Don’t get too comfortable with who you are at any given time – you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be. – Jon Bon Jovi
Most of you know that I really like working from home despite the occasional cat-based distraction.
It is challenging, rewarding and sometimes a lot of fun.
But there are a lot of other serious reasons as to why a person might want to consider starting an online business and work from home.
In this post I’m talking about why I think more people should consider going down this path – even though it might be really scary at first.
Let’s jump in!
My changing experience
If you’re new here and haven’t read my About page then you might be unaware that I left my University degree with less than a semester remaining in order to step out on my own and start my business.
It was the right decision for me but it might not be right for everyone.
And the reason I put this section before all the juicy content is because I wanted to emphasize the fact that a big part of owning your own business is that you often have to work it out as you go.
It’s part of the fun!
I was always involved in building websites and selling blogs but my main focus changes almost yearly.
Don’t not start your own business because you can’t see all the parts at the start. It takes time.
8 reasons to start an online business and work from home
As always, I’ve probably missed all of the important ones! Feel free to add a comment if you run an online business or work from home and have something inspiring to share.
1. Avoid the office politics bulls#@t
Whenever I catch up with my real-world friends I find that the conversation always turns to how annoying their office is in one form or another. A bad co-worker, a micromanaging boss, not enough pay, etc.
The sad thing is, sometimes these issues are really quite serious. I know several people who have taken stress-leave after being pushed to the limits by managers or board directors. I know of people who get so depressed because they don’t see any way out in such a sub-optimal economic climate.
Well, when you run your own business you have a lot of other problems but you don’t have that one. You can choose who you work with and who works for you. You might have to put up with some annoying clients in the beginning but as you grow you can “filter” it all out.
2. Put your energy into your own asset
While you’re kissing the butt cheeks of that Michael Scott-style manager/owner you’re also working on someone else’s asset. It might even be his asset! That creative thinking and after hours sweat that you pour into your work does nothing for you in terms of ownership and equity.
Now this might be the entrepreneur in me but I find that idea really quite abhorrent. I’d rather work harder and earn less if it meant that I was building my own asset vs another guy/girl’s.
If you feel the urge to create something for yourself and see it grow or fail but do it because it was your own thing then the online space could be for you.
NOTE: This goes for starting a blog as well. Set it up on your own host instead of a free one so you are in complete control.
3. The internet is the modern Gold Rush
Now to some serious financial reasons. The internet is booming. And it has been booming for a long, long time. And if you start to think about stats like the fact that there are more smart phones on Earth than toothbrushes and that whole nations are moving to high speed fiber networks, you’d be wise to invest in the internet while it is growing so fast on so many platforms.
Please don’t take this to mean that making money on the internet is a really easy thing to do. It isn’t. I imagine it’s probably a bit easier than mining for gold (or bitcoins!) but it is still a lot of work.
The great thing about the internet is that you aren’t just doing one thing. There’s shops, forums, Apps, websites, blogs, software, tools, etc. You can jump on the rush and find something new or something to compete with.
4. The barriers to entry are really low
If you’ve ever been to an economics class you’ll hear a lot about barriers to entry. They present serious problems for many industries and even entire countries. Think about all the things you have to do if you want to start a physical business like a factory: get capital investment, purchase machines and vehicles, hire staff, get insurance… the list goes on.
Online businesses, on the other hand, have relatively low barriers to entry. You really just need a domain name and some hosting to get started. The major outlay, at least initially, is your own time. Sure, you can invest money and hire designers, coders, writers, marketers, etc. but you don’t have to.
This particular point means that you can start an online business while you’re still working and leave your job once it starts to take off.
5. You can be who you really want to be
I could be wrong but I don’t see many people who work in offices being themselves. You have to jump through so many hoops to please clients and seniors and usually that means doing or saying things that aren’t totally consistent with the person you’d like to be.
Well, when you work from home you can forget all of that. Don’t shave if you don’t want to. Don’t wear that pencil-skirt if you don’t want to. In fact, my friend Mayi Carles usually works in her pyjamas!
More importantly, working for yourself means that you (hopefully) never again have to compromise on the kind of person that you want to be. You set yourself up so that you’re surrounded by people and things that are important to you.
6. You can go after the things that matter
Okay, so now we are really getting into the deep and furry stuff! When you work for someone else you are severely limited in the other activities that you can pursue. You might get some weekend time and after work time but what if your son has a thing on when you need to be at work? What about if you want to go overseas or do some charity work (Break: I have something VERY different happening in this regard soon) while you write your blog?
Well, when you work have a truly online business you can set yourself up to make those things possible. One of my closest friends quit his job and started an online business so he could spend more time at home with his boys. He works late but he has most of the day with them. That is priceless.
Again, these things are not just “givens” for any online business. You need to make it happen but, unlike the traditional workplace, it is possible.
7. Your industry is changing (and might not be around long)
I don’t want to sound alarmist with this point but an actual consideration for workers these days is that their job might not be there when they wake up tomorrow. It happens all the time.
This is both a result of new technologies, the economic climate, and the changing nature of globalization. So, in this regard, your job might get taken over by a computer or robot, made redundant or outsourced to a cheaper workforce in China, India or the Philippines.
The great thing about starting a blog or an online business is that it can be a very part time affair. That means you get a few extra dollars in the door but also set it up in a way that you could expand if things go pear shaped in the “real world”.
8. You can play video games at lunch time
I couldn’t end this post without the obligatory work from home smugness. Yes, you an set your own hours. Yes, I usually play Battlefield 3 at lunch time. Sometimes I finish work at 4pm to go play tennis with my brother.
The “do your own thing” that comes with owning your own business can, however, be a double edged sword. If you aren’t disciplined you will wind up not being very productive. And if you aren’t very productive you might not have enough money to eat.
When it is all said and done you can have a long lunch break or go to a movie if you want. It might mean you have to make up the time at 11:02pm (like I am now) but at least you have the choice.
Why did you decide to start an online business?
Did you start an online business? Do you work from home? Leave a comment and tell me what motivated you to make the change and whether you found it scary/liberating/easy. I’ll be really interested to see if the Troops have any tips in this area.
