Daddy’s Home!

Fathers stay home to watch the kids and build businesses to suit their values

more attention than older children.

Ask yourself if you’ll need support staff; think through how that will work without an office.

Starting out with less than $1,000 for equipment and office _supplies, Morrison leveraged his extensive marketing _experience by pursuing work as a direct marketing consultant to some of his former direct-mail clients, such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, _Grolier Books, and Columbia House Music. “I had a golden Rolodex and results that I could turn into cash. By my eighth call, I found someone who would pay me $5,000 a month,” he recalls. He did this for two years.

Like many fathers who work from home, Morrison saw his relationship with his daughter grow. “As soon as I started working from home, I realized a quality of life increase,” says Morrison. “My greatest joy is being able to take my daughter to the bus stop, being able to pick her up from school. And she knows that Daddy’s always home.”

Morrison also benefited from having a supportive wife who earned enough money to support him in the ups and downs of his business. “She’s my biggest cheerleader,” says Morrison. His wife, Lynne, an emergency room physician, acknowledges that having him home during the day has improved the overall _quality of their relationship. “It’s great for Morgan to see Daddy playing and Daddy working,” says Lynne, “because she pretty much sees Mommy working.”

SOCIETY SAYS…
In spite of societal changes, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to dads who work from home. “There are people who say with disdain, ‘Oh, you work from home?’” says Jeff Zbar, a veteran dadpreneur for more than 18 years and an expert on the subject. “There’s a perception that you can’t be efficient or that you’re a corporate dropout who couldn’t cut it.” Zbar runs ChiefHomeOfficer.com, a site dedicated to home-based entrepreneurship, and is currently writing his fifth book on the subject.

Inspired to support others in their entrepreneurial endeavors, Morrison in 2003 launched the Small Business Camp, which hosts weekend seminars five times a year for about 20 attendees per class. In 2006, the camp had revenues of $500,000, and _Morrison had a salary of $150,000. His monthly overhead is now only $3,000 compared with the $50,000 his direct-mail business required, and he has no employees.

Nevertheless, Morrison admits that working from home does present its challenges. “It’s a home, and what you’re doing now is engaging in business activities like conference calls that are_ foreign to your family.” Morrison also acknowledges that his family had to adjust to his working at home in the evenings. “You’re physically present, but emotionally you’re not.”

Experts maintain that communication is crucial. “Have a _candid discussion with your family about what to expect once you start working at home,” advises Michael Erwin of CareerBuilder.com, “and keep those discussions going throughout the first year until you have a good system in place.”

Though he earns less than he did before, Morrison feels that he is now living his calling.

CHANGING GEARS
John Applewhite, 38, missed

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