Kate Lister

Twitter @workathomekate
Flickr - just for fun


I’ve been working from home for over 20 years. Fortunately, I learned at an early age that pantyhose, water cooler chit-chat, and interminable meetings weren’t for me.

Over the years, I’ve run three businesses from the comfort of my home. I started my career in banking and spent six years as a commercial lender with two of the nation’s largest banks. The daily commute on the Sure-Kill Expressway (Philadelphian’s nickname for I-76, the Schuylkill Expressway), convinced me to start my own home-based consulting business. I think the final straw, make that straws, was the mattress that flew off the truck I was following and blanketed my windshield. On the other hand, it really may have been the pantyhose. It’s hard to say which was more traumatic.

Problem was, even running my own business I was still wearing pantyhose most of the time. Then I met an entrepreneur, whose business, like many of my clients, was on the bleeding edge of technology. After desperately trying to help him raise money for his venture, I reluctantly recommended he quit while he was behind. It was Tom who introduced me to flying with a ride in his 1920’s open cockpit biplane. And it was love at first flight. One thing led to another and the two of us decided to ditch the rat race, trade our business suits for flightsuits, and try make a living flying biplane rides. One little problem with the concept—Philadelphia’s weather. We either had to move somewhere we could fly year-round or go to pantyhose. Be afraid, be very afraid.

So, with the aid of modern technology, we did an analysis of national weather statistics. Our search specified sunny skies a minimum of 300 days a year, annual precipitation of less than 15″, and average temperatures of at least 60 degrees. San Diego was the perfect fit. California here we come. About a month later we packed our bags (very small ones) and headed west in a 1929 biplane in the middle of winter? In fact, it was the worst winter Philadelphia had seen in decades. Open cockpit, 16 degrees. Can you spell ‘windchill’? We left tracks in the snow on takeoff, and somehow endured six days of flight in sub-freezing temperatures before finally landed in the warm Sunny Diego.

Over the next 16 years we expanded the fleet to 7 airplanes, and turned Barnstorming Adventures into the largest vintage airplane ride business in the country. But even a fun business like Barnstorming can get old after a while so in 2006 we sold the business to a nice couple who continue to share the dream. What does all this have to do with undressing for success? It may be hard to imagine, but for the most part, we ran the flying business from home in our underwear. We had 25 pilots who did the flying (not in their underwear), and a virtual answering service fielded the phone calls. Our time was spent rounding up folks to fill the planes. Fortunately, making spectacles of ourselves was something that came naturally, and that knack served us well in attracting media attention. Our quirky web site was our primary method of chumming for customers, and that’s where most of our marketing effort went. And boy did it pay off. All accomplished while working at home.

Along the way we wrote three books: Undress For Success—The Naked Truth About Making Money At Home (Wiley 2009, Finding Money: A Small Business Guide To Financing (originally published by Wiley; now being updated for eBook distribution) and The Directory of Venture Capital (John Wiley & Sons).

In case you can’t tell from our blog we’re passionate about the potential for telecommuting and telework to improve work-life balance, reduce pollution and our dependence on foreign oil, increase productivity, save money, offer fuller employment, and improve our disaster preparedness.

Tom Harnish

Twitter: @tailspin45

tom-tailspin-icon-version-2After college and a stint as a Navy flyer, I “went to school” at Booz, Allen & Hamilton as a Consulting Scientist, and then became a Senior Scientist at OCLC, an amazing international computer services company. While I loved both jobs, I knew deep down I really wasn’t cut out for the world of suits.

For the past 25 years, the entrepreneurial call of the wild defined my path. Some ventures worked. Some were, um, learning experiences. But after spending the last two decades working from home, I can’t imagine ever going back to a ‘real job.’ Well, actually I did recently consider applying for what would be my dream job—running cameras on a spacecraft—but my game plan was to convince them to let me telecommute. What’s another few miles compared to 142 million to Mars?

Now don’t get me wrong, we may work in a comfortable setting (it’s Southern California and we really do have an office with a hot tub in it—and an ocean view), but we work our butts off to earn a home-based living. The nice thing, they say, about running your own business is you only have to work half a day—the issue is which 12 hours. But we don’t mind because both Kate and I love what we do, and we love working 6 feet from each other.