Photo: © Alphaspirit
171 CommentsJoin in. The comments are closed after 30 days.
I started blogging online part-time but never even really considered it for a full-time income. But I was laid off 6 months ago, and I’m trying to create my brand and grow my business so I can never be laid off again.
Sorry to hear you were laid off Monique. Do you think it will be for the best with your new online ventures?
Thanks Ramsay great post again. I’m just starting my journey and know I’ve found my profession for life…love it. The world is truly my playground now.
Sounds awesome Toni! I wish you the best of luck!
Great post Ramsey. One of the big benefits I like is the time and energy saved from not having to commute. Saves money on gas and auto insurance, plus you don’t have to get up two hours earlier just to get ready for work. So the amount of time you save from not commuting over the long term really adds up.
It’s not for everyone though… you have to be really disciplined, especially at the beginning and make sure you put in at least as much time into work as you would have at a full time job. Probably more when you start out. But working for yourself can be very rewarding for sure.
That’s a really good point Brian. In some big cities I’ve heard people will spend two or three hours a day commuting to and from work. That is crazy!
You quit your degree in last semester and I never started. 😉
I was admitted in USA for higher study but due to lack of money I was not able to attend the school. So by luck one friend introduced blogging to me.
I am loving is completely and it have given me freedom in many aspects. Internet will be giant in coming years and thank god we are on right path and going make it huge in coming years.
Thanks for your awesome points and great explanation.
What were you going to study at college? Are you still interested in it?
I was going to do masters in computer science (especially in VLSI). I am no more interested in it now.
Because blogging has given too much freedom. 🙂
And the best thing is, I cannot think beyond blogging now. 😉
Recently I heared my friends and family saying that soon the internet is going to crash and all that stuff because of too many websites and all. I really go blank about this thing and unable to answer them. What would you say about this?
I started my online business by selling on eBay and its about and year since I’m selling. The reason I started this online business was,
1) Its really cheap to start off the things.
2) Don’t have to meet people in person to sell things and therefore I don’t get nervous in contacting them.
3) No strict schedules as you mentioned it above. Etc etc.
I don’t think the internet is going to crash. It’s too important for too many industries. If it does crash we won’t be worrying about our blogs!
What do you suggest I should do except selling on eBay? Because it is almost the same as an offline business.
If it’s working for you keep going.
Point number 5 in your list – “You Can Be Who You Really Want To Be”.
THAT’S the reason I wanted to strike out on my own. That and being able to work in my pyjamas all day…. 🙂
To be honest, i’ve never found this whole ‘starting an online business’ thing scary as such.
The feeling of liberation, pride and excitement I get knowing that not only am I working on something that i’m truly passionate about, but I get to ‘be me’ while I do it far outweigh any fear.
Brilliant article Ramsay!
I’m with you Patrick – that was a really important one for me. I just couldn’t see myself putting on a suit everyday and going to lunch and talking about football or golf.
I have actually recently left my day job to start up my own online business.
My new site should be live this week, I am offering Webdesign,SEO and Social Media Training.My business is aimed at helping startup business and SME customers use the web to promote their business.
I have worked for other people for years making other people money and always feeling that I was making no impact. I would give feedback to the latest system or process only to be told that my feedback was wrong and then implemented 6 months later. That combined with changes to commission structure and managers that I didn’t get on with leaves it things a bit sour.
So I did attempt to get started last august but couldn’t take the risk of leaving my family without income while I worked on my business.
I was very lucky that I was referred to Bricks and Bread who offer startup advice and Loans for 18-30 year old Enturpuners in the UK.So after a chat to Trudy I took the decision to go full time and get my business setup.
It’s a exciting time for me and being able to split my working hours how I want to spend time with my kids is amazing.
Funny on the timing on the post!
The Social Yeti
Congratulations! What an exciting time for you!
Do let us know how it goes. 🙂
Don’t worry you will do I should be getting more active online in the next few months 🙂
The biggest challenge for me has been getting myself out of the mindset that I am not on holiday but actually working for myself!
Yep, it’s all hard work now.
I’m starting a proofreading business (UK-based) and could do with some help re: web design and SEO. Could you give me an idea as to how much you would charge for setting up a website, please?
Also, I was wondering whether I could offer my services as a proofreader? If not to you, then to other people who might ask you to set up a website. I’d be really grateful if you would consider this!
Mary Peterson (The Living Proof)
This is awesome! People doing business in the comment thread!
You have to grab an opportunity when you see it, I reckon! 🙂
Would love to chat Mary 🙂
Can you email on email@example.com and we can work out what you need.
Networking and Engaging love it
Hi Mary, good luck with your new venture. I’m UK-based too and have spent the last 3 years helping women start online businesses from home. I build and help others build wordPress sites, seo, online marketing, etc. Please get in touch and we can chat about how we might work together.
Love the online networking on this thread!
Hi Cassie. I am trying to start an online business from home mostly using WordPress sites but am struggling to get going. I am based in South Africa (which adds to the challange!) I would like to know if I could contact you directly with a few questions?
I really want to do this but am begining to get very disheartened
Just as a bit of a “devil’s Advocate” question, why would being based in South Africa make starting your own business be more of a challenge?
I’m an American but I live (and earn) in the Philippines … which many would consider to be light years “behind” South Africa.
I find it makes very little difference where you live … in fact I find living in a “Developing Nation” actually makes growing a business a lot easier .. cost of living, cheap labor, etc.
Not meaning to argue, just engaging in a bit of thought provoking here. How would being in the UK, or the USA make starting and developing an online business easier?
I love #5 BT. The more authentic we are in our words and actions the more respected and trusted we are.
I also like your use of the word “bulls#@t” – I’ve never seen that before! Cracked me right up. I’ll have to file that one away…
Hey TJ! Long time no see.
How are things over your part of the world?
Things are good! Thank you for asking. I have been busy building my new site with WP! I should have listened to you ages ago. It’s WAY better than Typepad!
That makes me very happy! Great work. Welcome to the Dark Side!
