Work At Home?

Today’s entry is not written by me.

It is a response to a message board post.

Over the past several years, the author has responded with a similar post to countless messages from people desperately seeking a “work at home” opportunity. Each time I read it, I am impressed with the honesty and forthrightness of the message.

Personally, I think the message should be the first article at any blog, or forum that discusses the topic of “working from home.”

Thanks Audrey for allowing me to reprint your message here

We’ve had several new members join recently who have said they wish to “work at home”

I thought I’d run a post I wrote from several years ago:

A gal named Melissa asked about spending $35 to buy a book of “work at home jobs”. I answered her as follows:


Save your $35. I’ll provide you free of charge in this post, anything that might be in their “book”.

Let’s start with some basics. There are only TWO things you can do at home, yes, only TWO.

You can telecommute or you can run a business. That’s it, TWO.

TELECOMMUTING–This means you have been hired by an employer, and that employer is open to having you work at home anywhere from a few hours a week, to full time.

Some folks will work mornings in office, afternoons at home. Afternoons at home, allows them to pick up their kids, start dinner etc, all while working also.

Some folks work every other day in office. This allows them bring work in, drop work off, be available for meetings etc.

You are an employee. You are either paid per hour or per week.

The sentence I see most often posted is “I want to work at home, so I have more time with my kids”. Find some folks who do telecommute. Their kids are in daycare, as they need to work. They also end up putting in more than 40 hours per week as they want to make sure they put in their 40 hours and make up for those trips to the store, the trips to pick kids up etc.

Telecommute positions are very tough to find. Most employers are not willing to have employees working unsupervised. Reason is, just look in office. Truly, how many employees give a job their all? How many work hard even when the boss is away? How many come in a few minutes early and leave a few minutes late on a consistent basis?

Now let’s compare that to how many make personal calls? How many take a few extra minutes on their lunch? How many stand around the water machine chatting? How many day dream and don’t produce as much as they can/should? So, most employers are not willing to allow employees to work at home.

Again, speak to some folks who work at home. Ask them point blank what they did to get this job. Most will tell you that they had worked for a long time prior to this arrangement. They will tell you that they know their job inside out. They will tell you that they work over 40 hours per week. They will tell you that they do get “lonely” working all alone. And they’ll tell you they do go into the office frequently.

There is no book of companies that allow telecommuting. Those employers who have allowed this have done so with an existing employee. My sister telecommutes for HP. But she had her degree in computer science. She has had tons of company training and she worked there 10 years. So putting HP down in a book and telling you that they hire telecommuters is misleading at best, an out and out lie at worst. And you have to pay for that book.

A BUSINESS–To start there are only TWO things you can sell. You can sell a product or you can sell a service. Look around YOUR town. What do the businesses in YOUR town sell? They all sell either a product or a service. A home business will be no different, you’ll sell a product or a service.

If you want to sell a service, look within. What are your skills? Are you proficient with a word processor? If so, you can consider selling your word processing skills. Remember, proficient means near perfect. I can use MS Word, but I could not sell it as a service.

Have you done bookkeeping or billing before? If so, this again, is something you can sell as a service. Are your kids older, in school all day? Consider an errand service. Heck, there are many days I feel I live in my car LOL. I always have books with me as I’m forever waiting for someone or something. Do a web search for
errand services and view what others are offering and at what fees.

Are you an expert with a sewing machine? If so, offer tailoring and mending as a service. I am only 5’2″ and both my kids are 5′. We need everything altered. I would love to bring it to someone’s home versus having to go to the dry cleaner, and change in their icky little bathroom, etc.

Prefer to sell a product? You have a few choices, yes, only a few. You can make the product yourself. You can purchase from a wholesaler, or you can purchase from a direct sales company. That’s it, only those few choices.

If you wish to make the products, again, look within. What hobbies do you have? What crafts can you make? Some folks sell hand sewn or hand crocheted items. Some sell homemade soaps and lotions. Some sell homemade jewelry. Are you able to do this?

You can contract with a wholesaler. Look up ________ wholesaler in a search engine. The blank is for whatever product you want to sell. There are wholesalers for just about everything imaginable. Want to contract with a direct sales company? Go to . They have a large database of their members. Their members range from cosmetic companies, to toy companies, to clothing companies and everything in between. You don’t need to pay to access this database.

The site you listed provides a books of scams. Home assembly is a scam. Now, there are exceptions. Occasionally a factory that makes items will advertise for local employees. You’ll go to the factory, fill out the application, meet with them, and get hired.

There will NOT be a fee. You’ll drop off and pick up finished products. Assembly-at-home jobs found on the internet are SCAMS. Don’t believe me? Find me just two people who do this and make money. Just two. From anywhere in the US. Just two 😉

The site you mentioned speaks of transcribing. Do you have experience and training in transcribing? If not, you are not going to be hired. Again, don’t believe me, find me two folks with no experience who were hired to transcribe at home.

The site you mentioned spoke of US mail. Chain letters are not legal. All those ads for mail-from-home, order process from home etc; are all a variation of the same scam. You pay money. You get directions to place ads like the one you answered. You then receive a percent each time you scam the next person. You TYPE or PROCESS their ORDER. Nice play on words huh?

If in fact, typing at home, assembly at home, processing orders at home were legitimate, don’t you think we’d read more about folks doing this successfully?

I’m sorry for the length of this. I can almost guarantee you would not have gotten this much information had you spent the $35 😉

Audrey 🙂


Audrey Okaneko has worked at home since 1983 and is the owner and moderator of Web Based Business Community

About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous, Multi-Level Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.

What Do You Think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.