To the uninitiated, I may look like a saddo because my Significant Other is my laptop. This is because all my working partners and trusted colleagues are geographically remote from me and all my clients too, so pretty much all my relationships involve a Skype connection.
My WiFi just went a bit dodgy today and then it went down altogether at lunchtime for about an hour causing palpitations. A 3-way Skype conference had to be abandoned – shame, I’d been looking forward to that.
Thank Heavens for my iPad and its 3G card which means I can email someone who’s standing by to talk this afternoon and another with an appointment for a later Skype call and tell them I am in a temporary blackout, an indefinite tech wilderness. I must confess that, like any addict, my first reaction to a glitch in my supply line is unseemly panic and then all systems return to normal once my connection is restored and I can get my fix. And breathe.
So it’s ups and downs alright for the Virtual Entrepreneur. I’m either tuned in, turned on and connected or Billy No Mates. Where I live in London the ratio makes life bearable but when I am abroad I often have to compromise and this is generally OK too, once I settle into that rhythm. No point in fighting the system, best to relax and consider that The Big U simply thinks it’s a good idea that you step away from the computer for a while and Get. A. Life. “Somebody’s dug through the supply line from Puerto Rico and we have no idea when we’ll all be back online.” Hey ho.
Just when I was contemplating writing this piece in Word (don’t start me) the red light magically turned to green again and all’s right in my world of virtual entrepreneurship.
So many of my entrepreneurial clients work at home alone, but you never need to feel alone with the ability to connect so easily. It’s like having a virtual office of colleagues all around you all the time. Often a blessing in disguise when it turns into a day of unexpected busyness and interruptions but…revenge is mine…I can interrupt anyone who will allow it for a virtual coffee/gossip/question/moment of inspiration. You can check in with your virtual CEO, your virtual accounts department, your virtual property agent, your virtual team of advisers. Tops.
I L-O-V-E this way of working especially because it means I could be anywhere in the Whole Wide World. Imagine the freedom! We know that “freedom” is the most quoted reason why people like us choose to work for ourselves and if you are the sort of introvert (or quasi introvert) who loves to set your own timetable, get oodles of uninterrupted peace and quiet to focus on your tasks yet have access to a world of experts at your fingertips/webcam, then this is the life.
What’s your favourite aspect of working virtually at home? How often do work in your PJs? And what do you miss – if anything – about not having to commute into the office anymore?
Quite often when I write these blogs I have a song in my mind as creative inspiration and today it’s Matt Munro singing “This Is The Life” – enjoy the smooth (and enviable) vocal stylings of Matt (warning, it ends rather abruptly, but no worries… I suspect you’ll have had enough by then anyway!):