A few years ago, I was stuck in a rut, and really unhappy with my life. I was over-educated, under-paid, and barely making it by. I truly had no idea what to do next, and I felt completely lost.
One night, I fell asleep, and had a dream that I feel more like a vision of the future: I was a mom running a successful business from home. In this dream, I felt a tremendous amount of joy that I had never experienced in reality. When I woke up, I knew that I needed to become that person.
Ever since that dream, I have been hustling to become the best version of myself, and I am happy to say that I am at least 75% there. Now, I work from home full-time, and I feel completely confident that I will never have to go back to finding a “real” job again.
Focus on Something You are Passionate About
There are lots of different career paths that will allow you to work from home. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best way for you to know where to start is to ask yourself what you already feel passionate about. It is extremely important to feel passionate about the work you do from home, because you need to be self-motivated. Try to brain storm ideas on how you can turn your passion into profit.
Focus on Your Natural Talents
One of the best ways to find a career working from home is to start with your natural talents, and find a way to monetize it. Maybe you are great at cooking, singing, drawing, fixing cars, or computer science. The possibilities are limitless.
Here are three real-life examples:
All my life, I was reading books, writing stories, and reading “how to write” books. I got straight A’s in English class, and I was told all my life that I was good at writing. Now, I took those skills and made it my job.
One of my friends is gifted in music. We met in the 8th grade, and even back then, he was a total genius who could pick up an instrument and learn how to play. Now, he charges $75 per hour to give private music lessons in his home studio.
Another friend of mine has an amazingly pleasant voice. He received compliments on it all his life, and one day, he Googled “how to make money with your voice.” Today, he has narrated several audiobooks, and he is a YouTube narrator, podcaster, and voice actor.
Do Your Research to See What’s Out There
You would be shocked at how much information is available out there for even the most obscure career paths. My brother, John, realized that he wants to leave his successful career in Biochemistry in order to help give motivational speeches to children who are being bullied.
When he first told his friends about his plan, they looked at him like he had two heads. Even though I fully supported his decisions, I still thought, “How in the world is he going to do that?” Well…Turns out there are courses online that teach you to do that. We had no idea they even existed until he searched for them.
So, no matter how outlandish your dream may seem, start doing some research to find examples of other people doing it. Try to see if there is any kind of training, course, or YouTube content that will teach you how to begin that career.
Make a Plan, and Have Stepping Stones
Even though I had a natural talent for writing, it still took me several years to make it my job. When I first started selling articles, I was not making enough to support myself full-time. I still had to work a day job, and wrote at night. Then, I transitioned to selling on eBay, and writing on the side. Once I built up my portfolio, I began receiving e-mails from people who wanted to work with me. Rejections turned into “yes”, and things snowballed from there.
It did not happen overnight. I had to use stepping stones to get to where I needed to go. Remember that every small effort towards your goal is going to make a big impact in the long run.
Calculate the Numbers
Unfortunately, a lot of people make the mistake of choosing a work-from-home gig that will never pay enough money. For example, I used to make and crafts on Etsy. However, after all of the time and money spent on materials, I realized that I would be making less than minimum wage. These ideas may have been fun, but they were not sustainable.
Try to Fill a Need for Customers
The best kinds of work-from-home businesses fulfill a need that people have. No one is going to be willing to give you money for a product or service unless they actually need it. This is why it’s important for you to do your market research to see if there is a really need in the industry.
For example, I have one friend who worked for years as a dog groomer at a major pet store chain. When she became a single mom and began to raise her son, she decided to convert her basement into her own grooming studio. She had the skills necessary to do an amazing job, and she offered prices that were less than the competition. Now, she has so many clients, she is fully booked. There are more people who need their dog groomed than there are hours in a day.
Do Not Fall For Pyramid Schemes
This one is so important. Please, please, please do not fall for a pyramid scheme that promises that you can work from home and make millions by selling to your family and friends, or by having parties and demonstrations. These are scams, and far too many stay-at-home moms lose hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you would like to know more about pyramid schemes, please watch this video on the TopTenz YouTube channel called 10 Pyramid Schemes That Went Horribly Wrong.
Tell Your Friends, and Ignore the Haters
Instead of hiding your dreams all to yourself, don’t be afraid to let your friends and family know that you are on a journey to work from home. Some of them may scoff, and try to tell you that it’s not possible. But if you have found other mentors and examples of people who have succeeded in your chosen field, stay confident in yourself. You know the research better than anyone else who is judging based on their own personal bias.
The more people who know about your dream, the better. You never know when someone may connect you with someone who can help.
Choose a Path That is Sustainable
I have seen far too many people try to “get rich quick” from internet gimmicks that are short-lived. If you rely on manipulating algorithms, they are likely to change in the blink of an eye. So, instead of jumping on a bandwagon, try to figure out a work-from-home career that will be around forever.
For example, I know that I can continue to be a writer for as long as my hands and brain are working. I plan go keep writing, even into my old age. Writers have been around for thousands of years, and not even AI can replace us. (Hopefully.)
Last, and certainly not least- Make sure you have fun along the way. Even if you cannot achieve the dream of working from home, at least you tried. More often than not, even just attempting to do this will bring a lot of joy to your life. You will learn a lot, meet new people, and have a great time.
Shannon Quinn is the editor-in-chief of InspiringHome.org