Day One Of Officially Being “athome”


Today marks some firsts, my friends.

Today is the first day of my unemployment, and the first day that is official.  I am now at home!

Truth be told, the reality probably won’t kick in until next week, because I kind of feel like I’m just on vacation.  Eli has graciously given me this week to adjust, so I spent the day working through a list of things I want to accomplish around the apartment.  Things that have been knawing at me and I just haven’t had the time to do.  So I cleaned up the balcony,planted some flowers and worked on a project for my Uncle’s 50th birthday.  All this between loads of laundry and dishes.  I’m wiped . . .but I feel great.

We have a lot on the go right now, and a lot that we want to work on.  We are in the process of launching a new content service called  And I’m going to be putting together presentation material to market my design services.  So hopefully soon I’ll be busy with work stuff, which makes getting all these little chores out of the way all the more important.

Throughout the day today I found myself thinking about what I would have been doing at work if I was there, and thinking a lot about my friends.  I had a pretty rough day on Friday because I realized that I wouldn’t see these people anymore.  They have helped me  through a lot, whether they’re aware of it or not.  In the past year and a half I have done so much growing, and each one of them is responsible for helping me through it.  I almost started to second guess my decision because I realized that working from home with Eli doesn’t really allow for any other social interaction.  But that is just one of the challenges we face.  Finding that balance and recognizing when it’s time to be apart.

There will be many other challenges and that is what excites me and motivates me.  I need the unknown to keep me moving forward, otherwise I become too comfortable and I get lazy.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this is just day one.  And on day one I feel great.  I’ve accomplished a lot today and I am so proud of myself for making the commitment and taking that leap.  Tomorrow is another day, and I’ll deal with it when it gets here.

Until then,


Taking The Work At Home Plunge

This awesome photo courtesy of den of thieves on!I’m really feeling the writing bug biting me on the ass right now, so I decided to capitalize on this moment and stop being a stranger around my own blog.  Here’s what’s on my mind and what’s happening right now in the world of Elijah and Veronica

Over the last month or so it has been apparent that Veronica is getting antsy about joining me and taking the work at home plunge, as I like to call it.  This is awesome – but it is also presenting some challenges.

When we originally started this blog back in July of 2008 (just got the GoDaddy renewal notice) our plan was that I would quit my job, put into action everything I had been teaching myself for the 7 months prior to that and set up a network and foundation so that hopefully, within a year or so, she would leave her job and we can begin living the coprenuer life we’ve dreamed of since we first met.

Well, reality (opportunity) is definitely starting to knock…

Not only have I surpassed anything that I could have imagined – but I’ve also managed to learn an insane amount of information and techniques in this short amount of time (with a little blood, sweat and insomnia of course).  This means that we are now in a position to complete the last step of phase one and begin putting into place the milestones that will ultimately give us the freedom and space to live and build a family without corporate chains attached.  The dream of every modern day, twenty-something hippie child…

More closer to thirty-something, but that’s besides the point!

It seems that now that things are pretty much where we planned for them to be, taking the initial plunge is not as easy as it once appeared to be – for Veronica that is.  You see, by nature she has always been concerned with being “liked” or civil with her employer and fellow employees.  This tends to involve treating people well and not stepping on any feet during her course of 9 to 5 existence.

Myself on the other hand have never been close with co-workers, or integrated too far into any company for that matter – because I always had the attitude that it was a job – and it was temporary.  If me leaving screwed somebody over, that was the companies problem – not mine.

She is now faced with a challenge in the form of trying to identify the right “time” to break the news, and the right “way” to part – in the most humane fashion.

When taking the work at home plunge, here are some questions to ask yourself before hand:

  • Do I really care about the people I work with?
  • Am I financially ready to work from home?
  • How much money will I save from working at home?
  • If all hell breaks lose, do I have a backup plan?
  • Is my at home environment equipped to ensure maximum productivity?
  • What sort of day-to-day challenges will I face when working at home?
  • What benefits will I gain from working at home?
  • How can I leave my company while maintaining credible references?
  • If I hate my boss, how much will I get charged if I piss in his/her coffee?

