Wednesday: 6 Real AF Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Are Not Better Than Employees

I was scrolling through Pinterest this morning when I came across this image. This picture summarizes every reason why a lot of the ‘get money’ and ‘rise and grind’ entrepreneur types seriously get on my nerves. I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for four years — aka I put a roof over my head, I’ve grown my business each year, and I’ve been in the black the entire time all while doing all these other responsible things adults need to do like get health insurance, therapy, retirement accounts, investing, etc. Yet when I see pictures like this, I bristle with revulsion.

Let’s break down every annoying bit of these “people with jobs are idiots somehow” meme…

 
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1) The Title: Stay ahead of the competition

I have news for you baby entrepreneurs or internet people who’ve sold a t-shirt and now have delusions of grandeur. Your competition is not people working a 9-5 job who have never been entrepreneurs. Those are your freaking CUSTOMERS and posting crap like this will alienate them because guess what? Most businesses fail. And most people have jobs! To start from the basis of seeing other individuals who are not even in your specific niche as competition reflects a level of narcissism that’s honestly confusing more than anything else.

2) Watch webinars while they watch Netflix

This one makes me chuckle probably because my fiancé is one of the world’s most sought after webinar consultants in digital marketing. I’ve seen a lot of webinars. I’ve read a lot of webinars. I can assure you that there are some Netflix shows that are WAY more valuable than a webinar depending on your niche. For example, I write sci-fi romance. Would a sci-fi fiction show that allows me to study the beats in sci-fi fiction serve me better than watching John Doe explain the principles of business I should have learned years ago? Yes, it would.

Down time is critically important for entrepreneurs and creatives since we suffer from burnout more than many other professions. Maybe the guy watching Netflix to avoid burn out is doing better than the person who spends every waking moment thinking about their business (but not actually doing anything since watching a webinar is still consuming content and most webinars are designed to sell you something.)

3) Go to seminars while they go to concerts

I don’t get it. Do seminars happen every single day and only when concerts are in town? It’s unclear to me why you can’t do both and it’s also unclear to me why one is superior to the other. Many seminars especially in the self-help/business niche are again, designed to be elaborate sales pitches. Concerts on the other hand can be relaxing, fun, and for many influencers a time to create good content. One of my fun side-hustles involves designing and selling t-shirts. If I spend my time at a concert, I can covertly observe what clothing is popular, what t-shirts I see and get ideas for my business. Any experience is what you make of it.

My down time point still stands here too. Not to mention that many concerts would be way less expensive than seminars. I’m not saying don’t go to seminars or networking events. I’m saying that a $400 ticket to see Beyoncé is going to cost you way less than the $2,000 required to go across the country for a major networking event. Most concerts aren’t even in the $400 range! How is spending $40 to see Beres Hammond cheating you of business growth?! It isn’t.

While only one is tax deductible (maybe, I’m not a tax expert and this isn’t financial advice), one may be more valuable to you than another depending on your niche, your strategy, and your specific needs as a business owner. And again, there’s no reason on God’s green earth why you can’t do both and attending concerts has never been directly linked to failure and stagnation as either a professional or an entrepreneur.

4) Go to the gym while they go to bars

Is it normal and healthy to go to the gym in the middle of the night? Sometimes, I guess, but I really wonder what the purpose of this is. I typically work out first thing in the morning, leaving plenty of time to socialize in the evening. I’m not really a bar person, nor do I think that going to the bar is better than going to the gym, but again, I don’t see why someone can’t do both. The people with 9-5s who some entrepreneurs think they’re better than somehow have the time to go to both the gym and the bar on a daily basis.

The point here is that there is no “either or”. I exercise every day and even if I choose not to go to the bar daily, I certainly have the time to do both.


5) Work on your side hustle while they go to bed early

I run two successful Amazon bestselling pen names including countless social media accounts and email lists associated with them, sell audiobooks, run ads on a YouTube channel, and sell t-shirts on a major online platform, plus I write this blog. On average I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. It’s not terribly difficult to work on your side-hustle AND go to bed early. Again, there’s nothing wrong with not working on a side-hustle. Or not going to bed early.

You have to question the superiority complex in someone who needs a side-hustle looking down on someone who might not. For example, I don’t need the money from my t-shirts. I enjoy making them and designing t-shirts and learning about print-on-demand in the eCommerce space. If I decide not to work on it for five to six months, I’m not missing out on anything. If you’re making a good income and you don’t need or want a side-hustle, why should you work on it? Go to bed early instead of burning out. You’ll be better off in the long run.

