QUESTION: What do you get when you combine being a parent with being an entrepreneaur? The answer - a Parentpreneur! And that describes the past 22 years of my life. Let me introduce myself - my name is George Benson. My wonderful wife Jodell and I have been married for almost 30 years, and over the past 22 years I have been The Home Work Dad. 

You see, starting when I was a teenager, I have always had a side hustle. From mowing lawns, doing yard work, and helping others with construction - to selling anything I could find to make money. And being an entrepreneaur was how I was raised. My parents had run multiple businesses, from installing and repairing furnaces, to selling coleslaw to local restaurants, baking for local stores, and running multiple restaurants themselves.

So it should come as no surprise that, in 1996, just 2 years after Jodell and I got married, I decided to start my first full-time business - a computer systems and repair business. As that business grew we branched out to networking and then added website hosting & design services and eventually we offered maintainence services.

Then, when my wife and I had our first child, in 2002, we made the hard decision to have me be the primary care giver, while running our business from home, and that way Jodell would be free to continue working for a local municipality that provided fantastic medical insurance. A benefit that, without it, we would have had to pay in excess of $100,000 in medical bills that accumulated after problems were discovered in the third trimester of the pregnancy.

The issues discovered led to many doctors visits, several different tests, multiple sonagrams each week, and eventually weeks in the hospital for both Jodell and the baby due to complications with the pregnancy and then after the birth from having a preemie baby. And then, little did we know then, just how often we would be relying on that fantastic medical insurance in the years ahead! Including from complications with the birth of our second daughter, to multiple car accidents, multiple surgeries and more.

Through it all, however, we have been extremely blessed with two fantastic daughters. One daughter is about to graduate in May with a dual degree in archeology and religion and is planning to become a minister. The other is working as a Firefighter/EMT and is about half way through a three year program to graduate as a Paramedic with a dual degree in Fire Science and Paramedicine. Both were very active throughout school in band, chorus, 4-H, and other groups and both started volunteering when they were about 10 and by the time they graduated from high school they had both put in hundreds of hours volunteering with various community organizations. Both graduated from one of the top high schools in Maine and both participated in the Maine Aspirations Program that allowed them to take college classes while in High School. At graduation both had earned over 20 college credits and had almost perfect 4.0 GPA's and both utilized a system I created that helped them earn a combined total of over $300,000 in scholarships.

So why do I tell you all of this? Because I truly believe that there are moments in every parents life that we all feel overwelmed! And now that our two daughters are grown, and in college, we have chosen to take our experiences and share them with others in the hopes that we can help others thrive at working, or running a business, from home - while minimizing the chaos, enjoying the fun times, and keeping up with the responsibilites of parenthood! 

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Until next time - I pray that you make every day a great day by telling your kids that you love them and giving them a hug!