I take my clients and run my business very seriously. From the moment I decided to leave Corporate America and set up shop at home, I was bound and determined to keep everything very professional with a separate phone line, business attire, and regular hours in a real office.
To me the only difference was the office would be attached to my home. I set up the extra bedroom with all the necessary equipment, you know – the fax machine, telephone, computer, printer, file cabinet, and playpen.
The first day I woke early, popped out of bed, put on the coffee, threw some quiche in the oven and took a quick shower. Then I dressed in my favorite suit, threw on the make-up and dashed back to the kitchen before the buzzer went off on the oven and woke my toddler.
I walked into my office with high hopes that the ads I had placed would pay off and I would be flooded with in-coming calls. The phone sat dormant on the desk while I filed paperwork and straightened my desk a dozen times. I figured I could get a lot done before Kiersten woke up. That lasted until I dropped a paperweight on my foot and I let out a blood-curdling scream.
So, I moved on to plan B. I hopped on one foot down the hall, retrieved the baby, did the mommy thing and rushed back to the office with her bouncing on my hip. I wasn’t concerned. After all, I had a reputation for being on top of things. I could handle anything. I put Kiersten in the playpen, loaded her down with toys and finally plunked down in the swivel chair to begin my day. That’s when the phone rang. I smiled as I snatched the phone up.
“Tammy? This is Tom Hutchins. I saw your ad and…”
Ha! A potential client. This was going to be easier than I’d hoped. I leaned back in my chair and woosh…back I flew, landing head first into the playpen. I had forgotten to put the rest of the bolts in the backrest. My head smacked hard into the frame. I yelped and Kiersten began to wale in fear.
“Is that a baby?” Tom asked as if he just took a big swig of dill pickle juice.
I lurched to my feet and ran, blood dripping out into the hall.
“A baby?” I said as I thought wildly for a plausible explanation for a wailing sound in a professional setting. “That…uh…oh no. Ummm.” Fake laugh here. “No, that’s just a police siren.” The phone went dead.
For the rest of the day I entertained Kiersten with silly songs to keep her content while I held an ice pack on my head and typed with my feet. I let the voice mail pick up the phone calls, all two of them. I figured I could call them back when she took a nap. Of course, she refused to lie down.
The next day I woke up, stumbled to the kitchen, micro-waved the left over coffee, gulped it down with 2 ibuprofen, ran a washcloth over my face and eased my black and blue butt into the office chair that was now bolted to the floor. While staring glassy eyed at the phone and willing it to ring, the dog chewed a hole in the mesh of the play pen to retrieve his chew toy that Kiersten was chewing and they both escaped to destroy what I had once called the living room.
The third day I woke up, marched into the kitchen, slammed some coffee down my throat and called a baby sitter to come and play with Kiersten and the dog while I went into my office and continued to stare at the phone. No one called.
The forth day I woke up, made instant coffee and threw the phone out the window.
I learned a few things that first week in business at home. First, I am not super-human. I get to call for help when I want or need it. Second, check your chair before sitting down. Third, only place Ads where your target market will see them.