You’re having one of those days…the stress is mounting and you’re wondering where you can scrounge up a few more bucks to make ends meet. You’ve read many articles, scoured many online forums, tossed around a thousand work-at-home job ideas. Nothing seems right. You’re frustrated and ready to give up. Where the heck are the legitimate work at home jobs? You’re tired of the scams, the fees, the shady companies. You just want to make some money – and stay at home.
You’ve exhausted the numerous ideas and options thrown at you from the depths of the interweb (eek…I can’t believe I used that word, but it seems appropriate). Although there are many legitimate companies who seek home-based workers (here they are), the type of job and the pay may be, well, sucky. Customer service, yuck. Online tutoring, riiight. Surveys and market groups, get real. You’ve even considered engulfing yourself into the trend of writing an e-book but discovered you know a little about a lot of things, but you’re not an expert in anything.
Don’t give up. All hope is not yet lost. Your desire to work at home requires you to think long and hard what it is you really want to do and why.
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What kind of work experience do you have?
- What inspires you?
- What motivates you?
- Why do you want to work at home?
You need to put your unique skills to work. Not being able to find an at-home job is an opportunity to create one. Eureka ! Don’t be afraid to try new things and reach outside of your comfort zone.
I mentioned the trend of writing an e-book, but didn’t go into that topic at all – yet. You shouldn’t discount this idea; Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle have made it very easy to write, publish, and sell your stories. What is an e-book? An electronic form of a book length publication. So how do you get started? Document what you know on paper, and convert it to .pdf. If you can type and put your thoughts in order, you can create one. As with tangible books, you may want to create a book cover to offer a more professional look and feel. Fiverr.com is a great place to outsource the creation of a book cover.
Creating a job for yourself is, in actuality, starting a business. If you want to decorate cakes, give guitar lessons, or pet sit for your neighbors, you are turning yourself into a self-employed individual.
Let me throw a few ideas out there for you:
- Fitness Instructor (do you have a spare room in your home?)
- Dinner Cooking Service (are you creative in the kitchen?)
- Before and After School Babysitter (have kids, will babysit)
- Personal Concierge (are you organized?)
Starting a home-based business is a scary thought, and there are many considerations. But by doing something you truly enjoy, and growing into it, the burdens are minimized. Think of it as your hobby rather than a tax-laden hassle. Start out small. You may want to keep it small so all your time isn’t consumed by your business. Many people make a decent living working just a few hours a day, and you don’t have to have a Fortune 500 company with public stock offerings to be considered a business owner. I am a business owner – all I do is manage a few websites (from my couch).
A few facts from the Small Business Association (SBA.gov):
- The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
- The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.
- The small business sector in America occupies 30-50% of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet.
Freelancing is a great way to get your skills and name “out there”. Utilizing the resources of Elance.com or Odesk.com (my two personal favorites), apply for some of the many short-term assignments in your skill category. There is quite a bit of competition, but once you get a few clients under your belt – and build a decent reputation – more potential customers will choose you for their projects.
A lesser degree of freelancing, micro job sites is a way to pick up some quick, easy tasks. You can work at home, make a bit of money, and do what you like to do.
By being creative, analyzing your needs and abilities, and expanding your horizons, your desire to work at home is turned to reality at your own doing – you’re not at the mercy of an existing company.
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