If you dream of being your own boss, working from home, and never having to show up to an office again, here is an interview from a remote working friend of mine, that highlights all of the tips on working from home, how to stay productive, and how to keep improving yourself until you’ve built your dream life.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave your cubicle and never return?
A while back I started my personal development journey, and my search for happiness and fulfillment. I took a huge leap and left behind the corporate ladder in exchange for flexibility in working from home.
It was a crazy leap for me at the time, but one that is becoming more and more common for people all across the world in today’s digital age. I find it fascinating to hear the stories of other real people who are pursuing their dream lives and not letting anyone stop them.
This week, I interviewed Betsy from Betsy Ramser Jaime and learned all about her journey to working from home. Betsy has been working remotely for the past 7 years which means she can wake up when she wants to, set her own schedule, and even stay in her pajamas all day.
In this post we answer all of your biggest questions about working remotely as well as some bonus tips on pursuing personal development too!
PS – I also did an interview on her website, which you can check out here.
What was the biggest mental hurdle you had to overcome when you decided to work remotely? What gave you the courage to take the path less traveled?
I think that because I started working remotely so young, it didn’t feel like a big leap or anything crazy at the time. It was just something that I did and felt right for me.
In terms of the mental piece, I think when you go remote, you have to retrain your brain to let go of some of the stories about what it means to be a “good worker.” For example, being at a desk from 9-5, wearing professional clothing, etc.
Whether you work for a remote company or work for yourself, I think that being remote requires a more entrepreneurial mindset, to see things differently, and be willing to make mistakes and keep trying until you figure out what works for you. It’s not always easy so you really need the confidence and mental fortitude to be willing to take a chance on yourself.
What have been your favorite aspects of ditching the office?
I really love the freedom of being able to set my own schedule. For example, choosing what days I work and at what times is something I would never give up. I also love not having a daily commute and knowing that if I wanted to, I could work from anywhere in the world.
What has been the biggest challenge that you didn’t anticipate at first?
So many people go into remote work because they’re craving flexibility. However, for many of us, structure can be a key component of working remotely. When you don’t have someone telling you to be at work at a certain time, it can be important to have routines and structures to stay productive.
Another challenge that I experienced, and I know a lot of other remote newbies face, is loneliness. When you don’t have colleagues, you must be really intentional about making plans with friends and family and coordinating activities and meals with others.
It sounds silly but when I first started working remotely in 2012, I would get so excited to go to the grocery store. I wasn’t married at the time, so it was often my first interaction of the day with other humans. After that, I made the decision that I needed to make it a priority to schedule face time with friends and loved ones.
How did the people around you respond to your decision? How did you manage all of the ‘unsolicited advice?’
For the most part, people were pretty supportive, but of course, I think we all have people in our lives who don’t entirely get it.
At first this was really frustrating for me but now I try to remind myself that what I’m doing is entirely new for them. Just like my husband is patient with me when I don’t understand what he’s learning in his Electrical Engineering classes, the people around me don’t have any background with working online.
Once I take the time to really explain what I do and what my workday looks like, I find that people become more interested and understanding.
What are your biggest tips for staying motivated and productive when you manage your own time?
First, I think it’s important to find an organizational system that works for you, whether it’s a paper calendar or one on your computer. You need to have a “go to” place for everything. Otherwise you end up with notes here and there and reminders in multiple online calendars. Keep it simple.
I also like either starting the day by time blocking out my hours or setting 1-3 priorities for the day.
Related post: 5 Strategies for Better Time Management
One of my biggest tips is to manage your energy and know what your peak and low times are. For me, I try to get 80% of my work done before lunch because those are the hours when I’m most focused and productive. Then, I save activities like phone calls, meetings, and email for afternoon hours when my energy is lower.
Related post: 10 Tips To Be More Motivated
I also love rewarding myself! I like to write down two things that I’m looking forward to for the day (1 during the workday and 1 personal).
What does an average workday look like for you?
I usually wake up around 5 or 6 am and start with my most focused work like writing, editing, and creating content. I usually work on this until 11 and then I take a break to go on a short walk. After that I usually have time for 20-30 minute of focused work before I take a 1 hour lunch break at noon.
My afternoons are usually reserved for phone calls, email, and admin type work that requires less focus. I typically stop working around 5 pm and then eat dinner and go for a walk with my husband.
What I love about Betsy’s journey to remote work is that it feels so natural. I hope it gives you the confidence to try this route if you’re feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your current job; there are so many options on the table! Working remotely is definitely one of them. To find out more, head over to Betsy Ramser Jaime for tips and tricks on getting started with remote work life!
