Too many home businesses fail due to a lack of discipline and not only from the business owner. Many times friends and family fail to understand that even though you are at home, you are still working, hence the term work at home business. Very few spouses or children would ever think of interrupting someone while they were at work outside the home, yet they have no compunction about dropping into their home office unexpectedly to discuss any topic.
It is a learning experience for family members when a business is operating out of the home and some may even feel as though they are being imposed upon by having to stay out of a room in ‘their’ house because you decided to stay at home and work, turning the spare bedroom into an office and posting a private sign on the door. At first, they may be willing to leave you alone and initially, you may actually appreciate the occasional interruption. However, once the novelty wears off that you are at home all the time, the interruptions will really begin to take their toll.
There will be a transitional period when a home business first opens during which the rest of the house members need to get used to the idea of pretending you are not home, even though they can hear you and probably even see you in your office. There is no real harm if they pop in to ask the occasional question just as you might venture into the family’s space to ask a question, provided it does not become a habit and a constant source of distraction.
Family will understand a lot better than neighbors and friends who see your car in the driveway during the first few days of working at home and chances are they will come calling to make sure you are OK. Even once told you are now working from home and really have to get back to work, you will probably have to hear about how lucky you are to be able to work at home, on your own schedule and have no one telling you what to do and not have all the distractions at an office.
During the initial period of adjustment patience will be needed to prevent creating bad feelings among family and others who unknowingly interrupt your work schedule. After awhile however, you will need to set parameters for everyone, if you plan to help your business grow and be successful. You immediate family will generally accept when they figure out if you cannot work, they may not be able to eat.
After about the first month, working in a home office will typically smooth out and there will be fewer people knocking on the door and you will not be spending the time wandering around the house searching for ways to be distracted. It is common in the beginning for new home business operators to get behind on their projects and then struggle to make up the time.
Venice, May 2014 – 13
Image by Ed Yourdon
(more details later, as time permits)
I’ve been to Venice once or twice for brief business trips during my life, which had the same characteristics as the business trips I described in a separate Flickr album about Paris — i.e., they basically involve flying into a busy airport at night, taking a taxi to a generic business-traveler’s hotel (a Hilton in Venice looks just like a Hilton in Cairo,except perhaps for the canal outside the main entrance), and then spending several days working in the hotel (if the purpose of the trip was a seminar or computer conference), or at a client’s office (also “generic” in most cases — you can’t even tell what floor you’re on when you get off the elevator, because every floor of “open office” layouts is the same). The trip usually ends in the late afternoon or evening of the final day, with a mad dash back to the airport to catch the last plane home to NYC. Thus, a business trip to Venice is almost indistinguishable from a business trip to Omaha. Or Albany. Or Tokyo.
But Venice is different from almost any other place in the world, and I’ve had a couple of vacation trips to experience that side of the city. But it’s been a long, long time: the first such visit was back in 1976 (which you can see here on Flickr), and the second visit was in 1983 (pictures of which do exist on Flickr, but have been restricted to family-only access, since they consist mostly of boring pictures of drooling babies and kids sticking their collective tongues out at me).
Thirty years is a long time between visits … but for a city like Venice, I doubt that very much has changed. Well, perhaps there wasn’t a McDonald’s outlet in Venice when I first came here (and I did photograph one such outlet on this current visit, which you’ll find in this album), and you can certainly guarantee that people weren’t walking around with cellphones and smartphones the way they are today. And while the tourists typically did have cameras back in the good-old-days, they were typically modest little “Instamatic” film-based gadgets, rather than the big, garish, DSLR cameras that everyone now seems to carry around with them, complete with advertising logos all over the camera-straps and bodies to remind you that they, too, can afford to buy an expensive Canon or Nikon gadget that they really don’t know how to use properly. (Sorry, I got carried away there …)
But the buildings, and the people, and the canals, and the gondolas … all of that is the same. And that’s what I’ve tried to capture in this set of photos. The tourist crowds are now so thick (even in May!) that I didn’t even bother going to the square at San Marco, and I didn’t bother taking any photos from the Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal; but you will see some photos of tourists in this album, along with photos of the local people who are still here …
I don’t expect to come back to Venice again in the next year or two … but if it turns out to be 20 or 30 years before my next return, I suspect it will all look pretty much exactly the same as it did on this trip, and in 1983, and when I first saw it in 1976.
There are many benefits to having a home business. One of the great things is that you can be doing what you love to be doing and you can be doing this at home, surrounded by your family and able to stop work at any time to take care of things. However, being at home also means that you need keep your home office from simply being a part of your life.
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