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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Questions you can ask yourself on working at home

Can you replace your income working at home?

I get this question a lot from my listeners and readers. The easy answer has to be Yes, you can, but, I usually like to find out a little more about the person before I start handing out easy answers.

What is your current income?

I have a good friend in Gaylord who was only making about $150 a week working part time. She easily replaced and increased her income with a home based business in about six months.

Then I have a niece who earns $37,000 a year working for the state. Could she replace her income? Yes, with some major effort, creativity and perseverance she could. But it would likely take much longer than six months.

What would you like to do to work from home ?

I’ve gained a lot of perspective and understanding in my years in the work at home mom community. Some business ideas have great earning potential, some have limited income potential and some ideas in my humble opinion have pretty crappy potential.

So if you ask me if you can do this or that and replace your income, my answer will depend a lot on what the ‘this or that’ may be.

What are you willing to give up to work at home?

If you enjoy a high income and you have children you’re trying to get home to, working to build up a business that will replace that income while keeping up with the full time job isn’t really a good idea. It usually doesn’t leave much time for the kids.

So making a transition to working at home full time will usually involve giving up some lifestyle.

My niece who makes thirty seven grand a year also enjoys terrific health benefits. She is also not alone in the fact that she has built up her lifestyle to meet her present income. This means that her house and car payments rely on her present income. For her to decide that she would stay home full time – it would mean giving something up.

There are exceptions and you could be one.

I worked my home business part time for four years while still working full time and eventually replaced my income in doing so. Truthfully though, I didn’t start out with that expectation. I thought I was just working to earn some extra money to pay the bills and ended up falling in love with it.

The thing to realize is that I am a single Mom with one home schooled teenager. This is quite a bit different from the mom who is juggling three kids and a hubby or even another single Mom with a very small child. The high wire balancing act worked for me because I didn’t have to get up nights for feedings, get up early for school routines or race around town keeping up with extra curricular activities.

If you want to make the leap to working at home full time, do realize that you’ll need to make some adjustments. If you’ve painted yourself into a corner with your income, you may have to design a transition that takes a couple years rather than just a couple of weeks. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be:

Sacrifice creature comforts, not the kids.

I’m all for sacrificing a car or giving up getting your nails done to be able to stay home full time with the kids. I’m not at all wild about the parent who pushes the kids aside so that they can make more money now so that someday they can spend more time with them.

No matter how you slice it up, time today is more important to a child than time tomorrow ever will be.

About the author: Kelly McCausey is the host of Work at Home Moms Talk Radio, a weekly internet radio show and podcast for Moms who work at home or would like to. ArticlesFactory

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