First Steps to Work-At-Home Success
There is a saying that goes, “It’s the start that stops most people.” For many who want to work at home, this is true. Sometimes they don’t start because they’re afraid or worried. But very often it’s because they don’t know where to start. Here are my steps to getting started on the path to work-at-home success.
1)Learn about working at home. Read the information here at Work-At-Home Success. Get books at the bookstore or library. Listen to the WAHS podcast. Read about scams and how to avoid them. Before jumping into working at home, you should get a good sense of what it involves and doesn’t’ involve. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about working at home. There are people out there who’ll make you think you can set up a website and in three clicks you’ll be rich (all those people are selling you something). The more you know, the easier it will be narrow down what’s best for you, you’ll be able to make an informed plan, and you’ll be able to avoid scams and crazy schemes.
2) Inventory your skills, experiences, hobbies and interests. Too often people go online and search “work at home” on Google to find something they can sign-up for to make money. If you’ve tried this, you know that more times that not, you find scams and deceptive schemes. In all the years I’ve worked at home and talked with people who also work from home (including over 300 podcast interviews), I say without a doubt that the majority of people who are successful working at home are doing something they already did, knew about or loved.
3) Determine what types of income options are available with your skills, experiences and interests. There are basically three ways to make money; 1) Sell your skill, 2) Sell your stuff or 3) Sell your knowledge. Selling your skills includes getting a work-at-home job or offering a service (home business or freelancing). Selling stuff is having a physical product to sell. It could be something you make or you can get a wholesale source and something someone else makes. You can even become an affiliate, promoting someone else’s stuff. Selling what you know is about selling information. You can do this through blogging, books, video and any method where you’re giving information or teaching. Take an idea from your inventory (#2) and write down what skill, stuff or knowledge you can sell. For example, if you love gardening, you can start a home-based gardening maintenance business, sell gardening tools or teach about gardening through a blog or write a book. Not all ideas will have income opportunities in each area. For example, if you’re good with people, you may not have a product you can sell. But you can get a home-based customer service job or start a coaching business. Or you can teach about relationships and people skills through a book or home-based course.
4) Research what it takes to get started. This is where things start to slow down for many would-be home-based workers. Working at home requires a plan, but to make a plan you need to know what steps you need to take. Just like you did in #1, you’ll want to research, this time with a focus on your idea. If you want to get a work-at-home job, get information about where to search and how to apply to get a work-at-home job (you’ll find lots of information at WAHS!). If you want to be a writer, get books and magazines on writing. If you want to sell on eBay, get books and read articles online about selling on eBay. Whatever your idea, odds are there is a book or two and other resources that will give you information.
5. Use the information in #4 to plot your start. Once you know what’s involved, make a list of the tasks you need to do. In a job, you’ll need a resume, references and maybe samples or a portfolio. In a home business, you’ll need a business name, license and business plan that details what your business is all about.
6. Add tasks to your daily calendar. This is another area where people get stuck. They’re good at the learning and research, but they never get to implementation. Your work-at-home career will never come to fruition if you don’t take action. So pull out your to-do list or calendar and start adding tasks. Some activities you’ll do just once, such as getting a business license. But other activities you’ll need to do on-going, sometimes everyday. For example, it may take you several days to build a website. When looking for a job, you should search and apply everyday until hired.
7. Follow through. Sometimes people get started (#6), but they don’t stay the course. Depending on what you choose to do and how much time you can put into it, it can take longer than you’d like to see results, which can be discouraging and lead to quitting. The trick is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Each step may not seem like much, but it adds up.
8. Commit. Not only will your success take longer than you like to achieve, you’ll probably also experience set-backs, frustrations and even failure. Some people see this as a sign to give up. But if you commit, you keep going no matter what. Edison didn’t quit after 10, 100 or even 1000 times in trying to invent the light-bulb. Lincoln didn’t quit the first time he lost an election. If you truly want to work at home, you work your plan until you’re home. To do that you’ll need to make a commitment and find ways to help you stay motivated when the going gets tough. That can include reading success and motivational materials, listening to music, keeping a journal and going back over what you’ve already accomplished. I find the biggest support is to be around others who want similar goals. There are many online groups or Meet-Ups where you can get support and encouragement.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.