I’ve been excitedly awaiting the results of the new Homebased 100 contest.
As a regular contributor to the Boomers Back In Business blog and forum, and a coach of Boomer entrepreneurs myself, my attention has been particularly drawn to the winners in the Boomers Back In Business category.
What a wonderful variety of businesses are represented in this group – ranging from a fishing guide (Murphy Outdoors) to a custom children’s book marketer (See My Story books).
Since more than 95% of our Boomer business start-up clients start with their business offices at home, I frequently think of the topic of working from home.
What often flashes through my mind is my personal experience almost twenty years ago as a home-based entrepreneur.
Back in 1988, when I launched my first entrepreneurial training company, it was not yet widely accepted that home-based businesses were really “professional”.
In particular, large corporate prospects often inferred a lack of ambition or sophistication when a new business chose to locate at home.
In fact, I had to go to some lengths to conceal the reality that my desk and file cabinet were physically located in my spare bedroom. I rented an outside mailing address and put it on my business cards. I would borrow the conference room in a nearby office meeting for important meetings with clients, I’d name-drop contacts I’d made during my corporate career at other large local corporations.
I’m an enthusiastic reader and I often browse the shelves at my local library for business how-to books. Once, early in my entrepreneurial career, I came across a book that totally changed my outlook about being a home-based business owner.
The book, “Working From Home” by Paul & Sarah Edwards pulled together every tool, resource and secret to creating a fun and very rewarding experience as a home-based business owner. Suddenly, I realized that working from home need only be a choice of location, not a limitation on the scale of one’s goals.
As my business grew, I eventually obtained a contract that required that I maintain office space in which to conduct client meetings and training sessions and I moved out of my home office.
But, as often happens in life, I made a full circle and returned to a home office again in 2005, after my wife and I renovated our house, partly to include a brand-new home office!