Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Home Grown Business: A Review

Jesse and Crystal Paine chose the perfect title for their new book.

Home Grown Business brings to mind both the sore muscles of gardening and the sweet fruits of that labor. 29 families share their stories: how they grew a business from idea to fruition, and did it while homeschooling their children.

The homeschooling angle gives Home Grown Business an edge. Even if you're not homeschooling, you'll find these work-at-home tales are truly home-based. (Ironically, many home business sourcebooks are not.)

The contributing families share the benefits and pitfalls with equal candor: everything from motivating the kids to participate in clerical work to the occasional sleepless nights when a husband comes home to work full-time.

Above all, these families see their businesses as an extension of their children's learning, a professional education most kids don't get until they are in the workplace, unprepared.

While Home Grown Business profiles a spectrum of businesses (most of which involve publishing, writing, or distributing products), the real variety is in its approach.
  • How did each family have the courage to get started?
  • What mistakes would they avoid?
  • How do they balance work and family time, all in the same place?

Practical questions, answered by entrepreneurs who are, first and foremost, moms and dads.

As someone still tinkering with start-up ideas, I wish this book had a little more insight into finding the right product or service. Some of the stories gloss over the humble beginnings and go straight to the execution; others are heavy on general advice and neglect the nitty-gritty details.

Bottom line: Home Grown Business demonstrates that each business model, like each family, is individual. This book won't give you a short list of great home businesses to copy, but it will inspire you with its real-life success stories.

The uniting thread in Home Grown Business is faith.

  • Faith that working at home puts mothers where they are needed most.
  • Faith that the children will not suffer, but prosper by learning responsibility.
  • Faith that God-given talents will be expressed in marketable goods or services.

And perhaps most importantly, faith that by building a house in the Lord, we do not labor in vain.

1 comment:

Laura Talbert said...

Thanks for the review, Meredith. I have been considering buying this book and found your post very helpful.