Working From Home

Stay with me on this one please folks….

Ailsa and I started The Cuillin Collective a while back now. In the beginning we didn’t work that much. Most of our work days were spent simply trying to find work.

From 10 until 3 most days I did the handyman thing. I spent the rest of my days scouring the web for video work. No-one ever questioned what I was doing. Of course, I didn’t work at home full time then so it was fine.

Here is me painting a fence on Google Maps 🙂 (in the middle)

So to say the least, I had a lot of spare time and to be honest felt like a bit of a bum, which turned out to the best motivator an unemployed person could have. Although I did enjoy the constant BBQ’s and beer that summer.

Over the next 2-3 years Ailsa and I built up the business enough that we didn’t have to find work at all. With a bit of SEO help, work began to find us.

When we lived in Penicuik (oh the shame) we were both working 14 hours per day, 6 (sometimes 7) days per week for months on end. I once turned around at 9pm (after starting at 630am) and saw Ailsa with her head on her desk sound asleep. We were both totally mentally exhausted. We know first hand how hard building a business can be which is maybe why we specialise in helping start up companies. Because we know what it’s like. Regardless of what line of business you’re in, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Building a business is a bit like a fun nightmare. I do acknowledge that is an oxymoron but it’s true. When I stacked shelves at Safeway or cleaned cars at VW it was just a nightmare 🙂

In 2011 we moved to Elgol on the Isle of Skye. We moved here with the intention of only working 8-6 Monday to Friday. We had to turn away work on occasion but you can’t put a price on mental stability. Of course with all this extra time we now had I took up drinking single malt whiskies and enjoying red wine more and Ailsa got pregnant. So it was a win win for everyone.

In January this year Tess and Helen jumped on board the TCC team to help us maintain our 8-6 Monday to Friday rule. I love working with them. Not many people can say that they were looking forward to going back to work after a two week vacation.

Now on to the point of this piece. When we tell people that we live on a sparsely populated island up the north west of Scotland the first thing people ask is
“What do you do for a job?”
Then our conversation always follows this path….
“We have our own business making videos and websites for clients from all around the world.”
“Oooh. Exciting stuff. Do you have a big studio?”
to which I reply
‘No, we work from home”
That’s it. Their face drops like you’ve just told them that you claim the dole and have kids for a living. They automatically assume that because I work at home, I don’t work that much and take days off all the time. I’ve even had a few tell me that it must be great to work at home because I can catch up on all my household chores. Really? My household chores? I don’t even do those when I’ve got time let alone when I’m working 8-6, 5 days a week.
What if it was 5 years ago and I told them…
“I’m a handyman and don’t work that often to be honest. In fact, I’ve just fired up the BBQ. You want a beer?”
I’d probably get a better reaction from them then.

Working from home is the reward for our hard work. I get to watch my new twin boys grow up every single day. I don’t have to leave the house in the wind and the rain, I don’t have to save up just to afford the fuel prices because I don’t have to commute, I can listen to the music I want. Hell, I can even peel myself straight out my scratcher straight to my desk without even having to get changed. (Not on the days the Helen works though)

The next time someone tells you they work from home. Think about what your face is telling them and what they’ve done to deserve to work from home. It’s not by chance that they’re there.

Right, it’s Wine Friday at work so I’m off. Have a great weekend people!

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