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.




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?

Limitless Contributor

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
Limitless Contributor


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.



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

Guest Author
Guest Author

Hi Kathy,

Welcome to the community. A long while back I wrote up a Field Problem(tm) on 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 - do a Google search for freelance work.


Online resources for job hunting:


Companies that hire “work from home”:


Direct sales companies:

For a list of over 90 opportunities visit  


Online resources for networking and mentorship:

New Member

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, 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: or check out the company website Its FREE TO JOIN to get the savings, but also has the opportunity to make a monthly income.

New Member

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

New Member

Has anyone had any experience being an eBay or Poshmark seller?

Angela Caban USAA

Hi Adonia!


I personally have not had any experience with either eBay or Poshmark.  Thanks for posting in Community and I am sure someone here has surely had some experience with either one. Best of luck!

Super Mom 3000
New Member

I had a 'normal' office job I did from home for 8 years. As a Healthcare IT project manager, I didn't have an office to go to, just software project teams all over the world and hospitals in the US to work with. It was my dream job! There is no way all the needed resource talent can live close to one location....

My kids went to daycare full time just a few miles from home. I never missed commuting and I always felt connected with the phone, email and chat all day.

I never want to work in an office again. :)



I was active duty for four years - then college - then a career in law enforcement that spanned 25 years.  My wife also retired from law enforcement, but immediately started a consulting business working from home.  Three years later, we are both working from home (me part-time) so have some experience.  I'm an employee for a local gov't and my wife is both consulting (private contractor) and working as an employee for the same local gov't.  Our jobs with the local gov't are "temporary" and they provide no office space, so we have converted an unused bedroom into our home office. 


The potential is there to save thousands of dollars every year if you explore the tax benefits associated with working from home.  This will mean different things in different situations, but if you have a home business or work from home as an employee, expenses and even being able to deduct the use of part of your home for a dedicated office can substantially help the bottom line.  You may also be able to deduct a portion of your utilities including internet, power, water, and phone. 


In our situation, we needed office furniture, computers (for the consulting business), an upgraded router, upgraded/faster internet, no data limit phones, etc.  Almost all deductible!  ...and, don't forget the mileage for your car.  We use Quick Books; they have a home office version that is pretty neat and guess what?  It's deductible!


Don't forget about insurance.  If you have clients in your home, explore getting an Umbrella policy to protect you from Tort claims should someone slip and fall on one of the kid's toys.  They aren't that expensive - ours is through USAA - and peace of mind is preserved!


All-in-all, do your research, there are lots of resources available online and talk to a tax consultant or attorney so you don't miss out on possible deductions.  


Good Luck!