I’m Barbra Sundquist and I’m the person behind HomeBusinessWiz. Both my husband and I grew up on here on Vancouver Island and feel privileged to live in this beautiful part of Canada.
My first home-based business was selling Regal greeting cards at the age of eight. Believe it or not, my mother let me go door to door in our rural neighbourhood, entering the living rooms of complete strangers and doing my sales pitch. My favorite item in the gift catalogue was the baked potato gadget – a four-pronged thing that I now realize was basically useless to an experienced cook. But I must have been persuasive (or else they just wanted to get rid of me) because I sold a lot of them!
The 30% commission that I earned selling Regal whetted my appetite for more money-making ventures. One time I persuaded my younger sister and cousin to donate all their toys to my “store” and then sold them back for real money! My mom put the kibosh on that little venture pretty quickly.
By my teenage years I was engaged in a more legitimate home-based business: teaching private piano lessons from the basement of my family home. That gig went on for about eight years part-time and put me through university.
After graduating from the University of Victoria with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Public Administration, I decided it was time to enter the “real world” of employment. I got a job in human resource management with the federal government in Vancouver. Good pay, great benefits, wonderful career advancement opportunities – and I was miserable.
This may sound juvenile, but the two things I couldn’t stand were: 1) riding up the elevator at exactly the same time every morning; and 2) having to stay at work on slow afternoons when I knew that I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Those two things offended my sense of autonomy something awful.
I stuck it out for two years, then left and moved back to Vancouver Island. I started doing contract work for my former employer and other government departments. After a while, I woke up one morning and realized “I think there is a name for what I am doing. I think I am a self-employed consultant”. I decided I better buy a briefcase and get some business cards printed.
That was over 20 years ago, and I’ve been self-employed and working from home ever since (except for an enjoyable stint teaching business management at a university). I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you on this site, so that you too can enjoy the freedom of having a successful home business.