Monday, July 19, 2010

Where to Hide a Cat and other Basement Corner Office Challenges

I have the corner office.  I've worked very hard over the past 20 years: selling, mothering, wife-ing (twice), creating, marketing and more. I partnered with some friends and friendly acquaintances and started a business with less than 5 thousand dollars that grossed more than a million dollars in the first 11 months and I was quite impressed with myself.  Initially by necessity and then by choice, in our business everyone works remotely.  And my hard earned corner office is actually in the basement of my home.

Working from home wasn't the struggle I thought it might be.  Like most 'creative' people, I have a very short attention span and can VERY easily be led off in a million directions.  I have slowly tamed the reactive monster and actually work without jumping on every email and phone call the second they come in.  If anyone asked me I would think myself somewhat of a modern expert on the home office mode.

I was approached last year about conducting a webinar to several hundred people in my industry.  I welcomed the opportunity and gladly scheduled the presentations.  Then the home office version of the next-door-renovation happened: a stray cat started showing up outside the door to my office sending my male cat into a howling, whining, annoying frenzy. He couldn't go upstairs because my visiting niece was allergic and his piercing and longing and carrying on was clearly heard through my headset when I shoved him into the downstairs bath.  It wasn't lost on my newly found time management skills that I had spent an hour or more pondering where to shove a screeching cat, hardly adding to the bottom line. Sheesh!

Of course the crisis passed...I sent my niece shopping with her cousins and put the cat into our master bathroom upstairs for the three hours I needed.  And it didn't dampen my enthusiasm and now true passion for having my office, whether it's the corner one or not, in my home for any number of reasons not the least of which brings joy to my environmentally focused friends. But it did remind me that it isn't easy: the burden of running a business/occupying that corner office OR doing it from the basement.  I hope this blog can offer some hope, help and humor on both of those struggles.

Jem

1 comment:

Sue Pelletier said...

Oh can I relate to the cat story. Only in my case, it was a baby squirrel stuck to the window screen and a hysterical dog trying to climb onto my desk to see what all the squeaking was about. In the middle of a very important interview, of course!

My corner basement office is actually a walled-off corner of our garage, and I love it, wildlife aside. Looking forward to hearing your perspectives, JEM.