Work-at-Home Professional – A Look at Why It Works
When it’s tax time I drive up to a neat wood frame house in a friendly neighborhood to visit my accountant. My accountant’s office is in her home, which is good for her and good for her clients. Let me explain why.
Money Makes the World Go Round
Maybe you remember the song, ‘Money, money, money makes the world go round, world go round.” Well, sometimes that trip round isn’t so smooth for me, and I need help. Money is a very sensitive and personal issue that brings up lots of stress and discomfort—at least it does for me – so anything that can bring the tension down a notch is appreciated.
When I go to my accountant, it’s almost like visiting a friend. The dogs greet me, the house smells of good food, and she makes me a cup of tea. Sometimes we sit outside and relax for a few minutes on her beautiful teak furniture by Kingsley and Bates before we go inside and tackle the numbers. All this calms me so I can be productive rather than anxious. I don’t know if this is intentional on her part, but it sure works for me.
I Like My Privacy
Because my accountant works by herself, I know I will always talk to her and only her when I need tax help. I never have to explain things over and over to different people to get an answer to a question. That means only one person knows my business.
Plus, my accountant keeps her clients’ records in a locked room (formerly the dining room) in her house. No one else has a key; no one else goes in there, so no one else has access to my financial information.
Privacy and confidentiality are very important to me, which is why I chose an accountant who works alone.
So, is being home-based and solo as good for the accountant as it is for the clients? Well, yes, it is. My accountant worked in an agency for a while, but she likes running her own business much better. She has more freedom, she says, and can provide higher-quality service.
Yet there are some downsides. As with many solo professionals, it’s hard for her to take much time off. She’s built up her practice by being available to her clients, and that means no vacations because no one can take her place. That’s one of the biggest disadvantages of working alone.
Do you want to know how she keeps from burning out? I asked her that and this is what she said. She:
- Wakes very early to get work done before the phones start ringing.
- Goes to bed early so she gets plenty of sleep.
- Takes breaks during the day. She walks the dog, chops firewood, or sits on the deck and reads a book. Sometimes she takes the afternoons off and goes out into the woods or works on projects around the house.
- Spends one day a week with friends doing something fun, like playing golf, seeing a movie, or going fishing. Even in the height of tax season she takes one day off.
- Cooks her own food and eats well. Working at home, she doesn’t have to rely on takeout food when she’s on a deadline.
My accountant knows that she has to take good care of herself in order to take good care of her clients. Even though she can’t take real vacations, she makes sure has plenty of time off to do what she enjoys.
About the Author
Stan Horst operates a business out of his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His rental cabins keep him close to home during the season, but he still has time to explore the beautiful countryside with his wife and two teenage children. Stan used to be a cabinetmaker; now he shares his knowledge about weather proof storage benches and other outdoor furniture on his website www.betterbenches.com.