In this episode of The Boss Life Podcast, Miguel and Erin Carrasco show you how to get your home office set up so that you can increase your productivity, and watch your business explode. Many people think you need a big budget or an entire room to set up an office, and that’s just simply not the case.
Subscribe to The Boss Life Podcast
Resources From Today’s The Boss Life Podcast
Three Key Boss Points From Today’s Podcast
- Creating a space at home to have your “office” is much simpler than you think
- Try and find a space with a window for live videos. This will give you the best lighting possible.
- Ask friends and family if they have a desk, chairs, whiteboards, anything they may not be currently using.
How To Setup A Home Office – Episode 4 Transcription
All right. On today’s episode, we are going to talk about the sexy topic of setting up your Home Office.
This is an important topic because we work with a lot of entrepreneurs and one of the biggest things I find is that they don’t have an office space. So they’re trying to work from kitchen tables and all these different places. And I know people say, “I built my business from my kitchen table,” and I know them and they’re lying. So, to us, we thought it’d be a good topic to talk about.
We’re talking about other things too when you are building your business on the side and yes, it’s going to be from home and that’s amazing. But there are some things that if you want to appear professional, you have to set up in order to look like a professional even before you are a professional.
And I know what people are thinking right now. They’re thinking, “Okay, wait a minute, that’s going to be expensive. You said professional, that means I’m expensive. I’m out. Next podcast.”
Yeah, no, no. And we will talk about some of the advanced office stuff you can do towards the end, but we’re talking about getting started and what you have to do to get off the ground.
Yeah, so as we were thinking about this podcast, we basically want to keep your expenses almost at zero. Maybe max some of you might spend 25, 50 bucks. And this is what we call level one office, in other episodes we’ll talk about level two, level three office spaces if you’re interested in that. But for now, we just want to help make sure you get started because probably most of you listening don’t have an office space, right?
Right. So I mean that’s going to be your first challenge this week is to find a space. Now, some of you, you live in a decent sized house, some of you guys live in condos, some of you guys live in someone else’s house. So your challenge this week is to find a space that you can dedicate for your business.
I’ll be devil’s advocate, Erin. I don’t have space. I don’t have it.
You don’t have a space?
I can’t build a business.
Okay, so I’m going to tell you, one of my clients actually has her closet turned into an office.
That is amazing.
So everybody usually has a closet. You might have to clean it out.
Is that your client that has 14 kids at home?
Yes. So she also has a lot of people around her dinner table and she works full-time. We really do work with a lot of people who moved mountains to build size businesses.
Now, Without saying her name though. They’re not going to believe 14 kids. But seriously, how many kids does she have in that house?
They have usually 10 kids around the dinner table. Some are now in university, but they come home and then they also have school-age kids.
Well, they must live in a mansion.
No, no. I mean they live in a nice house, but it’s not massive by any means. And a lot of people share rooms and all that kind of stuff, so they don’t live in an estate. So I would say that she’s very much like a lot of you who are working and wants something more and needed to find a space. So her office actually is in her closet, in her room.
That’s amazing. That’s one great tip right there. Many of you probably have a closet and that’s really all the space… I’m actually looking in the closet right now that we could potentially use if we needed to. I mean, we’ve got enough space now, but that’s a great tip. Also, another one would be corners. If you have corners in your house, those are always really, really good. Also, if you have a basement that isn’t finished. A lot of people have that. You could easily set up a basement with some stuff just that you have lying around the house. I’ve seen people set up in garages.
Yeah. It depends on the temperature of where you are at. A lot of people can do year-round offices in their garage. It wouldn’t work for us here up in Canada.
It’s been -50 for two weeks.
I mean maybe we’d have to have a lot of space heaters or something, but find a place where you can put a desk in. It doesn’t have to be a traditional desk. You can have a table, but it has to be a place where you can put down your phone or set up a little tripod or write notes. It has to be a space where you can make your own.
And I’ll say don’t get too tied up on making it all perfect at first. The most important thing I can say is find that space and get a desk in there. And the first desk we used it was a desk that I had forever. I think I had it when we first, I don’t even know if I remember. Is it was when we first moved out, I had it, I think when I was on six or seven years old. I still had my name engraved in it and stuff on my desk and my handle for video games.
I’m sure it was probably built better than some of the furniture that we could buy now.
It did last. And then we eventually replaced it with a hundred dollar thing for IKEA.
Yeah, so that’s the thing.
It did get broke and fell apart.
You cannot take those things apart more than once. But if you do have the budget you can go to IKEA or there is a lot of… Even if you’re driving around the neighborhood, a lot of people will put old desks out on the lawn. There’s nothing wrong with taking someone else’s stuff that they are done with and repurposing it for your business.
