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  The Home Office From Hell™  

     What Kind of Home-based Entrepreneur Are You?

By Jeff Landers

Entrepreneurs come in many different flavors and varieties, but most of them are almost always one of two basic kinds of characters: “The Growth Maven™” and “The Lifestyle Guru™”.

The Growth Maven™ is a fiercely ambitious type who starts her business in her home office to keep expenses low, but is chomping at the bit to raise the company to new heights. Her dream is to grow from a single person company to a multi-employee company and maybe even larger. She might even want to join that very exclusive circle of mega-stars that originally started their companies as a home-based business - Bill Gates (Microsoft), Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living), Jeff Bezos (, Steve Jobs (Apple Computers), Michael Dell (Dell Computers).

The Lifestyle Guru™ has already made the dream happen. His dream was to leave the corporate world and work from home. He hated the commute, the suit and tie, the cubicle, the office politics and let's not forget, the crazy overbearing bosses. He is psyched to be his own boss, have a flexible schedule and maintain a better, more relaxed quality of life on his terms. Still, he wants to increase his productivity, stay competitive, get better clients and make more money - all without having to compromise any of his life-style choices.

Take this quiz and see whether you are a Growth Maven™ or a Lifestyle Guru™:

  1. When you fantasize about your successful business, what scenario appeals to you the most?
    1. More than $500,000 a year in compensation, many employees, a nice office space buzzing with activity and the knowledge that you are building a well known regional or national company and brand.
    2. A steady low six figure income, great clients (that you can pick and choose) with challenging and reputation-building projects, a casual and relaxed environment with plenty of extra time for leisure, home responsibilities and family.

  2. When you think about the perfect work-day, which description is more in-line with your way of thinking?
    1. Cup of Starbucks coffee to get you going, in the office by 8:00 A.M., eat lunch at a fancy restaurant with prospective clients, high-powered afternoon meetings with investment bankers and members of the media, a strategic planning session with your senior staff, complete employee reviews until 7:30 P.M., meet with colleagues for networking and drinks, get home by 11:00 P.M.
    2. Up at 8:00 A.M., get kids off to school, at your desk in the spare bedroom working in your sweats until Noon, grab a cold burrito from the fridge, conference call with clients while throwing a load into the washer, pick kids up at school at 3:00 P.M., coach soccer, finish new client proposal and send invoices, spouse and kids home at 7:30 for dinner, check e-mail, do 12 little things that need to get done, call Singapore, bed by 11:00 P.M.

  3. How do you most define your professional success?
    1. Building a major business and a legacy, respect of colleagues, financial independence and wealth, opportunities to use your position and wealth to make a difference in the world.
    2. Independence, challenging and creative work, time with family and friends, a secure and consistent living, service in the community.

  4. I am more comfortable in a working environment that is ___________
    1. Formal. I prefer designated spaces for employees, clear boundaries between staff and management, a conference room for meetings, a receptionist to greet guests and a clear beginning and end to the workday.
    2. Informal. I prefer to multi-task, moving between personal and professional obligations as they come up, work in my pajamas or sweats (except when going out to meet clients), create a workday time schedule that corresponds to the needs of my family and my clients even if that means working at odd hours in the middle of the night or on weekends.

  5. What do you think (hope) your business be like in ten years?
    1. My company, its brand and products, will be recognized as a leader regionally/nationally/internationally, have many employees, be positioned for consistent future growth, and be constantly innovating in new directions.
    2. I will have a steady, but not overwhelming stream of challenging work, an impressive reputation, make more than a comfortable living and have plenty of free time to be with family and friends.

If you answered “A” to at least three of these questions, you are definitely a “Growth Maven™” and I have some great solutions that will get you into your first office space and on your way to building a bigger company! If you answered, “B” to at least three out of the five, then you are a “Lifestyle Guru™”. I can help your business look bigger and more impressive so that you can attract better paying clients and make more money while maintaining your ideal lifestyle!

Jeff Landers is a serial entrepreneur who has worked in commercial real estate since 1974. His company,, helps small businesses nationwide make the leap from home office to “real” office with simple and cost-efficient alternatives. His advice has helped thousands of small businesses reach the next level of their development. You can reach him at

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