with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
So, the other day I was (once again) complaining about how my desk runneth over and I’m always working in the evenings because of all the busy-work that needs to be done but seems to take over my days, somehow—emails, going through and sorting mail, mailing other stuff out, doing research for projects—and my husband listened to me rant and nodded and murmured and finally put his hands over mine and said, “Listen. It’s time you hired someone to help you out for a few hours a week so that we can stop having this conversation all the time.”
And I burst into hysterical laughter because I’m a solopreneur! I work alone! No one can do what I do! And—hey, could I really do that? Have someone come help me? How would that work? Would I need to get dressed?
I like working alone. Most of the time, anyway. Not everyone is a good fit for freelancing and for me, it’s a great fit, in large part because I don’t miss the “office environment” one single bit. I also love being able to tell a client that XYZ will be completed by ABC date and knowing that it will absolutely happen that way; there’s no chain of command I’ll be waiting on for either preparation or approval. It’s all me, baby.
So the idea of someone helping me seemed ludicrous, at first. What, am I going to hire someone to ghost write? No way! But as my (ever-patient) husband pointed out, there’s a lot of things I do that aren’t writing assignments. I run contests on Want Not where I have to monitor entries and sometimes do mass mailings. I get a ridiculous amount of stuff in the mail every day—books and other products for review, various solicitations, items meant for giveaways, items I asked for, items for which I not only didn’t ask but had no idea I’d be receiving, etc. I send out invoices and log checks and run to the bank to make deposits. I do research for several of my assignments, research which I could probably teach someone else to do.
I’m tempted, but I’m also terrified.
I’ve worked really hard at getting myself set up, here, with a system that (more or less) works. The idea of allowing another person into the machine that is my daily operations is frightening. What if I hire someone and they misplace stuff? Or forget to tell me something? Or just plain screw everything up? (It’s a good thing I’m not prone to being melodramatic, huh?)
And then there’s the issue of logistics. What do I pay such a person? How do I find them? Do I have them come to my home office and be here, with me, where I currently type away the hours in blissful solitude? Am I even capable of being a good boss? Because I have had many an impossible boss, in my day, and I would never want to be one. Have you been listening to all of the stuff I’m already dealing with? I cannot possible fit the guilt of being a jerk into my schedule, too.
Man, if only I had time to figure this out. Like, maybe if I had someone to help me so that I’d be free to really think about it in depth….
Oh. Wait. Crap.
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