TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎10-03-2013 08:25 AM

Choosing to Work From Home

shutterstock_15563098.jpgPull up your Facebook home feed on any given day and I’d be willing to bet that you’ll see at least one or two advertisement for your friend’s home business. Small/Home businesses – especially direct sales businesses – are very common in the military community. It is getting increasingly harder to make ends meet on one income – especially that of a service member. Many military spouses have chosen to bridge the gap while simultaneously stressing the importance of staying home with their children – or simply saving the day care money - by starting their own home-based business.

 

Owning a home based business does more than just allow you to earn a living, it gives you the freedom to test your limits and see what you can accomplish. There are many benefits to working from home; low overhead, no need for childcare (though I would argue this one on most days), tax deductions, flexibility, safety, security, and it’s simple to relocate. Sounds like a military spouse’s dream! Right?

 

Before you jump in with both feet it is essential you realize that it is much harder than it seems if you intend to be truly successful and/or replace or generate a meaningful amount of income.

 

Working at home requires discipline. All too often individuals want the money but they do not want the work. Success takes work. Images of watching day-time TV or meeting the girls for lunch everyday must be set aside. Self-employed people must keep focused on setting up the business and sticking to deadlines. Remember, you have not said goodbye to the boss. The boss you have now is you, your customers, and your success.

 

If you work from home you must expect the unexpected. In other words, be prepared for PVT Murphy. You must be prepared to adjust your schedule at any given moment for any number of reasons - a sick child, a backed up drain, or an upset client.

 

You might have to give something up to work at home. Whether you have a full time job with a steady income or are just starting out and wanting to make some spending money you will have to invest either your time or your money. Remember millions don’t fall off of trees so expect to put something toward your business.

 

You must always be on top of your game. To run a business as well as manage a household takes determination and scheduling. You may not feel like you have a schedule, but take a look at your day/week and see how you are spending your time.

 

The reality is that tomorrow you will not wake up and “sign up” to work from home. Your paycheck will not be instant. Legitimate employers with home based jobs hire the same way traditional employers do. There will be an application process and possibly an interview or test. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a resume written that outlines your skills and experiences.

 

If you choose direct sales, your sign-up might be instant, but the money will not. You will have to work hard to plan parties and online sales. You will also have a lot of networking to do if you plan on making it a long term success. Plan your work and work your plan.

 

Lastly, if you choose to develop your own business concept, your work will encompass hours of research and development, marketing and promotion, and business planning.

 

I’m most certainly not trying to scare you about working from home. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Military life takes us through many twists and turns and I can always take my business with me.

 

INTERACT

 

Do you work from home? If so, what do you do?

 

What have you found is the biggest challenge of working from your home office?

 

What have you found is the biggest challenge of building your business?

Comments

BrianaHartzell's avatarBrianaHartzellOccasional Contributor

by BrianaHartzell ‎10-03-2013 01:23 PM

Biggest work from home challenges:

I miss the social interaction you get by working in an office! It is a blessing and a curse to have the house to yourself, you can be really productive but it can get a bit lonely!

 

I also have to set aside specific times to ensure I do not get distracted from the task at hand. For example, baking cookies in the middle of writing an article, normally means burnt cookies...  :)

Biggest work from home challenges:

I miss the social interaction you get by working in an office! It is a blessing and a curse to have the house to yourself, you can be really productive but it can get a bit lonely!

 

I also have to set aside specific times to ensure I do not get distracted from the task at hand. For example, baking cookies in the middle of writing an article, normally means burnt cookies...  :)

Tara Crooks's avatarTara CrooksContributor

by Tara Crooks ‎10-03-2013 01:27 PM

Briana,

I mean really, between bon-bons and cookies how do you find time to write articles? Just teasing! Yes, I completely have that same challenge. I separate tasks that are personal from those professional and make two lists. I try to carve out time in my calendar for personal tasks on Tues/Thurs but use M/W/F for full work days. When I get up and get dressed in the mornings I come up to my office, shut my door, and set a timer. That's so I make sure to take breaks. I even give myself a scheduled lunch. It's odd, but it works.

Tara

Briana,

I mean really, between bon-bons and cookies how do you find time to write articles? Just teasing! Yes, I completely have that same challenge. I separate tasks that are personal from those professional and make two lists. I try to carve out time in my calendar for personal tasks on Tues/Thurs but use M/W/F for full work days. When I get up and get dressed in the mornings I come up to my office, shut my door, and set a timer. That's so I make sure to take breaks. I even give myself a scheduled lunch. It's odd, but it works.

Tara

kathyv's avatarkathyvNew Member

by kathyv ‎10-16-2013 12:06 PM

Do you have any legit companies to WAH?  Typist, data entry, transcriptionist, survey taker, etc?  Thanks! :)

Do you have any legit companies to WAH?  Typist, data entry, transcriptionist, survey taker, etc?  Thanks! :)

TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAACommunity Manager

by Community Manager ‎10-16-2013 03:19 PM

Hi Kathy,

Welcome to the community. A long while back I wrote up a Field Problem(tm) on www.ArmyWIfeNetwork.com and did some research on this. I hope this list helps. It is an older list, so hopefully they're all still doing what they do now.

 

There are also many other places to look like www.guru.com - do a Google search for freelance work.

