Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making Work at Home Work

by Mary M. Byers
Author Website: www.marybyers.com
Book Blog:www.makingworkathomework.com

Available in paperback. Revell, 2009; ISBN: 0800732758; 218 pages.

Mary Byers, author of The Mother Load: How to Meet Your Own Needs While Caring for Your Family and How to Say No . . . And Live to Tell about It, juggles both a freelance corporate writing and speaking business with her responsibilities as a wife and mother of two school-aged children. She does it successfully and has just released a new book sharing how she does it.

Making Work at Home Work is not a “how to start a home-based business” book. You can find a ton of those already. No, this is a much needed follow-up for those who have already started their businesses and need some direction in how to keep it going. As the title says, it helps those seeking to successfully grow a business and a family under one roof. It’s not about starting, but about maintaining. It’s not just about your business either. That is included, of course, but it’s also about your family: your husband, your children and yourself. It’s about having all of that and your sanity, too.

Here are some of the discussions within the book that I found most helpful.

  • Understanding the difference between a SAHM and a WAHM is more than one letter
  • Determining why you’re working and how much is enough
  • The Parental Pact *A vital chapter!*
  • Setting limits, boundaries, goals and regular work hours
  • Creative child care options and determining when and if you need them
  • How to distinguish and handle both kinds of guilt: good guilt and that comes from the Enemy
  • What, when and how can you subcontract in order to raise revenue
The book also contains chapters on taxes, retirement, supper swaps, vacations, faith and sanity. Readers enjoy profiles of real moms running real businesses and how they do it.

I only saw one downside, and it’s minimal. The beginning chapters seemed redundant, not to other sources, but to themselves. Speakers tend to reiterate their point frequently throughout their speeches. Writers don’t need to do that because readers can simply turn back a page or a chapter and re-read what they missed. At conferences or lectures, though, listeners can’t turn back time. They need to hear the point over and over to get it. The beginning couple chapters were like that. The author repeated herself frequently to make sure we got the point. By the fourth chapter (forty pages in) this stopped.

Final Thoughts: It’s a fantastic book, one I wish I’d had years ago with my first work-at-home ventures.

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