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In tough economic times, conventional jobs can be hard to find. A home-based business could be the answer for many people. Making Money from Home compares the cost of working outside the home with the benefits of working from home. It provides readers with the tools they need to run a successful home business, such as time management advice, details on the foundations of a solid business, tips on marketing goods and services, legal issues to consider, and information on how to use the Internet effectively and how...
In tough economic times, conventional jobs can be hard to find. A home-based business could be the answer for many people. Making Money from Home compares the cost of working outside the home with the benefits of working from home. It provides readers with the tools they need to run a successful home business, such as time management advice, details on the foundations of a solid business, tips on marketing goods and services, legal issues to consider, and information on how to use the Internet effectively and how to create a business plan. Tyndale House Publishers
Let me begin with a brief look at the "why" of running a home-based business to show you the benefits, because your motivation and belief in the benefits are what keep you going when the going gets tough. But then we'll quickly shift gears to the more essential and practical how-to suggestions on the following pages.
Like any job, working at home offers both advantages and disadvantages. In the days and months ahead, times of discouragement will come. You may struggle with prioritization and time management. In addition to those burdens, the physical and emotional demands of promoting your business can drain you. You may begin to wonder if all your hard work is worthwhile, and you may even be tempted to give up your plans. In those moments, turn back to this chapter, reexamine the many benefits of working at home, and redouble your efforts to succeed. Remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for.
Your Home Can Be the Center of Your Life
There's no place like home. I believe that with all my heart. Home can be the center of our lives, not just the place we come to recover from our lives. We can create an environment that fosters creativity and launch notjust one narrow home business but a broad range of income-generating activities.
My first home-based business was in marketing communications: writing press releases, brochures, and ad campaigns. It was hard to get people to take me seriously as I tried to compete with the big-city advertising agencies. But I had a talent for writing and was absolutely determined to be a stay-at-home mother. I landed my largest client when I walked into his office wearing a dark pinstriped business suit and pushing my newborn in her stroller. This man said he was impressed with my motivation and touched by my priorities.
Over the past twenty years, I've launched countless different moneymaking enterprises. Some were dismal failures; others were wildly successful. Most were somewhere in between. As of this writing, I have a dozen income sources. Granted, some provide only $20 here and there. But hey, $20 is $20!
Let me illustrate. While away on a recent missions trip to Mozambique, I received checks from three businesses, totaling $800. The amazing part is that it was all passive income from businesses I had set up on autopilot on the Internet.
How would you like to earn $800 a week? Would you be thrilled with $800 a month? Maybe you plan to become a business tycoon and earn $800 a day. It's up to you! But whatever your financial goals, I'm here to tell you that anyone can make extra money or have a full-time career from home if he or she is willing to work smart.
For almost twenty years, I've been a leader in promoting home-based businesses for women. I have spoken around the country on the topic of women's entrepreneurship, including two events at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and three conferences hosted by Senator John McCain. I have loudly proclaimed my firm conviction that everyman and woman in America should develop some creative way to make extra money from home. And, under appropriate learning conditions, children, too, should develop those skills.
You Can Be Available for Your Children and Others
By working from home, you can avoid the hassles and costs of day care (which are far more substantial than most people realize) and enjoy spending time with your children. Even if you have to hire a babysitter to watch your kids in your home while you work, you'll be available at a moment's notice if needed. And you can keep a watchful eye on all that goes on throughout the day rather than sitting at a desk wondering if your children are okay.
My older daughter, Leah, is now in college. She was homeschooled much of her life, and I was a stay-at-home mom throughout her entire childhood. Although I was often extremely busy working forty hours a week, and even more on my businesses, I was always available when she truly needed me. Won't it be nice, when your children reach adulthood, to look back and say the same?
Perhaps you have a disabled family member or are caring for elderly parents. Maybe someone in your home has a chronic illness, and you need to be available for doctor and other appointments. Working from home allows you to be there to care for them and gives you the flexibility to take time off during the day, setting your own schedule.
You Can Be a Positive Role Model for Your Children Some would argue, "I'm too busy raising my children to run a home business."
I counter, "Don't you think it just makes sense to include your children in your business so they learn to be entrepreneurial and self-sufficient under God's sufficiency? Don't you think that training them to run their own businesses might prove to be more significant than running them around to various afterschool activities?"
Fortunately neither of my daughters has the mind-set that some corporation is going to give her a paycheck and job security for the rest of her life. That is an absolute delusion. We need to train our children for the real world, where wise people use the gifts God has given them to mind their own businesses-even if they also have careers. Both of my daughters, who are now nineteen and thirteen, have already had many moneymaking businesses. They've done everything from making bookmarks and jewelry to running my book table and processing credit-card orders from my Web site.
When my oldest daughter was fifteen, she organized a teen missions conference that attracted seven hundred people. I had very little involvement. How did she know how to do that? She's been working at Christian conferences since she was two years old! Leah has also raised thousands of dollars for her various missions trips by making and selling crystal bracelets.
