This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
I found an article on startupsmart that I couldn’t resist reading and sharing with you. The story is about the top home-based business myths and I know you freelancers out there will be able to connect with at least one of these.
The Hours are Easy
PLEASE! If anything, the hours are harder than working for someone else at their office. When you work for yourself you have to not only do the primary job, you have to handle your own marketing, manage your own sales, handle your bookkeeping, answer the phones or spend money to hire people to do this for you. Many freelancers, especially those just starting out or dealing with a down economy, don’t have the funds to outsource, so all of these duties fall on their shoulders.
Being organized takes a lot of time, leaving less time to do your actual job. Many freelancers who work from home don’t have time for a leisurely lunch, afternoon work out, or even time to throw in a load of laundry.
You Can Sit Back and Get Rich Quickly
Ask any freelancer and they will tell you they work hard for every penny they make. There are a lot of ads out there that tell you that you can earn thousands a week from home—it’s all bunk. When you are a freelancer you have to find your own work, people aren’t beating down your door. It takes time to make and build successful relationships that will turn into a continued profit. There’s nothing “quick” about it.
You Don’t Need to Spend Money on Daycare
Parents might think that working from home is ideal. They can save money on daycare while getting the job done. This entirely depends on how old your children are.
I have a friend who owns his own public relations consulting firm. His wife works in communications, too, and they have worked it out that he will work from home on Monday’s to help take care of their new baby. “I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea,” he told me. A baby eats every few hours, needs to have their diapers changed, and sometimes, wants to be held no matter what. It’s hard to work through a crying baby—especially when it’s yours. He’s not getting as much done at home as he thought.
If your children are older, you need to consider their needs, too. Sure, they may nap for a couple of hours a day, giving you time to get down to work, but when they’re awake, they require your attention. Some children require more attention than others. What will you do when you need to have a meeting or an important telephone call? A screaming child in the background is unprofessional.
It’s Not a Real Job
Yeah—tell the federal government that. You pay taxes on every penny you make as a freelancer, and if that doesn’t make it a real business, I don’t know what does.
All You’re Doing is Moving Your Job to Your Home
If you are starting a freelance career from a full-time job, don’t think you can just keep your same normal working hours and routine. A large corporation makes your routine for you. You have to show up at a certain time, work with your colleagues, and have a boss you can talk to and champion for you. You have a set number of paid sick days and vacation days. Those disappear when you work from your home.
The good news is that you can finally create the schedule that works for you. The hard part is sticking to that schedule when there is no one holding you accountable.
Your Home Life Will Remain Exactly the Same
This is so not true. I found that as a freelancer, I was working more hours and spending less time with my friends, family, and husband.
When you are working a full time job and freelancing on the side, as many of us do, it’s taxing on the people who love and count on us. My husband is understanding—to a point. He needs my attention, too, and we have made concessions that we only work until a certain hour and spend a couple nights a week not working in order to spend quality time together.
Sure, freelancing can bring in more money for your family, but it’s not worth it if you don’t take the time to enjoy them. Find out what works for your family and lay down some ground rules. It will benefit them as much as it will benefit you.
Being at Home All Day is Awesome
I am a social person, and being alone in my office all day with no one to talk to besides my Chihuahua can get to me. That’s why I am involved in my community and volunteer outside of my job. I need to bounce ideas off people, socialize, and yes, sometimes complain. Getting involved outside of your office is a great way to keep from feeling isolated.