Not everyone thrives in a work from home environment. Don't force it if a home business isn't right for you.
I love working from home. My freelancing business has been very good to me, and I am grateful for my opportunities. However, not everyone enjoys running a home business. While I wouldn't trade my home business for anything, it is true that there are some challenges that are sometimes overlooked:
- Lack of social interaction that comes with a job in a more traditional workplace.
- Need to motivate myself to get to work on days when I don't feel like writing.
- Distractions, from my sweet son to my dear husband to whatever fun thing is happening online. Focus can be hard to come by.
- Difficulty, sometimes, with convincing friends and family that I am, in fact, working.
- Cost involved with paying for my own health insurance.
- Tax considerations, including self-employment tax.
- Trying to get some clients to pay on time — or at all. It can be frustrating to try and chase down payment.
- You don't always know when the next project will come. As a result, your monthly income is somewhat variable.
- Realization that it's “quitting time” and I need to get off the computer and interface with my family. There's always more to do when you have a home business.
These challenges, in some cases, prove to be too much for some. Indeed, there are those who — in spite of all the evidence offered by many financial writers of the superiority of running a home business — simply prefer to work a more traditional job.
Do You Really Want a Home Business?
While it seems like a dream come true, working from home isn't for everyone. My brother recently visited and told me of a class he had attended, with a friend, at a local business college. The instructor, a serial entrepreneur, had insisted that the only way to health and happiness was breaking the chains of a W-2 situation and embracing the 1099 situation.
For some people, this business instructor is dead-on. I love working from home, and running my freelance business, even with some of the challenges. My husband, on the other hand, finds the prospect of a home business stressful. He did some consulting work and, frankly, hated it. It ended up being more work than he expected. Payment was slow in arriving. And, of course, he wasn't sure where to find another client who wanted a statistics/survey design consultation.
A traditional job offers stability, regularity, and benefits that a home business is often without. In most cases, you know exactly what is expected of you, how much you are going to make, and you can leave your work at work. There is a lot to be said for this lifestyle, and there is nothing wrong with preferring a traditional job to some of the insecurity that comes with relying on home business income.
Each person's ability to tolerate the stresses that come with running a home business is different. You can't expect the same situation that works for someone else to work for you.
Before you start a home business, step back and realistically assess the situation. You can even give the whole working from home a dry run by starting a side hustle first, and seeing how you handle the challenges.
Recognize your own limitations and preferences. If, in the end, you decide that a full-time work from home situation isn't really your thing, work on improving your career, and making the most of your traditional job.