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How to Work From Home – Part One
I have been self-employed for most of my working life. I have started and run a lot of small businesses from computer cleaning to painting and decorating to Italian marble plastering and real estate development. I like to tell myself. Nothing compares to the feeling of successfully working for yourself, but I have to say that not all of them were successes. I have struggled with all the businesses I have owned, mainly due to lack of cash flow.
I like to work from home and avoid the traffic and travel that comes with the tick-tock work and routines. In this two-part article, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my latest adventure in working from home.
In 2007, I was talking to a friend on the phone and we were discussing our current situation. I was trying to make money with my internet business and he was struggling with huge loan repayments on his shop and staffing issues. We came to the conclusion that we can help each other. I would go to work for him as a store manager, which would relieve him of some of his staffing issues and run a general store business, allowing him to develop new niche markets, drive the business forward and generate more cash flow, allowing him to reduce his credit load.
I opened the shop at 8.30 in the morning, closed it at 5.30 in the evening, worked six days a week and never had a lunch break. Of course, I realized that I was spending all my time helping someone else grow their business instead of my own, but I figured they had the money to do it and I didn’t. So I said to myself: “head down and go for it!”. This worked well for a few years, although I stopped focusing entirely on my internet business for a time, keeping my families head above water.
At this point, I was going through a complete breakup with my long-term girlfriend, and when I finally met my current girlfriend, I started to realize that the “work grind” routine was driving me crazy. I had to go back to working for myself. Developing your own future and building something tangible for your children.
I decided to move out of London, reduce my working week in the store to just three days and spend the rest of the week growing my own business from home and spending more time enjoying life with my new wife. The move took me a bit. In my almost forty years, I may have bitten off more than I could chew! I now had a six hundred mile round trip to work. My plan was to travel to London early Thursday morning and go straight to work. I worked until Saturday and traveled home either Saturday night or Sunday morning.
The first Thursday morning, when I got up to leave for the fateful journey, should have been enough of a warning. As I was getting dressed at 3am, it was snowing heavily and the gray ledden sky looked ominous. However, I had commitments. A job that needs to be done. Money to earn. So I set off in the car I just bought to get to and from work safely.
The first hour and a half of the journey was difficult. Snow and ice had settled on all the major roads and there wasn’t much traffic until I hit the freeway. Then it got worse! Traffic thickened and snow fell. The roads became treacherous. I considered leaving my journey several times, but I couldn’t bear the thought of letting people down. Especially friends. So I plowed on carefully.
I approached the highway, which tends to retain rainwater, and saw an accident in the distance ahead. I figured the water had turned to ice and just as I slowed to avoid the trouble ahead, a huge truck on my left pulled into my lane right in front of me. I couldn’t break because I was now on the ice, so I took the only action left and turned into the outside lane, the fast lane. When I did, my car began to slide and I struggled to control it. I just couldn’t keep it in a straight line. I slowly slid towards the metal bars of the central reservation. I seemed to slip into a dream world when I realized I was in serious trouble.
I hit the “real world” when the front of the car hit the guard rail and spun me around in a complete circle. When I looked up, another truck drove past my windshield, missing me by no more than an inch or two. The car spun again and hit the center reservoir a second time. I felt like a spinning wheel. As the car stopped in the middle of the highway, I realized that I was lucky to be alive, but that something told me that I was against the flow of life. I immediately decided to correct my path.
I had a very lucky escape. The entire front of my new car was squashed up to the bulkhead where my feet had been just seconds before. There were no wheels left on the front of the car. It was a total write off and I no longer had a car to take me six hundred miles round trip. yet the only injury I sustained was a slightly damaged knee, where I bumped it on impact. I called my friend and told him that my plan to run the shop three days a week was unattainable and I would not be returning to London.
I decided to take advantage of the opportunity that came my way and dove into working from home doing the things I enjoyed the most… internet marketing and web development. Working from home also meant that I was able to spend quality time with my girlfriend and enjoy not having to fight traffic on the “work site”.
Ever since I first became a CD-Now and Amazon affiliate in 1995/96, I’ve been involved in web design and internet marketing all the time. I spent several years as a web designer designing sites for Disney and the Reed Publishing empire before focusing my efforts on creating digital products. I wrote and sold my first ebook, sold products on eBay, and guided my thirteen-year-old son to become a Powerseller before discovering the potential of subscription/membership websites, where my current interests lie.
Like just about anyone who gets involved in internet marketing, I have bought into every system, method and plan to get into the market. A lot of marketers will tell you this is a bad idea and stop wasting money. I personally think it’s a great education. You should really buy a few courses, ebooks and memberships to get to know the market. You will also get a good education in what makes a good and valuable product. And what does the crap one do.
I believe you only get to know your market by trying a few products. Trust me when I tell you that there really is some crappy stuff out there. Among them are real gems that will educate you and give you great product ideas.
When you’re thinking about starting an online business, you have many options. Affiliate marketing offers one of the easiest ways to start making money. You can also look into trading on eBay or Amazon or writing your own e-books and reports. If you’re not interested in writing your own stuff, you can outsource the work or buy resale rights.
I have developed several products by purchasing private label rights to various products and then reassembling them into a membership site. I personally love the membership/subscription model of the site. After a car accident, when I decided that my future lay in growing my online business, I decided to become an expert in the design, structure and marketing of membership sites, and in the next part of this article I will give you some tips for working from home on the Internet and why i think subscription sites are a great business model.
To your success!
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