“Can we meet up for coffee?”
“I need you to come to a meeting in my office tomorrow at 10am.”
Or the kicker…
“My place is located at… I need you to set some stuff up on my home computer.”
Nope, nope, nope.
Here’s why I am a strictly virtual business
I work best in my happy place
I’ve tried co-working.
I have worked in traditional offices, including open-plan format and separate rooms.
I’ve attempted to work in coffee shops.
... and I've even done a home visit or two.
I know that I perform at peak when I am in my comfortable happy place: home. This is where I am most productive and creative so that my amazing clients get the best value and I don’t waste a single moment of my day.
I don’t follow standard business hours
Not going to lie… the truth is that while you’re busy kicking goals in your 9-5, I’m probably drifting in and out of wrangling my kids, running errands, doing a bit of business work, and managing the household. For me, the real stuff gets done from around 3am-7am, which is totally do-able when you're a virtual business. I can't think of any co-working space or coffee shop that would accommodate my current work arrangement, can you?
Travelling is a waste of time
Leaving my home to go to a meeting means hours wasted on travel time, sitting in the car, dealing with traffic. I also hate driving. And the public transport in Brisbane is a bit sucky, to say the least. Avoiding travel is one of the best perks I get as a self-employed freelancer and I’m not going to sacrifice it. Sorry, not sorry.
Wearing clothes and makeup is a waste of time
I love my uniform. Usually it’s pyjamas because most of my work is done right after I wake up. It’s not for everyone, but right now, it works for me. During the day, I wear comfy house-clothes that my toddler can wipe his grubby hands on, and I save makeup for weddings and date nights. That’s just me. Getting dressed and prettied up so I can go to a face-to-face meeting is not my idea of fun.
Everything I do can be discussed virtually
I am very fortunate that what I do – writing blog articles and online copywriting – can be discussed and exchanged virtually. The wonders of technology mean that I can literally operate from anywhere in the world and service anyone who needs me, as long as they have the internet, an email address, and Skype or a phone. The way I see it is if I don’t have to meet in person, then why bother?
Babysitters are for date nights
Because I have decided to not enroll my kids in childcare (yet), every meeting that requires me to leave the house also requires me to arrange babysitting for my baby and toddler. I only have a limited number of babysitters I can call on, so I prefer to save their services for actual emergencies or the very occasional dates with my wonderful husband.
I’m all for finding more ways to be efficient in my business (and yours). It’s one of my core values. Unless it adds true value or joy or is truly necessary, I prefer to eliminate it from my schedule/business/life. It means I get more space and energy in my life for things that actually matter, increase profits in the business, and bring me joy in life!
Exceptions to the rule
Okay, so there are always exceptions to the rule. For some of my oldest clients who know me super well, I will definitely go out of my way to meet up with them and catch up over coffee. But they understand that this is not my normal and they respect that I won’t always be able to say yes.
There is still value in real-life networking and meeting, especially if you’re good at talking to people and making connections that way. I’m sure that my conversion rates would be higher if I chose to do more meetings in person.
But I consciously choose to work virtually because I believe that the benefits (for my unique personality and work style) outweigh the negatives overall. I know that the people I work with will “get” that. Anyone who doesn’t accept my virtual business is not going to be a good fit... and I'm happy for them to get help from a different service provider.
Over to you… I’d love to know what your thoughts are on this.
Do you work virtually?
Do you prefer to meet in person?
Would you avoid working with someone who you couldn’t meet face to face?
As an introvert it is a big effort to go out there and meet people. BUT recently I've been approached twice in public....eeek there I was in all my sloth mumma playground pick up glory and I was recognised (not sure what that says about my public headshots that I agonised over) but I wanted to sink into a hole and say "who me, photo lady, nooooooo you must be mistaken"
Mara, oh my goodness, this would utterly terrify me! Haha sloth mumma look is the only look I debut in public these days. I only have a few local clients, but it's always in the back of my mind that one of them might see me in my day-clothes. Terrifying. Let's hope it doesn't happen too often to either of us 😉