It’s been about 4 years since I’ve worked exclusively from home. I have a beautiful office set up in one of our upstairs bedrooms, coloured with decorative artwork and framed certificates that outline some of my past achievements. Formerly painted as my serenity room, I transformed it into an office a couple years ago thinking it made sense being right next to my son’s room so that I would be in close proximity to hear him, not realizing at the time that the location would actually become a hinderance to getting any work done. What’s that saying…hindsight is 20/20?
It takes a lot of focus to successfully work from home. There are countless distractions, interruptions and things vying for your attention aside from actual money-making activities. Don’t get me wrong, there are some benefits too – convenience, the fact that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to lease and, of course, being in the comfort of your own home. I love my home office, but it doesn’t exactly allow me to focus the way I’d like to.
I don’t know about you, but my surroundings substantially affect me, for better or for worse. When things are out of place and there’s an array of disorder around me, I find it extremely difficult to focus. The moment I step outside my office door, I’m inevitably faced with “something else” I could be doing in the form of cleaning, laundry or tidying up the chaos that sometimes comes with having a toddler.
In the past few months, it was becoming apparent that the setup I had for myself wasn’t going to continue to foster maximum productivity – not that it ever did. Initially, it was a solution to a problem faced in an economic downturn that worked the best it could for a number of years. To get down to the bottom line of what actually makes my businesses successful, though, I need a quiet place to focus on that… and by quiet, I mean a place I can blast my tunes in the background while I work without disruption, because that’s just how I roll!
I’ll be honest, once upon a time many years ago, I thought I needed an office to maintain a level of legitimacy for my businesses. You know, a time when a bit of ego took over and I felt I just had to have a beautiful office that exhibited elegance the moment you walked in; a time when I let that ego talk me into a bad decision that eventually cost me years of a black cloud hanging over my head and a lawsuit settlement (in case you can’t tell, it was NOT worth it). While nobody is immune to that ego, thankfully mine has definitely simmered down quite a bit since then. Looking back, I guess I made the best decision I could at the time given the experience I had up until that point, but there’s that hindsight weighing in again - it was a huge mistake! The great thing about mistakes is that hopefully you learn from them and use the experience to make better decisions in the future, and this time, it’s not about ego - it’s about practicality and what makes sense!
I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason and being in the right place at the right time. There are certain hints I look for when an opportunity comes my way to ascertain whether or not it’s right for me. A few months ago, a day trip to Lac La Biche with one of my real estate agents revealed a light bulb to something that could be really great, and a vision for the future I have now turned into reality. A small space, a lease takeover, minimal risk with the potential for maximum output – oh, and the number 13…I’ll get into that another time.
August will go down in history as one of the most transformational months in my life; the month my son was born; the month my son almost died; the month I sold a business; the month I became a Certified Professional Coach; the month I opened my new office.
When I walk into the doors of my Noble Choice Coaching office, I feel so serene and ready to take on the world. It wasn’t the most glamorous space at first, but with a little paint, some tasteful furniture and beautiful art, I have made it into a place that feels like a second home without all the distraction. It’s a place where I can go every day to focus on taking my businesses to the next level so that I can help others do the same. And you know what? That whole notion of “work-life balance” (which, for the record, doesn’t fully exist in the world of entrepreneurship) is becoming a little more possible.
On September 20, being both my 33rd birthday and the one year anniversary of Noble Choice Coaching, I will be hosting a Grand Opening of my new space at #108 – 10021 Biggs Avenue (there's the 13) inside the Bridgeport Inn from 3-6PM. I can think of no better day to celebrate! To all my local friends and fellow business owners, I hope you’ll stop by to help me celebrate. Feel free to bring a business or well-being book to exchange with one of many I have on the shelf as part of my “Take a Book, Leave a Book” initiative. Hope to see you there!