It’s a cliché.
Everyone talks about how when you finally quit your day job and start working from home, you’ll be able to do all the things you couldn’t do in a regular 9-to-5.
You can wake up whenever you want. You can choose your own business hours. You can eat a healthy lunch instead of relying on fast food. You can cruise through Facebook without an overbearing boss giving you the stink eye as she passes your desk.
And then there’s the big one…you can work in your pajamas!
Seriously, I’ve see hundreds of social media updates, blog posts, and other messages from new entrepreneurs bragging that they’re working in their pajamas. Watch out, we’ve got a badass over here!
“Pajamas are empowering!” they say. Throw away your suits and heels, and pull on your elastic-waist sweatpants and that free T shirt you got when you signed up for a credit card in college.
Who cares what you look like now that you work from home, right?
When I hear about an entrepreneur working in her pajamas (or worse, seeing a photo of her wearing said pajamas—gah!), I just want to shake her by her shoulders and scream, “Girl, what the hell are you doing???”
Many of my clients work from home, and slowly but surely as they start to relax into self-employment, they’ll notice they’re not getting as much done as they had hoped. Some days they don’t cross a single item off their to-do lists.
The same thing happened to me a few years ago when I started my coaching practice. Wearing pajamas and yoga pants just seemed natural since I didn’t need to dress up for an office anymore.
My blazers and trousers hung abandoned in the closet. They were probably mad at me.
After a while, I noticed my self-esteem was nose-diving, and it was getting harder and harder to accomplish anything. Most days I’d watch Star Trek reruns instead of writing blog posts or courting new clients.
I finally got it together and decided that I was going to dress nice even if it was just for me. Because I’m worth it, dammit! I planned my outfits, put on makeup, and blow dried my hair like I had done in my previous corporate career.
It was a miracle! Giving a damn about my appearance breathed new life into my business, and my productivity skyrocketed.
I actually wanted to do my work because I felt capable. If I could look this good while at home, what else could I do?
That’s what most people don’t realize. Wearing your ratty pajamas doesn’t mean you’ve embraced freedom and non-conformity.
It means you’ve given up.
I took my transformation a step further and began conducting my client calls through Skype or Google Hangouts. Now people would see me every day on video, and I had better look like someone who knows what she’s talking about.
I’ll never go back to wearing pajamas while I work, and I sincerely hope you never wear your lounge clothes while creating and growing your business.
You’re better than that. And your customers deserve better too.
Do you wear your pajamas when you work from home?
This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.