Andrew Morrison, 41, had reached a level of entrepreneurial success that would make even the most accomplished businessperson envious.
Having started a direct-mail marketing company right after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1988, Morrison saw annual revenues of his company, NIA Direct, reach $3.5 million; his take-home salary reached $250,000 by 1998. With offices in New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, the Brooklyn native was a media darling. He was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a “young millionaire,” in the Wall Street Journal, and in BLACK ENTERPRISE.
But his business hit a rough patch in 2001. “[That] was my watershed year. I was experiencing tremendous financial setbacks,” says Morrison. “The company became very capital intensive. I had nine employees, overhead of $50,000 a month. Even though we were profitable, I could not finance the company’s growth, and we were cash flow negative.” The married father of one has since become a stay-at-home dad who draws on his nearly 20 years of entrepreneurial experience to run his Small Business Camp, a series of training seminars for entrepreneurs.
Morrison has become a “dadpreneur” — a father who runs a home-based business while handling most or many of the _parenting responsibilities traditionally associated with mothers. Given the demands of modern life — long commutes and endless workdays — some men seek to spend more time with their kids by working from home. According to surveys conducted by CareerBuilder.com, 44% of working fathers say they are willing to take a pay cut in order to spend more time with their children. While there are no hard figures available on the actual number of work-at-home dads, according to the 2002 U.S. Census report, there were 8.2 million home-based _businesses, of which 4.5 _million were run by men. Though not all fathers would opt for dadpreneurship, here are some men who’ve done it successfully.
Like many people do when they’re confronted with life’s _challenges, Morrison began to rethink his priorities. “I was very _fortunate to have good mentors,” he says. “They were all men who were 50, 60 years old and very successful, extremely wealthy. When I asked them about their regrets, they all said the exact same thing, ‘Andrew, I wish I had spent more time with my kids when they were growing up.’ That’s when I did some soul searching. I told myself that I should really look to build a new business that supports my lifestyle as opposed to the other way around.”
With this insight, Morrison scaled back his business and went to work at home, giving him an opportunity not only to _refashion his business model but to spend time with his then 4-year-old daughter, Morgan. Although operating a home-based business allows for more time with one’s children, it does have its _challenges. CareerBuilder.com offers the following advice:
Consider the type of business you want to have. If it calls for travel or face-to-face meetings, working from home might not be the best choice.
Keep in mind the age of your children. Infants and toddlers might need