Sunday, October 2, 2016

Working From Home… What Sucks, What Doesn’t -By Nate Pilate

Working From Home… What Sucks, What Doesn’t

by Nate Pilate

Freedom; we say we want it. We want it in our relationships, our schedules, our taste in music, fashion, film – hell, in our constitution! For most of us, we also want freedom in our careers. You want to work for yourself, do you? Leave behind the 9-5 life huh? You’re done taking orders from someone with twice your salary and half your aptitude? I’m with you, my ambitious friend, yet have you taken any time to consider that the freedom of self-employment or working from home may not be the best thing for you? Hear me out…

Before I start, I’m not writing this article to present to you a master-key system for working from home or give you solutions to improving your production because you already do. I’m writing this article because my best friend Jon Arpon, also known as Orange County’s Premier Mortgage Banker. Jon Arpon wouldn’t shut his yap about me writing an article about working from home on 100% commission for salesmen who wish to be self-employed or work from home. So, I caved – and here it is my article on working from home.

I started my sales career like most of us do: at 19 years old in a call center elbow-to-elbow with a bunch of young punks my age dialing until our fingers bled delivering pitches trying to imitate the closers in “Boiler Room.” Banging out hundreds of outbound calls a day, getting cursed out, hung up on, laughed at, telling your friends & family to kindly go “f” themselves when they suggest you find yourself a “real job with hourly pay and a nice healthcare plan” – this was every day for guys like me starting off in sales. Why the hell would anyone in their right mind put themselves through this kind of abuse? What idiot works on 100% commission with no guarantee of a paycheck working from home? Well, most of us in sales aren’t exactly “in our right minds” to begin with, nor are we always the sharpest butter knives in the utensil drawer, but there are many reasons we take on the challenge of a career in sales. The money. The recognition. The achievement. The personal development. Maybe we’re just a bunch of addicts chasing the high of closing the deal… maybe we just want to outdo the smug punk in the cubicle next to us (if I worked in an office) who thinks he’s Al Pacino in Glenngary Glennross. The motivations for being a salesman working from home are as varied as the products and services we sell. 

Fast-forward. I’ve been a salesman now for almost eight years: my entire adult life. I’ve had more successes and failures than you and I could both count on our combined fingers and toes. Early in my sales career, I’d been through many shady/unethical fly-by-night sales opportunities and as a result, I’d have so many financial ups and downs you’d think my bank account history decided not to take its Lithium. Later in my career, when doors really started opening, I had some tremendous opportunities with some notable companies and created for myself a strong reputation among my circle of influence as an effective communicator, salesman, public speaker, sales trainer, and leader. I’ve had the pleasure of lending my services to companies like PayPal, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T, and The Better Business Bureau, which I work from home. I’ve also worked under every kind of boss you can imagine: great leaders who knew how to position me in ways that would allow me to net for myself and the company big wins; conversely, under some of the most inept, insecure, incapable, insufficient (all the in-words you can imagine) bosses to ever disgrace the term “leader”. However, nothing could prepare me for working under what may be the worst boss of them all… MYSELF! working from home!

Let’s take a step back – I don’t mean to scare you away from self-
employment or working from home, nor do I mean to lay out for you solutions to combatting the challenges of working from home (for that you’ll need to refer to my next article). I simply want to let you know where the landmines are on this road. Apart from the obvious challenges of figuring out what product/service you’re going to sell/render and how to best monetize (you’ve got to work out those kinks on your own, my friend), there are also the challenges of operating day-to-day under your own direction. For some, this challenge may pale in comparison to other potential obstructions. For someone like me, hell-bent on seeking instant gratification, the patience and discipline needed to be self-employed and work from home is acquired through many months/years of beating your head against the brick wall of procrastination.

