The rise and rise of the high-tech Home Business Hub, and the entrepreneurial family – by Linzi Boyd
It is interesting to see how the world has shifted. Is it plausible that the Mums of today are the first generation of women who are, in more ways than one, running the household? The old-fashioned phrase “A woman’s place is in the home” now actually seems somewhat appropriate with the rise of the Home Business Hub. Our homes have transformed into workspaces, and in many cases our husbands have become our new business partners. The ‘business of family’ has never been more apparent, as the first generation of entrepreneurial couples live, work and juggle family life TOGETHER making it possible for women to embrace both an entrepreneurial role and a ‘Mummy’ role within the family. With inspiring businesses such as “Mumsnet” and “Net-a-porter” arising from people’s personal spaces and quickly becoming market leaders in today’s ‘online’ world, women have realised that an ‘I can’ attitude means having a family and running a business can all happen in their OWN high-tech homes.
It used to be that families would survive with Mum looking after the household while Dad worked all day. This is no longer the case and it feels, to me, like we are the first generation of what I call ‘Entrepreneurial Families’ – with men and women juggling both home and businesses to make their mark in the world. With no precedents for this, we have no option but to venture forth, making our own mistakes along the way, as we have no model to follow as laid down by our own parents. If you were one of the few kids of my generation to have had both parents out in the work place or running their own businesses, then you may be ahead of the curve, however, most people I come across, including myself, had their father out to work and their mother running the home.
Why now and not then?
What has been the shift that has created this opportunity for change?
Some might look at the generation game that women have been playing over the decades and state that there has always been a huge drive for equality in the workplace, going all the way back to the time of the Suffragettes fighting for their place in the world of work with equal voting and equal rights.
It has been interesting to watch how things have shifted over the years and how there has been a huge drive over the last decade for equal pay, more women appearing on Boards and acting as CEO’s of big businesses. This has been a trend so far in the 21st century; but the biggest shift has to be the explosion of the Entrepreneur. More start-up businesses have set up shop in the last two years, than have done so in the last ten, and many of them work out of a Home Business Hub!
The opportunity, as I see it, arose with the maturation of the digital era, with e-commerce and ‘community sharing’ driving sales to a new level. Businesses can now literally own their own distribution channels to market whilst cutting out the ‘middle-man’ to sell their wares.
The high-tech Home Business Hub has become a place for women to work, to live and to set up their shop window. Transactions can take place while dinner is being laid on the table, thus providing women the freedom to be their own boss and earn their own living. How liberating! The ‘dream’ has slowly become reality as more and more women become aware of success stories being heroed by people we would consider like-minded peers. We have realised that we too could set up the next ‘Deliciously Ella’s’ kitchen-type business with a true hope and vision for success; and so, the rise of the Entrepreneurial Family continues.
Today with women in charge of their own journey, managing the combined juggle of running a business and a household (and oh what a juggle it is!), enter the Entrepreneurial Partner (husband, father and friend) who may also have become aware of a great new role for him to play in the home and finally share in the joy of watching his kids grow up. If his partner can become an equal or even THE breadwinner of the household and still be home for dinner with the kids, perhaps he can do the same?
And what about the kids in Entrepreneurial Families? What do kids learn when both parents run a business? Well it is an ever present learning environment for our children where they learn first-hand about building, growing and funding a brand. As a result THEIR entrepreneurial spirit could be unleashed and create an upsurge of young entrepreneurs leading the way with their first business foray opening up as early as age 12 and embracing the opportunity for a business with a purpose and a soul.
The ‘Entrepreneurial Family’ has embarked on a learning journey and whilst the female hot topic is the ‘juggle’, men are starting to speak openly about wanting to spend more time with their kids. It is interesting to see how far we have come from our parent’s generation and I am also intrigued to see the running of my own children’s households and the roles that they as parents will play both in work and in the home in the future. We can only learn in the moment, making mistakes along the way, bearing in mind that our children who learn from us, will hopefully find it easier to lead the way for their children in the future.
The rise of the high-tech Home Business Hub; working from home and raising a family, is a far cry from the 9-5 life that many of us have been used to. It takes guts to make the leap but the rewards, perhaps for generations to come, outweigh, for me at least, the risks of taking this leap into the unknown.
Linzi Boyd is the Author of No1 best seller Brand Famous, and founder of BoB School – the face of modern business.
Check out Linzi’s website here: http://www.linziboyd.com/bob-school
Follow Linzi on Twitter: @linzi_boyd @brand_famous
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*This article first appeared in the Huffington Post in March 2015 under the title: ‘A woman’s place is in the Home’.