Working From Home Is … Work?

Question: Working From Home Is... Work?

Exploring your work-from-home dream requires an investment of your time and a willingness to acquire the necessary knowledge.

We receive lots of questions about working from home. Let’s address some of the most common questions and get some tips to help you navigate the dangerous shoals surrounding ‘Work From Home’ island.

Many of the questions we receive are along the lines of, “How do I get started making money online? What should I sell that will make the most money? Will you give me a job if go on a date with you?”

Okay, maybe not that last question. But we do have this lonely writer guy who’s hoping to see that question.

Then there’s the all-too-often asked question about stuffing envelopes. Let’s start with that one.

The Bottomless Money Pit

Stuffing an envelope and licking a stamp is something you do as a sympathy gesture to keep the postal service from going bankrupt. It’s not a work-at-home business. It’s a bottomless pit that sucks in people’s hard earned money. Don’t throw your money into the pit. You can’t buy a business for $29.95.

Working From Home Is … Work?

We sometimes receive correspondence from folks asking us to do the heavy lifting. For instance, they see an ad that boldly states, “Make $5000 in 30 days!” or “I made $300 Today. In My Pajamas!”

Then comes the heavy lifting question: “Would we please look into this and let me know ASAP?”

Gosh, that sounds like work.

We don’t usually research ads. What we do is help you see the red flags so you can make intelligent decisions.

Not being mean or anything. We just prefer giving out those helpful tips that help folks figure out what’s what.

Regarding ads like the ones above, suffice it to say that if there are dollar signs in the promotional literature of an opportunity or job listing of any kind, raise your red flag and proceed with extreme caution. That’s not to say that anything with a dollar sign is a scam. Just raise your flag and be on guard if you choose to look into it.

Vetting home-based work options is really a matter of being informed. Learn how to discern the viability of an opportunity. Put in the work. See the red flags.

Are We There Yet?

We sometimes get comments from truth seekers who exclaim, “Just tell me what to do! My rent is due next week!”

When you first begin thinking about working from home, the initial excitement and giggles are very intoxicating. The rent will be paid! After that wears off it begins to dawn on you, “Man, wading through all this rubbish to get to the good stuff is taking forever!”

Well, yeah. Waiting for a golden egg; that takes patience. If you are following a passion and a dream, then time is a playground. Your work is playtime.

Therein lies the key. Play. What is it you like to do that feels like roller coasters and cotton candy? Look inward and access your play button. What makes you tick? Push that button and begin the exploration.

If the rent needs paid it may be best to seek employment, either in a traditional job or as a telecommuter. You can also look for work as a freelancer. Follow your dream of a home-based lifestyle on a part-time basis while you’re working for someone else.

Money, Money, Money

We often get questions about money: “How much money can I make taking surveys? How much can I make as a mystery shopper? Will you give me money if I take your lonely writer guy on a date?”

Okay, maybe not that last question. “Wait,” says lonely writer guy, “Yes, we will give money for that.”

“No,” editor guys says, “No, we won’t.”

Actually, answering money questions is something we like doing. However, the money question is really just one part of the whole equation. Starting with the passion question is a better approach.

Chasing money to find the job is a limiting proposition. Chasing the dream and having the money follow, that’s the good stuff. There’s almost always a way to get the money you need. Passion, plan, act.

Plant Your Flag

Truly, things get easier as knowledge about your passion grows. The dots merge into a larger picture. You accomplish more in less time. Questions about money are quickly illuminated.

Find your passion. Focus on one task at a time. Tackle it. Plant your flag. Move on.

Where do you want to plant your flag first?

There is no better way than to first choose a path that you feel passionate about.

Getting Started

Having an idea and getting answers to questions – even money questions – is best done within the context of a market analysis. A business that identifies its customers and the playing field of the market saves time and makes money.

Designing a business model to steer your ship is a good way to set sail with your endeavors. A business model is your plan. A business model is all the stuff that goes into answering the questions about how your passion, your business, will make money and be profitable.

There you are. And you didn’t have to lick a single envelope. Now go plant your flag.


Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.

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