Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It Can be Done!

So last week I talked about what to stay away from when looking for a job to do from home. There are so many scams out there, what really is legit?

I began to homeschool in grade 6. My mom pulled my brother and I out because the school kept passing us into each grade. In grade 5 I had trouble reading and didn't even know what vowel sounds were, the sound of a long a or a short a, I had no clue. My brother was having more difficult trouble. His grade 3 teacher told my mom that she had to keep the smarter children entertained so if my brother couldn't keep up, oh well. That wasn't good enough for my mom.

In 1998, our first year of homeschooling, it was my mom's second year of staying home. My dad was an automotive mechanic and worked Monday to Friday, he came home for lunch. My parents dealt with financial issues, at one point needing to claim bankruptcy. Although my brother and I wished to do things, I was content with how things were. As the years went by we could do more and more things.

What helped was my mom was able to create a small business for herself to help out. Granted, each month she broke even and sometimes made a little money, but it helped with bills and the little things we could do. My uncle had thrown her a welder's hat and told her to try and make a decent one. She went through a few prototypes and finally came to one pattern that my uncle liked. There were no pressure points, no shrinking, my uncle liked them and was her first customer.

She made welder's hats for nearly 7 years. I remember my brother and I going with her to farmer's markets (as she also did plaques/wood-working/knitting) and as we got older, my brother and I did crafts too that we could sell to earn a little spending money. My mom would also go to welder's supply places and even sell to welding companies.

Granted, for my mom, this was not a get rich job. It helped her to be able to stay at home to homeschool my brother and I and at the same time bring in a little income to help us be able to take swimming lessons, travel to different towns, go on field trips with other homeschoolers. I always looked forward to the end of our school year. Our school board would have a year end party at Sylvan Lake. I loved it. I looked forward to it every year.

What my mom did was start her own business with something that she knew people would want. If there is something you can offer that you know other people would like, then you have just begun the first step. And that is finding something that you are talented at doing. Some people knit, some people paint, some people sell things like Avon and Regal. These things are okay, just stay away from those internet scams and you will be okay.

Starting your own business is never easy. The first few years are hard. Each province/state has its own procedure to follow when you create your own business. Research this on Google for your respected area to see what you need to do. My mom didn't need a business license because she was from a small town, but in Edmonton she would have needed one.

I am a computer technician and I have considered fixing computers from my own home, but ultimately I know that in pursuing such a thing will be difficult. I would have to work through the day, maybe even evenings, for my clients. I would have to go to their home, so what would I do with my children? For me this doesn't work. I have this skill, but it is not feasible to do from home, not yet anyways. Perhaps when the kids are in school, then maybe I can do that.

But what if you don't have a talent that you can use to create a product? What then? Ever heard of Avon? Regal? Discovery Toys? Usborne Books? Pampered Chef? Tupperware? These are companies that you can sell for and earn a little profit. They are not a get rich type of employment and they do ask for a fee upon applying, but they are very legit. You will need to ask yourself if you are out-going, a people person, willing to get out and about and make connections to sell these products, willing to be a host for parties. These types of jobs do require a person to be out-going and willing to create relationships with clients in order to sell these products. Upon deciding what company you want to go with, figure out what your interests are. Are you into makeup? What about toys or books? Do you enjoy cooking? In answering these interest questions will help you decide what company to sell for. If you enjoy makeup, then it would make no sense to sign up with Pampered Chef. If you like children's toys and the educational value, it makes no sense to sign up with Regal. Find a company with the same interests that you have and find a consultant that you can inquire about becoming a consultant yourself. Remember, these do require a fee to sign up for these companies. You get a consultants package to start you off.

So, you don't have a talent you can create to sell a product, you are not a people person, what other options are there? In my experience the field becomes limited, but not impossible. You can babysit, run a day home (although it would be best if you got yourself accredited), even look in the classified for positions from home. This last one worked for me. An ad for Pizza73 asked for a home service person to take orders in the evenings. This one was the perfect job for me to do from home. I had an interview at their office so I know it was legit. They also PAY for training, something those online scams tell YOU to pay for.

If you have a creative imagination, you can do anything from home. You can help those in your community, especially seniors, take them for a ride to the store, help them around their house. Believe me, after volunteering at a senior's lodge for 6 years, they really don't mind children and love the company of someone who is willing to spend time with them.

If all else fails, find a part time job in the evenings. You can stay home during the day and your spouse can look after the children in the evening.

Remember, working from home is not going to make things easy. For a time, you will have to sacrifice things to make the ability to stay at home work. That will mean not going out as much as you once did, maybe giving up that second vehicle (unless like us you have a loan with it, in which case, spend less gas money on it). Find a way to minimize your bills. We have yet to do this, but if we place our house insurance together with our two vehicles, we can get a discount rate for all three. Also, consider if you really need that smart phone. Would a regular cell phone work better? It would be cheaper since you wouldn't have a data plan. And consider, if you have a cell phone, do you use your house phone? We don't have a land line, just our cell phones. What about TV? How often do you watch all those channels in your packages? What package are your paying for? Are you willing to go to a cheaper package? We got rid of our TV. All we have is internet. But we don't mind, it actually frees up time to do other things instead of sitting in front of the TV.

If you really want to stay at home, sit down with your spouse and take a look at your finances. Are you able to live off one income? What things can you eliminate that are not necessary? Perhaps using thrift stores more often then brand name stores. The possibilities are endless, it is a matter of whether you are willing to make those choices to better your life and your families life.