Working from home means taking money from other people. This is, of course, always true. It just feels more personal when there is not a corporation or business or government to cushion even out any income fluctuations.
For example, a self-employed plumber might make more money than a contract plumber. Yet the self-employed plumber might also have a week or two without work. The home-based bookkeeper might have a month where her clients don’t need as much work. This results is lower billable hours and a lower income. A company bookkeeper does not have to deal with this stress.
So I feel really aware of income fluctuations. I am relying on other people to give me their money. I think I offer something valuable in return. However, I’m still conscious of this reliance in other people. Life is more stressful with this kind of uncertainty.
What can I do about it?
First, I can work to maintain a positive mindset. I do this by keeping things in perspective. This week, my income is about £20 less than I would like. I could get really negative about clients who could have boosted my income. I could get worried about this as a trend. “If every week was like this, then I would…”
What I do instead is stop and think. It’s only twenty pounds! We could skip McDonald’s once and right the balance sheet. This represents an annual drop in expected income of about 0.16%. This is hardly going to sink me.
Second, I can try to be better at what I do so people give me more money. This is, ultimately, what is going to work for nearly everyone. Great plumbers get paid more than good plumbers. Great bookkeepers get paid more than bad bookkeepers. Whatever the service, people with better skills usually get better money.
While I’m more conscious of the uncertainty of relying on other people more than ever before, I’m not worried. I can control my mindset and I can control my self-development. A positive mindset and increasing skills will increase my income.