 

Online resources for job hunting:

http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home_spouseemployment

http://www.militaryspousejobsearch.org/msjs/app

http://www.milspouse.org

http://www.mscn.org

http://www.msccn.org

http://www.selfemployedweb.com/military-spouse-jobs.htm

 

Companies that hire “work from home”:

http://www.liveops.com

http://workaholics4hire.com/

http://www.workingsolutions.com/

 

Direct sales companies:

For a list of over 90 opportunities visit http://www.directsellingopportunities.com/search_opportunities  

 

Online resources for networking and mentorship:

http://www.wahm.com

http://www.dswa.org/

http://www.wahmtalkradio.com

http://www.internetbasedmoms.com

http://www.advertisingmoms.com

http://www.telecommutingmoms.com/

http://www.hbwm.com/

http://www.mommysplace.net

http://www.directsalesmoms.com

http://www.moneymakingmommy.com

Hi Kathy,

Welcome to the community. A long while back I wrote up a Field Problem(tm) on www.ArmyWIfeNetwork.com and did some research on this. I hope this list helps. It is an older list, so hopefully they're all still doing what they do now.

 

There are also many other places to look like www.guru.com - do a Google search for freelance work.

 

Online resources for job hunting:

http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home_spouseemployment

http://www.militaryspousejobsearch.org/msjs/app

http://www.milspouse.org

http://www.mscn.org

http://www.msccn.org

http://www.selfemployedweb.com/military-spouse-jobs.htm

 

Companies that hire “work from home”:

http://www.liveops.com

http://workaholics4hire.com/

http://www.workingsolutions.com/

 

Direct sales companies:

For a list of over 90 opportunities visit http://www.directsellingopportunities.com/search_opportunities  

 

Online resources for networking and mentorship:

http://www.wahm.com

http://www.dswa.org/

http://www.wahmtalkradio.com

http://www.internetbasedmoms.com

http://www.advertisingmoms.com

http://www.telecommutingmoms.com/

http://www.hbwm.com/

http://www.mommysplace.net

http://www.directsalesmoms.com

http://www.moneymakingmommy.com

Bree&ByronsMom's avatarBree&ByronsMomNew Member

by Bree&ByronsMom ‎11-13-2013 05:26 PM

I have been working from home for quite some time now for a company called Wake Up Now and I think the biggest challenge for me is; shutting down my office at the designated time I set for myself...As an Independent Business Owner that can be difficult because, I've always had a passion for helping people and when I was in corporate america the day is over when your employer says its over. Being able to work around my own schedule does have its benefits and I think financially it has allowed me to spend more time with my family and also generate an extra income at the same time. I had a brief stint with http://www.alpineaccess.com, but it was not a good fit for what I was trying to accomplish because, I wanted to set my own hours and dictate my paycheck. If anyone is interested in working with myself and other military spouses helping families save money on things you buy every day, without changing where or how you buy; please feel free to contact me @ 415.937.8112, email: wunaccess@gmail.com or check out the company website http://www.wunaccess.com. Its FREE TO JOIN to get the savings, but also has the opportunity to make a monthly income.

I have been working from home for quite some time now for a company called Wake Up Now and I think the biggest challenge for me is; shutting down my office at the designated time I set for myself...As an Independent Business Owner that can be difficult because, I've always had a passion for helping people and when I was in corporate america the day is over when your employer says its over. Being able to work around my own schedule does have its benefits and I think financially it has allowed me to spend more time with my family and also generate an extra income at the same time. I had a brief stint with http://www.alpineaccess.com, but it was not a good fit for what I was trying to accomplish because, I wanted to set my own hours and dictate my paycheck. If anyone is interested in working with myself and other military spouses helping families save money on things you buy every day, without changing where or how you buy; please feel free to contact me @ 415.937.8112, email: wunaccess@gmail.com or check out the company website http://www.wunaccess.com. Its FREE TO JOIN to get the savings, but also has the opportunity to make a monthly income.

USAF GI Jane's avatarUSAF GI JaneNew Member

by USAF GI Jane ‎02-01-2014 06:02 PM

I'm prior service and then 15+ years Corp America, however I always wanted to experience SAHM. In 2003 I left Corp America top of the executive ladder to work at home and it was not enough income to support my lifestyle. Went back to work outside the home for a few years and hated it. Money good but the lack of appreciation was unacceptable by me. I have strong work eithics, disciplined and a real "doer" or say get-it-done employee. In 2004 I met my company that focuses on Health & Wellness and helping families prevent sickness, disease and staying Well. I did not start working from home right away, In 2006 my job laid off 300 employees and I decided to learn more about my company to work from home and prepare for the unexpected. In advance I left the company and dabbled working from home. In 2009 I took the opportunity to work from home seriously and have been home full time every since. Now I help other moms make extra income too which oftentimes is more than the working spouse; anywhere from $26 - $60,000 yearly. It's fun and relaxing to give your hard work to yourself and reap the rewards while enjoying your time with family, friends, planning a night out and a day off with no one else's permission. We do work consistently Part-time or Full-time yet we also enjoy the time freedom and no driving and working from anywhere we live, anywhere. Not to mention building financial security for generations to come! 2014

I'm prior service and then 15+ years Corp America, however I always wanted to experience SAHM. In 2003 I left Corp America top of the executive ladder to work at home and it was not enough income to support my lifestyle. Went back to work outside the home for a few years and hated it. Money good but the lack of appreciation was unacceptable by me. I have strong work eithics, disciplined and a real "doer" or say get-it-done employee. In 2004 I met my company that focuses on Health & Wellness and helping families prevent sickness, disease and staying Well. I did not start working from home right away, In 2006 my job laid off 300 employees and I decided to learn more about my company to work from home and prepare for the unexpected. In advance I left the company and dabbled working from home. In 2009 I took the opportunity to work from home seriously and have been home full time every since. Now I help other moms make extra income too which oftentimes is more than the working spouse; anywhere from $26 - $60,000 yearly. It's fun and relaxing to give your hard work to yourself and reap the rewards while enjoying your time with family, friends, planning a night out and a day off with no one else's permission. We do work consistently Part-time or Full-time yet we also enjoy the time freedom and no driving and working from anywhere we live, anywhere. Not to mention building financial security for generations to come! 2014