She Must Be Crazy
by Liz Folger
An Excerpt From Her Book, "The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide To Making Money From Home" (Prima Publishing 2000)
The thought that you actually like your job can make others shake their heads and tell you right to your face that you're a complete wacko (they're just jealous). But what's really crazy is that many of us don't put the two together - our special interest and how to make money at it.
Maybe you graduated from high school and went to college because that's what everyone else was doing. You received your degree in whatever and worked wherever, not really liking it but feeling stuck here. For some women, the only time they found out what it was they liked to do was when they decided to stay home and raise their children. What makes you tick has always been a part of you. You may have forgotten it exists, but it's there inside of you waiting to be discovered once more.
No Skills? Think Again
You may be saying to yourself, "This home business idea sounds great, but I don't have any skills." Everyone has skills. If you're a mom, you have skills, believe me.
Sometime, as mothers, we tend to forget that once upon a time we had another life and we did things we enjoyed. Don't let having kids stop you from having a life. Find an area of interest and reserve a few hours a week for yourself. If it would help, start to attend classes at your local adult-learning school or college. Find a mentor or start apprenticing with someone. Maybe you feel the lack of education would hinder you. Well, if you have your own business, you're the boss. Nobody can tell you that they're not going to hire you because you don't have a degree
You may have been doing something all your life that you could turn into a business. Teachers become tutors, secretaries become desktop publishers and word processors, stay-at-home moms become bookkeepers, and nurses become writers for health publications. The possibilities are unlimited. However, don't get hung up on doing something because you have been doing it a long time. Do it only if it's something you really want to do.
When you're thinking about the business you would like to start, keep in mind that service-oriented businesses are the simplest to start. More than half of the businesses that are run by women are service businesses, such as word processing, accounting, bookkeeping, and calligraphy. Why? Because there is little or no inventory, which means less money that you have to pay out of your pocket to get your venture started. You will also find that people who do not have the time or knowledge to do a particular task themselves will pay someone else to do it for them. Which means you. Count on it: If you love it and you're good at it, there will be a demand for your business.
Please remember this: A computer isn't going to magically make a business for you. Don't discourage yourself by thinking that because of the booming computer industry, the only way you can possibly make money in your home is by using a computer. If you enjoy working with a computer, then you may be an ideal candidate for starting a business as a word processor or newsletter publisher. If you can type a zillion words a minute but hate it, then don't do it. Only start a computer-oriented business because you love it. A computer is great for keeping in touch with other work-at-home moms (WAHMs) and keeping track of tax records, but it doesn't have to be the focus of your business.
Make A List
I've heard from many a mom, and have experienced myself, the frustrations of not knowing what business to start. You need to set a goal you can dream about and eventually reach. Right now, get a piece of paper, a pen, and a timing device. Give yourself five minutes and start writing down home business ideas that interest you. I know you have thought of them. Don't let that pen leave the paper; just start brainstorming and see what appears.
Have you found a few ideas that really sound like a lot of fun? Fun is the key word here, because if it sounds like torture you probably won't stay in the business long. Start researching each idea that interests you. Is there already a business similar to your idea, and if so, how is it doing? If there are no such businesses, why not? Have you found a gold mine of an idea, or have other people tried that business and failed? If so, why? Was there no market, or was the owner just not cut out to do that sort of business? It may feel like I'm interrogating you, but in the end, if you take the time to answer all these questions, your business will shine that much brighter.
Don't become depressed if ideas aren't coming fast and furious. It may take a period of soul searching and research to come up with the perfect home business for you. A great book for helping you figure out what it is you enjoy doing is called, "The Artist Way" (Tarcher/Putnam, 1992) by Julie Cameron and Mark Bryan. Just keep reading all you can on self-employment and talk to other home business owners. This may take some time, so be patient and enjoy your search.
Liz Folger is a Work-at-Home Expert and author of The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide to Making Money from Home.
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