How We Think Determines “Normal” For Us – Employee Or Entrepreneur – How Do You View Your World?

I was just reading a blog post written by an extremely smart & talented lady about offices, jobs & home… and it got me thinking about how we view our world.

Whether we have an employee mindset or an entrepreneurial mindset determines what we consider “normal.”

Do you view your world from the point-of-view of an entrepreneur or as an employee? Neither viewpoint is wrong – it just affects how you think about your world. What is considered “normal” by one would not be considered “normal” by the other. Take our office environment, for example. Employees consider their office at work a normal working environment. A place to “get work done” and to “earn a living.”

Again, nothing wrong with that…it usually pays the bills.  And, to many, it’s a satisfying life filled with goals, responsibilities, promotions & success.

Entrepreneurs think differently

It made me realize that my view of “normal” is very much like an entrepreneur’s. And the way I think about my office, workplace & home office aren’t exactly “normal” either — at least from an employee’s perspective.

Employee Offices

What do many of us picture when we talk about our office? Many immediately think about their 6’X6′ cubicle at work filled with paperwork & a computer crammed in one corner. We are made to feel as though we are fortunate if we get one of those hanging cabinets on the cubicle “wall” to cram MORE paperwork into. A promotion means an office with real walls – but we sacrifice even more of our precious time away from the office for that “privilege.” We also receive a chair on wheels that, if you are like me, you have to write your name on somewhere no one knows about so when it gets stolen, you can go find it and prove it is really yours.  Seriously, this happens to me.

This is the space we are grudging given in which to do our job for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – minimum. Most of us don’t realize we literally spend 40 or more hours a week (voluntarily) in a space that is considered too small to be humane for prisoners that have committed murder in the Unites States.

Not only is it too small, but if it’s like mine, it has 5-foot high walls (and no door) to give a false sense of privacy. False because, believe me, everyone can hear every word you say.

While giving us this false sense of privacy they are actually completely blocking our view of the outside world. Many workplaces intentionally block views from windows. I’ve seen cubicle walls installed right in front of windows – on purpose. Why? Windows are distracting and not conducive to productivity. Heaven forbid you should take 5 minutes to enjoy the day by gazing out a window.

It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? The things that we put up with for that false sense of security called a Paycheck.

Why is that considered “Normal?” And working for yourself in a home business is considered lunacy? Don’t get me wrong – I’m very grateful for that paycheck while I’m building my own business. I work very hard to earn it and I’m happy to do it, but it’s not where I want to be in 5 years.

Entrepreneur’s Office

Let me show you what I mean…    

It’s Sunday and since I’m one of those people that still goes into a job Monday through Friday, today is a day for me to sit in my HOME office and work on what I WANT to work on. (Isn’t it amazing how it never seems like work when it’s something you want to do — but I digress). As I sit here in my office this morning, drinking a cup of coffee and waking up for the day. I look around me and I just have to say, I like my concept of “office” much better than where I have to sit 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.

I have an official Home Office. It’s where I keep my printers, desktop computers, fax machine, scanner & office supplies. But after I purchased my laptop a few years ago, my office is anywhere I can sit and work on my business. I came downstairs this morning to my livingroom where my laptop is plugged in and waiting for me. I sit here many mornings and work while the sun comes up. Archer, one of our greyhounds, lays by my side – supervising my work. Occasionally he gets up and puts his nose under my hand — wanting his head scratched.

I’m listening to some music playing through my computer (something I can’t do at work unless I use headphones). As I write this article, the back screen-door is open and I can hear the waterfall in our pond as the breeze pulls in the scent of lilacs. I’m sitting with my feet up on the ottoman and I watch my husband tinkering with his stereo equipment or surfing the web on his laptop. We chat about the day ahead & discuss our plans. We watch Archer as he watches robins feeding their babies or sparrows taking their spring bath in the pond. His eyes pick up things we would never notice without him there to point them out to us. We also chuckle over some of the silly words our African Grey, BooBoo just said — right before she sneezes and says “bless you” to herself.

Life is good!

On weekends in the winter I sit and watch it snow from the comfort of my “office.” We sometimes start a fire in the fireplace – that’s definitely a benefit I don’t have at my corporate job. I also don’t need to worry about traffic. If I’m at my home office, I don’t worry if I’m going to get snowed in at work – or how long the snowy commute back home is going to take.

On weekends in the spring and summer, I sit on our back patio with my laptop instead of in my livingroom. I watch the kids next door play in their pool and our greyhounds bask in the sun. I am soothed and inspired by the sound of the waterfall as it falls over the rocks & I smile as Archer supervises the goldfish swimming in the pond. Somehow, it just never seems like WORK.

In the fall, I bundle into a coat with a blanket and determinedly sit outside on my patio to work. It’s bittersweet because I know that soon I’ll be watching the weather from behind the glass in my livingroom until mother nature blooms again in the spring and the weather warms enough in early spring for me to bundle into a coat with a blanket and determinedly sit outside on my patio to work – eagerly waiting for warmer weather.

People often ask my why I work so hard, so constantly, so consistently on my home business. They want to know why I don’t take a break, give it a rest, play, relax, just chill. They know I have a good job & want to know why I’m not satisfied with just that. To many, just complaining about their job is enough. That’s the “normal” thing to do, right?

Because … why would I want to work in a 6’X6′ cell when I can work HERE? Why work very hard on what someone else wants me to do instead of doing what doesn’t even feel like “work” and doing it for myself?  

Because when Sunday is finally over I only get to work from my perfect “office” early in the morning as the sun comes up. After I get home from my corporate job, I’ll sit in my “office” while I watch another perfect sunset and I’m even more determined to be what many don’t consider “normal.”

These are my “normal” things to miss when I finally put my laptop down on Monday through Friday mornings, get dressed & drive into my corporate job. Where my 6’X6′ cubicle with it’s high walls, false privacy & no sunshine is waiting for me and I once more go looking for my chair that has been stolen.

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