How to Earn an Income from Home and NOT Be Tied Down

The goal isn't more money. The goal is living life on your own term. - Chris BroganHave you ever wanted to go on vacation, chaperone your kid’s field trip at school, or take advantage of another opportunity but couldn’t because you had to go to work? Or maybe you own a business where you have to be there everyday to mind the store, ship product, or whatever it is that you do.
I remember when that was me. Before I got married I would put in a lot of hours at work, collect my overtime pay, and save up my money. I was never a very outgoing person, so that was fine for me back then. When I got married and had kids though, that changed. I wanted to be able to do things with my family.
The idea of having to beg for time off from someone else sucks. Your little girl is performing in the school play on Friday afternoon and you are hoping that your boss will let you go. It’s like when you were little and had to ask your parents if you could go play at Billy’s house, except now you’re an adult.

It’s even worse when you have a business that requires you to be there. There’s no one to ask for time off. Do you have an employee that you can trust to man the store while you’re gone? Do you hang that little clock sign in the window telling your customers that you will be back in a couple hours and lock the door?
I was lucky. My boss at the time was pretty flexible, but I have had jobs where they weren’t as accommodating.
The goal isn't more money. The goal is living life on your terms. ~ Chris Brogan #quote Click To Tweet

How to Take Back Control of Your Freedom

So, how do you take back control of how you spend your time? Let’s look at a few requirements that you have to meet to really take back your freedom.

  • It has to allow you to schedule your business around your life instead of your life around your business.
  • It has to make money for you whether you are there or not.
  • It has to be location-independent. In other words, you can work at home, an office, at a coffee shop, or at the beach.

I had no idea how I was going to achieve this back when I had a job and my kids were babies, I just knew that I wanted to.  It wasn’t until a few years later, after I went through massage school, that I learned about network marketing.

Hold On

Ok. Let’s stop right here for a minute. Yes, I said network marketing. It’s got a bad reputation with people who really don’t understand what it is, mostly created by desperate people who were not taught how to work it as a business. Humor me for just a moment before you decide leave or stay.
You’ve heard of franchise restaurants, like McDonald’s. They are popular if you have the money (like a million dollars is what I’ve heard). Now you’re in business selling someone else’s products. You pay your fees, hire employees, and buy the products to keep an inventory. The corporation does television advertisements to generate traffic for you and you keep the profits.
There are a lot of headaches. You have a retail store to keep up, employees to manage, and inventory to keep track of, not to mention the huge initial investment.
Network marketing is very similar to a franchise except that it’s a LOT more affordable ($100 for the one I’m in now), no employees to deal with, no physical location to keep up, and no inventory worries. You get a customer to place an order and the company does all the rest – payment processing, inventory, order fulfillment, product warranties, all of that is handled by the company. Generate orders and collect a check is all you have to do. Sounds easy, right?
As I said above, network marketing gets its bad reputation from people who got into the business for the wrong reasons. Maybe they need to make money quickly because they owe a debt that is due or something. No real business is going to make you rich overnight, at least not likely. It takes time and effort to build anything that’s worth building.

Back on Topic

I found that network marketing gives you a lot more control of your time. You are now free to go do the things from time to time that you want to do. You don’t have to ask permission from anyone to go see your daughter’s play or chaperone your son’s field trip at school, or go on vacation.
Traditional network marketing still requires your presence at meetings and all sorts of other things, so it doesn’t completely satisfy our requirements by itself, though it can be a big step in the right direction. It doesn’t allow you to leave for an extended vacation, which is what I want to be able to do once my kids are old enough.
Don't build your life around a business or job. Build your business around your life. Click To Tweet

The Internet Gives You Real Freedom

I decided early on to take my new network marketing business online, make it an internet network marketing business. At that time there weren’t many network marketers online. I started by creating static HTML pages  for the products on a website that I controlled so that I could rank on Google Search, then sent the traffic to the company’s website when my customers were ready to order.
My business hasn’t changed very much in the eight years or so since I started. I eventually learned about WordPress so I recreated my website using it and added a blog (not this one) to promote the pages and products. WordPress makes the whole business of creating and maintaining pages so much easier. That’s right, WordPress isn’t just for blogging.
Now my internet network marketing business meets the requirements that we set for creating freedom. Once again, those requirements were:

  • It has to allow you to schedule your business around your life instead of your life around your business. Network marketing by itself does a fairly good job. Moving it online makes it even easier.
  • It has to make money for you whether you are there or not. The internet is up (mostly) twenty-four hours a day, so any content that you create is working for you all of the time.
  • It has to be location-independent. You are in business as long as you have access to the internet through a decent wifi connection.

To be completely fair, there are other ways to meet these requirements, but everything I know of does require the use of the internet for marketing and communication. Affiliate marketing is another option that I use a little bit. I like network marketing better because, as I mentioned in my last post, it involves building and being a part of a team. It has built-in support. Product training, business support and general cheerleading can all be very important, especially when you are just getting started with something new.

Where to From Here?

You can find out more about working with me and what I do here. As I think is pretty clear, I believe that whatever you decide to do, you probably want to be online so that you have more flexibility. No matter what you do, building an online presence is important. Check out a recent post that I wrote about how to build your online presence.
What do you think of online network marketing, or any other method of building an online business that gives you time freedom? Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts.

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4 Responses to How to Earn an Income from Home and NOT Be Tied Down

  1. Rachel says:

    A great post Ben, loved it.
    I’d like to add here that being an owner of a startup, one has to work really hard. All those small business do not have any other option but to give 18+ hours a day to their newly launched business.
    How do you rate startups and startup owners, and what you suggest for them?

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for your input Rachel. I had friends many years ago who took over a franchise yogurt store location, a TCBY maybe, and they pretty much worked every day from before the store opened until after it closed because the margins were low and they couldn’t afford to hire anyone. Startup businesses, especially physical brick-and-mortar stores require huge amounts of your time before they become profitable because there is so much overhead cost in rent, initial inventory and advertising. That’s a big reason why online businesses have become so popular. A lot of those startup expenses go away.

  2. John says:

    Great post Ben!
    I like your take on network marketing and running it purely online!
    Running an Internet marketing online business is what can truly give you both time and financial freedom and more people should be learning these skills.
    The opportunity is enormous 🙂
    ~John

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for visiting John. I agree with you. The opportunity for making money, and connecting with great people, online is absolutely enormous.

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