Working from home is a huge goal for many people. The allure is strong – no commute, you can do it in your pajamas, and you can eat your lunch when you want to. Even people who would no more start an ittybiz than fly to the moon still dream of a day when they can just work from their freaking house.
Having said that, most of our home offices suck.
For one thing, they’re rarely offices. Working in our PJs at our kitchen table has become almost a badge of honor in the solopreneur community.
And even if they are offices, they’re cramped, they’re messy and they create an environment that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board would have to step in about if you ever forced anyone else to work there.
Unsurprisingly, that has effects on a person.
Shall we discuss?
Minimalism has taken the world by storm.
I’m guessing you might have noticed that.
The Western world, after spending seven decades in the relentless pursuit of more, is starting to come around to the idea of less. Fewer things, but more carefully and consciously chosen. Fewer activities, but ones that are just right. We’re starting to move away from the black hole that is perceived lack.
I started my minimalism journey with Marie Kondo. (We all know how I feel about her.) When I packed my one bag and spent 100 days circumnavigating the globe, I got a little more into it. (Even the divine Ms. Kondo has more than a carry-on.) Then I read Goodbye, Things, and that’s when it really kicked in for me.
Having too much stuff sucks, and even when I had very little, I realized I had too much.
As we begin to apply the peace of minimalism to our lives, it is natural to start wanting to feel those good feelings elsewhere. Minimalist parenting, minimalist holidays, minimalist travel – we’re starting to realize that less really is more.
So what about business? Is it possible that this thing we spend all those hours on could be minimalist as well? Could we get the pure and peaceful and centered feelings at work, as well as at home?
Yes, dear reader. Yes, we can.
Here are some places to start.
So you got yourself a VA. Or you’re just about to. Or you’re seriously thinking about it. That’s great. As you know, I’m a huge fan of hiring a VA for support, and a huge fan of supporting VA businesses. But now that you’re here, what do you do?
This is a really common situation. Ittybiz owners hire support staff, don’t know what to do with them, and then let them languish because we don’t know how to meaningfully start.
Now, we could solve this problem by systematically and strategically making a plan for what we’re going to do with our new team member, and gradually on-boarding them like the awesome CEO we are. That would be a super smart thing to do. But given the number of hats we have to wear as ittybiz owners, waiting to do the wise and prudent thing usually results in waiting forever.
Therefore, we need a new solution. The one I recommend is… the starting task. The test. The trial run. Some relatively small, relatively unimportant task or project that stretches your muscles as a leader, gets to know your new or potential hire, and gets something done at the same time.
With that in mind, here are some great trial tasks you can set up pretty much right away without having to go to management school before you can begin.
Let’s talk about ADHD for a minute.
I have it. It’s pretty raging sometimes. I don’t medicate it, nor do I plan to. And I run a business.
People with ADHD find themselves very drawn to business. It’s an intuitive choice for people like me. We make rapid connections. We easily wear multiple hats. We can focus like demons. We pivot well. And we don’t like being told what to do.
Add that employment sucks when you have ADHD, and it starts to seem like having this disorder and starting a business seems like a really good fit.
Having said that, when you’ve had a bottle and a half of red wine, taking recreational Percocet and calling your ex seems like a really good fit. That doesn’t mean you should do it.
Because the flip sides of ADHD are… not so rad. Sometimes, it’s kind of a big fat train wreck. Sometimes, there’s no “kind of” about it. So, it’s not surprising that some of us in the ADHD community wonder if the some-days-superpowers are enough to counter the many-days-liabilities.
I’m not a therapist. Not even remotely. But as someone who has managed to not run my business into the ground for more than a decade, I have some experience on this topic.
Should you also be one of the ADHD among us, then I’d love to give you my advice on how to stack the deck in your favor. That way you have the best possible chances of maximizing your superpowers and minimizing your liabilities.
Ok, this one’s by request, and super easy.
You know when you’re signing up for a mailing list?
And you know how they sometimes ask you for your first name?
And you know how sometimes, when you’re typing something that starts with a capital letter, you capitalize the second letter at the same time?
And you know how you wonder how you’re STILL doing this after all these years of typing?
I know this happens to you, because it happens to everyone who types using capitalized words. It’s an incredibly common typing challenge.
Well, this happened to my friend Holly once. She was signing up for mailing list, and when it came time to input her first name, she typed HOlly. It was years ago. It’s an honest mistake. It could happen to anyone.
Unfortunately, data fields never forget. According to this database, Holly wants to be called HOlly, and hell if they’re going to disregard her stated wishes.
So what happens next?