Working from home (WFH) sounds like the wave of the future. Some of us wonder, “How will I show my value?” “Will they discover they can get along without me?” ”Am I non-essential?” Lets consider people, real and fictitious, who are known for working from home.
1. Famous Founders
According to Forbes, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, the creators of WhatsApp started in their kitchen. Ditto Markus Persson, founder of Minecraft. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, worked from home as she started the company.
Lesson: When you have a good work ethic and a plan to follow, you often don’t need separate office space. You just need a clean space and the time to focus.
2. Garage Startups
Interestingengineering.com reports Bill Gates started Microsoft from a garage space in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jeff Bezos started Amazon as a small bookstore in his garage in 1994. Walt Disney and his brother started Disney Brother’s studio in their uncle’s garage. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in in Job’s parent’s garage in 1976. Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the forerunner of Google in a Menlo Park garage space in 1998.
Lesson: Sometimes all you need is space. It can be at home, at a relatives or nearby.
3. Sherlock Holmes
He is fiction’s greatest detective. Everyone can recite the story by heart. He lives and works at 221B Baker Street in London. Doctor Watson assists him. Mrs. Hudson is his landlady, meaning he rents, not owns. Clients come to see him, in his large living room.
Lesson: Working from home is widely accepted in certain professions.
4. Queen Elizabeth II
She lives and works at Buckingham Palace. Her “office” is wherever she is, since she has several palaces around the country. She entertains family at home. Ditto international heads of state. She holds an annual garden party on the lawn behind her house.
Lesson: When you are important enough or good enough, people will engage on your terms.
5. Magnum, PI
First played by Tom Sellick, later Jay Hernandez. Magnum famously lived and worked from Robin’s Next, the Hawaii estate of author Robin Master’s. Clients came to hire him as a detective, he left the estate to visit clients and investigate in the field.
Lesson: Play your cards right and you could work from home, live on a large estate and drive a Ferrari.
6. Henry Higgins
George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion was transformed into My Fair Lady, the Broadway musical. Professor Henry Higgins set about transforming Eliza Dolittle, a Covent Garden flower seller into a person who could be accepted as a lady in London Society. It was all about proper speech and behavior. He taught all his lessons from his home.
Lesson: You can get the job doe if you have all the technical support you need in an isolated space at home.
7. Jim Rockford
The 1970’s series The Rockford Files featured the detective Jim Rockford, living out of a trailer on Malibu Beach. It also doubled as his office.
Lesson: You can still accomplish good things, even if your home office isn’t grad.
8. Hercule Poirot
Agatha Christie’s famous detective is likely the second most well known male character in detective fiction. He famously worked from his apartment in Whitehaven Mansions, an apartment building in circa 1930s London. His signature technique was being able to solve a crime, sitting at home and considering the evidence. Captain Hastings and Miss Lemon did his legwork for him.
Lesson: Working from home allows you to focus on problem solving without distractions.
9. Wallace Stevens
OK, this famous author didn’t work from home, but he was an insurance executive at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. He won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. His notes were kept in his desk drawer at work, according to Inc.com.
Lesson: People in the insurance field can be creative.
10. Ernest Hemmingway
This famous writer was known for his wild lifestyle, yet was a disciplined writer, He worked from his Florida home, getting his writing done early in the day when it was cool and quiet.
Lesson: Working from home in a dedicated space provides the isolation you need to focus.
Great things have been accomplished by people who work from home.
— Read What Can Insurance Agents Do During Stock Market Declines?, on ThinkAdvisor.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.