Thank you my fearless leader! Catch you on the flip side.
Hi Ramsay, how are you? great post and very fitting for me as this is my first week as a self employed home based Minion, I still work and run the Minions website but I am currently sat in my little room looking out over the garden and the clear blue skies in my shorts, Brian Griffin Tee Shirt and Family Guy slippers while listening to some good old drum and bass on the internet radio…
Can life get any sweeter? Yes, I shall be going to Spain in a few months so I can work in the sun with a cheaper lifestyle. Why? Because we can!
You have raised some great points about the way life and society is changing, the last few years many high street shops have died or are dying like HMV and Woolworths to name two, it isn’t that they sold duff stuff it is just that it can be bought from everywhere these days and much of it online and customised.
Why buy a boring standard notepad when you can get one at CafePress with your lovely face on the cover as a gift for the nearest and dearest and why go to the shop to buy a Uk Techno CD when you can download an MP4 of Australian Techno that you wouldn’t get from the UK shops on disc. (I loved my 3 weeks in Australia picking up shed load of Australian dance music btw)
The UK music market was quite insular which brings me back to the internet giving us the freedom to buy things globally and in a digital format.
It is a changing world, there maybe a lot of traditional industries suffering but there are a lot of new industries being born which is really exciting.
What is holding many back is the reluctance to learn new skills to help them move on or ride the transition more smoothly. I spent 20 years working as a carpenter and joiner on building sites and workshops, four years ago I started to study WordPress and writing and now I am able to take my skills and work anywhere in the world where there is a internet connection.
This has to be the best time in the history of mankind for people to make money from home. There might be a worldwide recession (is Australia suffering?) but it has never been easier for people to have access to money producing technology.
In 1988 if I wanted to produce music or write a book I had to go to separate companies and have them made into books or records, this would have cost money and I would have had to order a minimum amount.
Now we can do all of this from home, we can sell via websites like Amazon, TuneCore and your own websites. To me having your own blog is the best investment ever.
Ooops sorry I got a tab passionate there. 🙂
Andi – I’m so glad I made a quick check of the spam folder. For some reason this beauty found it’s way in there!
First of all, Australian dance music? Didn’t even know that was a thing!
Secondly, congrats on the first week and the future trip to Spain. Sounds like you’ve got it all pretty sorted out!
Wish you all the luck.
Thank you, I seem to have become friends with many spam folders lol,
Think it is when I mention dance music… it is a conspiracy 🙂
Have a great day and thanks for the luck wishes.
Ha ha ha. Yes, dance music is a genuine problem.
Simple words, simply beautiful bro.
So, I shouldn’t get a new cat?
Ha ha. Thanks Greg.
Do you like cats?
To be honest, mine was the best decision I ever made. I’d be so lonely and sad without that little creature.
hmmmm I would love to see what your other half would say to that little comment 🙂
Nice, yeah I love em. Had two years ago.
Just got a large flat in Chinatown and figuring I could buy one, but have never had in indoor cat. The others loved being outdoors.
Andi – my beautiful fiance is aware of how I feel about the cat. It’s a constant source of her mocking me.
Greg – I have a ragdoll cat which aren’t supposed to be let outside by themselves because their survival instincts have been pretty much bred out of them. They are very docile and “floppy”. That being said, mine goes out in the back yard every day to eat some grass and lay in the sun. It would be weird if you couldn’t let them out at all I think. They might go a bit nuts.
Great advice. And what a life.
I am just plain scared to do this. But I am building my website and I am going to go for it! It is against everything I have been taught, but for all the reasons you talked about and 1000 more, I am going to do it also. The way I look at it is that even if I fail at this the first go round, I will have expanded my world and opened a door to things I would have never experienced before. I feel like the internet is the new entrepreneur frontier and I think this is my time!
Thanks for encouraging all the people like me!
Maybe this will help: I get scared about something on almost a daily basis. I think it is all part of the process of working for yourself. I’m hoping that pushing through it is the right thing to do!
You’re not alone.
Thanks for those kind words.
I do a lot of my work in a local coffee shop every day. The manager has built up the customer base and knows the regulars by name (including me) I can not help but think that when she moves on, the owner of the shop will benefit for years to come from all her hard work but the manager will have to start all over again in whatever she does next. I have done this myself many times over the years. This is what you are talking about in your blog. I hope to break the cycle for myself and I hope your blog helps many other people like her!
I want to start because sometimes is hard to find a full time job anywhere, but I have no idea what to do. Plase can you give me aome ideas so I can start as soon as possible. Thanks
What are your passions/skills? That is usually a good place to start if you want to own a website.
I agree with Ramsay, Nemaya.
It’s a bit like the advice given to writers ‘write what you know about’
When you run your own biz you need to have some skills and experience in it – and – LOVE it.
If you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing[and be really clear about the purpose of the biz] then you won’t have the enthusiasm and expenditure of time, energy and effort needed when you get caught in the daily grains of sand and the inevitable challenges that arise.
Might be useful to ask yourself a few things:
1. What do I know? What experience and skills do I have?
2. Are there products or services I can offer to the world?
3. What internal and external resources do I have to make things happen? What resources do I need?
4. Are there people I could partner with who have different skills and experiences? These synergies can be brilliant when you share a common purpose
5. Do you need to go and gain some new skills and experience so you can start your own biz?
6. Are there organisations and people who could mentor and support you as you create and build your biz? Many countries have start your own biz courses and there are also a number of good people online [Ramsay is one] whose site content is a course in itself
7. Do you really want to run your own biz or do you want to maybe get a paid job for a while and explore what biz you’d like to build and do it part time?
Ramsay and Nemaya, pardon me to jump in with some example here. This is my new site, http://www.howtobecometranslator.com …this is the story in brief:
I work full time in the office and I work part time as freelance translator. I struggled through certain period of time before I made money from running my own small translation service. It became my valuable experience. Then, I struggled on internet marketing to get people to know my service, when I figured out, it become another of my knowledge.
The two assets combined, Translation service startup + internet marketing = I launched a blog to help new freelancers make their startup.
