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20 Bad Things Only People Who Work From Home Will Understand

20 Bad Things Only People Who Work From Home Will Understand

Escaping the 9 to 5 bubble of a cubicle can be a dream come true. You can work in your pajamas, set your own hours, and have no traffic, pollution, or commuter stress to deal with. Your friends envy you for having it all “figured out.” What they don’t know, however, is that working from home can present its own set of unexpected challenges over time. For those of you who work at home, you are probably familiar with these 20 bad things only people who work from home will understand.

1. Your best suit looks much like your best pajamas.

A power tie is a robe, and instead of $500 pumps, you wear the finest sheepskin boots money can buy.

2. No water cooler chit chat, except to your dog (or cat).

No need to talk about the weather or listen what your co-workers did over the weekend, but also no one to tell your own stories to or gossip about that crazy thing your neighbor did, or how cute your new baby niece or nephew is.

3. No office holiday party for you to embarrass yourself at.

Drinking Peppermint Schnapps and putting on a Santa hat is no fun if there is no one to kiss under the mistletoe.

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4. A sick day and a work day are the same thing.

You can’t call in sick, because you’re already home for the day. No need for a doctor’s note, and since you’re already home, you have no excuse to not get your work done on time.

5. A long lunch turns into a day off.

It can be too easy to think you can do a casual lunch, only to realize you’ve been gabbing with an old friend for hours, and then suddenly, you find yourself easing out of taking a whole day off.

6. Any “office gossip” consists of what everyone else is posting on Facebook.

The only “people” you talk to are Facebook “friends” by liking or commenting on their status updates. You suddenly find yourself sucked in the rabbit hole that is Facebook and hours later – after looking at cat videos and memes galore – you realize you need to go outside and say “hello” to people in the real world. But then, you’d have to trade in your pajamas for real clothes.

7. You start talking to yourself … and you start answering back.

Talking to your pet does not count. You are still really talking to yourself, since even though your pet seems like they can understand what you’re going through, pets truly aren’t people after all.

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8. People think you have nothing to do.

They assume you play video games or stalk on Facebook all day which, in reference to number six above, you probably do.

9. Your family thinks you don’t have a “real” job.

Since you  have no company car, key to the executive washroom, or office party you take pictures of, that you must just be unemployed and lying to them.

10. The dog always seems to bark the minute you jump on a conference call.

This is because that is also simultaneously the time the mailman seems to show up.

11. Cleaning your house several times a day still counts as procrastination.

You can only scrub your tile grout so many times before you realize you are really avoiding your work.

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12. Your “hours of operation” turn into an open 24 hours kind of thing very easily.

When you check emails on your phone from bed, you know you are in trouble.

13. Your inbox rules your day.

Those constant dings of your email that you seemingly just have to answer right away can go all day because you have no set hours, so people assume you are always available.

14. Some days your commute can still seem long, even if you are only commuting a room away.

The steps from the bed to your desk can seem daunting, so you pull the covers over your head and elect to email from bed.

15. You can still get a lot of work done while watching a TV show marathon.

It’s just “background noise,” right?

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16. Some days look like not putting on any makeup or showering, because you have a 6 am conference call.

No one will notice if you smell or have bedhead. Then, 5 hours later you look in the mirror and realize you forgot to shower that day.

17. Video chat calls require twice as much blush as usual.

No matter what lighting you have in the room, you look like a ghost when it comes to video chatting.

18. Happy Hour can start whenever you want.

It’s been a tough day. One beer for lunch won’t hurt.

19. Your desk turns into your couch, as you snuggle up next to your dog or cat.

Since you stayed up late emailing from bed, and your desk seems too far away, the couch is sort of like halfway between a bed and a desk.

20. No one will know if you don’t get your work done.

Except you, and then your clients. The only one that is there to motivate you is yourself.

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Published on December 18, 2018

How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out

How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out

You’ve been in business for years and have finally hit your plateau.

The tactics you’d implemented for your customers aren’t working as they’ve used to. You feel like your business has fallen out of the spotlight and now you’d have to settle for any business you get. It’s how businesses work, right?

The truth is that some brands will fade off the business world–while others will adapt well and continue to grow. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for where your business currently stands. After all, you’d kept applying tactics that provided predictable results.

Instead, decide to not settle for average results and spend more time building your brand. To make your business stand out from your competition, you need to be unforgettable. But how can you?

In this article, I’ll cover timeless tactics that have worked for other businesses. If you apply these tactics correctly your competition won’t be able to copy them. Here’s how to brand yourself and make your business stand out:

1. Win Your Audience’s Hearts with Authenticity

The truth has always shined.

Even without the technology we have today, people always had a way of finding out if someone was lying. And, with everyone engaging in social media today, it’s hard to hide from the truth. Yet, this seems to be what many businesses fail to do.

For example, companies like Listerine have been fined for lying.[1] A quick buck today won’t be worth it in the long run. Instead, practice being authentic to your customers and they’ll eventually rely on you.

