Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurs’

Need for social connection

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Working from home is hard. Not only do you have to keep yourself motivated and on track despite all the distractions, you get isolated from people. I mean, sure it’s great to connect with people online, but nothing can truly replace sitting across from someone as you chat over cups of tea or share a delicious meal. That’s one of the reasons I’m rejoining the workforce, in addition to seeking greater learning and growth opportunities.

sitting on ground working on laptop

Just me and the laptop…

These days I find myself getting antsy around 4 PM – I’ve done a lot of my work for the day and I’m seeking a break, but nobody’s around. Sometimes I’ll have a snack but sometimes I kind of forget and just wait until dinnertime to eat. I start looking out the window as neighbors begin arriving home from their day of work and wonder when Panda will be pulling in. He’s pretty much the only person I am consistently in touch with and definitely the only one I spend time with in person. Sure, I’ll call my parents or email/text my friends, but I don’t really know anyone out here so there’s nobody to meet up with. When it’s just me and the laptop, I often wish that I had my cats with me – they’re always entertaining! However, they’d be a distraction so I guess I shouldn’t be playing with them. Instead, why not get the interaction I want by doing work together with others??

I’m really looking forward to getting back into an office so I can make new friends, get to know my coworkers, work towards a common goal of growing the company, and get more interaction overall. Nothing can quite replace being in the same physical environment (unless you have some complex video-chatting stream between all users, then maybe). Plus, it’s good to get out every day and move around. There have been days where I didn’t breathe a single breath of fresh air since I just stayed indoors on my laptop the entire time. It’s easy to start to get disconnected from the world.

Of course, I still love my online life and it’s so cool to be making blogger friends. I definitely plan on continuing with that, but it’s something that can easily be a hobby I do at night and on the weekends. I don’t have to work on it for 40 hours a week (though I certainly could) and I think it’d be a nice complement to the work I would do during the day at a workplace. I’d get a nice mix of interacting with people on the phone, in person, and online. I’m ready for that!

365great Day 131: Kiva

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 131: kivaIt’s been years since I first started loaning on Kiva and it has been a rewarding experience. How cool is it that through the power of crowd-sourcing, we can help fund an entrepreneur or small business owner’s dream? At the same time, we’re not just giving handouts and the money will (usually) be paid back in full. So we empower them to improve their lives while ensuring they work hard to earn their keep. I’m so glad micro loans exist and they’ve become an important part of the world economy, supporting so many small businesses out there. Not everyone can get a loan from an institution like a bank, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a hand. Plus, once you get your loan paid back, you can recirculate the money to help someone else. For a mere $25 I’ve been able to help out 5 people already and I know that number will only continue to grow. That’s really rewarding! It’s a great system that I’m proud to be a part of.

Time disconnect

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Holy cow, is it really [insert day of week]?!”

This happens to me just about every single day. Call it the life of the self-employed/entrepreneur/stay-at-homer. Every day is mostly the same to me – there is no such thing as a weekday vs. weekend. I work daily, unless I have plans to go do something, so it really doesn’t matter much what day of the week it is. And so it is that I often find myself disconnected with the rest of the world in that way. I don’t hate Mondays nor do I look forward to Fridays the same way a “typical” worker might.

calendar page from the world's most super-amazing 100% awesome cat calendar for 2014

Without a calendar, I’d be lost.

Perhaps I need to build more of a weekly structure, but it doesn’t make sense to take time off when I’m really trying to build something. I’m certainly not wearing myself out and I get plenty of rest and play daily; in fact, you could say I go through an entire week each day: there’s the waking up in the morning and trying to get a rhythm going (Monday), getting back into things (Tuesday), starting to feel an afternoon slump (Wednesday – “Hump Day”), recovering a bit as my day looks like it’s ending (Thursday), and feeling good that I’m nearly done with my day’s work (Friday). Usually my “weekend” is sort of sandwiched in between the other moments, though sometimes it ends up being no more than the time that I sleep.

Since I don’t watch TV or read the newspaper, the only way I can really stay in tune is based off whether Panda is home or not, but I’ve been staying with my mom more and she works from home too…  but hey, is it really that important that I always know what day it is? I could just check my phone’s calendar and in the long run, it doesn’t affect me much, so I’m perfectly fine forgetting the days sometimes. What about you? Would it drive you crazy if you didn’t have a distinct weekday and weekend? Or do you meander through the weeks and months without a strong sense of time like me?

365great Day 27: micro-entrepreneurism

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

I’ve written about micro-entrepreneurism before and I’ll say it again: I love that new business models are popping up all over the place (on the web), empowering people to be small-time entrepreneurs. Whether you want to pet sit, run people’s errands, do freelance projects, give tours, rent out your space, teach a private lesson, or cook/bake for hire… there’s probably a site out there for you. What a great way to take your skill sets and/or passions and turn them into income-generating gigs! While it’s definitely challenging and takes a lot to be able to live off odd jobs like that, the experiences are extremely rewarding and satisfying. And hey, for most people, it’s just a nice way to supplement your income by doing what you’re good at.

365great challenge day 27: micro-entrepreneurismIn this picture I was demoing food at the Whole Foods in Westwood through my employer, Natural Selection Promotions. I really enjoyed that job since I requested shifts only when I wanted, had an everchanging work environment, and got to get out from behind a desk. At first it was a summer job and then it was an in-between job once I graduated college and was looking for work. I liked that I got to move around in the day, meet new people all the time, and only work when I decided to. The pay was pretty good and I even got extra food samples to keep much of the time! Since then, a far more robust industry has grown to allow people similar experiences. It’s easier than ever to take what you love or know and turn it into an income-generator. This sort of empowerment is truly great.

Thoughts into action

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Today I met with a couple of like-minded people to talk about entrepreneurism and one message seemed clear: start early.  All of those with experience are mostly in their 20’s and certainly not over 30-something.  They started in their teens or 20’s and have been living the startup lifestyle for years.  It seemed to be the consensus that the best time to start is when you’re young and still in college.  That’s when you don’t have to worry about supporting yourself financially – there are parents, scholarships, or loans to help you.  And once you gain traction, you can graduate and hop right into it with more confidence because you’ve been working at it for awhile and you can convince family, friends, and investors that your business will succeed.

Well, that’s not the plan I have.  I’m taking a more “safe” route, I suppose, working first, gaining that experience, taking it to learn in business school, and finally branching off on my own.  Of course, the most difficult part will be letting go of a steady job and living off of savings to get my company going.  But I trust that I can and will do it.  I don’t want to end up being the type who just talks about big plans and ideas and never goes and does them.  I’m not going to be that type.

So though I will be older, more experienced, and have more to lose, as they say, I fully intend on staying my path.  I guess that’s exactly why I’m confident in my plan – because I’ve had it since middle school.  Sometime around 8th grade, I believe, is when I decided I wanted to go to business school.  I can’t remember when I added starting my own company as the next step beyond that, but little has altered.  I have changed my ideas enough to strengthen my plan, but the overall framework has never faltered (like how I now want a green MBA because I want to go into the environmental field).  And after dedicating so much of my thoughts and time to my plan, how could I not follow through?

No matter how daunting it might be to do so, when the time comes, I’ll have to take the plunge.  I even told Panda to be prepared.  In the mean time, I’m not going to get too comfortable working a steady job so that when change comes, I can embrace it.

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