I (Frankie) am a stress eater. This is a very recent development. Like, in the past year. Before that, I dealt with my stress by not eating and smoking cigarettes instead. Good for my weight, not so good for the rest of me. So I quit smoking and went through the whole phase of eating every time I wanted a cigarette. Then I got that under control and now this.
I've been under a lot of personal stress lately and I just realized last week that I've been eating to deal with it. This wouldn't be a problem if I was eating tons of broccoli or even grapes, but it's been snack cakes and cookies and chips and fast food. Wow, who knew I had such a problem with food? I didn't…until now.
I've discovered stress eating is much easier when you work from home. You aren't in an office and most of the time you're by yourself so you don't have to worry about who is judging you for eating that whole box of donuts. But here's the thing, even though it's easier, and sometimes it can be helpful if you don't overdo it, it makes you feel like crap! I'm not talking about felling guilt or shame and I'm not talking about gaining weight; I'm saying it makes you physically feel like crap. I lost all my energy and all my drive to do anything except lay around and feel sorry for myself. I felt sick to my stomach and headachy and just blah!
Last week I attended a webinar for emotional eating. I was just attending as an observer so I could give feedback, but I realized that this is exactly what I'd been doing for the past three weeks. Wow! So, I said that's enough! I've worked too hard to feel good and I'm not going to destroy that by eating my stress away. Because let's face it, long after that last snack cake, I still felt just as much stress as I did before eating it. I started tapping into my healthy resources for dealing with my stress and anxiety, got back to eating healthy and exercising and I'm feeling much better again.
Moral of the story; sometimes self-soothing with a bowl of ice cream really can lift your spirits and make you feel better. Eating a whole quart of ice cream because you're feeling stressed out…that's a whole other story. Try to recognize when you're going for those donuts to ease your anxiety and go for a walk instead. I promise the walk will make you feel much better and help relieve that stress and anxiety more than junk food ever can.
When I (Andrea) first saw the EOS lip balm, I thought, why? Why did you make it this awkward little ball? You can’t possibly keep it in your pocket. It’s definitely not going to fit into the little cubby in my car so I can keep my lips nice and moist in traffic. It can only go in my purse. And ladies (sorry guys, this is a girl problem), I don’t know about you, but my purse becomes a deep, dark chasm whereby all things are lost.
There might be a winning lottery ticket in my purse, the cure for cancer, and some emergency chocolate. Or not. I really can’t say because it’s a huge void of “who the hell knows” most of the time. (I’ve even discovered receipts that were several years old hidden in some of the pockets.)
But this EOS balm...this was weird. Plain and simple. I just didn’t get it, until that fateful day when I had an extra one after some gift-giving packages, so I tossed it in my chasm - uh, purse. And there it was; the answer I’d been looking for.
It was weird because it needed to be weird for my purse. When I’m out driving around, I don’t want to take my eyes off the road. (PSA: Don’t text and drive!!!!) But sometimes I’m sitting at a stoplight and need to moisturize. So there I go, shoving my hand into my purse and something cool happened. I immediately grabbed the EOS. Why? Why didn’t I grab the lipstick, or the Carmex, or anything else I’ve shoved into that one pocket?
Because EOS is weird.
Well, weirdly-shaped. You can’t help but find it immediately because it’s like nothing else that is going on in your purse. (Unless you have some time of rock or golf ball or something in there. In which case, your purse is more of a mess than mine!) It takes one second for me to find my EOS. It takes me at least 30 for anything else. And I don’t have 30 seconds.
So what’s the moral of this weird blog? It’s good to be weird. To be different. You stand out. You are noticed. People take a second look. People think about you. People ask questions. That’s what you want for your business or the product you’ve created. You want potential customers to take notice of you, come over, and try you out. Because everyone is intrigued with the odd, the different, the “not like everyone else.”
So remember, if you’re starting a work at home business, think about how you can be a little weird so that you stand out above your competition.
