There are many benefits of working from home, but for Creatives, this is especially true! Creative minds do not typically function at a high-performance level on a 9-5 workday schedule. While structured routine can be good for completing necessary business tasks, a Creative also needs time to get inside their head to discover new ideas and inspiration. My guess is most Creatives also have a hard time falling asleep at night. In many cases, it is the only time we find to brainstorm new ideas!
Flexible Work Schedule: The greatest benefit of having a home-based business is the complete flexibility it offers me with my life. If you are a night owl, no problem! Some of my best ideas have come from working evening hours. For others, early morning may be their prime time to feel energized and be productive with their creativity.
Having a flexible work schedule gives you the luxury of working hours most convenient for you. Taking kids to doctor’s appointments is no longer stressful. You don’t have to ask for time off work to handle appointments and extracurricular activities for you and your family.
I go to the gym in the mornings and especially enjoy the classes that I attend. Because of my flexible work schedule, it is no problem for me to participate in this healthy activity. In a typical office job, I would never have this level of flexibility.
It also allows me to work hours that are suitable for my business. Mother’s Day and the Christmas holiday are my big selling seasons. So while I do need to apply myself during the “slow season” to be prepared for the holidays, I also have the luxury of adjusting my schedule to enjoy summer break by going to the pool or afternoon matinee movies with the kids. A win-win for me!
This same flexible work schedule lets me travel with husband quite frequently. I work my business schedule needs around our travel dates. I take as much vacation as I want throughout the year which is fantastic! I would really struggle to do this in a typical office job.
Be Your Own Boss: I’ve owned my home-based business the last 15 years, but there was a time when I worked in “Corporate America” so I do understand the demands of working for someone else. Sometimes those demands took away from my personal family time. No more! The only person who gets to do that is my husband.
I set the financial goals of my business. The burden is on me to make it happen and reach my goals, but my only performance review is to myself. I love being my own boss and accountable for making my business a success.
If I have a new idea I want to try, it doesn’t have to be approved by a committee. I just figure out how to make it happen. Being your own boss allows you to be nimble in changing your business whenever needed without any red tape. Being a small business requires you to have that agility to change as needed to stay competitive in the online retail world.
Tax Benefits: This is the biggest financial benefit to my business. It allows me to take many of my personal expenses and turn them into business expenses.
Let’s start with your home office space. To take advantage of this tax benefit, your office needs to be used exclusively and on a regular basis for your business. If this applies to you, that space is all tax deductible.
If the area of your office is 10% of your home, you will be able to deduct 10% of your rent or mortgage interest, utility bills, home repairs, and depreciation. Folks, that adds up! The cleaning of that space is also tax deductible if you hire an outside company to do your cleaning.
The number of tax deductions for 2019 is numerous. Here is a complete listing of potential tax deductions for your small business comprised in one place for your convenience. As always I recommend working with your tax advisor to understand the latest tax rules that apply to you and your state.
Reduced Living Expenses: When I worked outside the home, I needed a professional wardrobe for my job. I was expected to show up looking professional in my line of work. Honestly, it is the one thing I miss about working in an office environment.
As a home-based business, I show up to work in flip-flops and shorts or sometimes even in my comfy PJs and slippers. It’s also what I love about working from home, the freedom to dress comfortably however that looks!
I save a tremendous amount of money on my car in car-related expenses. I drove several thousand miles a year to and from work. Savings include gas and maintenance related expenses, not to mention that reduced general wear and tear will help the car hold its value longer.
Yes, I still own a car. But I admit it gets driven a lot less than when I worked at an office. I have more time in my day because I don’t have to fight rush hour traffic anymore, which is a big plus for me!
If you have kids, you may very well save on childcare if they don’t have to be there as many hours of the day, or not at all depending on their age. There was a time we had three kids in daycare at the same time. Saving even 2 hours a day per child would have really added up and saved us a ton of money.
Play Time for Inspiration: Critical to every Creative is the need for play time. We need to have time to create without deadlines, to try new ideas without fear of failure, to spread our wings and fall flat on our face without a bad performance review looming over us.
Some of my best ideas come to me sitting on my patio watching the birds at the feeder. Sometimes it is walking through a fabric store just browsing new fabric prints. And sometimes ideas come to me when I’m on a run in the middle of the day or laying at the pool with no other to-dos on my never-ending list.
Creatives need empty space in their schedules to allow the mind openness through which new ideas can flow. Without “downtime” it would be nearly impossible to come up with new concepts or solve problems to existing designs.
I think about the time I used to spend on my daily commute to and from work – a full hour each day. That was my downtime or as I liked to call it, “Me Time”. The time spent in the car is where I could clear my thoughts and just let ideas flow. Just think how creative I might have been if I hadn’t also been driving in rush hour traffic!
For those looking for work-life balance and the desire to spend more waking hours at home and with family, there is no doubt that working from home can offer all of those things. Keep in mind to be successful, you will still need structure to complete the non-creative tasks required in running your own business. But more on that in a future post.
I can honestly say after 15 years of working from home, I could never go back to an office environment. I love the freedom, lifestyle, and sense of accomplishment that working for myself gives me. I hope you find the courage to take this step for yourself!
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