Nemaya, look into yourself. Every single person has their unique story and experience that you have overcome it and you could use that to help other, too. — That’s another purpose of blogging
Nice work Paul!
Great post as usual and very timely.
I was just walking up the stairs here in my house and yelling to my housemates ‘I’m getting back in my pj’s so I can get to work!’.
I’ve been running my own consultancy offline for over 20 years and blogging for 6 years now. You know my Life Dreaming site [soon to be reopened!] and the blog as well and the soon to be launched online LD Expedition [I’ll be sending you a pre release package mate to thank you for all your support].
I totally related to the point about being your own boss and no office politics AND working your own hours.
Sometimes I take days off to do offline stuff that makes me happy and other days I’m happily working away on the myriad of stuff for the Life Dreaming Expedition launch.
When I did postgrad studies [many years ago] I wrote about how we perceive work and leisure.
Leisure has a number of interesting elements:
* Freedom of choice
* Sense of purpose
* A feeling of being in the Flow
If we take these elements and apply them to how we feel about developing and running our own businesses – then our work becomes leisure!
My goal has always been to view my work as leisure – freely chosen, autonomous, enjoyable and purposeful – and in the main it has been for nearly 30 years.
My aim with the whole new era of Life Dreaming is to feel the same way.
Thanks as always for your timely and practical advice.
How’s life up there in the cold? 🙂
Love those points about leisure. I defo don’t feel like my work is leisure yet but I do feel more sense of purpose than I did when I worked for other people.
Hope the LD launch goes swimmingly!
It’s getting really warm here – we hit 18 C yesterday!
Thanks for your good wishes Ramsay and I’ll let you know when we’re doing the soft launch. June I think.
There was a news story here in Australia about a “heat wave” in England. We were all watching it. The news reporter said it got up to 20 degrees for three days and we all burst out laughing! It’s almost winter here and it was 30 degree today!
I’ve been self employed for almost 4 years now. It’s been EXTREMELY tough at time. The peaks and valleys in work are the hardest part, however I’ve been actively working on building up more passive and reliable income streams while also enjoying the peaks and knowing the valleys will pass.
If you want it you can take it, just have to work hard and have a plan. Most important thing for me was really learning about cash flow and, subsequently, paying very close attention to the cash flow of my personal life and business.
Thanks for the killer post!
Thanks Collins. I know what you mean about cash flow. It can be complicated.
Chris here, with an entirely different angle…reasons not to start an online bidness:
1. To Make Money. That’s a result of your work, not a reason for it.
2. Just to Say You Run an Online Business. Help others learn, fix, improve, simplify, be better, do better, become better. This can happen through products or services. If I see one more “social media expert” or “seo guru” with 12 followers and no newsletter, I’ma takin’ off da gloves
3. Because it’s the only way you will be happy. And what happens when your business fails? Going to try a new venture? How many times will you let that cycle continue? You need to know that some people can do this and some can’t. Just because you want to doesn’t mean you can.
I have a full-time job and my online work. Why? Because my desire for one didn’t happen until well after working a 9-to-5 job. “I’m going to quit and start an online business” is not a smart strategy. Do you have the disposable income stored up? If so, for how long?
Can you make the jump? Yes. Should you? You need to access that for yourself.
I agree with all of this. As usual, awesome comment Chris.
Hey Ramsay, nice to see your new post!
This kind of post is difficult because a lot of people have been written many kind of post in this kind of title. But you have made it unique and in your own voice again
Most points you brought up is damn hitting me. Office people, office environment, traffic, flexibility and etc.
I start websites because I would like to find meaningful life on my own way and to follow my passion of sharing my advise to the world. Not only the purpose to work for myself but the work I create must helps other people as well, that is my aim.
Looking forward to your next post Ramsay.
Thanks Paul. Appreciate the honesty.
Great post Ramsey but you forgot the most important reason (at least for me), waking up whenever I want! 🙂
I’ve just recently quit my job as a head of an online marketing department in an internet startup to work on my own website.
It has been my dream for years, and now it finally became reality.
To be honest, it’s harder than I thought it would be, especially since I have a lot of experience in online marketing.
But on the other hand, I don’t regret it for a second.
I am now my own boss, wake up whenever I want, have the freedom to pursue any idea I want and best of all, I choose who I work with and I make sure to surround myself with A class people only! (this I learnt from Steve Jobs)
What I think is the best thing about quitting my job and working on my own project is that I have no other option but to be the best at what I do (I’m somewhat of a perfectionist) and there is always the pressure (in a good way) to learn new skills and expand my knowledge.
While on that topic, I’ve learnt a lot from reading your posts.
Keep feeding us with delicious information.
Ah I forgot about that! Yep, no 6am alarm to catch the train in time for work.
This is one of my favourites too – no alarm clock (except for the school run but that’s ok!)
Great reasons to start an online business, Ramsay. Its better to build an asset for ourselves rather than working hard everyday for someone else. I’ve been running a niche based site in energy niche. But, so far I’m unable to make any decent sales through affiliate marketing. Can you guide me as to how can I make it big in affiliate marketing?
I don’t know about “making it big” but you could check out this post I did at ViperChill which is all about affiliates: http://www.viperchill.com/blog-aff-guide/
I hate you.
I have a detailed draft of a post about just that.
You leave me no choice but to make mine epicer
I have been working from home for 22 years and absolutely the best thing for me was repossessing wasted time. Time wasted travelling to and from work and time wasted waiting for other people. I might choose not to do something obviously productive with the extra time – I might walk the dog or walk to the bottom of the garden to see what’s growing – but stress free thinking time is a huge bonus!
Yeah that is a really, really good point Joanna. Every year that I get older I start noticing how important free time is.
Eight great reasons Ramsay 🙂
Most important for me (and one that I didn’t immediately realize) was #2 – “Put your energy into your own asset”.
I was always (and still am) VERY hardworking and always give it my all and like you say, when you’re in a day job, at the end of the day – no matter how hard you work, you have nothing … OK you can get a promotion, have a great salary but you’re not building anything for yourself. Took me years to realize this, because I was not the business-minded type.
