Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CEOmums, dads, gramps and kids

It is in my view very important for parents to spend time with their kids especially in their early years. Indeed those are the years when kids enjoy being around moms and dads who are not yet deemed “uncool” and when they ask us every question under the sun and when our own questions will be answered sometimes in the funniest of ways not just with the monosyllabic “yes” or “no” response. So it is a period in our children’s lives which we should enjoy.

Leaving an infant and returning to work is tough for parents; and even for parents with older kids the notion of day care or after school care is unpleasant. In many cases if there is no family member willing or able to become the child’s caregiver while mom and dad are away at work, the costs of ensuring that the child is looked after can be quite significant. Indeed some friends have told me that it often makes sense to give up the salary of one income earner and have that person stay at home as in the long run the salary will be consumed by child care costs anyway.

One of the reasons the idea of working at home is so attractive to parents is that it allows them the time and freedom to be available for their children and family in general. That it would also add to the family income is a huge bonus. The fact of the matter however - as every serious analysis of work at home businesses will attest - the internet now facilitates the quick and easy start ups of business but it does not guarantee success. Indeed the work at home scams appear to be more widely available than legitimate work at home businesses. So beware!!

There have been stories however of moms and dads who have prevailed in the work at home world and in all cases they have demonstrated that it takes hard work and perseverance. Sometimes there is a bit of luck too but one thing comes across loud and clear: if you have a passion you can turn it into a dream job.

One such story which was reported by Isabel Isidro is that of the creative Charlotte Fowkes who upon receiving her pink slip parlayed her passion for arranging baby products decoratively to look like cakes into a wholesale and retail online business. Yes you heard it right here, she makes diaper cakes.

Another example is that of Monique Howat of Canada who enjoyed inspiring people and turned that into her Confident Girls business, an award winning new business in Ontario, Canada. The business has continued to grow and has become a successful youth motivational program.

This is not only an option for women but there are now dads, retired persons and even teens who have turned their passions into successful businesses. Yes teens are successful entrepreneurs too. If you have ever used or seen Jojoba All Natural Hair Oil you may not have known that it was created by thirteen year old, Jasmine Lawrence. I guess this CEOmum can call them CEOkids.

If you are considering marketing your hobby as a business, remember these three little tips:

  1. Believe in yourself as there will likely be some tough times and you will need to be confident to get through those times,
  2. Enjoy yourself, remember it is your passion. If you lose that then you may lose the business,
  3. Be willing to ask for help when you feel that you are in over your head. Businesses require all kinds of expertise including financial, marketing and perhaps internet experience.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Online

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