Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Entrepreneurial Parent by Sarah and Paul Edwards

The Entrepreneurial Parent is one of many books available for parents who think that they may want to work at home with their children. Paul and Sarah Edwards, however, are well-known authors on the subject. Together they have authored more than 20 books, most of them dealing with the home-based parents craze, and they began pushing this lifestyle in the 1980s before it became highly popular.

In The Entrepreneurial Parent, the Edwards writing team offers up advice and information for parents who may be thinking of taking the leap. First they offer up all of the benefits of working from home. You set your own schedule, which means that you can go to that ballet recital or stop for lunch with a friend. You have the flexibility that you need, and in many cases, you really have a fair amount of control over your own income. Plus your children are getting immeasurable benefits. They are at home with their parents so that they are not stuck in daycare all day. Many at-home parents opt to get part-time daycare for their children, which may amount to a few hours a week. These children get to experience staying with others while remaining with their parents for the bulk of the time.

Paul and Sarah Edwards also look at what makes a person a good candidate for an at-home business. Indeed, everyone is not created in such a way that he or she would be a good person to work from home. It requires self-discipline. Because there is no boss, there is no one standing over you to tell you that you have to get that press release written by 2:00 today. You have to control yourself. You also have to take on numerous tasks, at least in the beginning. You will be your own secretary, account manager, and janitor, and some people are not prepared for those all-consuming roles.

One of the benefits of The Entrepreneurial Parent over other books aimed toward the work at home parent crowd is that the Edwards look at possible careers for these parents. Some people would love to work at home, but they are unable really to get a grip on what it is that they want to do. The Entrepreneurial Parent offers up three different categories: non-tech, tech-light, and tech-heavy. Non-tech businesses include such things as being a featured speaker or making your own crafts. Tech-light fields include being a virtual assistant and starting your own newsletter service while tech-heavy fields range from running an Internet server to desktop publishing.

For each career choice, a potential work at home parent will find that he or she can read about someone who is in this field. The profiles of 101 home-based businesses available in the book include people who work these businesses and discusses what their life is like. They share the joys and struggles of the field. They talk about how they got started and offer advice for people who are considering the businesses. One of the best parts is that they also discuss the work at home life. They tell readers what they like best and also where their office is, the equipment they need, and other practical advice.

Overall The Entrepreneurial Parent is one of the better books out there on work at home parenting. The Edwards have a final section in which they discuss the potential problems, such as not being able to get enough done or trying to work when the spouse is home along with potential financial and emotional issues. They really cover the spectrum of the work at home world in this book. They give a good idea to the potential work at home parent about what the life will be like and what the parent can expect.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is considering working from home for two reasons. First it will give you the good, bad, and indifferent when it comes to the issues you will face. Second, it offers so many business ideas that you can begin to leap from them to create your own business ideas. If you are considering working from home, definitely pick up a copy of The Entrepreneurial Parent.

By Julia Mercer

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