FOXBusiness.com regularly features profiles of people doing business from home, and making it work.
Who: Victoria MoranWhat: Author, life coach, speaker and corporate spokesperson.
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Where: Moran’s office is in the living room of her two-bedroom condo in New York City’s Harlem; her husband, who also works from home but for a different “company,” has an office in the master suite.
Moran does telephone coaching, teleclasses, arranges and prepares for speaking engagements, prepares her Internet radio show and radio guest interviews, plus all the clerical and record-keeping aspects of running a business from her home office.
Some of her life-and-health coaching clients visit her office, but most like to meet at coffee shops downtown. Moran prefers to be “out in the world with all that life and energy to draw on, so I go out to cafes to write.”
When: Since her kids are grown, Moran said she can work a lot – and she does.
“My writing is not just my profession, it's also the way I get my ideas out into the world, so there's a real passion there and the line between work and life often blurs,” she said. When she’s working on a book, she is strict about writing in the morning and doing her other work in the afternoon. She spends most Saturdays with her husband but, she said, “I keep Sunday pretty sacrosanct --I even attempt to be unplugged on Sunday, no computer, but the Blackberry creeps in there.”
She has been a full-time freelance writer since 1989.
How: Moran was working for a magazine in her hometown of Kansas City, MO., when her first husband died, so she decided to go to New York City in search of more lucrative work, leaving her 5-year-old daughter behind until she could secure somewhere to live.
Her new boss let her and her daughter use his New York City apartment for a week while she met with potential editors. And she never turned back.
Moran has been writing since her teenage years, and said she never saw it as a hobby – only a profession. But with the writing and journalism profession changing rapidly in today’s digital world, many in her shoes find it hard to make a living. Moran said that’s not the case for her.
“I'm lucky to have gotten in when I did and have a following, so I believe I will be writing books on into the future - my agent is shopping my eleventh book, 'Main Street Vegan,' right now,” she said.
Why: Moran said working from home wasn’t something she necessarily always wanted to do.
“I think, growing up, I assumed that if you worked, you had to go to an office - but when I became a mom, especially a single mom, I didn't want to be separated from my daughter. The working-from-home was such a blessing,” she said.
In fact, Moran home-schooled her daughter and took her along on speaking engagements. Her book, 'Shelter for the Spirit,' which was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, is about making home the center of one's life.
“I learned to do that as a home-schooling mom who also worked at home,” she said.
Day in the Life: Moran tries to start her day around 6 a.m. with meditation and yoga, or a morning walk. She writes in a coffee shop until midday and unless she has a business lunch out, she comes home to work the rest of the day – whether it be meeting with or talking to clients, doing paperwork, social networking, or responding to e-mails.
She said her daughter drops by once or twice a week to help with the clerical and technological complexities.
“She brings her two dogs -- perks like that make working from home so sweet,” Moran said.
But Moran’s day doesn’t end there. Because she also works as a corporate spokesperson and proponent of animal rights and the vegan lifestyle, she makes a point to say “yes” to invitations and opportunities and go out for dinners, parties, benefits, classes, meetings, screenings, readings, and lectures whenever possible. Although she tries to end her day by 10 p.m., she said she doesn’t always succeed.
Pros and Cons: Along with the usual self-employment perks like being one’s own boss, Moran said her work situation enables her to maintain a multi-faceted professional life. And, on a more daily basis, allows her to make fresh juice, big salads and the healthy food she writes about and encourages her clients to consume -- because her kitchen is just steps away from her office.
As for the cons, Moran said she has added "spokesperson," "life coach" and "speaker" to her resume to earn enough money to keep building her platform in a very crowded and competitive marketplace. Many unpaid hours are spent on e-mail, social networking, affiliate programs to help market colleagues' materials, and guest expert spots on hour-long teleclasses.
On top of that, she said, there’s the isolationist element – one has to make an effort to leave the house for meetings and work in cafes or other places away from home – and it’s solely up to you to stay connected to agents, editors, publishers and others who can further your career. But all in all, Moran said she sees being able to make a living doing what she loves as a rarity.
“I feel really blessed to be spending my life doing the work I feel so cut out to do. I know that a great many people don't have this kind of opportunity, and I'm very grateful,” she said.