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Do you get the respect you deserve? An examination of the good, the bad, and the (sometimes) ugly misconceptions that plague homebased business.

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of

The thing about respect is that it isn't measurable. It isn't tangible. It's as impalpable as the air we breathe--yet it matters so very, very much. Is it vital to business success? We'd venture to guess that 99.9 percent of our readers would answer in the affirmative. Nonetheless, for homebased entrepreneurs, respect hasn't always come easily.

Consider the experience of Beverley Williams. Eleven years ago, when she was a desktop publishing entrepreneur, Williams hung out the metaphorical shingle and launched her Rockville, Maryland, business. The reactions she got--reactions that had nothing to do with the quality of her work, mind you--weren't everything she'd hoped for. "There were raised eyebrows and `Oh, sure, you're really working' [comments]," Williams recalls. "Even my father used to call me at 10 o'clock in the morning and say, `Well, have you gotten dressed yet?' It was just hard [for people] to believe that somebody could really and truly work at home."

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