The Importance of Being Honest

Ok so it probably doesn’t bode well, my first blog post and I’m making a pun out of the great book title by Oscar Wilde…I hope you’ll stick with me anyway. 

Last week I had an embarrassing situation crop up between me and one of my clients who hadn’t visited my work premises before, I won’t go into the whole story which involves me hiding under a desk, in jogging bottoms and my boyfriends jumper n.b. not my normal work attire, was feeling a bit poorly. The end result was me being embarrassed about working from home and embarrassed for my client learning the “truth”, that I didn’t have a huge shop front with space for three sofas and a coffee machine and tens of employees working on brand new shiny macs. The truth is, I used to have an office when my good friend and I worked together – they re-carpeted the building dark brown and made it look like a 60’s throwback office building, I didn’t like it all that much and now I work from home, a home that I have bought and work hard to keep.

All of the above made me a bit sad, I felt like moving out of the office had been a step back rather than forwards and that I’d lost respect with my clients, especially topped by two potential new clients ringing up and expressing their hatred for people who work from home.

Andy Clarke from Stuff and Nonsense decided to give me a bell out of the blue and teach me something very wise, that was that working from home is a filter for new clients and we shouldn’t be apologetic for working from home. If someone is not going to understand that you don’t sit at home watching LK Today ,playing Wii all day, and that you do actually work hard for a living, then they aren’t the type of clients you want to be attracting anyway, so let them pass by.

Today the phone rang, potential new client and then came the sentence I always dread “How about I come to your office and we can go through everything there”. Gulp. Do I suggest coffee out? Do I suggest going to him or shall I just be honest? I opted for the latter and said “Actually, I work from home – I find it to be more productive and a more easy going atmosphere for new clients to meet me, I hope that’s not a problem?”. The response back could have knocked me down, “I totally agree.” said the new client. It turned out he too was one of the ever growing army of people who work from home and actually had hoped I didn’t have an office with lots of people there as he found it too “daunting”.

This made me realise, there has been a flip side to working from home that I’ve never actually explored or thought about, all I had dwelled on was what “big” clients thought after the office move. In actual fact just being honest, doing great work and being myself was all it took to get this new guy on board. In light of this, I’ve decided to update the You Know Who website and make it much more personal, at the end of the day, it’s only me here now and I’m the one people have got to buy into not my premises.