This entry is a special one. It’s my interview with Jason Iannone. He’s a great friend of mine and my former roommate. He works in his jammies as much as he wants and loves what he does! I am happy to say that he’s done very well for himself and has an amazing work ethic!
Sit back and enjoy this great interview where Jason shares his history and some great tips if YOU want to work in your jammies too!
How long have you been working from home/What do you do?
I’ve been working from home since June 2010 part-time. I became a FT home-worker January 2013. I’m a staff writer for various websites under the Zergnet label.
What was your biggest motivation for wanting to work from home?
I’ve long known I was a good writer and loved the idea of making money off of it. I was struggling in a retail job and wanted out, plus having a young son meant if I could make some extra money while staying with him, all the better. Later on, it simply became a case of not wanting to deal with demanding customers any longer.
How did you get your first gig?
I cold-emailed the editor of a pop-culture website called WeirdWorm, asking about work. He asked me to send him an audition piece, he loved it, and I was in. later, I found out he had no standards and accepted literally everybody, no matter how great or terrible they were, but by then I was pitching to other, better sites anyhow.
It takes a lot of discipline to work from home. How do you balance your life and the job? What is the easiest thing to balance? The most difficult?
I’m currently expected to work 9-5, Monday through Friday, so that expectation helps 🙂 When I was freelance, I would always plan my schedule ahead of time as much as possible. If I knew what I was doing ahead of time, that made it easier to know when I could work. Basically, I had (and have) good communicators in my life, making the balance between work and life easier.
Today, even with the 9-5 schedule, it’s hardest to balance that and time with my girlfriend, since she has a teacher’s schedule and is usually home before 5. But working from means I can cheat a little and butt out of work early. I just make up the hours later.
Do you ever get lonely not being around other people on a daily basis?
Sometimes. Though I can always drive to Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, or the local library and work from there. The people there may not be my co-workers, but they’re still people, and that does help my social side. Besides that, living with my girlfriend is a great way to not feel lonely at the end of the day.
Where is your favorite out of the home place to work?
Any place with a working plug 🙂 Specifically, Starbucks if I’m feeling mainstream (they usually have some nice tunes playing as well), the library if I’m not. I’ve also started writing outside on my porch, though that might count as “home.” The Sun’s a terrible co-worker though, so I won’t do that too much until I can find a good anti-glare guard for my screen.
When you look at your current situation and how you got there, what was the defining moment that led you to take the work from home path? Do you have any regrets?
Just the realization, after several years, that I was never going to be comfortable working in retail. I could do the job itself fine, but I didn’t have the right mentality at all. Plus, as I got better and better at writing and got more regular gigs, I could no longer justify even supplementing my income with retail, and so once I knew I had enough from-home work to pay all my bills, I stayed home for good.
I have no regrets and am even trying to branch out. I have the M-F job, but I’ve also secured a book deal and am currently writing a book of fiction. The new goal is to work from home as an actual author of actual books.
Do you have any advice for those who want to work from home or freelance?
To steal from John Cena and many others, “never give up.” There’ll be times when work is slow, there’ll be times when the assignments are dry and dull, there’ll be times when you’re lonely, there’ll be times when you wonder if you can really afford to work from home. But keep going, keep working, don’t be afraid to cold-email or cold-call tons of sites about gigs (the worst they can say is no), and learn to live frugally whenever possible. Learn to cook, become an expert Goodwill shopper, and don’t buy endless “stuff” or toys you don’t really need. That way you’ll eat well, live well, and can afford to tell the retail counters and cubicles bye-bye forever.
Well, that’s it. That was my interview with Jason Iannone. Thank you, Jason, for doing this interview! I’m thrilled that you shared all your insights. To check out Jason’s other work, be sure to jump over to his website.
To see my last entry, click here.