My speaker and writer friend Rochelle Valasek and I were chatting on the phone today about now having our own official “office.” Before I left for my cruise to the Bahamas, my “office” space was just a small corner of our formal dining room. My desk was a little, black card table from Walmart. You can see a video of the dining room “office” by clicking here.
It worked…temporarily. Our rental home where we live was built in the 1960’s, and many homes back then weren’t built with ceiling lights, so that room is dark. Several lamps didn’t help, because the room has dark 70’s-style paneling. I use a lot of videos and host webinars with video for my business, and good lighting is important for video quality.
Your family is not “an interruption”
The dining room has no doors, and every time Ray and Leah would come into the kitchen, banging cabinets or opening the fridge (invariably during one of my webinars or a training call I was attending!), the noise distracted me and I’d feel frustrated. At night as I lay in bed praying, God would deal with me on my not-so-Proverbs-31-woman attitude that my family is NOT an interruption! They are my priority.
An Act Of Desperation
Also, we have to walk through the dining room to get to the utility room, where our washer and dryer are…so Ray and Leah often came through the room as I was working, to carry in their dirty laundry. (NOTE: this was an act of DESPERATION on their part to get their clothes washed, rather than trying to help me out with the chores!) Again, I couldn’t concentrate on my work, and the result was, as our friends Don and Gala like to put it, “Intense Domestic Fellowship.”
How Can Others Take You Seriously If You Don’t? A Mindset Shift
You can have your home office anywhere, but I think it’s helpful to have your own creative space, so that you and others will take your work seriously.Making room for an office is a mindset shift. Our daughter Leah came up with the perfect solution. The “office” in our home, which really has been no more than a storage room for photo albums, books, and papers, could be used for my NEW office.
No More Library-Quiet Voices
I made the move just before I left for my trip to the Bahamas, and this week I set it up. I’m now officially moved in! This room has a window to let the sunshine in and a ceiling light for better lighting for videos and webinars, and a door that I can actually close. Now if I am on a training call or have a webinar, I can just close the door! My family can also go into the kitchen now, freely eating and drinking, banging cabinets to their hearts’ content, and without having to use library-quiet voices.
Our internet is set up in this office room, with the modem connected to our old “dinosaur” computer, so I wasn’t able to remove that computer from the room. But the desk has a slide-out drawer table, where I set up my laptop.
A Mental And Physical Clutter-Free Environment
Sandi Krakowski says that you need to remove mental and physical clutter from your environment to FOCUS. My office is clutter-free. I have a few things on my desk to inspire and motivate me as I work:
- My spiral-bound calendar, and sticky notes or a writing pad to jot down thoughts and important info through the day;
- A print out of Linda Claire Puig‘s article, 5 Ways To Make Your Newsletter Soar;
- An enclosed black box which contains chargers and other cords for my smart phone, purple Ipod, and other techy stuff;
- A yellow sunflower coaster for a water bottle or cokes. I LOVE sunflowers because they are beautiful and happy flowers; 🙂
- A sunflower pencil box to hold no. 2 pencils and Sharpie, ultra-fine pens, my fave pen in the whole world;
- An open black box which contains my lime-green, block “B” paper weight that Heather gave me as a gift and a little booklet Leah gave me as a gift to write down all my online passwords, so that I won’t forget them again, lol;
- A Curious George, which was a gift at CLASServices Writers’ and Speakers’ weekend training. Florence Littaeur gave this to all the class students, advising, “You should always ask questions and learn new things EACH day. Be a Curious George.”
Surround Yourself With What Inspires You
Beautiful pictures also inspire me. On the wall to my left, I have pictures of my family, a Thomas Kinkade, fabric-cloth picture with Psalm 23:2, and a cross which has the imprinted words, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Look around at your environment in your home and for your business. Do you like what you see? How does it make you feel inside? Do you need to change things up a bit, add a splash of bright colors, buy some intriguing art?
Focus on God For Business Success
On the wall to the right is one of my favorite pictures that Ray bought me several years ago. It’s a beautiful woman in an ivory, lace dress, sitting on a multi-colored rug (like Joseph’s multi-colored robe). She has a Bible open in front of her and has her head bent down, praying. The art piece’s title is He Shall Hear My Voice. This picture and the cross help me to focus on Christ throughout the day. Focus on God for your business’ success. He will show you the way.
Music To Get Your Business Going
I’ve always loved music. Recently I watched a video from a successful entrepreneur, who encouraged listeners to play their favorite worship and praise music as they worked to see if it made a difference in their creativity and productivity. I have a big “boom” box that I use for playing CD’s and tuning into K-LOVE, and recently added new music on the Pandora app on my phone. Try listening to your fave tunes as you work to see if it lifts your mood and gets those creative juices going!
Learn New Things Each Day!
What’s your favorite collectable? I collect Willow Tree Angels. This angel on my desk is Wisdom: A Lifelong Love of Learning. Do you love learning? What is one step can you take today to learn something new: registering for a college class, signing up for a webinar or telecall, reading a good book, hiring a coach?
Are you organized?
Organization is a big key to a smooth-running business. I use a pretty, flower-decorated, spiral-bound desk calendar, a larger Wall Calendar, a writing pad, and LOTS of sticky notes to help me stay organized. I also love Google calendar. What tools do you use for organization in your business?
Making It Work
Having your own home office is no guarantee for success. Success takes passion, determination, hard work, obedience to God’s direction, and God’s favor and blessing. But making room for your own creative space that is a reflection of YOU will make you feel happier and can help you to focus more on the work you need to do, to glorify God, to help others, and to make a real difference in others’ lives. Whatever space you have dedicated to your office, make sure it works for you!
If you need help and guidance with figuring out what your next step should be in your home business, hearing God’s voice more clearly and using your gifts to glorify God, just click here.
I’d love to see pictures or hear about your home office, too. Please share your comments below.