We even wrote the manuscript for Undress For Success without shedding any blood. But here’s why we don’t mind the long hours—we choose when, where, and how hard we work. No one watches us (except the cats). No one second guesses what we’re doing. There are few meetings, and when there are, it’s usually on the back patio or in the hot tub. And best of all, Kate doesn’t have to wear pantyhose (me neither).

In the end, all that matters is what we accomplish. It’s that simple.

For more about modest l’il ol’ us visit our Articles/Speeches/Etc page, EncoreAdventures.com, Home-Based Business Expert at EvanCarmichael, Tailspin’s Tales, Wow! Really? and our Flickr photography sites here and here.

Disclaimer of Sorts:

Anything contained in, not contained in, assumed to be implied by, warranted by, excluded from being warranted by, or vaguely alluded to on this website, or any other document resembling or not resembling this website in any way, shall not be attributed to, blamed upon, or otherwise associated with the named authors, any alleged author, the owners, their heirs or any of the owner’s friends, enemies, acquaintances, or Undress4Success.com itself, or other associated company in any city, county, state, province, or country, nor shall any of the aforementioned parties be held responsible, irresponsible, accountable, discountable, or in any way involved with the aforementioned website or the presence or absence thereof

We’re not responsible for crabby bosses, ties or pantyhose, fuzzy advice, blatant localism, slow traffic, bad hair days, poor mileage, red lights, earthquakes greater than 3.0 magnitude, full parking lots, or telephone busy signals.

If we’ve done something to offend you please leave a comment. If we really pissed you off please leave a message for Guido. There’s no one here by that name, but at least we’ll know to act seriously and put on our game face when we contact to you.

22 Responses to “About”

  1. Sara Fell says:

    Hi Kate,

    First, I want to tell you that I think your site is great… full of really good resources. It’s wonderful to see legit sites out there that are helping to raise the bar.

    Also, I wanted to introduce you to our site, FlexJobs.com. We just soft-launched this fall, and are starting to ramp up now. We focus on telecommuting and flexible opportunities that are professional and legitimate. I’d love it if you could check us out and give me your feedback. :-)

    Hope you’re well, and if there’s any way we can work together in the future, I am very open to it.

    Best regards, and hope you’re having a great Friday,

    Sara Fell
    CEO, FlexJobs


  2. Brandie Kajino says:

    Fantastic site! Nice to see others who are working to dispell the misconceptions and provide real information for work at home professionals. I too would welcome an opportunity to work together in the future.

    I’d also like to receive updates on your upcoming book. I’ve added you to my reader to make sure I don’t miss anything. I love the idea that we could reduce our carbon footprint (among other benefits), create a better life balance and earn a living by working from home.

    Keep up the great work!

    Brandie Kajino
    The Home Office Organizer

    (FYI: I found you through Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_at_home)


  3. Kristy says:

    I am looking for a work at home jobs, but all the jobs seem the same like process rebates, telesurvery etc.. Please help.


  4. Paul Lindenberg says:

    Hey Tom, you still working from home ? :-)
    Took awhile to ‘find’ you on the net, aside from the Flickr® route, and tailspinstales blog. And there you were, working from home. I must say that I am a great fan of your writings, and, as you know, I have mentioned, featured and abused your internet sources quite roughly. Just to mention, I would like to ‘use’ (I think I have asked you before - but my main machine crashed resulting in a loss of email correspondence) an article or two (those that are attributed to you) from your tailspintales blog??
    This would be for very late production of le Cirque Volant (The Flying Circus) the aviation photographers journal, Volume 2, issues 1,2,3 and possibly #4. I’m a bit behind schedule having had to endure my website lecirquevolant.co.za (don’t link to it!) being hacked, and the downfall of my main computer, so I won’t say I’m scrabbling for material, I’m just catching up on material. {Grin} You can download the (shame) June Issue Vol 1, Issue 12 from http://harryblack.wordpress.com/ for the meantime. I am also taking the liberty of mentioning most of your links within the e-magazine(s), such as this site ‘undress for success’. AND, I see that your ‘partner’ in all your adventures, Kate, is also a pilot - ‘Woman in Aviation’. I do love it.
    If you approve, please email me using this email address spotlightkid (at) gmail.com

    Kind regards
    Paul Lindenberg
    Editor le Cirque Volant

    And remember - AvGas Rules!