Yeah, and even asking people if they have stuff. There’re so many people that have too much stuff. They’re not meaning to be hoarders, but they’re hoarding. Right. And a lot of times it’s just because they don’t want to throw stuff out, I find. So if you ask them for stuff, they’ll give it to you. You’d be amazed at stuff people have gotten.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of people in your life that you know personally, but hey, you have a social media account, throw it up there, “Does anyone have a desk that I can come and pick up?”
Well, I’m shy. I don’t want to do that.
Anyways. That’s the important part is find a place where you can put a desk. Then you can figure out other ways that we’re going to talk to make it a little bit more presentable.
Who’s a person we love to listen to this? She says, “Everything is figureoutable.”
Oh, Marie Forleo.
Everything is figureoutable.
It is true.
So that’s the first step is finding a desk. And if you are building an online business, one of the things that you’re going to have to do is go live.
The biggest mistakes I see a lot of people make is they’re going live from somewhere in their house and they’re not necessarily looking at what’s behind them. And maybe it’s the 50,000 kids toys that you have or some laundry or dishes.
I have seen people going live and their husband walks in the background.
Oh yeah, and in his underwear.
And he’s wearing underwear, which whatever.
Well, I mean it depends on what business you’re trying to build and maybe that helps you, but if you want to look professional before you’re necessarily there, I would highly suggest you do a quick scan behind you. Again, let the people in your house know you’re going live. So maybe moms, if that means putting on a Netflix show and giving them a snack, that’s what it means. But definitely look at what’s behind you that is going to be in your camera shot.
Yeah, I mean it depends on your business that you’re building as well. I would say we are going to do an episode on just going live and some tips about that because I think it is very important almost for any business to be able to go live, use a video. It doesn’t have to be expensive. But at the end of the day, having a space that’s clean, even if you’re not going live, is just so important. It’s so much more motivating to be able to sit down in your own space. And the other big reason, as well as if you have kids, there are things that and we find a lot of people that want to start businesses that entrepreneurs, or entrepreneur-minded many times it’s because they have kids and they want to work from home and do those kinds of things. Well, the tough part with that is there’re kids lying around-
Kids at home.
Everywhere, so you have to be able to… I’d say if you can, have a space where either you can have the kids not be in for a few hours or have a space that has a door that you could shut.
And it’s a classic.
It takes practice. The kids still come in, even to this day, they’ve been doing this forever.
Absolutely, even though they know. They know, right. And so they’ll know either mom and dad are live or we’re recording a podcast or something else like that. But it’s repetition is key and it’s not always going to be perfect.
And even working. Sometimes we like to work, we have laptops to work by our fireplace and that. But if there’s serious work to be done and our kids are around that’s just never going to happen. You’re not going to be able to be productive without having your own little office space that you can retreat to go to and get stuff done. Literally, you could write a blog post for example, in maybe 30 minutes, but if the kids are around and you’re being distracted, it’s going to take you all day. Right? So just make sure that you have that space. So what else? So we have a space for them to set up their office. We have the desk. We have covered the background, what could possibly be in the shot, making sure it’s nice and clean. What else do they need in their space?
I think sometimes people look at your professional studios and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t have these microphones,” or, “I don’t have these lights, so I can’t go and record a video or I can’t go live because it’s not going to look good.” So one of my biggest tips is if you don’t have the budget to get… First of all, my go-to is a ring light for lighting because I think it’s amazing. It is an investment into your business, but if you’re not there yet, one of my best tips is to find a window. Don’t face with the camera pointing outwards toward the window. Have your camera kind of pointing towards you so the light is shining on your face.
Yeah, I love that. I think, and we’ll put show note links below as well, where you can go ahead and if you want to go on Amazon, it’s a lot of cheap ring lights that you can get. You can get small ones for your phones.
Oh, yeah. Those are actually really, really good.
Yeah. And they’re 20, 25 bucks and you can get really cheap ones. I went to a conference where they were giving them away. So even those can make a huge difference if you’re going live. At the same time, I think lighting, even for yourself, you don’t want to be in a really dark place when you’re working or trying to type on your computer. So just having a really clean office space with good lighting so that you can do that if you’re taking a call.
Another thing that is actually very important that I found over the years is that as much as most of us don’t like using the phone, and we like texting and all that, you are eventually going to have to pick up the phone and call. So wherever you have your office space, make sure that your cell phone that you can get a good service, a good signal so you can call people. I’d also recommend that you have headphones that you can put into your ears that plug into your phone so that when someone calls you you’re not holding the phone up because all that stuff is very important. And obviously, if you’re someone that still has a landline, ideally if you can get a landline run, you can typically call your phone company. They’ll gladly come and install a landline wherever your space will be. So you have that. I’m kind of more on the techie side so I worry about usage.
