How Do You Manage Your Privacy with a Home Business?
I’ve been reading The Power of Being Personal on Your Blog over at ProBlogger and really enjoying it. Like many people I vary how personal I get because I think about my privacy and that of my family as well.
Being personal is a big help in just about any home business. You aren’t some giant corporation. You’re you. It should show in most cases, to at least some degree. How much depends on the type of business you’re running. If you’re dealing mostly with other professionals, they may expect more of a professional attitude from you.
A Few Privacy Basics
A while back I switched the registration on this site to a private one. I really don’t like having my address and phone number out there unless I’ve given it out directly. I haven’t switched all my domains to private yet, but my big ones definitely.
Some people don’t trust private domains as much because you can’t tell who’s running them. I can understand that. But when you’re raising a family their privacy comes first.
Besides, I hope that I say enough personal things that it doesn’t matter.
That’s also why I have a P.O. Box that I now use for if I need to put my address out there. I don’t like the inconvenience, but it gives me an extra level of privacy by making my home address harder to get.
I’m not so worried about it however, that I won’t mention the city I live in from time to time or talk about things I have done. I do not mention future plans or vacations I’m going to take, or even that I’ll be out on errands. Keeping private about such things on my sites, Twitter and so forth is just good sense. You don’t know who is seeing what you publish.
Family and Privacy
Figuring out how much to share of family life is an entirely different matter. I could talk a ton more about my kids if I wanted. Some people do. It’s not my style. If I’m going to embarrass my kids in front of their friends with stories about their childhoods, I’d rather do it in person. 😉
It doesn’t bother me to post the occasional pic of my kids, but it’s not a regular thing. They aren’t the focus of how I run my business, even though they’re the reason I have it and they determine much of my working hours.
I post even less about my husband, especially about disagreements. We don’t have many really serious ones fortunately, but in general that’s not my kind of thing to memorialize online. Others feel differently and that’s fine.
Besides, he’s just so darn cute when he’s keeping Selene out of my hair, as he is right now.
His work I especially keep private. Not relevant to anything I do here and people have gotten in trouble in the past over work related stuff posted online. I wouldn’t do that to him, even those times that it has been tempting. I’ve said if he gets a new job or something, but not details.
Minor tales about family I do sometimes post. Hopefully through the years I’ll still feel that I chose the right ones to share.
That’s the big trick with protecting your family’s privacy while trying to be personal online. Sometimes the family stuff is highly relevant. It certainly emphasizes the small and often personal nature of a home business.
Keeping it Real
Privacy doesn’t worry so much that I use a pen name. I am who I say I am. It’s just easier for me to be me that way.
I share my personal experiences, and sometimes even talk about income.
I hope to try video one of these days. That one’s difficult with three kids in the house, especially when two aren’t in school yet.
It’s little touches like that, where you don’t worry about privacy that I think really help a home business owner really emphasize that they’re a person, not a corporation. In many markets, especially online, that helps.