The decision to work at home stems from many reasons. Perhaps you had a baby and realize going back to that 9-5 just isn’t as exciting anymore. Maybe it’s realizing that life is more than spending all your time away from your family. That’s what happened to me.
Perhaps you have an illness that makes it difficult for you to get out of the house. Or maybe you just like being home and want the freedom to work your own way.
Whatever the reason you want to work at home, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want a job from home or you want a business from home.
Even though my jam is showing moms how to become their own boss with a home business, some prefer — and are a better fit for a work-at-home job than a home business.
Not sure which one is right for you?
Here are eight questions to help you decide which path is right for you.
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1. Are you self-motivated?
If you want your own business so that you can set your own hours, you will need to be very self-motivated. Starting a business from the ground up is not easy.
You’ll need to take time out of your day for marketing, pitching clients, emailing clients, doing the actual work, accounting, and more.
You’ll be responsible for everything until you can afford to hire help.
There won’t be a boss to look over your shoulder and guide your next steps because you’ll be the boss. It can be both exciting and terrifying.
Some people lack self-motivation and prefer to have someone else dictate their tasks.
2. What skills do you have?
Take out a piece of paper and write down a list of the skills you currently have, based on what you’ve already done in the past. Can any of these translate into a business? Label them appropriately.
My favorite way to turn skills into a business is to become a virtual assistant.
It’s how I started and what I’m still doing today. I started small with email management and from there, my VA biz only grew as I expanded my skill set.
On the other hand, perhaps your skills are best suited for a work-at-home job.
3. What Sort of Lifestyle Do You Want?
With a work-at-home job, you’ll be required to “show up” for work on time each day that you’re scheduled. You may have little control over that schedule. For days you’re unable to work, you’ll have to call in, and calling in too much will cause you to lose that job.
The upside is that it’s nice you’ll have a set schedule of when to start and stop.
On the other hand, a home business gives you more freedom of when to start your day. If you’re not feeling well, you can decide to rest and return when you’re able. Of course, this means you may end up working too much and can struggle with finding work and personal life balance.
4. Do You Already Have a Business Idea?
All those times sitting in your office or cubicle, have you been daydreaming about owning your own shop? Maybe you know you’re crafty and friends and family love your creations, so you’ve been toying with the idea of opening your Etsy shop.
If you already have an idea of what your business will be, that’s a sure sign to finally start and create something for yourself.
5. How Do You Feel about Punching a Clock?
For some people, the idea of clock punching is relaxing. For others, it feels like a nightmare. Neither feeling is right or wrong as it takes all types of people to make this world work.
If you know up front that you are fine with punching a clock and you’d rather someone else tell you when to be someplace and what to do, then a work-at-home job is best for you.
If that feels like prison to you like it does me, then a business is probably a better fit — if you can do what it takes to get it going of course.
6. Do You Have Money to Start a Business?
Starting any type of business, even an online business, requires an investment of not only time, but also of money. Have you worked out a business plan and do you know how much money you need to get started?
Do you have that money available? If not, do you have a way to get it? Perhaps working at a job first, while you save for and work on your business on the side, is the way to go if you don’t have the funds to start.
If you do want to start a business, but don’t have the funds, many online, service-based businesses require very little startup.
7. Do You Need Training and Education?
Both working at a job and owning a business sometimes require skills that you don’t have yet. But that’s okay.
Decide if you want to invest in the training yourself to get your business off the ground, or if you would like to try to find a work-at-home job where they will train you from the ground up even if you have little experience. Keep in mind the pay may be low to start.
8. What Is Your Biggest Dream for Your Life?
When you think of the future, what do you see? Consider if it sounds relaxing to get up in the morning, have some breakfast, and sit down at your desk then punch in. You do your assigned work and only take breaks when appropriate.
You’ll watch the clock and know exactly when your work day is over and in two weeks’ time you’ll collect a paycheck.
Or do you like the idea of being able to do what you want when you want it? Do you like knowing if interruptions occur in your work day, you can press pause and deal with them then come back when you’re able?
Starting a new business means you’ll likely work long hours and until you have consistent income coming in, there may be times where you don’t get paid. But you know you’re creating something that’s yours and building your own future, not someone else’s.
The Right Choice for You
Whatever you decide, there is no right or wrong choice. Each person is different with their own experiences and skill set. Some will excel as an entrepreneur and others as an employee.
I’d love to know which option you feel is best for you. Comment below and let me know.
And if you enjoyed this post, please share it and save it to your work-at-home Pinterest board.