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     Work-At-Home...Job Or Business?

So you have decided to work at HOME (either by choice or necessity). There are numerous reasons why people choose to wprk at home. Some of those reasons include:
  • dissatisfied with their present employment situation
  • laid off or downsizing by their employer
  • be home with children, or a sick or aging family member
  • a yearning to break free from the 9-5 grind
But now you are faced with the decision as to whether to pursue a work at home JOB or to start a home based BUSINESS. That may sound like a minor distinction, but this can pose a dilemma as the differences can actually be quite significant.

A general psychological characterization of the entrepreneurial spirit, says they are typically people who have a high ENERGY level, set long-term goals, feel quite self-confident, and view money and financial security as a measure of accomplishment and piece of mind. They are further characterized as problem solvers, who take RISKS, learn from their failures (as well as those of others), accept personal responsibility, seize the initiative, and use all available resources to achieve their success.

Entrepreneurs compete with themselves and believe that success or failure lies within their personal CONTROL or influence. They do not see setbacks as failures, but rather as learning experiences. Most of all, they exhibit persistence and TENACITY, never giving up and never quitting the quest for success. If you fit most of these criteria, you would probably elect to start a home business because you expect your work to not only provide you with convenience and an income, but the personal challenge and reward of owning and managing the company.

However, the decision to work at home does not necessarily mean that you want to be the owner of a business. It takes a lot of time to successfully market and promote a new business. Starting out a new business means an investment of time and money with little payoff at the start -- it can be stressful and overwhelming, and this is not an attractive OPTION for many people. And if you are planning on working from home with the intention of spending a great deal of time with young children or caring for a sick or elderly family member, a full-time home business (and income) may not be a REALISTIC objective from a time availability standpoint.

You may prefer working at home for an already ESTABLISHED company -- telecommuting has become a popular option in many industries. This is often easier to do than owning a business yourself and you may not want all the headaches, responsibilities and obligations that come with owning your own business. In addition, you are generally guaranteed a more STABLE work schedule and income than a new entrepreneur faces. While working at home frees up more time (no commute, no wasted time dealing with office politics or unnecessary meetings), you still have the flexibility to set your own schedule (at least to some degree), and you can put in a load of laundry or take a walk around the block or take a sick kid to the doctor during the day if you want -- you don't have to give up your evenings and weekends to make sure the company stays afloat.

Start out with a personal INVENTORY. Often this will yield some direction and focus to the business or job selection process. Assess yourself and your situation. Write a resume for yourself that includes your background, education, training as well as any particular on-the-job skills you possess that could possibly be used in a venture or job. Also look at your leisure-time activities and hobbies, because many businesses result from a person following their "passion." Ask yourself how much TIME you can realistically put into a business venture, given your present commitments.

Once you have determined the general type of home business or work at home job that you want to undertake, it is of critical importance that you do your homework to select the specific opportunity where you are going to make your INVESTMENT of time, effort and money in working at home.


Kirk Bannerman operates his own successful home based business and also coaches others seeking to start their own home based business. For more information visit his website at www.home-based-business-team.com.

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