  5. Working at Home Will Save Our Planet – The Case for Telecommuting by the Authors of Undress for Success « Wiley PT Press Room says:

    [...] third business book, the authors are the undisputed experts on this subject. Their research has been used by legislators and community leaders to promote [...]

  6. TPN :: The Cranky Middle Manager Show » Blog Archive » The Cranky Middle Manager Show #188 Undress for Success- Kate Lister says:

    [...] Turmel talks about how telecommuting and telework has changed the role of the middle manager with Kate Lister, co-author of Undress for Success- The Naked Truth About Making Money At Home. Oh and Marcel Proust [...]

  7. Tamara R says:

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that your site made oDesk’s list of 10 sites every freelancer should know about.


    Thanks for providing such a great resource. -Tamara


  8. Robert Woltz says:

    I have been very succesful in operating a virtual company. Two years ago my company was awarded the best in the U.S. for finacial gains. We went from 3 million to 11 million in one year and I credit it all to becomming virtual. It took a lot of planning and work and redefining but we did it. Today I am launching a new company and from the start it will be virutal. In the past few years I have learned a lot about people, technology and defining what a virtual company is and how to control it.

    The only thing that I must caution anyone is that not all employees can work in this virutal environment. Some must work in a social environment, talking to others of where to have lunch and what they will be doing this upcomming weekend these are the people you don’t need or want.

    I have also found that in a virtual envionment the people who work for you come up with more ideas to help solve various issues. I would say the virtual office breeds more teamwork.

    Sincerely, RTW


  9. MF Chapman says:

    FANTASTIC! We use these exact points often when we discuss corporations working towards more flexible work options especially with a childcare option. We also will be sharing this with our coworking community. Thanks for the great share. Looking forward to reading the blog in the future.


  10. Arlen Neyaci says:

    Good Job on the articles you have here, thank you for putting your time into it!


  11. Bar Carts says:

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely useful for me.


  12. Zane Poormon says:

    Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me.


  13. Sarita Whelehan says:

    Hello.Sorry if my english language is not good.however i really want to tell i like this post a lot. say thank you!


  14. Vita Eayrs says:

    Good blogpost, I favorited your blog so I can visit again in the near future, Thanks


  15. Yong Dene says:

    Finding websites with as much information as this one is always a pleasure I wll be sure to come back and visit again real soon, keep up the good work.


  16. John Sciarra says:

    Don’t know if you remember me, but you inspired me to pursue the technology world back in 1986. Although i followed my heart and stayed in the papers until 2005 and worked to the technology dream the whole time, I did do it. Drop me a line, I have kept up on you and your husband over the years.


  17. Susana Glassey - Operation SCAR Bonus says:

    Thanks for the post there is always something good to read here. Thanks again Take Care


  18. Jennifer says:

    I accidently came across your site and love it. I have recently graduated with my BA in Management Operations with a dual minor one in HR and the other in International Business. As we all know this is not the time to be looking for a job with the economy. However I would love an opprotunity to telecommute. If anyone is looking to fill a position or knows of someone that is please let me know.

    On another note: Can you tell me if you have heard of a company from the Philipines called Capital Investment LLP? They have contacted me via careerbuilder and I’m not sure if they are legit.
    Thank you,


  19. stcooper says:

    I found your site through telework.org.uk when asking for a similar site in the US. I am a software consultant who works from home and am looking for a place to advertise the very teleworker friendly community of Rainier, Oregon. Would you be interested in starting a section on such communities?

    Scott Cooper


  20. Ariane Sterker says:

    @admin: I just have to say your website is the first I’ve come across this morning that doesn’t have spelling errors every other line. Thanks for taking the time to construct something that doesn’t look like a 6th grader put together. I apologize, just had to vent.


  21. Success can sometimes be bought with a coupon « Caliber Pulse says:

    [...] Kate Lister, who has authored three business books on finances and blogs Finding Money Advice and Undress4Success, suggests the following tips for a successful coupon deal: [...]

  22. Eric Britton says:

    Hello Kate. I would like ot invite you to consider publishing an articeon some key policy aspect of your work on World Streets - http://worldstreets.org. We have been strong backers of telework since the late eighties — New Mobility Agenda - http://www.newmobility.org — so this makes perfact sense. Be glad to discuss this with you. Kind regards, Eric Britton. +331 7550 3788. Skype: newmobility


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