As a full-time freelancer, I own my own business, my work, and have complete control over my workspace, my hours, the work I do, the clients I work with, and so much more.
It’s both wonderfully freeing and also scary and unstable.
I have had the opportunity to check out different coworking spaces, and because I live and work in New York City, there are more options than I can count.
At the beginning of my freelancing journey, I was still working full-time in the city at my day job in corporate business development and sales. I was used to being in an office every day surrounded by colleagues and managers and having meetings and deadlines and the general hustle and bustle of a busy office.
I always liked being in an office and had even said before that I thought I’d be less productive working from home — with all those home distractions calling my name!
So, when I started my business, I was doing client work in the evenings and weekends and really didn’t have the option of establishing another space.
Full-time From Home
Once I quit my day job at the beginning of 2017, I was seriously considering using a coworking space.
I did research, looked at prices, checked out a few locations.
But I didn’t pull the trigger.
Why not? Well…
- It was the beginning of my business and I didn’t think it was an absolutely necessary expense.
- None of the coworking spaces were in my Brooklyn neighborhood. I would have either needed to take a train or drive and deal with parking to any of the locations. It would have been at least a 25 to 30-minute commute.
- Lack of privacy: I take client calls and open coworking spaces don’t seem conducive to taking calls and I don’t want to gather all my things and unplug my laptop and go into a pod every time my phone rings — or even once a day.
- At home, I can roll out of bed and work in my PJs. In a coworking space, I need to be washed, dressed, and wearing shoes.
That first bullet point is really the key, though.
Does it make sense for your business?
You can have all the reasons you want, but the one to really examine is “Does this make business sense?”
Because I work full-time from home, I get certain tax benefits, like writing off part of my mortgage and utilities as work expenses.
In addition to that, I save money by not using a coworking space and using the office I already pay for at home.
When you’re starting a new business, especially an online service-based business, you can start it basically for free — and then you should keep it that way for as long as possible.
Of course, you might need a new desk or laptop or something business-related you have to pay for.
But I’ve spoken (and written) many times about not wasting time and money on things that aren’t driving your business — especially at the beginning.
Focus on finding clients and making money and building your samples and marketing!!
I had to listen to my own advice.
Over time, I got so used to working from home and the ease and comfort of walking 10 feet to my office that now it is just my normal. I no longer really think about coworking spaces and am happy working from my Ikea desk in my second bedroom.
I still make sure to cut down on distractions — no TV during the day, there isn’t even a TV in my office, and such.
But I take calls on speakerphone, wander to my desk right after getting up and grabbing coffee, and can get started immediately.
I do miss having colleagues and peers sometimes, and it can certainly get lonely, but it was the right choice for me. I even donated most of my old business professional work clothes about a year and a half after I was working from home!
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