Be a total boss: Sharon Pearson’s working from home must haves

Are you suddenly working from home? TCI's founder tells how to smash it thanks to structure.

When social isolation kicked off, The Coaching Institute's Sharon Pearson was good to go. She drove to her Victorian beach house with her dogs, iPad and Zoom meeting links to start working from home.

A couple of weeks on, Sharon took time out from her work day—which always includes play, "whatever that looks like"—to share tips on how to create a thriving home based coaching business plus three secrets to working from home successfully.

In both her usual home in Melbourne and the beach house (think an open fire, vibrant paintings and luxuriously squashy sofas) Sharon makes sure the surroundings "reflect my journey and where I'm heading and what I love experiencing," she says.

"So there's books everywhere and a continuous flow of knowledge and opportunities to dive into what I love most."

Here, Sharon talks her working from home structure:

Just like she does when she goes on holiday, while working from home Sharon has her iPad stuffed with "the books I'm learning about" and the knowledge she will never, ever be bored.

"I know now while some people are flat out at home with kids and work, others are already bored and I have no understanding of that. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things to do in a day," she says.

Other than the day TCI's videographer Paul Tran dropped in for a shoot, Sharon is "completely alone 24/7 for weeks so I need a space that is conducive to my learning and my growth.  I need to make sure the space represents where Im heading and not just this moment of uncertainty in the world."

Her advice? Think of your working from home space in terms of where you're living and learning—books, books books!—"not just what gets you through" the day.

"Have this sense of educational purpose flowing through your life everywhere you go," says Sharon.

"If you do that as I have for 17 years, the 17 years are going to pass anyway but what we learn along the way could be so enriching for our lives and our relationships, for how we serve the world."

Sharon Pearson home office Anglesea

Education isn't the only must have Sharon builds into her day, whether she's working from home or not, although she does admit she's "let the edges slide a little" now.

"Every single day we'll have exercise and being healthy, every single day we'll have planned healthy meals. It's never, 'What's in the fridge, is there anything left over?' There's always a sense of purpose around eating lots of vegetables, fruit, raw nuts."

Sharon also makes sure she allocates time to talk to her mother and be in touch with friends, to keep up the "deep intimate flow of energy" between them.

These social connections are vital for mental health while working from home, when the removal of choice about how we run day to day relationships is being felt by some as "incredibly intense", Relationships Australia senior clinician Jayne Ferguson told the Sunday Age.

Sharon knows a structure could "blow up" if there are kids and "competing desires" in the house, but urges people to carve out time to do what they need to do.

"Maybe it’s an earlier start," she suggests, recalling a time she would rise at 4am because she was building a coaching program while also doing a normal day's work.

She urges people—especially anyone wanting to create a thriving home based coaching business—to develop a working from home 'muscle': be accountable and great at self managing, "all that great stuff that gives us an opportunity to move closer to an awareness of ourselves."


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