I ended my last post with the words, “time is money,” and that inspired me to write about respect for your business time.
This is a problem I’m facing today. There’s a tendency for people to think that because you work at home, your business time isn’t important. They will walk in and talk for lengthy periods of time… or suggest you go somewhere or do something, none of which has to do with business progress.
What will you do if the people you live with, or your friends, undermine time that should be devoted to your small home-based business?
My first course of action is to make a written schedule to post on my office door. I pay for the electricity, the phone, and the internet connection, and there is no other internet connection in my house. The person I live with likes to surf the web but doesn’t pay for it, so I need to be clear on what my office hours are. If I’m working, it is improper and impolite… and totally unacceptable to ask for internet time. Even if I’m doing something that is done mainly offline, I need to use the internet for reference.
A schedule is good only if you can stick to it. You are responsible for that and nobody else. If you have young children you’ll have to work around their needs because they always come first. Very little else deserves that consideration. Your small business is your livelihood. It doesn’t allow for distractions because if you’ve got a one-person business, there’s nobody else available to keep the business rolling if you’re not there.
If the people you live with won’t respect your business time, perhaps it is time for counseling, or a change in roommates. If that’s not possible you might need to decide whether you want your family or your business. You might have to scale back your business expectations if you don’t have enough time to devote to it.
Why is it that people don’t realize that working on the internet is WORK? I’ve been accused of “piddling around on the internet” when actually what I’m doing creates a full-time income. Where’s the respect?
There comes a time when you must insist on respect for your business efforts, and that starts with self-respect. If you truly respect your time you’ll force others to do so as well.