For this reason but more importantly to care for my mother (she has Parkinsons Disease and is very dependent on me these days) I quit my job in the Corporate Marketing world in 2008 and never looked back.
Love the video games at lunchtime bit 🙂 I much prefer taking a nap though lol
Good on you for looking after your mother. That must be really hard. Hope you are managing.
I must say I love working from home and my focus changes all the time as well. I just get board of doing the same thing continuously. Of course I have my stable online income, but I do like to try new things. How many office jobs do you get that allow you to do something else when you feel like it? It would be like switching departments because you felt like it 🙂
The internet is still in it’s infancy and there is still so much to gain from it. It’s like you said, it is hard work, but once you have an idea or a model that works then it can sustain a good income.
Thanks for reminding us how good it is 🙂
Thanks for stopping by Dan. Love hearing all the different stories about how people do it.
one of the reasons why i started an online business is the fact that it gives you the joy of absolutely doing your things the way you really want them to be done and when you want it to be done.
It’s important to know that their is the need for us to be disciplined in our approaches as an Entrepreneur or small business owners.
Also i like the fact that at times i am always working with my pants only on and i could also work naked from the comfort of my room and i don’t have to tell the world about it :). 😀 =)) i didn’t tell you that did i.
Ha ha. Nice work.
Nice to hear this from someone with a broad experience in the field. And it is true to the last word. And mind the fact that I’m still part time in it; I can’t imagine the day when this will be my solo preoccupation. I will work non stop.
Now to the points. I especially agree with the fact that you invest into something that is YOURS. Something that accumulates value (and pretty fast, mind you). Btw, a big office fan, so I laughed when I saw the Michael Scott video 🙂
Another great thing is that the internet is blooming as well as the fact that there are infinite amount of opportunities to grow whatever you decide to start online. Every platform is incredibly broad; and they can even be used complementary (How Pat Flynn dispersed his brad across both apps, podcast, blog, speaking gigs, and most recently an amazon bestseller book).
The wise thing would be to watch a close eye on occurring trends and create content strategy way upfront.
Working from home makes work addictive!
How Pat Flynn dispersed his *brand
I was wondering who Pat Flynn’s brad was. Ha ha.
Thanks Slavko. You’re always on the money.
Like a few others, I was laid off from my job. Instead of getting back into the job market at a low pay rate, I decided this was a great time to start my freelance copywriting business.
Good on you Clara. Hope it’s going well for you.
Thanks for the motivating post Ramsay, #five is my favorite: “being who you really want to be”. i have just started so i guess it won’t be easy, but it don’t have to be easy! i will follow your tips. Keep up the great work, i will do too 😉
Thanks Fa. Appreciate the encouragement.
8 reasons?.. one is good enough..LOL
I think some people are suited to working for themselves others prefer to follow…
I just started my online journey but have an offline business…it’s hard work but i actually enjoy it 🙂
You’re probably right about the different kinds of people, Greg. I sometimes go back and forth myself.
You can end it right at point #1, Ramsay. That’s the very reason why I started my blog.
Point #6 just got me fired up, since I just got married. Hopefully my online business would take off before we have kids. I want most, if not all of my time to be spent with them.
I’m been following some of your advise posted here, and I’ve had dramatic improvements! Thanks!
Good luck to you Carlo. Even if it isn’t perfect when the kids come I’m sure you’ll be able to make something work.
Great article, Ramsay. I’m older than the typical stereotypical online entrepreneur (67). I have the good fortune of having a generous pension … long ago changed to disenfranchise those who have come along after me.
So technically, I have no need to earn. I _COULD_ be just like a hundred thousand an done “gray Panthers” many of you have probably met … hanging out in Social security forums and bitching an whining about the cost of this or that.
Aside from the (good, I think) idea of building a buisness to protect myself against downward trends in pension benefits and invetsments, th emost importnat reason I am working in my pajamas every day is _Empowerment_. You touched on this in several of your points.
I am sick of the typical “don’t stick your neck out” office environment, where I was typically the oldest body in the room with the youngest ideas.
Here, online, I’m free to followup on my own ideas,take credit for my own successes ab[nd yes, take responsibility for my own failures. Feels good even if I wasn’t making money.
I enjoy being an active participant in my own destiny, and with more than 100,000 Baby-boomers per month “coming of age” I see a tremendous market and a fruitful field to sow the seeds of empowerment upon.
I don’t care if you are in your teens or in your 90’s, you don’t have to be a sheep … you are a unique individual who was created for more than learning how to march in step with all the other lemmings.
That is such a great comment Dave.
Do you find any obstacles or difficulties present themselves for you vs someone in Gen Y?
Haven’t really noted any age-related negatives, Ramsay. I do have the impression (no actual proof), that being a bit older can be an advantage, if you no other reason other than I have lived longer, in more places and earned money in more different off-line and on-line ways than many of my younger colleagues or readers. (What’s that one-liner about old age and treachery … LoL)
One real beauty of the Internet is, it’s not like competitive swimming or climbing Mount Everest, your age really is not a factor.
Also baby boomer types often have more time on their hands to work a “side business”, more patience to plod along until a venture bears fruit, and an important business feat many don’t think of … even though we have the stereotype that “old age pensioners” don’t have much money?
They often have more disposable income than guys and gals in their 30’s and 40’s who are on the “buying a house, paying off a car, paying down their student loans, raising 2.5 kids” daily treadmill.
Ask any affiliate marketer who is in the “Dating/Relationship” market niche about the demand in the 50 plus market.
Great post Dave. Online businesses present a level playing field for gender, age or whatever. but where you have an edge is in picking a niche to serve, or a challenge to overcome as you have lots of life experience. hope it all goes well!
Indeed, many forget this is where age hardly matters. I run a small blog where I thought almost all the readers were older (n their 60’s and retired guys like me).
I did a survey and was amazed to find my readers range from 17 all the way to 76.
Simple Make Money equation: Offer something people need, drive traffic (people)to your offer, convince the people to convert = profit follows.