Allow your customers to buy your products with a money-back guarantee – then deliver on your promise. Be consistent with the content you provide and stay true to your brand.

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For example, if you provide coaching services for entrepreneurs, don’t sponsor irrelevant brands. If you stop caring about your brand’s mission, your audience will notice. They’ll question your integrity with your business and stop trusting your brand.

But if you gain your customer’s trust, you’ll start standing out from your competition. Your customers will feel safe purchasing from you since they’ll know you’re honest.

2. Share a Story No One Will Be Able to Copy

A few decades ago, a brand would’ve gotten away without being unique. That’s because back then starting a business was not accessible to most people. You’d either need enough money to launch your business or have the credentials. And even if you had all these qualifications, you needed to get past the gatekeepers.

Today, technology has disrupted many of the barriers that were present a few decades ago. For example, today a college student can launch a Podcast within a week. He can create a website in a few hours and record a few Podcast episodes. If he’s persistent, he can build a large following overtime and get paid by sponsors.

This is great news for aspiring entrepreneurs but there’s more competition than ever. You can only do so much before other businesses begin to copy you. But what no business can copy is your story.

That’s why you need to share your story with your audience.

For example, if you have a money blog, share how you’ve overcome your financial struggles. If you run a freelance writing business, share how you’ve overcome writer’s block. The more your audience can relate to you the better.

Without a story, your business won’t stand out. And if you copy what’s working for other businesses, you’ll experience short-term success.

Take some time to share your story with the world, your audience will love you more for it.

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3. Stop Reinventing Every Single Thing

“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” – Anthony J.D’angelo

You may have heard that being original is the way to stand out. While this is true to an extent, you also shouldn’t be original when something is already working.

For example, if your competition has a successful Podcast in your field, then so can you. Don’t search for better alternatives to a Podcast if it’s already working.

Why?

Because this is a waste of time. Instead, copy what’s already working and make it your own.[2] If your competition has a Podcast, figure out which areas you can improve and tailor it around your brand.

Knowing this you can now spy on your competition and determine which areas you can improve. But, know that it also works the other way around. Others will view your business and copy what’s working for you.

That’s why it’s important to stay true to your brand and be authentic with your audience. When you do, your competition won’t be able to copy your unique traits. Have an abundant mindset and feel confident for what your business has to offer.

4. Shine Because of Your Uniqueness

Stop trying to help the entire world and focus on helping a specific group of people instead.

I get it, you’re willing to help almost everyone because you want to bring in more business. But the truth is that if you resonate with everyone, you resonate with no one.

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Take, for example, a marketing agency that helps businesses promote their product. This business doesn’t speak to anyone but gets occasional sales throughout the year.

But what if there was a similar marketing agency dedicated to helping real estate agents? If there was a real estate agent looking for help in marketing–who do you think they’ll choose? That’s why niching down is necessary if you hope to stand out from your competition.

Determine which customers you enjoy working with the most and determine which customers bring in the most revenue. Once you’ve gathered enough data, focus on servicing your ideal customer.

Don’t expect immediate results since this won’t be an easy transition. If you’re currently helping a narrow audience, slowly transition into a niche audience. Niching down is crucial to building raving fans.

5. Be the Brand Everyone Can Depend On

Being the brand your customers can depend on is important. How many times have you bought a product that’s failed on its promise? Or have settled for an average service?

Exceeding your customer’s expectations is a sure way to make your brand stand out. In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, studies on human psychology prove that when you give to others, they’ll reciprocate. Offer your customers free consulting, a free ebook, or free quality content. Eventually, they’ll be happy to reciprocate after receiving value from you.

View what your competition is doing and surpass their offers. For example, if your competition offers a free 15-minute consulting call, offer 30 minutes. When you focus on helping others more, your customers will notice.

Make it your mission to serve your customers first and then worry about making a profit. Other ways for your business to be reliable is by inspiring your customers. That’s right, a business isn’t only about selling, it’s also helping customers achieve their goals.

For example, you can write content that will inspire your audience to take action. You can interview guests that will push your audience to break bad habits. Get creative and look for more ways in which your audience can depend on you with.

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The Bottom Line

Imagine serving fewer customers and getting paid more than ever.

Despite the fierce competition, you’ve got fans wanting to buy your products and services. Although this may seem impossible right now, it’s not. If other brands have been able to stand out in a crowded industries, why can’t yours?

The truth is that standing out from your competition isn’t easy. There’s no secret formula that’s available to the rest of the world. The trick is to do what most brands are unwilling to do.

Many businesses don’t want to niche down because this will mean a loss in sales. But that’s sacrificing short-term gains for long-term success. Niching down is necessary to build a brand your customers will love.

Many businesses will spend a lot of money looking for ways to innovate, but won’t apply what’s working. But, not you.

You’ve got what it takes to stand out from your competition. Start slowly and master each principle covered here. Now go and make your business stand out like never before.

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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