Startup / Working from home

Working from home: Confessions from the third bedroom

The next time some well-meaning relative asks me how my 'little' business is going, when I’m getting an office, or, if I’m still 'just' freelancing, I’m going to chop down the family tree. It really gets my goat.

23 August 2007 by

The first thing I want to fire back is: How’s your little job going? Do you ever leave your office nowadays? Are you still just selling your soul?

The most annoying bit is that I let it get to me. Why should I care? I’m Big Noel. Whether I’m working from home or not, I shouldn’t give a rats if people with ‘real jobs’ think I spend my days sleeping in, watching Oprah and putting out the washing.

So why do I feel pressure to get an office with a Herman Miller chair and a brushed steel logo sitting above a polished granite benchtop with fresh cut flowers and the latest edition of Fortune magazine?

Do I really need thick-rimmed glasses, a tailored suit, an iPhone and a Gucci compendium to feel good about myself?

Just between us, my angst must relate to deep down insecurity within me about my choices. 

"I’m Big Noel. I shouldn't give a rats if people with ‘real jobs’ think I spend my days sleeping in, watching Oprah and putting out the washing."

But all a bloke wants at the end of the day is a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T. That could be why every now and then I find myself scanning the jobs boards wondering if I’m missing out on a respectable, cushy corporate job somewhere with the latest BlackBerry and a corporate gym.

Maybe that’s why I’m secretly jealous when my high-flying sales consultant friends get back from their week-long junket in Phuket.

Well enough’s enough. I have decided to drop the towel and expose the truth about my small – okay micro – business.

Want more articles like this? Check out the working from home section.

Today, I have some confessions to make:

  • “We” are not a boutique consultancy catering for the needs of leading Australian businesses big and small. I just sit in my cramped third bedroom and charge by the hour.
  • “We” do not tailor individual solutions based on your needs via our network of expert consultants with in-depth experience in your industry. I do sometimes work with Phil though, and he’s a pretty good bloke.
  • Our “accounts department” is not requesting an update on the scheduled progress payment for job #6037. But my wife wants to know when you’re going to cough up because we need a new fuse box.
  • I currently have a chirping chicken in my shower cubicle, courtesy of my daughter’s pre-school. I have to carry the box outside when the phone rings.
  • I regularly put my head down on the desk and snooze around 2.30pm.
  • I sometimes work in my pyjamas.
  • And, I have answered the office phone in the nude after a shower – more than once.

So there it is. That feels better. That’s the awful truth. Big Noel’s real name should be Tiny Tim. I’m small, I’m alone and I’m happy.

Are you working from home? Do you have anything to get off your chest?

Noel Ranger

is a real Australian soloist operating a professional service business. Basically, if you pay his hourly rate he’ll pretty much do whatever.

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