Notice that age is never really part of the equation.
Good post as usual! I enjoy blogging, and enjoy the little bit of extra money it brings in, but I’m a long, long way from that being anywhere close to what I make at my “real” job. I’d like to have it as a back-up plan, but that may take some more time.
I totally see #2 as one of the biggest selling points. I feel like I’m treated very well at work, but at the same time, I am building someone else’s asset, not mine.
Kind of off the subject, but thanks for preaching “get subscribers” all the time. I’ve really been making an effort to get people to follow my blog, and I think it will really pay off long-term.
Glad you’ve been focusing on subscribers Jeremy. I’ve got something coming out very soon that might interest you.
My biggest reason for starting out online was the low barrier to entry. Since back then I was only a high school kid and didn’t have too much money for investing in things.
Another point that’s worth mentioning is that what you do and how hard you work directly effects what you get in return. There is no need to convince a boss that you working hard or try and get him or her to understand how much time you put into making sure that the quality is there.
Another great post 🙂
– Mark T.
Thanks Mark. Really cool to see you over here.
Good timing on this post for me too. I have recently joined the full-time online entrepeneurs for most of the reasons you mention and am also finding it very daunting! I am older than most starting on this path and often have doubts that I’ll be able to master the necessary technology. I have also chosen a very competitive field (pet related) because that’s my passion. So lots of challenges!!
You are so right about self-dicipline being important as my new work environment is full of distractions – I live in a cottage in a beautiful garden filled with birds and often sit at the table outside to work.
So keep the encouraging and informative posts comming..
I’ll try Linda!
Hi! Thanks for the informative post! I agree with all of the points presented. Easy entry, flexible time, and cost-cutting are my top three reasons for starting work from home. I stopped working in an office years ago, haven’t looked back since!
Glad it’s working for you Tiffany!
[…] Go to the article at Blog Tyrant – Making a Living from the Couch here: 8 Curious Reasons to Start an Online Business and Work From Home […]
Just recently found you Ramsey (through ViperChill and Glen) and your comments are timely. I’m ready to put in the work required to bust out of the Rat Race. Thanks for all the excellent free content. You are a great example of how it should be done.
Thanks Buddy. Glad Glen was good for something! 😉
This is wonderful! Your posts describes perfectly why we need to choose to work from home. I am always a crappy person who don’t like to be bossed by someone. I liked the statement you narrated about be your own boss. Came thru a shared post from a friend named Andi and now subscribed to your blog and newsletter.
Keep the good work going 😀
Hope to get in touch with you in google+ . here is mine https://plus.google.com/u/0/114334055929471011478
Thanks Mizan. I’ll find you over there.
Will be waiting Ramsay 😀
Thanks for all you do and write. I’ve had my own business for more than a decade, and I don’t need to spend advertising dollars or overhead like I did years ago. Opportunities exist where they never did before. I’m an art instructor and have moved to online venues.
I’ve forwarded this post to a friend who is overworked and taken for granted at her job where she’s been for 25 years. She’s smart and creative, responsible… But she stays out of fear. She has little debt and a reasonably low cost of living. I hope she makes some changes before her current work wears away her health.
Thanks so much for sending the post around Lori. I really appreciate that. And congrats on all your success!
Great post! I’m still working as a marketing analyst but I started SocialKloud last month & already reached my goal of making more in a week than my steady paycheck. I will be able to quit my job soon & play more Call of Duty. I tell all my friends to start an online business they are passionaite about then the money will flow.
Wow! That’s some fast success Darius. Any tips for us?
Social Media & Crowdfunding is in demand so I love selling in that space but my tips are have a well designed unique website, be different from competitors, take care of repeat customers, write blogs consitently, keep marketing, and create your own luck.
Great, concise summary of an A+ marketing strategy. Love it! Thanks Darius
Your welcome Cassie!
I enjoyed the article. There was only one idea that I hadn’t thought of and that was #6. But, after thinking about it I have to say that it is very nice to be able to say what I think without repercussions.
There are a couple of things that I would like to share. One is that I have an office in my home and everyone knows that if I am in there then I am working so please do not disturb me (unless a fire breaks out).
Secondly I have a tip that I use to help me stay organized. The last thing I do at night is write out what I need to accomplish the next day. I know that list will change as the day progresses but at least I have something to get me started. This helps me because then I have one thing to start with rather that the millions of things going around in my head.
Sandy that is a really good idea about the list for the following day. I like it. Thanks for sharing!
I have been poking around your site since I started my blog. I have to say I am really, truly grateful for your advice and how-to instructions. Thanks for all you do!!
Thanks Bri. That means a lot.
[…] food and lazily browse comments from the couch. Blogging from the couch is great – right Ramsay? – but you lose inspiration at some […]
Ramsey – it feels like we are sharing a brain, especially on point #2. I left my corporate JOB 6 years ago mainly for the reasons you point out in #2. 100% agree with your comment, “I’d rather work harder and earn less if it meant that I was building my own asset vs another guy/girl’s.” I just have a problem with someone making more money off my effort than I am.
I know running your own business isn’t for everyone – in fact probably for very few. So, as other commenters pointed out, don’t just jump into it without a plan or some money saved up. It was definitely right for me though.
The greatest benefit is the flexibility, but you have to work hard and be disciplined to realize that flexibility. You can’t lose sight of why your are doing it. If you do it to spend more time with more family, then make sure you do that and set your business up that way. Otherwise you just get bogged down in a JOB again – even if that is done in your pjs.
Thanks Kevin. I always love hearing about how others are doing it. Sounds like it’s going really well for you!
Great post Ramsey, thanks. Big BT fan! For me, working from home is all about being my own boss and building something for myself and my family. I get so much intellectual stimulation, joy and fulfilment from generating my own income and I’m still free to do the school run, walk the dog in the middle of the afternoon and be in charge of my own destiny.
I wish more mums realised this lifestyle is an option! It’s my mission to show mums that with a home or online business they can have a business AND a family. For all the reasons you’ve shared in your post!
That is awesome Cassie! I’ve had so many mums come along after I wrote that post for them. I hope it helps someone.
