I Love My Life! A Mom's Guide to Working from Home
by Kristie Tamsevicius
Softcover, 287 pages
Reviewed by Shana Brown
Colfax CA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 6, November-December 2005, p. 264
There is a popular postcard in California, USA with a picture of a tiny shack with crumbling walls and shingles, doors hanging on hinges, and weeds for landscaping. The caption reads, "A fixer-upper for only $695,000." We shake our heads, roll our eyes, and mutter, "True." So many stories surface today about the high cost of housing, the high cost of milk, bread, and gasoline, the high cost of living. It seems virtually impossible for many families to think of surviving on a single income. Yet, mothers everywhere still feel the undeniable need to remain home and raise their children. As families look for alternate sources of income, one viable solution is for a mother to start her own business and work from home. This arrangement, which allows for a mother to contribute to the family income while still remaining accessible to her children, is the topic of Kristie Tamsevicius's book, I Love My Life! A Mom's Guide to Working from Home.
The prospect of beginning a business, especially from home, is overwhelming. Tamsevicius's book offers a wonderful primer on all the details of starting a business.
From selling Tupperware, to tutoring, to launching a Web site, this book is absolutely full of applicable, hands-on information for beginning a business. Tamsevicius begins with very practical details such as zoning laws, insurance, taxes, accounting, business cards, office equipment, and office layout. There is so much involved with setting up a business, but Tamsevicius covers the basics then gives sources for finding more information on virtually every topic.
At the same time, Tamsevicius is very aware of her reader. She never loses sight of the fact that the subtitle of her book is "A Mom's Guide to Working from Home." Always over her shoulder, the children in the home and the demands on the mother are apparent. She talks about the balance not only of having a family and a job, but the balance of having that job in the home. The close proximity, Tamsevicius realizes, is both a blessing and a curse. In the chapter, "Work/Life Strategies," Tamsevicius offers strategies for maximizing productivity, minimizing distractions while "at work," but also how to close the door on the business and become fully attuned to the family's needs. Voices of many mothers are present throughout the book, especially in this chapter, and they share what has worked and what variations they've come up with for their own businesses.
No business today can ignore the power of the Internet. Computers are an indispensable part of operation and becoming connected is a big bonus for the at-home business. Whereas the market may have been limited for at-home opportunities before computers, today's Internet connections open up endless possibilities. Tamsevicius's real strength is her understanding of technology; her tips for using the Internet as a marketing and research tool are indispensable. In early sections, Tamsevicius lists careers that lend themselves to at-home work and repeatedly lists Web sites to research more or as examples of the industry. She talks about where to find technical support, how to pay bills online, where to find ergonomically designed office furniture to make computer time more comfortable and productive, and how to build a Web site and market your business from it.
Mothers have always looked for ways to contribute to the family income while also remaining close to their children. Today's mothers are no exception. For some families, an at-home business may be the solution. An entrepreneurial lifestyle can offer the flexibility many mothers crave. Kristie Tamsevicius's book, I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home, is a sound introduction to beginning a business and making it work for your situation and your family.