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Whether you want to make an extra fifty dollars a month or bring in a substantial income for your family, the idea of working from home may sound like an impossible dream.
People frequently think that work-at-home opportunities are scams or that the options for being a work at home mom (or dad) are limited to things like child care, or the latest direct sales ‘MLM’ (multi-level marketing) trend of the moment. (These are not bad options, but they aren’t the only ones out there!)
The truth is, there are many viable options, especially online.
Wading through the possibilities can be tricky. It’s easy to jump on board the first idea that seems legitimate or marketable. You’ll likely make some money, but will it be sustainable?
The next four steps can help you find the opportunity that is suited to your likes, your skills, and your lifestyle, which will ultimately increase your ability to succeed long term.
Start Dreaming and Believing
First, and possibly most important, take a moment and allow yourself to dream. Start thinking ‘‘What if?’’
- What if you could make an extra hundred dollars a month working from home?
- What if you could create a business that fits your lifestyle?
- What if you could work while the little ones nap, or in the evening from a home office?
There are people all over the world making it happen. As Gina Horkey of the Horkey HandBook says, ‘‘Why not you, why not now?’’ Ask yourself, ‘‘Why not me? Why not now?’’
Taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University led me to start thinking about the possibilities in life. Based on his suggestion, I read 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.
It was a valuable tool that helped me start dreaming and believing. After reading and contemplating a while, I started to think:
- What if I could make money from home as a transcriptionist?
- What if I could write an e-book people want to buy?
- What if I could make money researching, typing, writing, or editing?
- What if I could teach piano lessons?
Starting to dream and believe in the possibilities will lead you easily to the next step.
Next, take a moment to evaluate you.
Taking this step can save you wasted time and aggravation.
Over the years, I spent time babysitting. I attempted to sell makeup. I created a resale business, and then I created a commercial steam cleaning business. I signed up for an Etsy shop to sell homemade products. I had minimal success, and most of these ideas didn’t last very long.
None considered me, and my unique abilities.
I am not a fan of cleaning, but I ended up with a cleaning business. I hate having ‘stuff’ around, but I ended up with a resale business. I am not crafty, but I tried selling homemade organic soap. The idea of sales made me very uncomfortable, yet I signed on for direct sales of makeup, not once, but twice.
If you don’t evaluate yourself, you may end up like me, taking the long route to finding your place.
Take the time to evaluate:
- Your skills, education, and abilities
- What you love to do
- What you would do for FREE
- Your hobbies
- Your availability
- What your friends ask you to help them with
- What you loved when you were a kid
- Your short-term and long-term goals
- If you want to create something, or put in your hours and be done
- Whatever is unique to you
Evaluating who I am led me to become a freelance writer, specializing in a field that fits my educational background, and also a piano teacher and accompanist. These are two things I know I want to continue long-term. I want to come back for more day after day, even when faced with challenges.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, but taking the time to think about these things will go a long way when it comes time for the next step.
Do Your Research
Having taken the time to evaluate yourself will set you up for success when you are researching the options. You won’t get sucked down the internet rabbit hole, clicking here and there, signing up for this or that. That can be costly, in terms of time and money.
Having these resources would’ve been valuable in my search for the ‘right’ opportunity over the years.
Take the time to:
- Carefully consider the available options
- Read various reviews and interviews
- Start following blogs related to your top choices
- Once you’ve narrowed it down, join and participate in a few groups. (Facebook has great options!)
If you do your homework, the next step will be much easier.
Take Bold Action
After following the first three steps, you’ll know when you find the right opportunity. It will keep coming back to you.
I couldn’t stop from thinking about 30 Days or Less to Freelancing Writing Success once I discovered the course. I’d wanted to do this for over 15 years. I just didn’t know how. Now I had the tools at my fingertips, yet I still had a hard time pushing the button and ordering, even though there was a money back guarantee!
I wish I had acted boldly. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t put it off. Go for it!
If you don’t have all the knowledge, skills or materials you need in the beginning, it’s okay. There are many courses and training options available, and groups that can help you succeed.
Once you know what you want to do, figure out what obstacles you are facing, then take the steps to overcome them, one at a time.
- If you don’t have the money for courses or training at first, seek out options for free training to get you started. You can check out some free courses here.
- If you don’t have the necessary equipment or material, you can start purchasing it, one item at a time if necessary.
- If you don’t have a quiet space needed to work, figure out how you can create it.
Once you’ve taken the time to dream, evaluate, and research, you will be ready to overcome any obstacle and make it happen!
Stefanie Williams is a freelance writer with an educational background in communication sciences and disorders. She specializes in topics related to audiology and speech pathology. Wife. Mom to six. Musician. Aspiring Minimalist. Someday, hopefully, world traveler.
What are your thoughts or experiences? Are you still waiting to take the plunge or have you already? Any questions for Stefanie or about this topic? Type away! 🙂