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Mixing Business With Summer

Who says there's no cure for the summertime blues? Take advantage of your homebased status this summer by taking to the great outdoors.
July 1, 2000
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/29896

William C. Nicholson, founder of SOHOLobby.com, an online activist community for SOHO professionals, will likely be poolside this summer at his Raleigh, North Carolina, condominium, with business calls forwarded to his cell phone and his personal digital assistant and reading materials in hand.

Cathy Sperrazzo, a partner with Eye-To-Eye Communications Inc., a San Diego-based high-tech public relations firm, has a batch of family passes to local attractions like LegoLand, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, and plans to spend some afternoons out with her husband and business partner, John, and their two young children. Maybe they'll swim in the neighborhood's community pool or hit San Diego's Seaport Village, with its quaint shops, ice cream parlors and family entertainment.

When business calls, Sperrazzo plans to hold client meetings at the local Chuck E. Cheese kids' restaurant and arcade, or at the beach. After all, three of her company's six subcontractors have children, she enthuses. "This is why parents want to work from home, isn't it?" she asks.

While a thriving economy has many entrepreneurs working overtime, summer for many is a time to chill out. Whether it's time with the family, more relaxed settings for business or meetings, or just a chance to get out and about, the slower pace and mood of summer has some looking for alternatives to the daily grind.

Eclectic? Certainly. A luxury? For some, maybe. Part of the unique opportunity that working from home affords? You bet, says Sperrazzo, who moved to San Diego from Boulder, Colorado, last year to take advantage of California's warmer weather and be closer to extended family. Unfortunately, bustling business forced the Sperrazzo family to miss out on San Diego's mild winter this year. Not again, Sperrazzo says. She and her husband have taken on several employees to lighten their workload.

"That spurred us to develop a plan to ensure that my husband and I could enjoy the longer days this summer," she says. "I believe our ability to create this infrastructure and delegate more will allow us to work different hours-not less, just different-so we can take turns actually leaving the office by 3 p.m. a few days a week."

For his part, Nicholson moved his home office to a new community in part so he could enjoy the setting and mild Raleigh summers, he says. As a single, at-home entrepreneur, Nicholson wanted to enjoy the freedom that comes with working from home. Besides, come winter, he'll likely be chased back indoors again. "I moved so I could make a lifestyle change for my SOHO lifestyle," he says.

Want to live the work-at-home lifestyle? There's no better time than summer. Here are a few ideas:

Brainstorm some of your own ideas with your peers, family and friends, then get out and enjoy the summer. Before you know it, the mad rush of fall will be upon us-and summer will be but a fond, distant memory.


Journalist and author Jeff Zbar has worked from home since the 1980s. He writes about home business, teleworking, marketing, communications and other SOHO issues.