We were holding this conversation on Facebook, and so (never one not to seize a moment!), within 5 minutes I'd created a new page: "I'm running a business, not a hobby!". No, I know it's not catchy - but at least it gets to the point!
Just 8 weeks later and there are now over 200 fans of this page - all of them equally frustrated that so many people simply think they are working purely to fill in their spare time. And some of these are mothers to young children, run households, AND run their own business! The page is just growing organically with new people joining every week - and the message from everyone is the same. Just take a look at some of the comments on there!
So why is it that people who run small businesses and/or work from home don't get taken seriously? It is quite odd, especially when you consider most of us work much longer than the average full-time 40 hour working week. And that many of those hours are either at the crack of dawn, or late at night when other workers are either tucked up asleep or watching telly.
A huge number of women decide to run their own business as a route back to work after babies. I know that's one of the reasons why I set up PhotoFairytales. It means we can juggle work and homelife in a way that probably wouldn't happen if we were employees. Society is always discussing how to best allow parents the flexibility to hold down a career and look after children - and in the meantime while these discussions are taking place, many women are just getting on with it: setting up their business, making it a success, looking after their home and family. But just because those hours of work are from home and are split up over the day, it seems there is a blur between "working from home" and just "being at home all day".
So, lets get one thing straight: people who work from home and run their own business often work longer and harder hours than the standard employee. We are totally committed to the business we run - not only do we want it to be a commercial success, we want it to be a personal success too. We are creative people who take on many, many roles: book keeper, marketing manager, website developer, customer service officer, administrator, technical support, purchaser, business developer, office cleaner, tea trolley operator... I could go on!
If you're one of those who works from home too and gets frustrated from time to time, head on over to the "Business, Not Hobby" page on Facebook and have your say. You'll feel so much better afterwards and you'll be in good company!
Now, get back to work slacker!