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Your guide to successfully living and working under the same roof!
International High IQ Society
New York City
Year started working from home: 2003
Hours per week you work: 25-30
Happy at home index: (1 - miserable, 10 – nirvana) 5
What kind of business do you have at home?
The International High IQ Society is an Internet-based non-profit company. It is a
membership based site, open to persons who have an IQ in the top five percent of
the population and who want to be part of our global community. There is no other
qualification for membership. The site includes two IQ tests for admission
purposes...You have to score 124 or higher to be able to join.
What did you do before you started a home business?
I worked on Wall Street.
Why did you start a home business, and why this particular business?
No longer wanted to work for The Man. Not exactly a novel reason, but I'll bet it's a
main motivator for many home-based workers.
What was your biggest challenge in starting your home business?
All the paperwork required to start a business. It's always more than we think, even
when we think there's a lot.
What has been your biggest challenge staying in business?
When you make every decision on every aspect of your company you naturally
(and sometimes even subconsciously) second-guess whether it's a good one.
Hemingway once said, "That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good
or not is what's known as The Artist's Reward." The "artist" here is the individual
who doesn't have any corporate oversight to monitor the quality of their work. It's
trickier than most would initially assume.
What do you love about working from home?
Love is a relative term here since at the end of the day it's still work. Without
getting into semantics the eternal attractions of flexible hours and being your own
boss are not just "be careful what you wish for" desires of the nine-to-fivers but
solid pluses in an environment with many uncertainties.
What do you hate about it?
The isolation and lack of human interaction. Joseph Conrad was surely "working
from home" when he penned Heart of Darkness, and I'm fairly certain Dante was
metaphorically describing his home office when he wrote Inferno. It can be all-
consuming at times.
How do you inspire or motivate yourself everyday?
I doubt most people need genuine inspiration to work everyday. Everyone who
controls their own destiny by owning/running their own business has creative
times where they make lots of progress and times where they "go through the
motions" and deal with busy work. Even the masters of working for themselves --
Mozart, Picasso, I.M. Pei -- went through many Dust Bowl-like droughts before
finding that narrow strip of creativity sandwiched in-between.
How do you separate home life from your work life?
They all sort of blend together eventually, no matter how much you fight it. I doubt
anyone working at home can fully separate the two for any length of time. A bigger
apartment/house can buy more time but the lines get blurred just the same.
Where is your office in your home?
In a second bedroom of a two-bedroom
apartment in SoHo.
What is your daily routine?
Awake, turn on the computer, and start
putting out fires. It's always best to get
the boring, plain-vanilla work out of the
way first and then move on to the more
interesting, creative part of the business.
Sometimes you end up doing the boring
work all day though.
What advice can you give about starting a home business?
Most people think working for themselves at home is the new American Dream, the
brass ring of the working world. This thinking can lead to trouble and the side-
effects of a life of solitude can be overwhelming for many. Balance balance balance.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do (or not do)?
I would rent office space to stop the inevitable blurring of the lines between
working at home and living at home. There is also a sense of more productivity
when you go to an office. Also, the cost of renting an office can be somewhat offset
by the money you save from not having to buy as much expensive office equipment.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I tend to do things outside as much as possible, whether traveling or just walking
around Manhattan. Getting outside is the major hurdle to most home-based
workers. If you're not careful you'll wake up and realize you haven't left the
apartment in two days; this can destroy productivity without you even realizing it.
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Profile written about you and your
business? Write to the editor:
HOW Profile: Nathan Haselbauer, Founder, International High IQ Society