[…] 8 Curious Reasons To Start An Online Business And Work From Home […]
I couldn’t find the motivation to work for someone else anymore. In fact, I became quite lazy. I started to find ways to actually do less work.
I’m the type of person who needs to have a challenge and a purpose. I didn’t have that when working for somebody else. After 6 months or so the works becomes easy and I lost interest.
Working for yourself – every day is a new challenge (the good kind)
Yeah that is really true. I hear a lot of people say that, actually.
Just hoping to generate the comment redirect plugin, don’t mind me..
I like you Rachel.
I like the part saying you can be what you want to be, For me Online world is the future of our ever changing physical world. I know many people who spend their most time in front of a laptop.
Yes, that is a little scary I think Waqar. People are hooked in all the time!
I am a part time blogger.I am a student.Doing blogging after the end of classes is the daily routine for me.Ya all the reasons you shared hare for choosing online work,are really meaningful to me,specially one that we are free to play games too,at any time 🙂 .
Love to hear that Mahendra! That’s how I got started!
I was referred to this blog by my friend and I was not let down. It’s a great article and many points that you stressed here resonate with me very much. I am a beginner in blogging but want to make it big and turn it into a profitable business.
I am almost 22 year old guy and the idea about all this corporate world just freaks me out. You are told what to do, when to pea, when to eat your food even when to take your family on vacation which is insane for me. So I started my own home-based business and a personal development blog to share my experience with people and I feel like I am being myself when I do this as your Ramsay mention on this post.
Of course everything worthwhile takes time, it takes time to develop specific skills, but still you have a choice what to do and what to create.
If everything was easy, everybody would do that. So I really respect the people that go for their dreams, goals and want do develop their lifestyle the way they want instead of letting some boss determine it for you.
I love your blog and and I gonna try to learn us much as I can from you.
Tadas I wish you the best of luck. You sound a lot like me at 22 – just stick at it even when you think it’s not going to work. Take a part time job if you need to in order to make it a bit easier on yourself to get going.
So I dug up an old metaphor of yours in a former post and just felt compelled to reprint it. It went like.
Imagine if your favorite sit com had a different format each time, different length, timing, characters. How hard would it be to get attached to it?
Hmm… maybe I should take my own advice?
Do you think it’s possible to have a successful (and profitable!) blog with virtually no technical knowledge? I’m setting up a WP blog and am slowly working my way through their tutorials but sometimes strugle to find “plain English” answers for my problems.
Also what type of online business would you recommend as the best place to start for a newbie?
I have decided to go the full time online route for several of the reasons you’ve already mentioned, as well as the fact that I have health problems that make going out to work difficult. And I’m already loving all the advantages of working from home and on my own time, in spite of all the stress of trying to get going!
They are some hard questions.
Firstly, I think it is possible to do it with no tech knowledge. A lot of people do. I would recommend outsourcing to skilled workers though – free yourself up to work on growing the business.
As for the full time thing – that takes time. It took me a couple of years before I really felt comfortable doing it. I really can’t recommend a business type that would work for you – I have no idea what you’re good at or what you like to do.
Sorry about your health problems. Let me know if I can assist along the way.
It’s great idea to work online business from home. But it is not easier to work from home , the main concern of work about dedication, and the any person who works online from home is most probably lazier than office.
I’m not sure I agree with that Bhupendra. A lot of people in offices sit around and do nothing all day.
I also left university early. I was majoring in business, but I hated it and didn’t care to finish, because I didn’t want to work for someone, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. In my junior year I left to start an online business. I’ve been doing it ever since for the last 5 years. I’m too stubborn to work for someone, and I enjoy the freedom.
Is it working well for you Smith? Do you regret the decision?
Ramsay, this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time now but I have a few questions.
1. How long did it take you to “make it” where you could live off of your blogging income?
1a. Did you just have 1 site up, multiple, or what?
2. How do you make money blogging? Is it from ads or something else?
3. As for choosing a topic/niche/theme to blog about…what are your thoughts on picking just one? Or would you put a variety all in the same blog even if they’re not very related?
More smartphones on earth than toothbrushes? Now that’s a stat I wasn’t expecting!
1. I reckon it took well over a year. I was working as a cleaner at a gym in the mornings and then coming home and working on my websites. I never have just one site – although these days I’m spending more of my time on this one.
2. Much of the money from blogging comes from affiliates or consulting but also I have a few new things lined up for this year.
3. I don’t really like the idea of multi-topic blogs. I think that is really hard to make work unless you do something extraordinary.
Hope that helps! Thanks Mike.
It’s so unfortunate that todays bloggers think of only money. And this has lead drop in quality
Not everyone does, Avinesh. A lot of the bloggers I know have quite a strong sense of doing something to help people.
I love what you spoke to Ramsay in #7 of your list and I think it applies to us even after we’ve started working in our pajamas.
Creating new products, new marketing for your products and finding new distribution channels for these products will bring you the highest ROI in your business
Designing your business cards, organizing your office, and playing with color scheme of your websites are all examples of things that people who are “Playing business” do and this keep them from actually “Doing Business”.
But the profit that keeps us playing our guitars or video games at lunch time comes from creating products, marketing and getting these products in front of, and into the hands of customers.
If the majority of your time isn’t dedicated to these tasks, then you’re holding yourself back from making the kind of progress that would amaze you.
And one belief to keep in mind is that you haven’t even found, nor developed the greatest opportunities for your online products, marketing and distribution YET.
If you hold this belief close to heart, you’ll keep yourself from clinging only to what worked in the past, like the music industry did for so long with Compact Discs, instead of doing what will work now and in the future.
So this means you want to learn the new ways that products and services can be delivered, created and marketed.
When a new way to market, create or distribute comes available, you’ll see all kinds of new businesses emerge. The assembly line changed the world by changing the way products were made. The radio changed the way you could market. The internet changed the way products and services could be created, delivered AND marketed.
The internet has allowed people to become millionaires and billionaires faster than any other channel has that has come before it.