In addition to being able to watch my children grow while I worked from home, they also watched me grow as a businesswoman. By observing me model entrepreneurship, both of my daughters learned valuable business skills.
You Can Help Shoulder the Financial Load
Not only can you work from home; you should. With few exceptions, it's unwise to rely solely on one income source in today's unstable economy. Now more than ever, I thank God that I have multiple streams of income from my various home-based enterprises. All over the world, mothers not only nurture their families, but they also play a vital role in ensuring the economic survival of their families. I've seen this with my own eyes as I've traveled worldwide-from the subsistence farmer in Africa bent over her crops with a baby slung on her back to the Asian mother selling items in the local market while children sit nearby, often working as well.
Women throughout history have contributed to the economic survival of their families. We can do the same, and if we exercise wisdom, we can do so in a way that won't detract from our role as nurturers. In fact, working from home will enhance all of the roles we play and increase our stature in the eyes of our family members. My children not only love me, but they also openly admire me. How can you put a price tag on that?
You Can Enjoy a Sense of Accomplishment
One of the most important things I hope my children have learned from observing me making money from home is that productive work is not a punishment; in fact, it's inherently rewarding. Many of us have experienced that exhilarating feeling of working hard to complete a project or the joy of beholding something we've made with our own hands. A home business will provide abundant opportunities for you to enjoy that exhilaration.
As the old saying goes, "If Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." It's equally true that when Mamma is happily enjoying a sense of accomplishment, everyone around her benefits. I think I've modeled a wonderful lifestyle for my daughters. It's a lifestyle I'm quite certain they'll choose to replicate.
You Can Be Your Own Boss
Many people fear dependence on a corporation because they have had the rug pulled out from under them or have seen it happen to so many of their colleagues. The days when you could rely on a company to look out for your best interests are long gone. While you're working diligently for XYZ Corporation, it's entirely possible they're filling out your pink slip. Once you establish your own home-based business, you'll have the pleasure of signing your own paycheck. And when you think you deserve a raise, you can give yourself one.
When you work for an employer, you're required to work when, where, and how they choose. When you have your own home business, you have more control over when, where, and how you work. Of course, you're still responsible to your customers, and there will be crunch times when you don't have a choice about how many hours you put in. But there is usually much more time flexibility when you are your own boss.
Once in a while when I'm struggling with some aspect of my home business, one of my relatives will joke, "Donna, you should go back to banking." But we all know I'm completely unemployable! I've been my own boss for too long, and I don't think I could ever go back to having someone else tell me what to do with my time.
You Can Continue Your Career
Many women spend years training for a career before their children arrive on the scene. Teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and many other professionals can quite easily transfer their hard-earned skills to a home-based business. Knowing that your career isn't on hold will give you satisfaction, even though the majority of your time may be spent with family. This is especially important if you want to resume your before-children career after the children have grown.
The amazing thing about the Internet is how easy it now is for a woman to stay current and relevant in her field while mothering and earning money from home. These types of opportunities were hard to come by when I wrote my first home-based business book. Now they abound. Let's hear it for technology!
There Are Opportunities for Tremendous Success
When you work nine to five for someone else's company, to a large extent your boss controls how well you do. But when you work for yourself, only your ability and determination set the limits, assuming you start with a great product or service people want. Maybe there's something you've always dreamed of doing. Now is your chance to do it! You may aspire only to make a little extra money, but there's always the chance that your "silly idea" will catch on, and you'll find yourself transformed into a very successful entrepreneur. Someone has to think up those great ideas. Why not you?
I know a number of Christian women who earn six-figure incomes thanks to their home businesses. Yes, you read that right. Six figures! I even know women who've earned more than a million dollars, and one woman who has earned several million. With few exceptions, these women did not set out to achieve such tremendous success. They were just doing what they loved, and the success followed. Put another way, they were walking in obedience, and God's blessings chased them down the street and overtook them. It could happen to you!
The Top Ten Ways to Avoid Scams
1. Surf with caution. Understand that the mainstreaming of the Internet has created both good news and bad news for aspiring home-based business entrepreneurs. Good news: Opportunities abound. Bad news: Scams abound.
2. Beware advertisements. No legitimate company on the planet will ever advertise to hire an employee to work from home. Not gonna happen. Never. No, not ever. Why? Very simple: If a company had a legitimate interest in hiring employees to work from home, there would be an instantaneous pileup of current employees and their circles of influence. The very fact that a company is advertising work from home is your first clue that it's a scam.
3. Never buy a list or directory of companies that supposedly hire people to work from home. These are phony! Once and for all: The answer to the question of who will hire you, keep you secure, pay you lots of money, and grant you the freedom to set your own hours from home is no one. You don't need a list or directory of no one.
