Interview... ME "Liz" Strauss
One of my Favorite Bloggers and Blogging Friend, ME "Liz" Strauss has consented to a written interview with me. I have been reading Liz's Blog, Successful Blog almost as long as I have been blogging. There is always a good conversation there and she has built a Community of Bloggers around her. This can be attested to by the many people who visit her blog on Tuesday nights for Open Mic Night.
So without further adieu... the interview...
Me... What is your typical work at home day like?
Liz... Oh, Joe, It's not like there's anything typical about me. This is my 7 day basic schedule. You could say my vocation is my avocation. That makes it sound less like I am a workaholic. :)
I get up when I wake up, usually before the sun does. The path goes to the coffee to the computer and to the shower to the coffee and to the computer. Unlike most folks, I write before I read. I go to bed the night before thinking about what my morning posts will be so that I can hit the ground writing. By 10a.m two or three are done. Then I get on to my 3-D world work.
When I get stuck on what I'm writing I stop to read a blog, make a comment, check my stats as treat. That usually frees my brain to go back to what I was working on. Emails and comments on Successful... Blog interrupt all day long. I love that part. Folks always apologize. I don't see the need for them to do that. I like the feeling of being connected those little people-interruptions give me.
I stay at my computer until about 3:30 or 4:30, then I take an hour or two to read fiction -- something for me. At 6 or so it's back on the computer to do more 3-D world work and monitor my blogs until around 11 or midnight.
We're talking typical day here.
About 2 or 3 days a week there are phone calls or meetings with clients that interrupt the basic scene. Phone calls last an hour or so. Two or three business trips a month could be normal.
Me... Do you have a separate office at home?
Liz... We have three separate work areas. One is a room of its own. My favorite is a desk in the living room that is it's own space, but still feels part of the scene. Everything that I need, including a few hundred CDs are within reach.
Me... How does it affect your home life, do you have to make concessions?
Liz... My husband and I both like our own space. We're like a couple of three-year-olds in a sandbox playing side-by-side with different things. It's called parallely play at that age. I guess you could call it parallel work at this one.
Me... I know you do a lot of consulting, do you usually go onsite or telecommute?
Liz... I talk on the telephone a lot. Do a lot of writing work. Occasionally I go onsite, but not often. Mostly I meet up with clients to discuss things when we make plans to attend the same trade show or other event.
Me... How many different projects do you work on in a given day?
Liz... Sometimes as many seven.
Me... Given that you write for 3 blogs, and consult among other things, how do you manage to balance everything?
Liz... I only think about one thing at a time. I breathe in between and give that one thing my total attention. Last night I wrote an email to a client just to say that he was still on my radar and I was still going to be doing his project this coming weekend.
Me... It seems every time I visit one of your Blogs, you are always there in the comments, how do you keep up with it?
Liz... See the answer to question one. I live inside your computer. :)
Me... Could you give an example of what you feel are the good and bad aspects of working at home?
Liz... I avoid words like good and bad--that's my textbook teacher/textbook editor coming out--too many ways that people filter those words. So if you don't mind I'll edit the question.
Could you give an example of what you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of working at home?
The advantages for a person like me are that I can channel my ability to be highly focused and intensely involved in what I'm doing without people misinterpreting my intensity. I can transition in ways that are natural to me and not be stressed by the structure of office life -- which doesn't suit my "non-corporate" personality. No one is here to be threatened by me or my ideas or my height, for that matter. :P
The disadvantages for a person like me are that I thrive on change and input from others. I really don't find my own ideas that interesting. The kinds of work you can do outside of a building is limited in some ways. I like to make things grow, especially companies. It takes time to get in a position in which a company will follow a leader who is not on the payroll.
Me... What do you do if you need a break and just refresh your mind?
Liz... I work with pictures and colors -- anything that doesn't involve words. I go for a walk and look at the trees and the sky. It's very hard to be stressed and to take yourself too seriously when you're looking at creation.
Me... Last question, do you have any special advice for people who work at home?
Liz... Know yourself. Know what you need. Know that you do have a job. Know what you'll say when folks act like you don't have a job.
Don't try to do it with one foot in the water. You'll make yourself crazy looking for work and trying to work at home at the same time. It's impossible to make a decision or a commitment when that's your situation.
Find other folks who work at home too and form a community.
And lastly, if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right. Change something.
I found the conversation insightful and appreciate Liz taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions and sharing her work at home experience.
Don't forget to visit Liz at Successful Blog (especially on Tuesday Nights). There is always a great conversation there. If you were on the new Home Page and got transferred here through a link in an article, Please Click Here to Return to Working at Home on the Internet (the New and Improved Version). For your convience: E-Mail Questions Good Luck in YOUR Endeavors