Working from home and being your own boss can be great, but it can also suck.
Here are some important things to keep in mind if you decide to make the switch from a traditional office to a working at home environment.
The #1 most important thing, stay involved!
For us introverts (I’m an INTJ), it’s easy to put our heads down and not be seen for days, or even weeks at a time. This can be great, because we get a lot accomplished, but it also removes you from the human interaction element, a place where lots of great conversation and idea evolution occurs.
Late at night before you fall asleep may be where some of your bet ideas come from, but it’s this collaboration where great ideas evolve.
The best way to avoid the isolation trap is to find ways to stay involved with the community. This can be through trader meet up groups, getting together with a trading buddy on a regular basis, or using Skype to chat throughout the day or after market close.
It doesn’t have to be just trading related either. The more books I read, podcasts I listen to, and people I interact with that are NOT a part of the trading realm, the more useful and interesting viewpoints I pickup that I can then apply to my own trading.
How to know if you’re cut out for working at home?
The work from home atmosphere is great for some people and horrible for others. Co-working spaces are becoming more popular these days, but the determining factor is, are you capable of managing your time and being productive without a boss?
Most people say yes, but that’s often not the case.
If you’re the type of person who is self motivated, good at efficiently managing your time, and can pull back every now and again to make sure you’re still on course you can do well in this type of work environment.
A routine and work plan is crucial. Here’s an example of my trading routine from a few years back. I don’t wake up for the Euro open anymore as it became too stressful on my sleep schedule, but the general concept is the same.
The risks of trading in isolation
- No socialization, distanced from society
- Getting stuck in a rut, lack of career development
- No new challenges or collaboration
Working from my home office during trading hours is where I feel the most comfortable, but outside of market hours I like to get out, go for walks and spend time talking with other people (both traders and non-traders).
To read more about setting up your own home office you can checkout my post: How to Create a Home trading Office for Under $1000
What to do if you get stuck in a rut
Mix it up, grab your laptop and head to a new part of town, new coffee shop, library, or any place you don’t usually frequent. Go online and search for coffee shops or co-working spaces a few towns over. Even if you’re only doing your nightly analysis there it can serve to be a great benefit.
I enjoy working from coffee shops or public places on Saturday mornings or days when the markets are closed. I’ll typically use this opportunity to meet up with a friend and talk shop or work on other projects that I have going.
So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, join a club or organization, or introduce yourself to someone new. You just never know the lasting effect one person can have on your business — or your life.