Yeah, you’re a little bit like, “Yeah, I like headphones and landlines and stuff,” and yeah that’s awesome.
And you’re like, “Oh, I like pretty flowers and lighting.”
Yeah, you have to make your space your own. And I think that that is really depending on your personality. You can get great things on a budget if there’s a throw pillow that has a saying on it that you really love, but it lights up your space then do that. If there’s a painting that you really love, then hang that there. If there’s a color that you really love than hang that there. We have those rock salt lamps in our space because it’s a really calming type of light. When Miguel talked about headphones, we’re not talking about, you don’t have to have air pods, you don’t have to have Bose headphones, but you have to have something that plugs in to your phone so that it’s easier because a lot of times, like even right now, I’m talking with my hands, if I’m holding my phone I can’t do that very well, or it’s just one handed, right.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so having that covered, the ability to do that. Even tune out your kids sometimes if you just need to put the headphones in or listen to podcasts like that.
You tune out the kids?
I never do that.
I know you do.
I tune out a lot of things. I never tune out my wife, that would be rude.
Oh yeah, yeah. We’ve had whole conversations where he totally wasn’t paying attention.
Yeah. And then sometimes it bites me in the butt because then sometimes it’s four days later we’re doing something. I’m like, “Why are we doing this?” “Oh, remember, we talked about it?” And I’m like, “Oh, shoot.” I’m supposed to be listening.
Right. But the last things I want to say about just some of the equipment, and this is not to get you to spend a great deal of money, especially if you’re just starting. You need a tripod. You need something to prop up your phone depending on your business that you’re starting. But a lot of times if you are building an online business, you do need to record video or go live or do Instagram stories. Having a tripod is key so that you’re not jiggling around the phone and making people sick. But you can get those at the dollar store.
Oh totally. I mean those are the basics I would say. Obviously, pens and notebooks and things like that. You can add that kind of stuff in as well as more you go. It also depends on your business, depending on what business you are running. Probably the last tip I’ll give you before we wrap up this episode is just make sure you have good internet as well because I have seen people set up a space and everything. The last thing they think about is internet and then the Wi-Fi signal doesn’t get there or something. So whether you run a cable so that you can get intimate in that space, or-
Especially if you’re doing Zoom calls. So if you’ve never used Zoom before, it’s an online web conferencing tool that we use quite a bit. We’ll put all these resources up for you so you can get a free account. But that’s key is having great Internet service because the last thing you want to do is have a conversation with a client, and your internet sucks.
Yeah. That’s not good. So yeah, that’s pretty much all the tips we had for you guys today. So we love ending every episode with a challenge. I’ll give them a challenge this time.
Yeah, you go ahead.
So my challenge for you is to find a space in your home that you’re going to use as your dedicated… this is where dad or this is where mom is going to go do some work. All I want you to do actually just to take some action is to put a sticky note there. Just grab a sticky note and say this is going to be your office space. That’s it. So I’m not asking you to go and get everything set up, but I want you to take that first step. Because one of the little tricks that I can give you, and I give a lot of our clients is that the biggest thing you can do to move your business forward is to do one thing every single day.
It’s almost like throwing a little stone into the water. It causes a huge ripple effect and that’s what it’s going to do in your life. I find that too many people focus on the end goal and it seems so far away, but they just never get it done. They’re just like, “Oh, I can’t do the office space thing today because the office is going to take four days so I can’t do it.” So they never start. But, but what I do know for a fact is if you take a sticky note, and you say, “This is going to be my office space,” and you put it there, that’s going to cause a couple things. You’re going to talk to your spouse about it. You’re going to talk to your kids about it. You’re going to start setting wheels in motion where things are actually going to start happening for you.
You’re also likely going to walk by it every single day. It’s going to stare you in the face, and it’s going to be like, “Fill me with a desk.”
“Please.” So anyway, so remember, ditch the employee mindset.
And start living the Boss Life.
We’ll see you in the next episode.
Are you ready to start living the Boss Life, but you don’t know where to start?
Or maybe you already have a business, but you’re not getting the results you want.
Head over to the bosslife.com/start to get your personalized report that will tell you which type of business is right for you.
We’ve created a powerful questionnaire that streamlines the time-sucking process of choosing the right business.
Hey, also make sure you head over to iTunes and hit the subscribe button if you loved this episode and make sure you leave a comment.
We love reading your comments. Every single comment means so much to us. We hope you have an incredible day.