Guest: Daniel Sweeney, Total Brand. 4

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Working from the Sofa

So you’ve hit a home run – after polishing your presentation, securing that meeting and wooing your client into reaching for their cheque book – it’s now time to roll up your sleeves and get the job done. This is where ‘being your own boss’ can take a nasty turn for the worse, as only you can set the deadlines and ensure you deliver. Setting tight deadlines and confirming these with a client is a great way to keep things moving if you are lacking motivation. You may dream of typing away on your laptop while sipping a cocktail on the beach or racing from one photoshoot to the next, but of course, here comes that reality check. Personally, I’ve tried working in cafe’s, public libraries, down the park and from the sofa, which can work momentarily. However, nothing beats getting down to brass tacks in your own private working environment.

For me, having just moved into a new rental apartment, all this meant was a simple office desk, lamp and chair. Having your own, personalised space means you are in control. Calm ensues, and once you’ve blocked out those pesky distractions (tv, calls, email, funny cat videos etc.) you can finally get down to business.

Routine vs Mundane

Getting into a daily / weekly routine is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on-track. Get up early, put on your best tie and do whatever else you must to get in the right frame of mind. Make sure there is something every day that you NEED to get up for as the attraction of working ‘flexible’ hours can be a little too much at times. Hopefully you’ll be way too busy with work to even contemplate a lay-in, but there are always those days when things just don’t click. You’ve lost your stride and can’t stop bouncing that stress ball against the wall. When your nice new office desk is starting to look plain miserable, it’s time to head out. Mixing up your day can keep things interesting so don’t feel too guilty about taking a business lunch, afternoon stroll or doing some ‘networking’ down the local. Time out in a new environment refreshes the mind so when you’re back at your desk you’re stride will be waiting.

Sharing the Wealth

Unless you’re Bill Gates, here I’m referring to personal knowledge, time and creative inspiration. Sharing or giving away something for free can reap huge rewards. The key is to be truly genuine with what you share – people will respect you for it, and respect is about as good as it gets in this game.

Daniel Sweeney is a graphic designer / photographer from Scotland, currently based in Banff, Canada. He has been self employed since 2007 providing design and marketing via He also runs a travel photography blog at