Nest Success Elements – Family Support

There are several key elements to the work-from-home success formula. These are important ingredients – non-negotiables. Though much about being a successful nest worker is flexible – these items are not. And one that is on the top of the list (if not the first) is support from your family – especially from your spouse or partner.

Deciding to make the leap to self employment is hard. Add in the work from home piece, and it gets harder. If you don’t have the buy-in and full support from your spouse, you’re almost guaranteed to struggle.


A lot has been written about what you need to succeed as a home-based business. From my experience, as well as the many folks I’ve talked to and worked with, having the support and understanding of your spouse makes the journey so much more manageable.

Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home has an excellent post that provides a very poignant example about support:

I will never forget the conversation we had when a six figure job dangled before me just a few short months ago. I came to you to discuss the situation, and you were open and fair in your assessment of the decision before me. Jump into another job that I would enjoy, that paid great, but I would grow bored with quickly… OR tighten up the reigns, trust me (even though my last home based business didn’t go so well at the end), and give me the time to grow a business I know in my heart I was born to do.

… this time, you held me close, and you told me you were committed to raising your sales so that I could follow my heart and start this business.

As part of the post, Wendy asks “Who is in your life that you appreciate?” When it comes to the opportunity of working from home and running my own business, I can say that it would not have been possible without the support of my wife. (Who’s birthday just happens to be today – Happy Birthday!). Through the ups and downs, she’s been there to give advice, listen to my complaining and crazy ideas, and offer unwavering support.

Getting the Support from Day One

For those in the early stages, here’s some practical advice about approaching your spouse about going out on your own. When discussing your plans about launching a new home-based venture with your family, it’s important to listen carefully to their concerns. It’s up to you to clearly explain your plans, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a one page business plan to show that you’ve thought things through. But be sure to explain with your heart, along with the business particulars. This is your dream, and passion will go a long way to garner support. Treat your spouse as an investor, because that is truly what they will be. By presenting your vision as a viable and well though out operation, rather than some hair-brained scheme, you have shown them that you value their view and want their support.

Celebrating Work by Not Working

grillingHere in the US, today is Labor Day. A day we celebrate work, by not working. As a self employed, home-based business person, I usually forget these things.  My wife will ask, “Are you working on Monday?” And I think, “Of course. It’s Monday. Why wouldn’t I work?”

At this point I realize that for most Americans, it’s a day off. Again, from a home-based business perspective, I think of it differently. Since most of our clients are off, colleagues are off, and I can only assume all those people who call selling yellow page ads are off, I can get some actual work done. No phone calls, no email, no IM.

The flip side is that since the kids are off, it’s a great day to just hang out and play – and cook something with fire, outside. So like all things home-based business related, the key is to find a balance. So this morning I’m working.  I’ll do a little more after the kids are in bed. Then the rest of the day is in celebration of work – by not working.

And cooking with fire, outside.

New Pin Drop Test – Back to School Week

pin-dropSprint used to have an ad that used a pin drop test to show how clear calls on their network could be. This week I had my own annual pin drop test – the kids are back in school and the silence is deafening.

Working from home you get used to certain routines and work habits. Annette Clancy at Interactions talks about rituals as part of “Staying Sane When You Work From Home:”

Ritualise: Create rituals around the beginning and ending of your work day – this is particularly pertinent if you don’t have an official work space in your home. I sometimes burn different aromatherapy oils to transition from one space to another. Clients of mine dress in a particular way if they are in work mode and another when they are not – simply to create a boundary.

These rituals naturally revolve around the rest of the household – for me, the wife and kids. So during the summer, the routines, along with the noise level, reach new levels of fullness. After about day 5 of summer vacation, I get use to the noise. It becomes part of my office chatter (which sure beats “Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment… Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment… Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment…” and repeat). So when the silence returns, it takes some getting used to.

So I fire up the iPod, invite the snoring dog back into the office, and get ready for a few months of new office rituals.

Taking a Kid’s Sick Day

Gretchen Rubin over at The Happiness Project has a great post about her bad morning.

… she started to make the universal sign for “ear infection” – pathetically batting the air next to her head, trying to wave away the pain.

Listening to your own baby crying in pain is agonizing. This is obviously advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, but my nerves were shot after the first few minutes.

As a parent, it’s easy to know exactly what she went through, and her reactions.

sick-day-One of the benefits of working from home is being there when your kids need you.  Knowing that you can finish that important project tonight after the kids are in bed, makes it easy to take off and watch Peep with your little one, as she tries not to think about her awful ear pain.

Making good money from a job you love is the cake.  Being there for your kids is not only the icing, but the ingredients that make the cake so tasty.