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Today’s Work-At-Home Success Profile is on Robert Mander, the Founder of Govlish®
With 13 years of experience as a technical writer of government documents, I founded Govlish® in 2011, working out of my home office. Govlish is a structured database for navigating our government—the largest, most complex organization on the planet. Govlish is the largest, most comprehensive, and accurate such database with over 160,00 entries, 42,000 of which are Federal and the balance State. From our databases, users can conduct a range of activities, from simple searches to government agency taxonomies and subject relational folxonomies.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I worked full-time for a Federal agency for three years before deciding to go out on my own. My agency experience gave me the foundation I needed to start, and I made important contacts at and through the agency.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
For me, this was easy because my home career was an extension of what I had been doing for a single employer. Now, I do the same things for multiple customers. I’ve worked for more than 25 agencies, mostly Federal with some State and local work thrown in. It also allowed me to develop my Govlish® startup. Now, Govlish is my full-time enterprise, and technical writing is my day job.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I quickly upgraded my computer, peripherals, and software and made sure I had a reliable, secure Internet connection to perform the research that is an essential part of my work.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I’ve had my home business for so long now that I don’t even remember. But I’m pretty sure it was through an existing contact at the time.
5) How do you market your business?
It’s a combination of networking, posting my resumes, profiles, and samples on relevant Internet sites, and memberships in select organizations.
6) What does your usual day look like?
Happily, I don’t have many usual days. I like variety, and each day brings unexpected surprises that lead to new opportunities. I’m much more productive in my home office. No boring meetings, little commuting, and maybe most importantly, no office politics fraught with negative stress.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Don’t worry too much about missed opportunities. If you’re doing what you need to do, tomorrow will bring new opportunities.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
They say there are two kinds of people who work from home: Those who can never get to it, and those who can never get away from it. I’m in the latter group. If you’re like me, be sure to take some time away. If you don’t, you risk getting really squirrely!
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