Most people I’ve spoken to have always wanted to start working from home. They’ve either seen other people work from home and thought it was a good idea or have seen an ad about it and were hesitant (and there are scams out there, be careful!). Working from home seems like a ‘fairy tale’ to most - “Something people talk about and some people are able to do, but not something I could do myself.”
So I’ve asked these people why they couldn’t do it themselves and there are two main reasons that stick out to me:
The fears manifest themselves in different ways. What if I can’t do the work? What if I don’t earn enough money? What if I get fired? What if I’m not good enough? At the end of the day, a lot of people aren’t confident in themselves, so they don’t get started in the first place.
Let me answer these fears one at a time.
There are literally hundreds of different things you can do online. If you can’t do any programming, you can write an article, or design a Powerpoint presentation. If you currently can’t do any of the hundreds of different jobs available online, then learn a new skill. You can find thousands of tutorials here. It can be as simple as learning how to use Microsoft Excel or Photoshop. If you gain even basic knowledge in any of those areas (as well as possibly thousands more), there is work that you can do online. You just have to look for it - and if you don’t know where to look, start on my resources page. I’m not giving you a lot of room for excuses.
When I first started working from home, I was earning $5 per hour, which, if I worked full-time would translate to $200 per week, roughly around Php 10,000 a week. Not bad for someone working at home. After a month, I started charging more and I kept increasing my rates as I gained more confidence and experience. The absolute lowest I’ve seen people do work for is $2/hour, which would translate to around Php 15,000 ($300) per month - mid-entry level for a lot of jobs in the Philippines. And as time goes by, you can increase your rates and if that isn’t enough, work more hours. You don’t need to commute back and forth to work and you’re in the comfort of your home anyway.
This fear exists whether you work from home or not. The good thing about working online is that a lot of work-from-homers work with multiple companies. If you get fired from one client, learn your lesson and move on to another. As long as you do good work, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding new jobs. And if you don’t do good work, practice and get better until you can do good work.
There’s a way to avoid getting yourself in this situation - don’t overpromise. If you know basic Excel, don’t say that you’re an Excel expert. If you need to learn more about Excel, take one of the Excel courses (udemy link). There will be times when the work you do might not meet your client’s expectations - that’s normal. If you keep clear communication with your client, however, your client will understand - just be honest and tell them when there’s something you can’t do.
People make excuses because they’re scared. I know this from first hand experience. Whenever I’m scared of doing something and don’t want to admit it, I come up with excuses. Common excuses I hear are: “I don’t know how to get started”, “I don’t have any skills that I can make money from”, “I don’t have the right computer at home”, “I don’t have time to do it”.
This entire blog is set-up to help you get started - to teach you the mindset, skills and techniques to get started. If you still don’t know how after going through the articles on this blog, then comment below with questions and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
This is just a repeat of the above fear “What if I can’t do the work?”. There are hundreds of things you can do. If you can’t/don’t want to do any of them, learn something new(). If you don’t want to learn something or do any work, that’s another problem that we can’t cover here.
If you’re reading this on a computer at home then you’ve already lost this argument. You don’t need the best computer out there to get started working from home. In fact, as long as your computer can surf the internet and open Microsoft Office, that should be enough for a lot of online work. In fact, I even do web development and Photoshop work on my Intel Atom laptop. (I like using it because it’s small and portable). If you don’t have a computer but can buy one, like I said, you don’t need much, you can even start with a $300 laptop (P15,000). I’ll make another post about computers in the future. In the meantime, ask in the comments if you have specific questions. Now, if you can’t afford to purchase a computer at the moment, then you can always rent one in an internet cafe. In the Philippines, you can rent a computer at an average of P20 per hour. If you’re earning P250 per hour ($5) then it’s worth the expense until you can buy your own system.
What is important to you? Do you spend time on Facebook? Do you plan Clash of Clans? Watch TV Shows? Go out with friends? If you can do those, you have the time - you just have other priorities. I want to challenge you - sacrifice a little. On your days off or instead of doing mindless tasks, do a little work. Even if it’s just an hour a day or a couple of hours during the weekends, start doing some work from home.
Hopefully by now you don’t have any more excuses. You may still be scared, that’s normal - but anything that’s worth doing is scary. If you still have questions or fears that I haven’t been able to address, let me know in the comments below.