Reasons to Start-up (or not) at Your Parents House

In Europe and many parts of the “westernized” world, people usually have a negative view of the young (or not) adult who’s still living with his parents. They’d be perceived as a bummer that just can’t get a job like everyone else and still relies on their parents to survive. It’s partly true for the entrepreneur profile; clearly, an entrepreneur at his parents house doesn’t want to get a job like everyone else! So if you put superficial and shallow judgements past you, being based at your parents house to start-up can be a very clever move, but needs some warnings, which I’ll be sharing here from past experience.

First, should you be in start-up mode at all? Are you really at the stage where you may need to work full-time on a project to develop it fully? I discuss this critical question in a post on the importance micro-testing a business opportunity. But if you ARE ready to work full-time on developing and growing your start-up into a company here are the pros and cons of working from your parents house:

Reasons To Work from Your Parents House

  1. No time wasted around the food issue
  2. Great food
  3. Great company during leisure time
  4. Little or no financial cost, that’s a major one
  5. A social life (or not, depends how much you rely on local old friends)
  6. Great place for introspection over your own life

Reasons Not To Work from Your Parents House

  1. Your Parents, that’s all. This means:

    • Interruptions, usually from a mom trying to get some attention or achieving a daily quota of social interaction
    • Home-sharing Disturbances (people invited, TV, noise…) esp. if your parents are retired
    • Making it clear that you are busy working and not just in your room. You must educate your parents to that because most likely when you spend a long time at home they have associated that to you being on school holidays and vacations.
    • Parents asking you how your work is going, ie. 10 times a day
    • Having your mom or dad pick up a professional call while you were taking a shower, and saying they’re your mom or dad, or saying at 11 a.m. that “Oh, he might still be in bed”. That one is typical and quite funny.
    • Your mom not understanding your joy is when you have finally managed to debug that script and not necessarily trying her soup to figure out if it is or not, too salty…
  2. Social status? Hell no! Give yourself time to start something of your own and you will sooner or later be rewarded with a lot of great things, from personal satisfaction, to financial AND social status. Don’t listen to any shallow social pressure: People like to mock when individuals take initiatives and risks they don’t dare taking. And magically, when you succeed these same folks look at you with respect. If you had better to do in middle- or high-school than increase your popularity, you surely know what I’m saying. Convince yourself it’s the right thing to do and just do it.
  3. Having nothing much social to do on you spare time. Well if your project needs a lot of your attention it’s good. But on your spare time, especially if most of your friends live far from your parents house, you may end up really bored and it can be really depressing. Right away, I’d recommend you reconnect with local life, and do some local activities, register in sports or dance clubs, etc…just as if you were moving somewhere new. But when at “home” it’s hard to develop this reflex. The familiarity of home inhibits you from being in the healthy “social survival mode” that you’d be in if you moved to somewhere completely new. Your brain is a complex machinery. And to succeed in growing your business, hard work is only one ingredient, a healthy social life is just as important.

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