Home Free

Working in a home-based business, especially as a mom, has a lot of advantages. Top of the list has to be the flexibility; I can throw a load of wash in or run to the grocery store whenever it is convenient for me. And since almost all of the client contact for our marketing business is done over the phone rather than in-person, the only non-family members who have to witness a bad hair day or wrinkled khakis are the bank teller or post office clerk. And at the end of the day, I know that there isn’t anything I could do ““ in a business sense ““ and that Steve wouldn’t still love me.

But there is also a downside to a working from home. If the business doesn’t constantly demand face-to-face interaction, it’s very easy to hole-up in the house and lose out the energy that comes from connecting and working with people who you haven’t been married to for 25 years.

Although I definitely didn’t see it this way at first, the recession has given me an opportunity; the need to bring in some supplemental income means that I have to break out of the comfort zone of working only in our family business and venture out in the job market again.

But the thought of confronting the 15 year gap in my resume was a little overwhelming, so I decided that I would wait to update it. However something that I could do right away which didn’t require any preparation was to start talking to people. So Steve helped me come up with a list of business contacts, friends and acquaintances who might be willing to chat with me, even if I wasn’t really sure what kind of position I was looking for.

And what I’ve discovered is that I have been missing out on a lot that’s going on in the world by staying comfortably sequestered in my routine. In the past three weeks, I have probably met and talked with more people than I have in the past three years ““ and it has been very rejuvenating. Just having people take time to meet with me has given me a lot of encouragement. Plus, I’ve gotten some excellent practical advice.

And stepping out of the front door yielded sooner than expected results. I am thrilled to have picked up a short-term, part-time gig with a client we have worked with at various times over the past six years. Working outside the house will certainly stretch me and our family, but Steve says he’s committed to learning how to use the microwave and all the kids really want is to see me less stressed about money.

I feel like I’m embarking on a new chapter in my life. I love the challenge of working with new people and doing something different. It was definitely time for me to leave home.

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