Share Tweet Interview With Freelance Content Marketing & Copywriting Specialist Georgina El Morshdy Welcome to the 28th of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the working remotely opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations when delving into remote working This weeks interview is with home worker and Mum Georgina El Morshdy. Georgina specialises in both freelance copy writing and content marketing. She runs her own freelancing website Gem Writing as well as contributing her editorial knowledge at MicroBusinessHub. It’s fair say Georgina keeps herself busy. I’ve been following Georgina for a while on Twitter now and one thing I have noticed is her work ethic and knowledge for the Online marketing industry she is part of. I suggest you go ahead and add her to your Twitter stream. I am biased when it comes to Home workers however this is another great interview and a must read for those looking to move into self employed working. Q: Hi Georgina tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now? I’m a freelance copywriter and content marketing consultant based at my home office in Plymouth. As well as my busy work schedule, I’ve got two small girls who keep me busy. And when they’re tucked into bed I like nothing better than chilling out to a great movie. Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organization? My freelance copywriting business is called Gem Writing (www.gemwriting.co.uk). I focus on helping micro businesses with their blogging, web copy and content marketing strategy. I’m also Editorial Director at the Micro Business Hub (www.microbusinesshub.co.uk), an online magazine publishing daily content from a range of contributors to help micro business owners succeed with their business dreams. Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home? i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2-hour lunch breaks etc I sometimes have to remind my husband that the washing-up hasn’t been done because I’ve been busy writing, working social media and liaising with clients! I think the stereotypes can be overcome by sticking to some sort of regular routine, and of course the end of month paycheck is also proof that I haven’t succumbed to lie-ins or US Crime Drama re-runs! Q: What is the most challenging part about working remotely and how do you overcome this? Working from home can be isolating. I used to be office based and I do occasionally miss the banter. However, for me, the benefits outweigh any negatives. Twitter now provides my water cooler moments and I interact over Skype with my Hub business partner and others who I work closely with. It can be tough to get going when you’re having a “down day”, especially with the amount of distractions present at home. To overcome this it’s really important you create strong working disciplines to keep you focused and motivated. And of course, the real driver is the business goals you set and the personal dreams subsequent success allows you to achieve. Q: What are the main positives around working from home? As a mum of 2 young children having the flexibility to work around them is by far the biggest benefit. In addition I love being my own boss, making my own decisions and being totally responsible for the success of my own business. I’ve always been creative and I just love to write. Creating a lifestyle doing something I love and in my own environment is just brilliant. I wouldn’t change it J Q: Are you an advocate of work/life balance and how do you try and balance both? For sure I’m an advocate of a work/life balance but it’s something I struggle to achieve. It’s my personality. I’m very focused and when I get my teeth into something that’s where my energy goes. Also, in the early days of running your own business, there’s a lot of legwork needed to get it established. For example, I spend a lot of time doing work that generates no direct income. For example, writing guest blogs, working on my own marketing, networking on social media, brainstorming, planning etc. This work is not directly billable but is absolutely crucial to the long-term success and sustainability of my business and I need to factor this in (and make the time available to get it done). Fortunately my husband soon reins me in if I start “neglecting” the family. In addition, I’m reminded of a quote one of my clients told me. It’s “Kids spell love T I M E” which is a very sobering thought. Q: How important do you feel family support is for home workers? I would say family support is absolutely critical. During school hours I’m home alone but otherwise normal family life is taking place around me. In addition, there are times when I need to work late or at antisocial hours. Without the understanding and “permission” from my family it would be very difficult to get stuff done. That said, I think it’s important to involve your family where possible and ensure they understand the pressures and strains you experience as a micro business owner. Freelance self-employment requires a totally different mind-set to employment and if your partner or family fail to understand what’s on your plate, that’s when problems can surface. Q: Do you have a dedicated office space and what is the importance of having this? I used to have a desk in the kitchen but now I have dedicated office space that’s just for me. The kitchen office worked because I made it happen, but there’s a lot to be said for being able to shut the office door at the end of the day and put work to one side. If your desk is always staring at you in the face, it can be very difficult to mentally escape. Q: Any pictures of your office space? Georgina in her office space. Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers? I’m using SpinLessPlates as a business management tool. In addition I’ve just started using Xero for my bookkeeping with a view to staying up to date. That said I’m a big advocate of the simple pen and paper. I love post-its and I use my Moleskine diary to record my daily to-do lists, plan out my annual and monthly goals and then get motivated by seeing things crossed off and achieved. Q: If you could give any advice to our readers before deciding whether remote working is for them then what would it be? Successful remote working requires discipline. You’ve got to be self-motivated and able to get stuff done in the absence of the presence of someone else. Some days it’s easy. Everything flows effortlessly. But other days it can be really tough to get going. In addition you need to think about the extent to which work provides a social outlet for you. I’m a bit of an introvert so a whole day in my own company is not a problem! I think if you thrive off the buzz of a busy office, being home alone may not work J Q: Do you believe more organisations should allow those with web-based roles to work remotely? If so..how come? There are definite advantages to both the company and the individual. Costs are a big thing and in my opinion, avoiding the daily commute can boost employee morale. In my 20s I was employed by a large parcel courier and was allowed to work from home. This worked for me because I felt trusted and valued, but I still appreciated office time and the chance to discuss issues face-to-face.