All in all, I really believe that we are in a position to take plunges and make mistakes – after all, we don’t have any children (yet), mortgages, car payments or anything else restrictive.  If our business fails (which it won’t) we can always get some bull shit jobs to pay the bills.  If we go completely broke (which we won’t) we can always get celebrity makeovers and stage a sex tape which we’ll sell to for a quick 10 g’s…

The ultimate question is:  Will you ever be 100% ready to do anything in your life?

The answer is no.

So I say do it.  Don’t ask for permission, learn from your mistakes and pay the consequences when they arise.  Of course if you have kids, a car, a house and a family then don’t be stupid.  But if you don’t – be stupid, work hard and make it happen.  There really is no reason why it shouldn’t work out in the end!



Couples Who Work Together – The Copreneur Concept

Couples who work together - copreneur

I recently had a mini vacation from work; Friday, Monday and Tuesday off.  5 days in total.  It wasn’t enough time to really do anything substantial, but it was enough to get me thinking about spending all my time at home, and with Elijah.  Please don’t misconstrue, I’m not worried about our relationship but working at home will definitely change the dynamic of our journey up to this point and is yet another chapter of our lives together –  cue violins.

I’ve mentioned before that I tend to get looks and concerned comments when I tell people, especially the ones I’m related to, what our long term plan is.  A lot of the intrigue that’s generated around our business venture is the fact that we are both going to be at working at home together.  People seem so curious about how this is going to work out, as if watching a science experiment.  Here are my well thought out reasons why I want to work from home with Elijah:

  1. I won’t have to get up at a godforsaken hour in the morning
  2. I can wear my sweatpants to work, provided we are not leaving “the office”.
  3. We will be able to save some money, not having to worry about transportation expenses.
  4. I will have more time and energy to focus on other things I’m passionate about, like design and art.
  5. Elijah and I will learn and grow together in many ways.
  6. Down the road, when we have a family, we will be able to spend lots of time with our children.
  7. Our family will function as a sole unit.  Working, living and loving together.

I can tell you from experience that in today’s world of “each parent off to a separate place of employment” the family unit is broken down significantly.  For example, both my parents worked for the same company but in different positions, and in order to save money on a babysitter for my brother and I, my parents worked opposite shifts.  My mother worked from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm and my father worked from 4:00 pm until midnight.  Between the time my mom arrived from work and my dad was getting ready to leave, they had half an hour every day to see each other.  I couldn’t imagine only seeing Elijah for 2 1/2 hours each week.  Not to mention the fact that as children we barely got to spend time with our dad, except on weekends.  I would prefer not to reenact  this scenario with my own family, which is why I want to have my home and profession be of the same entity.

Let’s explore this concept shall we?

Its seems as though the concept of working from home or working with your partner is “new” or “trendy”, when in reality it’s the way the family unit functioned for most of our existence as humans.  Throughout history the family worked, and played together.  It was unheard of to leave your loved ones for any reason, let alone to work, and in any situation where productivity was essential for survival there was evidence of a family involvement.  Think about working on a farm where the family is an economic , as well as social unit.  It is only with the industrial revolution that home and workplace became a separate entity – each with it’s own set of guidelines and relationships.

Elijah and I have always felt that we “gelled” and worked exceptionally well together.  Every challenge or large project we’ve taken on in our relationship has been successful.  We’ve always been on the same page and it’s crucial to share the same passion or vision when attempting to go into business together, therefore maintaining focus on the bigger picture allows you get past all the smaller issues.

There are several guidelines available to working with your life partner from home.  At, Alicia Fortinberry has been working with her husband Bob, for almost 20 years.  Here is some of her experience sprinkled with my words of wisdom and interpretation:

