...... or so I thought ten years ago! I realized that it's been about that long since I began harboring that fantasy.
As a practicing Family Physician back then, as much as I tried to picture myself earning an income while wearing jeans (let alone PJs), I could not reconcile that image with my reality.
Fast forward ten years, and here I am, wearing workout clothes, trying to persuade myself to exercise, while I sit in my home office and write this blog post.
It's too long and probably uninteresting a story to tell here, but I made the transition, starting ten years ago, once I gave myself permission to recognize that clinical practice wasn't satisfying me any longer. I needed to do something different, be someone different. And I wanted to hang onto some core skills and parlay them into another career.
It took another 6 years of working administrative and executive positions before I summoned up enough courage to begin living my dream --- start a business from home. The kick in the butt came from my then-kicking fetal daughter, as I faced the dilemma so many women physicians face. How could I be available enough to my infant, and later small child, and still fulfill my urge to grow and learn and earn professionally? For most physician moms, there is no easy solution.
I discovered a wonderful resource in the form of a book by Kristie T (unpronounceable last name) - called I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working From Home. In the book, she provided all kinds of support, ranging from practical to guilt-free emotional. She's also candid about some of the challenges of a being a WAHM or WAHD (work-at home mom/dad - yes, she didn't forget dads!!).
The book serves as a basic, succinct guide to the steps you need to take to get a business up and running, but it does assume that you have an inkling of what it is you want to DO in your home-based business.
To help those who are struggling with their options, Kristie has a couple of chapters entitled "Work-At-Home Opportunities" and "How to Discover Your Passion" that provide ideas and stimulate reflection. The exercises she outlines demand a lot of resourcefulness and out-of-the-box thinking that may prove to be a struggle for many physicians. Most of us have been locked into a well-trodden traditional path for most of our career lives and it is a challenge to truly envision life on another path.
I'll be the first to acknowledge that it takes more than some exercises and ideas in a book to tap into what is possible and fulfilling to create from home. It takes research, talking to others, and even professional guidance from experts to figure it all out. I did all of that.
However, I stand firm in my belief that, with the motivation and perseverance that characterizes self-starters and most physicians, it IS possible to chart an entrepreneurial course from a home-based office. Even if you only do it part-time, or on the side of a reduced-hour or per diem practice that many women physicians are opting for.
For any of you physician moms or dads, or physician non-parents, here are a few helpful web resources to tickle your imagination and further your fantasy of working from home:
Webmomz: Kristie T's a co-founder of this resource-filled website.
Home-Based Working Moms: one of the better known sites, also with a wealth of resources and ideas for home-based businesses.
StartUp Nation: A comprehensive resource for any business start-up.
InfoProduct Insider: A business started by a physician, "Dr. Mike", to help you develop an on-line business selling information products.
If any one else has any great resources to share, please do so by posting them in the "Comments" area (the light turquoise link at the top of this blog post).
Good luck, and let me know what you're thinking about doing as a WAHM or WAHD!