6) Do what you love and travel the world while they slave away at their 9-5

This really cinches this pyroclastic flow of contradictions and nonsensical logic. Be a workaholic who works dead in to the night, never doing anything fun, and focus exclusively on gains physical and financial, but somehow also travel the world while other people are working. So will you be working, or nah?

People who “slave away” at their 9-5 jobs often travel the world. In fact, some of the best traveled people I know work 9-5s that pay them enough money to travel to Caribbean carnival celebrations all over the world, or interesting locations across the United States. I’m doing what I love as a writer. Someone else might be doing what they love as a software engineer, a bartender, a café manager, a teacher, a swim coach, a banker, a lawyer, or a freaking farmer. The presumption that “the hustle” is the only thing pleasurable gives off the distinct impression that a fulfilling life wasn’t part of the equation when this graphic was created.

To conclude

This whole post reeks as if it appeals to the type of wanna-be entrepreneur lacking in grit and filled to capacity with get-rich-quick schemes and appealing to people who only want to sit around and look down on others. Of course all these contradictions will appeal to you if you aren’t actually walking the walk, but if you’re filled with propagandized notions of entrepreneurship.

Well, I’m a small business owner, and so is my fiancé and we both say this is complete nonsense. Looking down on 9-5s is totally inappropriate and isn’t justified by any negative things about entrepreneurship a person might have heard in the past. We aren’t competitors anyway, we’re comrades. But that’s another story. 😉

Friday: The Biggest Lie About Working From Home

When you tell people you work from home, you get one of two reactions.

1. “Oh that’s nice” AKA “I’m so sorry you’re broke.”

This reaction can come from your family members or complete strangers. People fundamentally misunderstand that working at home is an actual job. We usually have an office, we work eight hours a day and often longer. We have a harder time balancing work and life outside of it since they all bleed together. And no, we aren’t broke. 

2. “It’s so nice that you can afford to stay at home” AKA “It’s so nice that you can afford to stay at home and do nothing”

This reaction presumes that when you work from home, you are actually having a big old party all day long. While working from home does have some benefits and may feel like quite the party for introverts, it’s far from “doing nothing”. Not everyone who works from home is doing it simply because they’re so loaded that they can afford to.

These two common misconceptions both play into the #1 biggest lie about working from home:

Working from home is easier (and you should feel bad about that). 

It would be a total lie to claim that working from home is always easy or that it’s always hard. Some weeks, I pull unhealthy shifts and I obsess over work constantly. Some weeks, I can finish my work before noon and spend the afternoon continuing my education for my career or just enjoying the natural beauty of the island that I live on.

The truth is, working from home can be a lot harder than otherwise because usually…

1. You’re your own boss

You don’t have anyone to tell you what to do or when to do it. There’s no one to supervise you and make sure you’re staying on task. If you make a mistake, there’s no one to swoop in and help you fix it. You’re all on your own. While this can be pleasant and preferred for introverts and those who work best in solitude, this solitude comes with some downsides. You absorb all the negative consequences of risks that you may take, poor decisions or simply bad luck. Being your own boss isn’t only about keeping yourself in check and reaping rewards. There are very real, negative consequences that you can face.

2. You’re scarily good at pretending you’re not working when you really are

I can’t tell you the number of times I will “sneak work” outside of work hours. I mean, it’s easy when my work is on my cellphone and on my laptop, neither of which leave my side. It’s so simple for me to check my work Instagram and justify it by saying “Instagram isn’t really work”. Hint: If you’re looking at analytics of any kind, you might just be working. The boundaries between work and relaxation are so thin that sometimes you feel like there’s something wrong with your obsession. A lot of entrepreneurs glamorize this, but I want to acknowledge how unhealthy this behavior is! When you work from home you can fall into this trap and since you’re your own boss, it can be harder to get out of. (Which boss doesn’t try to sneak in extra over time?) 

