NJROTCStaff US FlagFor a home officer, the concept of the Mobile Home Office seems the epitome of “Independence.”

A professional who can take off for several weeks without worry of boss, client or customer repurcussions. A husband and dad who has learned to balance home and work — and earn the admiration of family in the process.

A man who can load up an RV, create a home office on the road — and never miss a beat as he tours the nation’s highways and byways; who can meet deadlines by seamlessly weaving them into the travel plans and around the family’s needs and expectations; who can keep clients loyal and unconcerned about deadlines and deliverables; who can create lasting memories for the family — ones they will look back on with smiles and fondness in years to come.

When I started working from home in 1989, this was the farthest thing from my mind. So remote it was that I was only concerned with the next project — and then the next check. Two decades hence, I still suffer the see-saw woes of small business cash flow. Workflow is not an issue, but keeping my eye on the family’s needs and how work-life compatibility is achieved is vital to my

As I sit packing our RV for a three-week workation, I find myself pondering the implications of this life I (we, really — Robbie and the kids are central to every decision made with regard to work and life) have chosen for ourselve. As the son of an entrepreneur who, free as he was, nonetheless left the house at 7am only to return home 12 hours later — five days a week (and he never seemed to complain), this seems a natural fit. My father before me, like his son today, worked hard and played hard. He struck his balance, drew his line where work and life would — and would not — intersect. And lived a full, rich life accordingly.

For this Form-1099er, Independence Day is more about “Independent’s Day.” It’s about releasing the spirited entrepreneur from the ties that bind us to not just a desk, but the traditional norms of “work.” It’s about releasing our spirit to work amid freedom and release. It’s about finding my way as a truly independent contractor, with all the benefits and pitfalls that may come in kind, but borne of a conscious decision made two decades ago, as I (nay, WE) embarked on a journey and adventure that has been this home-based experience.

That it includes this weekend a departure upon a three-week trip exploring a bit of our country, my family in a more intimate setting — and a bit more of my work/life psyche, seems to me to epitomize what home officing is all about.

As our country ponders a future unclear concerning so many things — politics and war, income and expenses, jobs and joblessness, homes and uncertainty — this much I know: We’re in for a heluva ride aboard the RV we’ll call home for the next month. But it’s nothing unusual. It’s just another manifestation of one family’s expedition into the unknown of entrepreneurship, self-employment, home officing, and how those jibe with family and society, circa the 21st Century.

Welcome to Independent’s Day 2008. Make it your day — your year — to shine.