So I would invite anyone working from home to keep your mind open to the idea that your biggest opportunities for creating products, distributing them and marketing them online haven’t even been created and discovered yet so stay ALERT!!! 🙂
That is one super inspiring comment Lewis! Thanks for posting it. Gave me lots to think about this morning.
‘Playing Business’ – love this, so true. This is such a common practice amongst new business owners. The amount of time wasted on things that don’t bring it money is astounding. It took me a long time to get out of this rut.
Before every task, I ask myself: will this bring in any money? If the answer is no, I spend very little time on it.
I would suggest to anyone wanting to work from home on a full time basis to really have a well thought of plan. It’s not easy. I’ve been flying solo now for a few years and it’s a constant grind, albeit an enjoyable one. Even though I was making more money in the corporate word, I could never go back. Nothing beats this lifestyle.
Well, I think distractions and information overload are the biggest problems for anyone who want to make money online at home. In my opinion, to avoid them, just focus on one work at a moment. I feel that will improve my performance. Thanks for sharing!
Yeah, very true about the information overload.
Most industries that have low barriers are pretty much over traded, BUT it also provides for a healthy industry. The weak find it hard to stick it out and the ones that master it will have a recipe for success – for life. For me #2 is the most valuable with age. Great post!
I started blogging a couple years ago just as a hobby, I suppose. I never thought about doing something like this full-time, but it’s definitely something to consider. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it at first. It was something new to try. And I found out that I absolutely love it! I’ll be looking into how to do something like this full-time. Maybe not for myself at first, but maybe eventually.
Slowly slowly. It’s much less stressful that way.
These are all nice perks, but at the end of the day money talks for me. Even if you got rid of all the other nice little bonuses, #3 is my driving factor. There are so many different means of achieving financial independence via the internet today. And they ALL require much less expense than a brick and mortar business, you can earn FAR more because your client base is world-wide, not just local, and you can do all of this in a fraction of the time it takes to expand to such levels in a physical business. I’d put up with all of the other nuances if they were necessary to achieve great wealth online. But because they are not, the internet is my dream come true, and the end of the road for this soldier. 🙂
Well I’m glad you know what motivates you Chris! Money is not a big motivator for me – I really need to feel like I’m doing something useful.
I think it is a best choice one can make to build a career in online world. At the same time, it is quite scary for someone (like me)who has a moderate day job to quit and go online.
I have gone online a few months back on part time basis and aiming to make my future on the internet. The main reason is the liberation to live the life in a way you want. I must admit it is not a bed of roses and still figuring out to build a solid base here.
Yeah it takes a long time. No hurry!
My team and I were all friends in college, and after we graduated we decided to step out on our own and see what we could do. It’s very similar to your story of just starting down the path and seeing what happened. It started out with helping organizations sift through their high and lofty visions and nail down specific tactics to actually get things done, to website building and other online marketing help. Now, we’re primarily focused on helping bloggers grow their email list and wow – it’s a fun world – but definitely challenging! Thanks for sharing this and reminding me of a few reasons to be thankful.
Love it Justin. Nice to hear some similar stories.
I really enjoy readying your blog. It gives me motivation to move forward and write content on my growing blog. I’m still working as a blacksmith in my city (full time) and for 2 years I have been selling sites, but didn’t get enough revenue, so I started my blog to earn more from ads and subscribers. I think it’s a good idea to work from home. I just can’t wait to earn more and only work from home. That’s my dream. Like you said, you can work in your underwear…
Thanks for the nice read, I’ll come back later and read another great post from you.
What kind of sites did you sell? How did that go?
Thank you so much for this post! I happened across your website because I searched Google for the best time of the day to post a blog article. I signed myself up for your emails and my husband because we both decided this week to work on our individual blogs and brands for many of the same reasons you listed here. You’re an inspiration and I’m very grateful.
Thanks Nicolia. I’m glad something here has helped someone.
I started a blog at the beginning of the year hopeful that someday it will provide me some sort of income instead of just a voice to the world. Would have started a lot sooner but I simply lacked the know how to generate and run my own site.
Probably not the best place to start with a goal of making money, but I started with a wordpress.com site. It’s been easy, affordable and a great introduction to blogging for a neophyte like me.
I have learned a lot in the past few months and part of that has been reading many of articles posted here. With your indirect help Ramsay I’m currently in the process of converting over to a self-hosted site.
The reasons for stating an online business was easy. Now I’m hoping you can address the hard part and explore different options available for monetizing a blog?
Thanks for the many great articles.
Congrats on the move to your own blogging host. Good idea.
I’ve got something coming up soon that will hopefully help you out.
Til then! 😉
Thanks for the great tips, this blog is awesome. It has really been a huge help. I have one question though… Why don’t you have a search bar? Just wondering if there is a specific reason for it. Thanks again!
I don’t publish very often so a search bar could reveal some pretty ordinary results for people. I prefer them to go looking or read the content I subtly push them to. 🙂
There are 2 main reasons which make me start making money online: I can free in my own business, and online marketing is the future of business. Thanks for sharing!
It’s great idea to work online business from home. But the main problem is that how they understand actually what they do if any problem occurred.
I am in the beginning states of trying to start my own online business..a boutique. I am an American abroad trying to figure out the shipping. I’m looking for the flexibility of being able to travel back home and to trade-shows…because I’m in Macedonia. I’d like to have that travel flexibility because sometimes you do need a break….once the business takes off of course…and if this shipping works out. Thanks for this!
I am doing online business from home. The main advantage is that we can work whenever, wherever…..
Very interesting blog but also so very true, the beauty of it for me is that there is a senario that everyone can relate to.
I have worked in construction for 26 years and can really relate to “Put your energy into your own asset” for years I busted my behind just to make someone else a fortune, along with the site supervisors and foremen (who didnt really have a clue)loving it that I was reaching their targets and goals making them look good.
And when things get tight they let me go because they see me as a threat.
I studied for 4 years and am now starting my own online business, and will never go back to working for someone else.
Your blog post is an inspiration and I recommend it to everyone whether they want to start their own business or not.
Thank you for sharing.