Earlier this month I (Andrea) heard a news report from France about a new law that took effect on January 1. It’s a “right to disconnect” law. Workers are now allowed to not check their work emails after office hours.
Something about it struck me. I thought, how sad is it that we actually have to have a law that tells us it’s okay to stop working after you leave work?
We all work too much. I’m guilty of it, too. I tend to make the excuse that because I work from home, I have very flexible hours, and so it’s okay that I might be working at 8pm on a Monday, or 2pm on a Saturday. And in theory I guess that’s okay. But not really.
I have set hours. 9am to 5pm. But I don’t adhere to them. I’ll “go in” early and “stay” late. Not all the time, but enough that it irritates me that I’m doing it.
It has to stop.
Just yesterday I talked again about putting family first. But all the after-hours work, checking emails, voicemails, etc. completely negates that idea. No more. It’s time to stop working when we should be doing other things. It’s time to shut down the computers, ignore the emails, and go do something for you and your family first.
Work will start all over again in the morning. Right now, it’s your time.
You have the right to disconnect. No law needed!
When you begin the Caffeinated Coaching program with us, the very first thing we do is ask you a lot of questions, because we want to learn as much as we can about you. Why? Well, of course, the more we know, the better we can help. But we do have a sneaky, underlying reason, too.
We want to understand how you and your family are working together now, and how you will work together when you take on a work from home job or business.
A couple of weeks ago we talked about how family comes first and business is last. That’s a hard concept for many of us to consider. Maybe a scary concept. Because, isn’t working to gain money for your family putting your family first? Yes and no. If all you do is work, your family has lost you. Sure, they have a lot of money, but money isn’t driving them to soccer practice and reading them a bedtime story.
So, we like to ask questions about how your family life is. So many of us want to make the transition from going to a “regular” job to a work at home job because they want to spend more time with their families. They can gain so much independence by being on their own. They can spend actually time at home with their family.
And that’s great. But you actually have to do it.
When you work from home, especially when you’re starting your own business, you are going to work. A lot. Because it takes time to grow a business. Any business. But what we want to make sure you don’t do is to just change the location of where you work without firmly acknowledging that you’re making this move to put your family first. Because that’s what it’s all about, right?
If someone is sick, you can drop everything and go to them. If you want to volunteer at school, you go and do that. If you just want to be sure you’re at home when the kids get off the school bus, it can happen. But you have to remember that these things come first because they’re part of your family life.
It’s counter-intuitive. We should be telling you to work more. Work hard. And that sometimes you have to sacrifice time with family to get what you want. But isn’t what you wanted to spend more time with your family?
You can do both. You can work hard. You can spend a lot of time with your family. You can be successful with everything. You just need to remember to keep perspective and remember why you’re taking the journey to work from home.
A long, long, long, long time ago when I (Andrea) was in college, I was walking across campus to a class. It was a brand new semester and I was hustling to a sculpture class. (Yes, I was an art student!) On the way there another student, obviously a freshman, stopped me along the way. He said, Excuse me, can you tell me where Rood Hall is?
I was stumped. I was trying so hard to process why this Freshman was asking me where this hall was. I stood there a moment, and I can only imagine my face was one of complete puzzlement as I stared at him. I didn’t say a word. I slowly looked to my left and raised a finger to point. There is was. Rood Hall. About 50 feet away. With the sign “Rood Hall” facing us.
The Freshman thanked me and skulked away to his class. I’m sure he felt completely foolish for asking for something that was right in front of him.
This happens all the time. Not just to flustered Freshmen, but to people driving, walking, talking, eating, working, playing. I can’t tell you how many times my clients get emails from people asking to be unsubscribed from a newsletter, even though each and every newsletter must (by law) have an unsubscribe in it.
So, today my #tipoftheday is this: Pay Attention. Look before you leap. Think before you act. Engage brain before opening mouth, and any other idiom you can think of. You’ll find yourself being able to solve issues because you’re more aware.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.