How do you work and make a living in a place everybody goes to for vacation? The Great State of Maine is noted for more moose per capita than any other state but home to only a million and a half people. A vacationer’s love story, Maine known as Vacationland, is famous for bountiful lobster, beautiful lighthouses and a breathtaking coastline, but not for jobs in Corporate America.
We know that it is possible to have a world class career living in the sparsely populated state because, after all, Stephen King certainly figured it out. But he is not the only one. It turns out that even in the midst of moose mecca, residents of Maine have access to good strong internet. Fast internet and a modern computer and home office, make it possible to tap into the main vein of Corporate America through working from home.
Geoff Smith has a great story to tell. Geoff has roots in Maine but hasn’t always lived there. Today he lives in Maine, the land colonized by his ancestors back in the 1640s and for the last seven years, earns a gainful living working from home with Houston-based TeleReach Corporate. While his work requires a great deal of self-discipline and responsibility, it is also the reason he is able to spend more time caring for his family and enjoying the gorgeous landscape of Maine.
Geoff’s journey to the company as well as his personal story are captivating for an individual who is considering a job or career change that is home-based. Geoff sat down with us to share why working from home is a perfect fit for him and why it might be for you too.
Geoff spent time in Washington D.C. when his dad worked for the federal government, but after his dad left to retire in Maine, he thought it sounded like a great place to raise his family. While Maine’s scenery is breathtaking, it is still largely rural, which made finding a job more difficult. Within a few weeks of arriving, it became clear that securing work would either require a commute of an hour and a half to a more urban area, or something that could be done from home. Not keen to spend most of his day commuting, especially during the long winter months, Geoff embarked upon a search for a professional work from home career. Living in a small rural town, Geoff took to the internet to see what remote jobs might be available and found TeleReach Corporate.
The Benefits of Working from Home
The benefits of working from home go far beyond convenience. Geoff’s three primary reasons for working from home had more to do with caring for his family while still providing for them:
- Supporting his dad. Geoff’s aging father is now ninety-one years strong, and living nearby allows him to be close enough to check in on his dad.
- Being there for his family. Since getting remarried, Geoff now has two children with special needs. Working from home allows him to spend more time with them while playing a key role in their daily care.
- Having access to work even in a rural area. Few large employers are based in Maine, however, working from home opens up more options, allowing him to stay true to his rural roots while still earning excellent pay.
Working from Home Affords Responsible Flexibility
Geoff typically gets up early to start his outbound calls to companies located on the eastern seaboard and works his way west until about noon when he breaks for mid-day to help his family with some transportation needs. Then he resumes his calling schedule and works until early evening.
Geoff makes outbound business to business cold calls all over the United States, which allows a span of about 12 hours in which to make those calls. Working accounts from Eastern to Pacific time zones allows greater flexibility in the timing of those calls. If he wants, Geoff can work all the way up until around 8:30 pm in his own time zone since it is only 5:30 pm on the west coast.
Geoff enjoys the team environment with TeleReach “The quality of people I work with is astounding. I’m always amazed at how talented and experienced they are and it’s nice to be included in that group.”
What It Takes to Work from Home
While flexibility is often the main attraction for a work from home position, Geoff warns that it is still a job that requires diligence and discipline in many different areas:
- Minimizing distractions. The same things many love about working from home can also pose as distractions. It is critical to keep distractions such as a tv, barking dogs, and visiting neighbors at bay while committing to the work at hand.
- Getting motivated. With no boss standing directly over your shoulder to ensure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, it can be tempting to sleep in a little extra or put off making those calls until a more convenient time, but don’t. Getting and staying motivated is the key to success.
- Being responsible. Whether you are working on an account alone or with the help of a team, it is crucial that each person carry their own weight and responsibilities for the company and the clients.
- Setting goals. When it comes to goal setting, Geoff suggests a two-pronged approach. He encourages others to be a little impatient when it comes to looking for cold calling results in the short term, but also encourages them to recognize that there will be both good and bad days in the long term.
- Don’t fear the cold call. Cold calling is not anything to be afraid of he urges, “The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. Even then, every day is brand new and it helps give a balance to things.”
Living in Vacationland
One of the best parts of working from home for Geoff is that home is Maine, often referred to as Vacationland, and with good reason.
He won’t deny that the winters in Maine can be notoriously snowy as early as October and lasting through as late as April, but he says that even in the heart of winter there can be a quiet beauty to it. And if he is feeling adventurous, cold weather activities such as hunting, skiing, and snowmobiling abound.
The late spring and summer months typically bring more mild temperatures in which residents and tourists alike take advantage of a variety of exciting outdoor activities such as:
- Exploring local islands by ferry
- Four wheeling
- Riding the white-water rapids
- Trout fishing
It is not uncommon to find Geoff and his wife taking some time on the weekends, day trips, to explore a new local landmark such as a covered bridge or lighthouse. There always seems to be a new adventure just around the bend, and if all else fails, you can buy amazing, mouth-watering lobster cheaper than a cheeseburger at mealtime.
And then there is the family connection that just makes Maine feel like home to Geoff. He gladly carries on the tradition of living in Maine and has actually found the gravesites of some of his ancestral family members in local cemeteries.
Just as Maine is the stuff vacations are made of, working from home is the stuff work life balance is made of. Geoff’s seven years with TeleReach have given him the gift of earning a paycheck while caring for his family in one of the most beautiful and rural landscapes in the country.
About the Author
Tracie Chancellor, CEO and Founder of TeleReach Corporate, national business to business call center specializing in sales appointment setting and lead generation, based in Houston, Texas. Chancellor is an MBA graduate of the University of Houston with over 20 years hands-on sales and marketing experience, working with privately-held businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, as well as Fortune businesses in the business to business marketing space.