reviews and draws comics about a stork named Lenard, and recently joined the Youtube community! Find her videos here.