3. You struggle with perfectionism

This isn’t specifically caused by working from home but it’s something I’ve noticed in a lot of millennials who work from home. We struggle with perfectionism. We put off new projects and we reject new ideas if we think they don’t measure up to what our idea of “perfect” is. Given that online spaces are so prone to comparison, we may spend an excessive amount of time comparing ourselves to our “#goals” on social media. This struggle with perfectionism may pay off in some ways. This means we are usually high achievers and our work reflects that. However, our perfectionism can mostly be negative as it leads to excessive self-criticism, stymies our creativity and can hack away at our self-esteem. 
4. You (might) struggle with a social life

When you work at home, your routine tends to revolve around your home. You have no commute, you don’t stop in at the coffee shop on the way to work and you technically don’t have to leave the house thanks to Amazon Prime. The downside to this is the intense cabin fever you can get from staying “locked up” in your office. Socializing doesn’t happen unless you make it happen and making it happen takes an extra effort. I’ll have to be honest, this can be a major struggle for me. I have seen in a lot of online communities for people who work at home that many struggle with the same thing. 

It’s not all fun and games and while working at home has many rewards for me including flexibility of work hours, flexibility to travel, flexibility with my time off and an income that allows me to enjoy all of that and more, I do want to acknowledge some of the difficulties that people who work from home face. Not all of us are rich and not all of us have it easy. Most of us are just working with a vision and a dream and we will fight as hard as we can to make that dream come true.

What about you? Do you work from home and experience any of these struggles? Comment down below if you’ve shared in this experience. PIN this post to share with friends, family and relatives who need a little more education about what it truly means to work at home.

Wednesday: My Remote Work Routine - 5 Tips For Digital Nomad Productivity

I travel back and forth between the United States and St. Lucia a few times a year and in the past two years I’ve been to Martinique and Barbados during times when I’ve also had to work. Since I’m a full-time writer and I run my business from home, I’m a kind of “digital nomad” so my office comes with me wherever I go.

I have five tips for remote work that I always incorporate into my remote work routine when my office is on the road…

1) Noise-cancelling headphones

These are a must for traveling and working since you can turn any environment into a workspace and really get into the zone. I also use noise-cancelling headphones to wear on airplanes, and for help falling asleep. Currently, I’m using this brand of PLT headphones which work really nicely and can transition from wired to wireless so even if you lose your charge, you can still use them. The only thing I don’t love about them is the fact that I need an adapter for my iPhone but it’s a minor issue. I’ve tried a lot of Bluetooth headphones in the past and these have the greatest range by far out of any cheaper options I’ve tried.

2) Schedule work that doesn’t require an internet connection

This tip I don’t use within the United States as much, but when I work on flights or when I go to countries with notoriously bad internet connections (like Martinique!) I plan ahead this way too. Since as a full-time writer I balance writing 3-5k words a day with marketing and social media tasks that require an internet connection, I use this to my advantage. Before I travel, I schedule all my social media posts and emails so I can focus on writing the old school way — just a word processor, no internet connection.

3) Book a place with dedicated workspace

I have had some great workspaces in my recent trips, including a Capitol Hill studio in Washington DC as well as a my brief one night stay in the Crystal City Hilton. I require a table for focused work and I make it a priority to book a place that’s business friendly. Traveling is usually business related, and I rarely stop working when I am traveling, so it’s a priority to have a dedicated space. Working from couches or from bed really throws me off so I avoid that if possible.

4) Pick optimal work hours for the situation

I prefer working a typical work day, but on the road I have to be discerning about when I get my work done. If fitting 6-7 hours of creative work is impossible, I hit at least 4. If I’m visiting night owls, I schedule my hours in the morning as usual so I can go out at night. If I’m on a family related trip, or traveling with my fiancé, I schedule later hours to accomplish daytime activities. Just because I’m working during the trip doesn’t mean I have to miss out on enjoying the blessings and opportunities traveling has to offer. Making adjustments to my schedule sets me up for success.

5) Plan activities outside of work to look forward to

I always plan something to look forward to whether I’m traveling to Upstate NY or Martinique. I can’t focus on work 100% of the time and balance is so important to me. I always plan specific activities I can get excited about and “work for” during my trips. I like doing this because it keeps me focused and working on a tight schedule with greater efficiency.

The great thing about my remote work routine is that none of it is rocket science. Simple changes make a big difference and these easy adjustments allow me to enjoy both work and travel when I am working and traveling.

Do you ever work when you travel? Let me know in the comments. Pin the image below to save these remote work tips to your favorite board for travel and entrepreneurship. 👇🏼

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