Some people don’t understand that REALTORS are independent contractors, as such we are self employed. With that said, lets talk about bunny slippers.
When I had a traditional job I used to imagine how cool it would be if I were self employed, and how nice it would be to work from home in my bunny slippers. I may be self employed but spend as much time in my car as in my office. I have driven in my slippers but the ears get caught in the peddles.
My office is in my home and it is nice but it is not quite like I had imagined it would be. It took several years to break my old work habits from life in corporate America, like getting dressed and actually leaving the house before noon.
For most of my work life I was in the office by 7:30 in the morning. Now I start work between 4:30 and 5:30 AM, two or three hours earlier than I used to because of the 90 second commute, which I could do in 60 seconds if I didn’t stop at the coffee pot. Since I can’t just walk past a coffee pot before 2:00 PM, I may never be able to beat my own personal best of 90 seconds.
This is where the bunny slippers come in. When I had a traditional job I wore real shoes and didn’t have a problem with a meeting at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. These days I get cranky when someone wants me to be somewhere earlier than 9:00, I prefer 10:00. There are days when I get busy and don’t get dressed until 10:00 or even 11:00. The phones ring and the email just keeps coming. I don’t work in my bunny slippers because I want to, I do it because I either can’t find my shoes or I am too busy to actually get dressed or both.
There are other little things about working from home that people don’t think about. Like last week when I was on the phone and someone was pounding on my office door. I answered the door, in my slippers, and it was Excel energy just letting me know that they were going to turn off the power for two hours.
They said that they work on the residential lines during the middle of the day because it isn’t as disruptive. Boo! I wasn’t ready to go anywhere and had to find some shoes and appropriate attire. It was only 9:00 AM!
Family members and neighbors have interesting ideas about what self employment is like. I have to make sure I am home for plumbers, furnace cleaners, roof repairers and all of the other support staff we have for our ancient house. There are the other little problems that come up during the day that people with normal jobs miss out on.
The lost dog, the child with the skinned knee, the neighbor who needs a ride to the airport, or help shoveling out from a snow storm, or a cup of sugar. This is St. Paul, we still knock on our neighbors doors when we need a cup of sugar. I have one neighbor who borrows ice cubes. I don’t get that one at all. She works from home and sometimes comes over in her slippers. I have another neighbor who just knocks on my door or walks in at random times. The dog doesn’t seem to mind so it must be O.K.
I know I am not alone. When I show houses to buyers I notice the home offices and can tell that they are real offices and that the owner probably runs a small business or works from home. I see the slippers under the desk and even though it may be 2:00 in the afternoon I wonder if I messed up someones day.
Being self employed is the way to go especially for women. This week it was in the news again about the income gap between men and woman. The pay gap starts out at about 10% right out of college and widens to around 30% as women progress in their careers. Self employment may be the best way to achieve economic parity, and have an engaging career that allows for almost unlimited personal and professional growth. It is rewarding once we really understand the truth about the bunny slippers.
Have a great weekend. It is supposed to me nice out, enjoy the weather and have fun.