4. Choose freedom or security. I constantly hear from people who want the freedom of working from home as well as the perceived security of a job. Freedom and security are always a trade. Will you give up some of your freedom for security? Or will you give up some of your security in return for freedom? You'll never have both in full measure. Accept reality: You cannot ha e your cake and eat it too.
5. Understand the role of oDesk and similar outsourcing Web sites. In the introduction, I mentioned the emergence of Web sites like oDesk and, in one sense, this is an example of companies looking for people to work from home. And yes, many Americans are trying to capitalize on this new trend. Some are even succeeding. However, for the most part, companies who post on oDesk aren't "hiring"; they're simply outsourcing on a project-by-project basis for the express purpose of not hiring employees. So although some opportunities exist, I believe sites like oDesk are actually bad news for any North American woman who wants to work from home and is hoping she might find someone to hire her. If you thought the competition was fierce when millions of Americans were looking to work from home, now millions more people around the globe are in the mix. You'll ha e to compete with people who are willing to work for a few dollars an hour, and it's nearly impossible to build a successful North American business like that. Now, if you're willing to mo e overseas, that's a whole new ball game, and oDesk can become your very best friend. That's well beyond the scope of this book, but if it's something you're interested in pursuing, read The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.
6. Know the code. As soon as you hear phrases like "more work than I can handle" or "looking to train someone" or "just want to help others duplicate my success," run for the door. Or click the mouse. It's a scam. If these people really had more work than they could handle, their relatives and friends would be beating down the door to get in on it. But since it's a scam and they've already driven away all their friends and relatives, they're on the Internet trying to scam you. Don't be fooled.
7. Beware whirlwind friendships. There are some unethical people whose entire marketing strategy consists of befriending people just to recruit them for this, that, or the other "business opportunity." Over the years a number of people have swept into my life with a friendship that felt more like a whirlwind romance. In every instance it turned out they were in a network marketing business. As soon as they discovered I wasn't interested, the whirlwind friendship ended, and they mo ed on to the next person.
8. Check it out. Don't rely on information provided by the person trying to sell you. Turn to Google, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to verify the claims and promises.
9. Take your time. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision on the spot. If it's a great opportunity today, it will be a great opportunity a week from today.
10. Big dollars should raise a big red flag. It shouldn't cost more than $5 to $1, to launch a business from home.
Excerpted from Making Money from Home by donna partow Copyright © 2010 by Donna Partow. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Part 1 Foundations for a Home-Based Business 5
1 Discover the Advantages of Working from Home 9
2 Pillars for Long-Term Success 21
3 Your Home Office 35
4 Your Business Plan 47
Part II Exploring Your Options 59
5 What Home-Based Business Is Right for You? 63
6 Global Electronic Flea Markets 75
7 Direct Sales and Network Marketing 97
8 Information Products 109
9 Affiliate Marketing 125
Part III Business Basics 135
10 Legal and Financial Issues 139
11 Mastering Self-Management 153
Part IV Marketing Your Business 169
12 Everyone Needs a Blog 173
13 Social Networking 189
14 Article Marketing 197
15 Strategies to Keep Your Business Growing 209
Part V Family First 225
16 Balancing the Needs of Your Children and Your Business 229
17 Your Spouse and Your Business 243
Postscript: Godspeed on Your Journey 253
Posted June 30, 2010
Making Money From Home by Donna Partow is written from the perspective of a Christian woman who has been successful at managing several home-based businesses. Her advice is based on what has contributed to her success. This book is directed at moms who have toyed with the idea of working from home but are unsure how to choose and set up their own business.
The book is separated into four parts: Foundations of a Home-Based Business, Exploring Your Options, Business Basics, Marketing Your Business, and Family First. Each chapter concludes with questions to help the reader reflect on what the chapter was about and to help them apply what they have learned in their creation of a home business.
I liked that the author included websites and additional resources for the reader to do further research on the topics addressed in the book. At times though, I felt that she was peddling her website since it was mentioned periodically. She also included tips and stories from other home-based business owners.
Besides addressing more traditional work at home businesses (such as direct sales), she also included possible sources of income that I had never really thought of before. Examples included selling informational products such as e-books, special reports, and audio files. She also included information on affiliate marketing. I did feel she focused mostly on business owners' online presence. Very little information was provided about the legalities (zoning, trademarks, permits, and regulations) of owning your own business so more research would be necessary if you were a prospective business owner.
Blogging moms (including those who do not monetize their blog or own a business) will find her chapter on blogging full of useful information. She addresses possible post topics, tips for great blog posts, and SEO.
This book serves as an overview of how to start up your own business. If you already have your own business, this book can help you figure out if you could be doing more to make your business prosper. While no magic answers are supplied about how to become rich, you will find great tips to help you get planning on starting your own business and tips on how to balance your business with your family life once your business is up and running.
*I was provided a copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network in order to write an honest and accurate review. No other compensation was or will be received.
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Posted July 9, 2010
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