  • Don’t separate work from the rest of your life.  It will never happen as smoothly as you want it to, so view the work as a continuum of the relationship.  If you share the passion, then it isn’t a burden.  Elijah and I talk about the business a lot and it’s as much a part of our family as our cat Shandy is.
  • Work with other people.  This makes so much sense to me.  Working with other people keeps the juices flowing and provides fresh ideas and a sense of support – as well as mental break from your loved one’s brain.
  • Maintain a nexus of friends outside of the core relationship.  This is so important, even in a non-work relationship.  One person cannot meet all your needs, no matter how great and supportive they are.  Women need the presence of women and men need the presence of men.  It is common these days that couples who work and live together fall into the trap of neglecting outside relationships, whether it is because of lack of time or trust.  Allowing the other to “step out” of the relationship and just be with friends or family is important at every stage in any relationship.
  • Explore and maintain shared beliefs.  In our society, as well as throughout history, common belief systems are the most significant bonding tools.  This is true in any single relationship, where if there is no basic agreement on core values and matters of faith, there is little chance of the relationship surviving.  Although this topic is not always on the forefront of the success of a relationship, it definitely plays and important part in the endurance of one.
  • Develop relationship rituals.  These are things that as a couple you do by agreement and awareness.  Going for breakfast every Sunday or going for a walk every evening are examples of rituals.  Don’t confuse these with habits.  Habits are things that are done without even consciously thinking about them.  Rituals renew your sense of togetherness and commitment to each other.  The breakfast date is one of the things that Elijah and I try to do as often as we can. Going to bed together at the same time is another one – although he usually gets up after I fall asleep to blog and brainstorm into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Work out mutually agreed roles.  This clear definition of responsibilities is necessary because it eliminates confusion and hostility.  Having clearly defined roles in the business and in the home life allows each partner to know what they are responsible for and what they have authority over.  As a couple, Elijah and I should try to figure out who is better qualified for each task, and then let eachother focus on it.  We’ve never been practitioners of gender based stereotypes and that won’t be starting when I eventually quit my job.  These roles shouldn’t be considered concrete either, they will change and shift as time moves on and life progresses, allowing us to complement each other when needed.  Balance.
  • It is also important to remember that while the roles and tasks are divided, there may be times when one person may have to work harder than the other.  This may result in anger or animosity, however it is the natural cycle of life.  Even at my day job there are times when I am much busier than my colleagues and I get jealous of their momentary freedom, but eventually it switches.
  • Be honest and concrete about what you need from each other.  It is never ideal to second guess what your partner wants or needs.   This again applies to all relationships.  You can’t expect him or her to decipher the code of facial expressions or subtle grunting noises.  Communication is so important in any relationship, business or personal, so never be forced into the position where manipulation is necessary to get what you want.  Communicate as clearly and as often as you need to.

This list definitely puts things into perspective for me.  This new venture is not going to be all butterflies and roses – it’s going to be something that we have to work very hard at.  I have a couple of points that I would like to add to this list that I’ve picked up along the way:

After working at a residential summer camp in many different positions, and for many years, I learned that there’s no time for laying blame when things go wrong.  Shit happens and there is not much you can do about it except find a reasonable solution as soon as possible.  Here’s and example of what I mean:

Task: Sixteen kids all waiting to go on a canoe trip.
Problem: The canoes floated away after not being tied up correctly.
Solution: Quickly organized a beach day with games and swimming.

When it comes to kids quick thinking is mandatory, and with business I think it works the same way.  The more responsibilities and tasks we add to each others roles, the more problem solving is going to be required.  Better to get good at it now instead of when things are much busier.

I also think it’s incredibly important to keep having fun with each other.  This is the reason that our main goal with the online business is to be mobile and travel.  I’m so excited to experience new things and explore places I’ve never been, and even more excited to do it all with the man I love.  Eliminating the staleness of the day-in- day-out will keep the relationship fresh and vibrant.  Even if travel is not possible immediately, trying new restaurants, or exploring a part of your city that you’ve never seen together will be something you’re sharing that’s not related to work.

I recently came across the term used for defining what Elijah and I, and many of you are attempting;  Copreneurs.  It is used to categorize couples who are exploring entrepreneurial paths together as a team.  I like this term because it highlights the fact that we are a team – which is something Elijah and I have always thought of ourselves as.  Our successes are so much more rewarding because we are able to appreciate them together, and realize that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for each other.  If one of us succeeds, we both succeed.

We’re on our way to starting this journey together, and there will definitely be highs and lows – but I think if we can keep focused on our goals, and each other, this will be the smartest thing we’ve ever done.  So here’s to practicing what we preach.

Stay classy,