Keep reading to find out more about happiness and personal development!
What have you learned about happiness since you began your personal development journey?
A few years ago I was on this “happiness binge” where I read tons of books on happiness and took a few courses on it and even ended up as a teacher’s assistant for one of them. The content itself was really practical and I enjoyed learning more about gratitude and relationships.
Today I try to keep things pretty simple. I prioritize the people and relationships that are most important to me, I remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for, and I try to reflect each week on what’s going well, and what’s not so that I can eliminate the unnecessary.
Part of the human experience is that we won’t ALWAYS be happy…but I DO think that we have the power to be self-aware about what makes us happy and try and infuse as much of that as we can into every area of our life.
How long does it take to become a better version of yourself?
I once heard Alyssa Rocco say, “It only takes one promise to change your life” and I completely agree with this.
If you aren’t happy with your body and you go to the gym for the first time in 5 years, congratulations, keep going. We often only look at the end goal, but it’s really the daily or weekly practice of showing up that allows us to improve.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve noticed since you began taking personal development seriously?
I find that I’m much less worried and stressed than I used to be. Personal development is really about self-awareness and being willing to make ourselves better day by day.
I’ve also found that I’m much less rattled by comparison and what’s going on around me. I’m able to cheer others on around me and not always feel like I’m competing, I just stay in my own lane.
What are the top habits you’ve built in your life that help you show up the way you want?
Some of my favorite habits are meditation, yoga, daily walks, affirmations, eating well, keeping my phone on airplane mode most of the day, and reading. Typically, if I’m doing these things, I seem to be doing pretty well.
Something I’ve learned with habits is to remember that a little is better than nothing. When I first started practicing yoga, I had the mindset that I would practice for 1 hour or not at all. Now, I try to remember that even 5-10 minutes is better than nothing and this way of thinking has allowed me to stick with my habits so much more easily.
What does success mean to you? What have you learned about it since digging into the research?
I love this question because it’s so personal, and it’s different for every person. For me, success is waking up each morning excited for what’s to come during the day. It’s having close relationships with my husband, family, and closest friends. It’s making steady progress on my goals, and using all my resources, time, money, etc. in a way that makes me proud.
What 3 books would you recommend for someone looking to level up their life this year?
- Maybe It’s You by Lauren Zander
I’d also recommend the online course too, called Inner U. It’s 100% the best personal development program I’ve ever done.
- The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins
- The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
What advice do you have for putting personal development concepts into practice in daily life?
I would suggest you keep a notebook and take notes of everything you’re learning. Then, try to choose 1-2 concepts to focus on at a time. For example, for me, right now I’m focused on mindset. Practically, this looks like writing down positive affirmations daily, and keeping a “thought journal” where I keep track of my thoughts so that I don’t end up down a hole of negativity and worry.
I also think that having accountability is important, whether it’s a friend, significant other, or family member. Find someone who you can check in with either weekly or monthly to hold each other accountable on your goals and progress.
I always enjoy learning from other people who are building their dream lives and focusing on self improvement day in and day out. It’s an inspiration to view things form their perspective and always reminds me of how fulfilling the journey is.
If you want my take on working remotely and embracing personal development, here’s my interview.
Reaching your full potential takes a very long time, and it is motivating to get to know other people on the same path.
What I loved about Betsy’s approach to building a life she loves, is that she takes it one day at a time. She knows she can’t get it perfectly every single time, so she gives grace when she falls, but she keeps striving for a better version of herself.
So, if you are ready to start YOUR personal development journey, and you want more tips on leveling up your life and becoming the best version of yourself, join our email community!
You will get a big boost in motivation and inspiration – just watch yourself start crushing your goals week after week.
And if you’re ready debating working remotely, switching jobs or careers, or are ready to make any type of BIG LEAP in your life, I would love to coach you through the hard parts.
I challenge high achievers to overcome perfectionism, procrastination, and indecision so that they can go from average to unbelievable and build a life exploding with joy. Let’s work together!
As you go about your week, keep in mind
It’s impossible to follow your dreams without self knowledge, which takes years. You discover your ‘dream’ (or sense of purpose) in the very act of walking the path, which is guided by equal parts choice and chance.MARIA POPOVA
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- How To Determine The Perfect Career For You
- The Ultimate Guide To Setting Goals And Achieving Personal Growth
If you’ve made some life changes recently in pursuit of your personal development, I would love to feature you on the blog. Get in touch!