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Azriela Jaffe

Egads! An Entrepreneur Who Enjoys His Wife More Than Work
After 20 years of corporate life, he wants to play with her, not run a Web site

This gentleman from Lancaster, Pa., is trying to run a new Web retail business from home. He thinks he has a serious problem, though. Here's his edited account: "I just took a buyout after 20 years at a corporate job in Philadelphia. I was commuting 120 miles daily. Between my work and the commute, there was very little time for my wife and two children."

"Working from home seemed the way to have it all. Instead, I find I goof off with my wife all day long. We were apart so long that for the last two months, we have spent every minute together. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm not getting any work done — I mean nothing. This can't continue indefinitely. But how I can ignore my wife?"

Wow. Lucky you. Many couples suffer from the opposite problem — when one person retires, for instance. I understand your concern about not being productive. Still, it doesn't seem like you should be turning a cold shoulder to your wife so soon. Two months isn't a long time to make up for 20 years of virtual separation. You're like a kid in a candy store now. Eventually, full-time goofing off will lose its appeal, and you'll gravitate to a more productive life again.

In the meantime, where does this worry about productivity come from? Is it just your hyperactive work ethic or are you in danger of running out of money soon? Maybe the real issue is that Web retailing isn't for you. In that case, procrastination is a sign that you've signed on to the wrong business and need time to find a more suitable one.

Give yourself a break. I bet within a year or less, you'll learn how to integrate your work and family life better, so you can work at home and still concentrate when you need to. In the meantime, enjoy.

Have a question on how to handle the pressures of running a business and the impact on your personal life, marriage, and family? Contact Azriela Jaffe at Please put "BW Online question" in the subject field. Your real name will be kept confidential if you request, but please give an E-mail address, phone number, and your hometown so she can contact you for more information. Because of heavy volume, Azriela cannot guarantee that she will answer every query.



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