Work at home doesn’t mean what it used to. Back in the olden days (yep, even older than me) there was this thing called the cottage industry. I won’t bore you with definitions, but suffice it to say that it has nothing to do with cottage cheese – unless, of course, you be making the cottage cheese in your back yard.
The Cottage Industry
You see, the cottage industry has a long and rich history. It’s all about working at home. In the olden days (the really olden days), that meant shearing the sheep and making your coat of wool. The textile industry is one industry where people did a lot of work at home. In fact, even during the mass movement toward industrialization, there were large factories that outsourced work to people in their homes. Those home workers comprised a large part of the overall workforce and came to be called the cottage industry.
The Internet has spawned a whole new system of cottage industry and many more opportunities for people to work at home. Many of those people are self employed entrepreneurs who just prefer being on their own (nothing wrong with that). Many others, still, are working for someone else from their home. And that’s the beauty of it. Even employees have greater flexibility and freedom than the factory workers of old.
Work at home opportunities range from freelance writing to medical billing, from assembling products to building websites, and a huge host of other types of jobs as well. There are as many Internet entrepreneurs starting their own websites and businesses online as their ever were in the brick-and-mortar world. The beauty of being an Internet entrepreneur is you can start your business from home and keep it going from there as well. You can home school your children while you work at home. You can take care of household chores in between working for your clients. Ergo, more flexibility and freedom to design your own lifestyle.
Tips, Tricks, And Advices
If you’ve ever even thought about working at home, starting your own business, or stepping out of the rat race even for a split second, let me encourage you to make that step. But don’t be foolish and just jump out there without a safety net. If you still work for the man, don’t tell him to screw off just yet. Wait until you’ve got your feet firmly planted on those dreams. Here’s a short list of things to do to prepare yourself for your own personal freedom while still working that day job:
- Start small - Do a little work on the side in the evenings while still working to see if you can handle the pressure of client commitments and juggling responsibilities;
- Do something you enjoy – Since you’ll be working two jobs for awhile you should make sure at least one of them is doing something you really like, and if you plan to work full-time in your own work-at-home job then you better make sure you enjoy doing it
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – It may not be Easter, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think like a bunny rabbit. Don’t just eat cabbage from one garden, honey. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Never, ever give up on your dreams.
- Don’t spend your work-at-home money – For at least the first year you will be working at home on the side. Your day job is still your bread and butter. Use the extra income you make by working at home to put back into your business to grow it some more. Spend it on advertising, buying equipment, paying part-time help, or whatever you need to grow the business.
- Be sure to plan – Don’t just muddle through. Set a goal and pursue it relentlessly. A good rule of thumb for quitting your day is to earn the equal of your daytime job income for at least three months in a row – even better, six months in a row. If you can do that then you know that you have a consistent level of income and if you stay on track and keep marketing then it should grow from there.
The Old Man