No Man Is An Island… You are the exception

A simultaneous pro and con of being self-employed, or working from 

home: you don’t get the hyped environment of working in an office. I definitely can say I miss the feeling of walking long-stride into the office in a slick new suit or a fresh pair of schwifty loafers humming “Staying Alive” while winking at the receptionist in the morning. Or when you close that fat deal you’ve been chipping away at for days loud enough for all hating ears to hear and envious eyes to see.  Or when you’ve finally snatched the title of “top-producer” to the dismay of your peers! The applause, the laughter, the pats-on-the back, the sneers, the hate, the joy, the fear, the ups, the downs, the chaos…Instead, you’re in your bathroom on a Monday morning staring at yourself as a single tear rolls down your cheek while you hum Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”. Not really, but I did think that visual was funny. Rather, you’re at home sitting at your desk in front of your laptop staring at your leads ready to dial. That freshly brewed coffee is still steaming; you’re pumped – weekly goals fresh in mind, that last Jim Rohn quote burning in your psyche… then the distractions descend upon you like the arrows of the Persian army on Leonidas on his last stand. Suddenly everything but your work is urgent: check the Drudge Report for the latest world news, Breitbart for the most recent Hillary Clinton scandal, Facebook for the freshest and most dank Donald Trump memes, Youtube for a Dennis Prager rant… (well at least this is what my Conservative ass is distracted by). What may seem at first to be a minute distraction can gain momentum and eat up your entire day especially if you're working from home – that day quickly becomes a week, that week then translates into a short check!
Let me give you a quick look at what a Bad Day vs a Good Day looks like for me working from home:

This, for me outlines the difference between a $300 day versus a $600 day. You’d think this knowledge alone would be enough to keep me consistent – it isn’t. I’ve had to design for myself a daily strategy that works for me – that gets me up early and keeps me productive until I get the results I’m after. It’s taken me years to get down my daily modus operandi, and it’s a daily effort to adhere to it.

“Each discipline builds on itself and gains momentum into another. The same thing goes for a lack of discipline.”Jim Rohn

Don’t Beat Yourself Up… 

Self-employment or working from home means self-accountability. There is absolutely no one to hold your feet to the fire but you. If you have not established for yourself a system of checks and balances to keep yourself level, your routine will devolve into a perpetual cycle of self-deprecation. You do yourself, your clients, or anyone any favors if you do nothing but get down on yourself about the calls you could have made, the close you should have delivered, the follow ups you should have completed – then you’ve got this towering list of goals you need to meet. There are few things that feel worse than letting yourself down. 
There’s a fine line we walk between self-accountability and self-deprecation; if you cross the line into the wrong territory, you will easily create for yourself backward momentum.
Rather than crap on yourself for failing to perform, you need to set up a series of activities throughout the day that are designed to give you a brief break from the grind, yet take away none of your productive momentum. For me that means a series of workouts throughout the day: I go running, do a ton of pushups/situps, read, chat with my friends about their work day, etc. Try out a different combination of “productive distractions” to figure out what works for you. It’s easy to get down on yourself while working from home – there’s no merit in that. The hard work comes in when you are honest with yourself about what you need to improve upon then you actually do the work it takes to reverse the bad habits/behavior.

A wise woman always told me: “No one thinks it’s sexy for you to walk down the street kicking yourself in your own ass.”

The End Result… 

Nothing is out of reach and everything is close at hand. You may feel like you’ve just wasted an entire day/week/month/year of production. One thing to understand is: it’s never too late to get it all back on track. Ultimately, the reality of being self-employed working from home is that you are entirely in control of the money that you make. Once you’ve cracked the code on what works and what doesn’t, the only thing to do is the work itself. Hopefully due to your ambition, there is no way you will let yourself continue on an unproductive streak – the necessity of performance alone may propel you to work yourself out of a slump if nothing else. However, shouldn’t you give yourself more to work on than just necessity? Didn’t you start working from home so you could have more than what merely keeps you alive? Of course. That said - it isn’t as easy as having this understanding to work yourself out of and keep you away from a downward spiral. If your bad streak becomes a way of life, you need to be honest with yourself and consider whether or not working from home is really for you, kid. 

“You just fell off the horse? Well just get back on!” – Jim Rohn

Working From Home Is Amazing.

Working from home is the greatest blessing I’ve ever had. The time freedom, the freedom to travel, freedom to fail, freedom to succeedall on my own terms! In the beginning of the day, I’m working the East Coast and if I feel like it, my day is over at 2pm and I use the rest of the day for whatever the hell I please; if my day is a bit crappy, I just switch to the West Coast and work another 2 or 3 hours. I can work from absolutely anywhere in the US as long as I have with me my laptop and both my cell phones. For a guy like me at 26 years old without a wife and kids, this is the ideal situation. Working from home is an open playing field in which you are free to discover what makes you tick, what makes you want to run full speed, what takes the wind out of your sails. Working from home is the ultimate looking-glass scenario – you are brought front and center with all of your strengths and weaknesses with no one else’s bad leadership, poor judgement, or shortsightedness to hide behind but yours. Every up and down, win and loss – remember that this is what you signed up for when you asked for freedom, and freedom favors the bold.

- Publishers comment. Nate Pilate is one of the greatest people I've been blessed to know. If you want to know more about him here's his LinkedIn and Facebook.

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1 comment :

  1. working from home, better business bureau, self-employed, Nate Pilate