08 June 2011 Categories: Gerry's Corner

        Recently I read an article about Dadpreneurs where men who have lost their jobs have decided to stay home to operate a new business they created and to manage the household duties including raising children. There are also Mompreneurs and Kidpreneurs. These are all new terms in recent years derived from the original word of  Entrepreneur. All describing enterprising individuals who have products or services to offer to the public and usually but not exclusively operate from their homes. This permits lower overhead for a start up business but also permits flexibility with relationships, household duties and rearing children. This relatively new career and lifestyle is not all that new. Almost 30 years ago I was a Homepreneur which was what we were called then. I guess you could say I was a pioneer in this new career choice. I even wrote articles about this lifestyle and predicted its’ growth in the future, listing the advantages to both individuals and the general market place. I even founded an Association to attract people with similar desires to learn and grow in this field of work. The Association grew for 6 years with homebase located in Toronto and a division in Vancouver. The reasons for starting a business like this are the same today as when I started. Unfortunately after almost 30 years of self employment, I am one of a very few still living this lifestyle. It is not for everyone and it is not necessarily for ever. Almost 30 years ago I had a successful career in Human Resources first with a Bank then a food manufacturer and then with one of the original computer manufacturers. By the age of 32, I had made it to the Executive ranks which was quite an accomplishment in those days but with added responsibilities came lots of travel. Between the tiresome travelling and having been caught up in some corporate downsizing, I was due for a change, better financial stability and be more participative as a father and husband. Two of  these were satisfied almost immediately when I started my business. The financial stability was much harder to achieve. As much as there are many good reasons for this lifestyle it does takes its’ toll on the family. It took years for the kids and wife to adapt and adjust. Even the dogs had a challenge to keep quiet when I was on the phone. No regular pay cheque was the first hurdle. As a family we were not like other families where fathers had routines and regular work hours. My kids did not want to invite me to their classrooms to talk about my career as it was not as glamorous as a policeman, firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, etc. As much as I was at home more than the average father I was there to read them to sleep, tuck them into bed, hold them when they got hurt, give baths, even bike ride during the day and many other things. The kids had problems till their late teens with trying to describe to boyfriends, teachers and other adults what Dad did for a living. Today however they do credit me with having been there for them and for demonstrating persistence, determination, high standards, values, positive attitude to name a few things.

          I could write a book on Enterpreneurship or on Homepreneurs. I even facilitated  Entrepreneurship workshops for more than 15 years. The lesson to learn is to do the right thing for the right reasons and never giving up. You must be committed to your goals and do whatever it takes to meet those goals. The one thing people do not realize is this is a long term goal. The personal benefits are long term and the real money is even longer term. Most people are too impatient and expect short term returns which just set them up for disappointment. Today I have a rich history of experiences that I can share with people through a blog, maybe a book some day and try to share these experiences with others who may benefit from those experiences.

         I encourage you to consider this career lifestyle. For those who have achieved both business success and balance with their family relationships, I tip my hat to you.