This post may include affiliate links or compensated content. Click here for our disclosure policy
Michelle Gomez is an accomplished corporate executive with over 18 years’ experience in the male-dominated transportation and logistics industry. She has been a strong advocate for women in the workforce; mentoring dozens of women to personal and professional development. She is a speaker, career coach, and writer; with a desire to encourage and inspire.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I started working from home almost three years ago when I accepted a new position as a regional sales manager for a trucking company.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I chose this role after working in Operations for over 13 years. Toward the end of 2015, I was quickly falling into the existence of a ‘corporate burnout’ and new that I needed a change, both for personal and professional reasons. As a wife and mother, I struggled with guilt around spending so much time (mentally and physically) at work, so accepting a role working from home allowed me to play a more active role in my kids’ day-to-day routine as well as care for my home. Having been in the logistics / transportation field for a majority of my career, I knew what the sales role would require of me but didn’t realize the autonomy that comes along with it. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my personal and professional life, thus far.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
After so many years in the industry, and with all of the positive business relationships I had cultivated, I had this opportunity fall in my lap unexpectedly. Once my home office was set up (cell phone, laptop, printer/scanner, office supplies, etc.), I spent the first 3-6 months re-connecting with old and current contacts to advise them of my career move and scheduled in-person appoinments to re-connect over lunch or an in-office visit. I focused on building my network. I did this in both my corporate career (regional sales manager role) and when I launched my book and coaching business. Spend more time ‘connecting’, less time ‘selling’. The tides turn eventually but it starts with genuine relationships – not a rehearsed sales pitch.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
In my corporate career, I landed my first account by simply connecting with the account (people I knew from my former job), over lunch and a few follow up calls/visits, I was invited to participate in a bid for their business. After submitting pricing, we were awarded year-round freight volume! Contracts and rate sheets were signed, and we officially started hauling the freight 4 months into my new position.
In my coaching business, I marketed my book and coaching beta program to test my content. I used social media and my personal mailing list to promote the beta program. It was then that someone reached out to me with a personal referral that could use my help. I spoke to this referred contact twice via phone, in efforts to qualify him as an ideal participant. Shortly thereafter he signed up and was my first client in the beta program. Again, connecting – not selling.
5) How do you market your business?
Social media (IG, LinkedIn, FB, and at times YouTube), my weekly blog/newsletter, and attending networking events and industry conferences.
6) What does your usual day look like?
Get up at 5:00 AM. First hour of the day is spent on self-care (bible devotional, prayer, meditation, coffee and a chapter out of whatever book I’m reading at the time). Quick workout to get the blood flowing. Get my kids up and dropped off at school. Work my corporate job from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (whether it be emails, phone calls, conference calls, office visits, or lunch visits), spending time engaging with current and potential customers and completing administrative tasks. Pickup my kids from school, and come home to wrap up the day with follow-up emails and re-confirming the schedule for the following day. After homework is done and dinner has been served, I spend one to two hours updating content, following up with leads, and connecting with new people to add to my network. Simply put, I ensure to schedule my time to ensure that I take care of myself, my family, my home, my career and my business – all within a 17 hour period. I do this so that I can get seven hours of sleep at night. I make flexible adjustments as needed, based on my health and family, but overall I focus on maintaining this schedule. It has worked for me and it has allowed me to do things like complete my MBA program and write a book.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
The importance of balance. I never cultivated a self-care regimen prior to three years ago. I thought I had to prove my worth by the time and attention I dedicated to my ‘work’. My work became 80% of my identity. Taking better care of myself has allowed me to see my ‘value’ and bring that value to everything I am (mom, wife, employee, coach).
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Be disciplined with your time. Keep a daily routine that allows time for self, to fuel up for the day, and execute a plan that allows you to focus on each task wholeheartedly. Multi-tasking may sound attractive, but it takes away from you being ‘present’ in what you’re doing at the moment. Take time to reduce possible distractions (push notifications, cluttered work space), and set a work space environment that encourages your peak productivity levels.
Find Michelle Gomez Online: