The Work At Home Dream… Is It Worth The Risk?

Life is GREAT, the kids are a blast, and everyone who knows me says the same thing... "I want to do what you do!" The minute I hear that, my gears start turning. Its a natural reaction - I love to help people turn their lives around, set exciting goals and then achieve them.

Unfortunately, there arent many people who are willing to take the risk that comes with achieving the Work-at-Home dream. They arent willing to risk their free time to invest in their future, or arent willing to spend money or let go of their current lifestyle - no matter how miserable or frustrated they are with it...

The more I hear the questions, and the reluctance to take any risk whatsoever, the more I think back on my own decision to quit my full time job and start a home-based business. Its been on my mind a lot lately, and I have to say that I am incredibly happy about the decisions I acted on 10+ years ago.

I've been nostalgic lately, anyway. Something to do with my 10-year anniversary as a work-at-home mom and business owner, my oldest step-daughter getting married next month, and my youngest child going from my baby girl straight into being a pre-teen.

I'm at this exciting place in my life where I can look back over the past decade and clearly see my progress and accomplishments, and look ahead at the decade before me with much anticipation. 34 is proving to be a great year πŸ˜€ .

I do realize that its hard to see the benefits of making such a huge life-change when you arent standing in such a place. But that's where it starts: visualizing yourself there. Being able to see yourself as the person you want to become, living the life you want.

As this week came to an end, I had one of those quiet moments where you stand at the kitchen sink looking out the back window... and just smile. We had finally gotten some much-needed rain here in Tennessee after a very hot dry spell. I had walked over 8 miles during our evening walks, many of them in a light rain or a full-on storm. We went on a big shopping trip in the middle of the week. And yesterday... we walked the railroad tracks over the river and then waded the creek below the dam.

There were dozens of moments in the last week alone that I would wish for anyone. Just smiling, being content, laughing together and even at each other, waking up and going with the flow with whatever the day offered.

There are times that I almost feel bad for the people with a "real job". Not that I dont work - because I DO. And there are times I put in insane hours. But I do truly love the flexibility and the extra time with my children...

Everybody should be able to stand out in the middle of an afternoon storm and do fishy faces with a spunky 10-year old. Because those are the moments that life is made of.

Too many moments can be lost doing things we dont enjoy. And those moments can turn into years, and even decades. Wouldnt it be worth a short-term investment, or even a crazy risk, to create decades of life you can really live?

I think so. And I didnt just 'get lucky' - I busted my a$$ to make it happen.

It doesnt matter how old you are or where you are in your life. You can wake up one day and decide to change everything and do a complete 180 on your lifestyle. It wont happen overnight, of course. Depending on your goals, it might take 90 days or 9 months or even a couple of years to turn things around and get them moving in the right direction.

You just have to decide exactly what it will take, how much you can invest yourself into the plan (not how much you are willing), and start taking action. Make the decision and act on it - Period.

Here are examples of some of the more recent conversations I've had, coming from people who desperately want to work from home or do something different than what they are currently (miserable) doing...

"I'm not willing to risk going broke..."

This sounds very much like a lack of confidence. Its understandable of course. We all crave stability and financial security. But you have to look at it like this: It is very unlikely that you are going to end up homeless by making a life change. And it is very unlikely that a miserable (or even just boring) situation is ever going to get any better.

Every day that passes is your life. You do have choices in how you live it.

"I have so little free time already, there's no way I'm going to work then too."

If you would rather watch television than invest in a better future, be my guest. Two years from now you could be living the life you always dreamed of... or you could be watching re-runs after a long day at a job you still dont even like (much less enjoy).

"I can do that! It's something I would enjoy too!"

Yay! But wait - where's the follow-through? So many times I have heard this from people who pick my brain for details on how they could achieve their work-at-home goals... and more often than not, they never even take the first step towards making it happen.

I'm not talking about pie-in-the-sky dreams that seem impossible here. I'm talking about making strategic changes in your life to get to a better place. Making that decision is the first step. Taking action on that decision is the second. Your ideas and goals will gain momentum from there.

The one thing that I would suggest for anyone who is serious about making a major life change is that you find a mentor and/or a team or support group. There is a reason for groups like AA and Nutri-system -- we need support and encouragement when it comes to making changes in our lives.

Otherwise we'll make silly excuses, change our minds, or give up too soon...

Fortunately, one of the easiest sources for support is open 24/7 and usually FREE: online forums. There are thousands of discussion forums online that cater to almost any goal or change you have in mind. Simply do a search on google!

If you want to work from home, I welcome you to join my own discussion forum at Self-Starters Weekly Tips. It's free to join, and the members are very friendly & helpful. You will find the support, encouragement and resources that you need to set your work-at-home goals... and achieve them.

I'll even help you personally πŸ˜‰

work at home mom

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Kelly McCausey says

    This is a timely post following a conversation I had with a friend this week. She is having baby number two and after childcare expenses and everything else, she'll be making very little in the way of income.

    I encouraged her to look into starting something from home and she looked at me like I'd suggested prostitution or selling drugs!

    "That's fine for you Kelly - but we live in the real world." (Yes! That is what she said!)

    I was half shocked by the response and half hurt! How do I not live in the real world?

    Well, she went on to say that she has to work to keep her family insured and that she has to think of her long term financial security, etc.

    Ok - so I understand the insurance thing. I am currently un-insured but my son is covered by his father so I haven't worry about it a lot for now. Insurance is part of my plan as soon as it fits though.

    Still - she is going to work 40 hours a week for about $100 after daycare and taxes - just to keep insurance.

    Does anyone else thing that's a little nuts?

  2. The "real world" lol - thats a good one πŸ˜†

    As for insurance, I've heard that 'argument' as well. There ARE options. Lets say that your friend could find insurance coverage for $200/month (just throwing the figure out there). Add that expense to her needing to clear $100 week to start - that's a goal of earning $600/month.

    That could be accomplished in 3 months if she worked on it in her spare time (an hour or two a day) - much quicker if she quit her job and put 40 hours a week into it. Agreed?

  3. I've noticed that a lot of people simply cannot believe that it's possible to earn money at home. Took my mother-in-law years to believe that I was earning a living from home, even when I had a work at home job rather than a business.

    But once I became successful in my business, family members got curious about what I do. Gave some advice, and helped a couple get started on websites. None have gotten anywhere yet because they aren't really pushing for it. And I think that's where a lot of people fail. They see the potential for success, but not the need for hard work.

  4. And the thing about it is... its less like "work" in the traditional sense if you choose something that you truly enjoy doing.

    I wish that I could bottle the motivation and the desire and the *vision*... it would sell like hotcakes on the $7 viral method πŸ˜†

  5. Alice Seba says

    Very well said. I love fishy faces! We're going to the aquarium in the morning and email can wait.

    Kelly - $100 per week + benefits? I am in Canada (I always seems to say that), so I don't know exactly how to interpret that (perhaps see Michael Moore's "Sicko"), but that's crazy. I wonder if people every consider the HEALTH benefits of the stability of having a parent home.

    Probably saves tons in medical costs.

  6. Alice Seba says

    Forgot to say just what a beautiful young woman your daughter is blossoming into. Just like her mama!

  7. Thank you Alice πŸ™‚

    You have a point about medical expenses, by the way. And even more so if you homeschool. The few years I did, we didnt have to see a doctor even once. I take that back - Ann Marie had stitches in her knee (which cost all of 90 bucks).

  8. Hi Lynn,

    What a great post!

    Y'know, I don't know ANYONE in real life (meaning-that I haven't met online!) who does anything remotely like what I do- Internet Marketing!

    My business makes for interesting conversations; however, as you wrote, most people simply don't believe that they can do what I'm doing!

    I once saw an ad for Clickbank in Revenue magazine which expressed my feelings so well; "Ha! Silly 9-to-5-ers!"

  9. I love Revenue mag πŸ™‚ Its one of the only "real world" tangible (offline) products that I can really relate to!

  10. Great post Lynn. Your daugther is beautiful! I just had a conversation with a friend this last weekend and she said I do want to work from home but i'm not prepared to put in the hours you have... I enjoy my free time too much.

    She wants to change her life but isn't prepared to put in the work. And online business is hard work, especially at the beginning. You really have to want it enough to keep going and make it work.

  11. Hey Lynn,

    Great post, and I agree what a lovely little daughter you have. πŸ™‚

    I would love to have a daughter. Though dobt my boys want a little sis! πŸ˜‰

    Hope all is well with you.

    Take care.


  12. Thank you both πŸ˜€

    Thats a common reason that I hear too, Mila. But honestly, anything great in life takes a serious investment of time and energy. Any major change, any business start-up, etc.

    And really, its an exciting time once that energy gets rolling and you know you are doing something great - and have a strong vision for the future.

    Its tough to see people unhappy (or even just complacent) and unwilling to do anything about it - other than to complain...

  13. What a great post! Ditto on the pix of your beautiful daughter (& you as well).

    My husband and I have been working from home for the past 3 years...while we've had our share of highs and lows, we're managing well. We take our kids to the park several days a week, I take naps during the day with my kids, and I'm able to just pick up and go shopping with my mom, sisters or aunt anytime I want and take my time! Something I never got to do working in the corporate world which I did for MANY years.

    Working at home certainly presents its own challenges, but watching my kids blossom before my eyes is priceless. Determining what I want to do and not having a boss tell me otherwise is also nice...when I make a mistake, I know I can fix it. I like being in control of my own destiny.

    As for the insurance thing, that was a huge consideration before leaving my JOB, but two babies later (one covered under our self-insurance plan and the other paid for out of pocket), it doesn't pay to stay in a situation you don't really want. I'm a huge fan of HSA (health savings accounts) just need to be disciplined in contributing to it (just like your online business πŸ˜‰ ).

    Lynn, I've sent several people to your forum recently who have expressed an interest in working online...what an AWESOME resource. Just this past Sunday a couple expressed a sincere interest in starting an online business and we exchanged phone numbers to talk more about it. It certainly takes a certain "breed" to work from home, by that I mean it's not for DOES take work and self-discipline. But my philosophy has always been, EVERYthing is learnable if you want to learn it. If you want it (and are willing to back that desire up with work & determination), you can get it. Just don't ever, ever, ever quit! Even if you mess up, as long as you don't quit, you will succeed. Be willing to learn from others and take some risks and you will succeed.

    My #1 recommendation for anyone starting their own business is "association"...just like you said. You need support...hook up with someone who's been there and can help you in the right direction. Going solo is NOT the way to go.

    Anyway, great post...and great comments! Happy 4th to everyone!

  14. I agree that it isnt for everyone. But I think that the main ingredient missing for those that just cant pull off the work-at-home routine is serious motivation. I'm talking about the kind that comes with a vision or a goal that is all but consuming.

    That is one of the reasons that I recommend Think and Grow Rich so highly - because it truly helps you make your goals tangible and starts that fire within... And everyone who has read it has agreed.

    Just like with anything in life, you have to *make* it happen.

  15. Certainly...I've read Think and Grow Rich at least once before, albeit a long time ago. And yes, motivation is the fuel. You've got to make it a "need" not just a "want". Not that you need to be "rich", but to succeed at anything...losing weight, learning a new skill, etc., you've got to have something that will pull you through the times when you just don't feel like going on. All the know-how in the world and available support will not do it for have to *really* want it.

    I think I'll dust that book off and give it a fresh read. πŸ˜‰

  16. Hey Lynn, I wrote out a long response post when you first posted this but somehow it didn't post. πŸ™ Anyhow, I think it takes alot of hard work and determination to get anywhere in life. I always say it takes blood, sweat, and tears to gain any dream.

  17. I hate that we missed your post! I do agree with you on these points. I wish that more people could see the benefits of making an investment in yourself. Life is too short!

  18. Fantastic encouragement. I too work from home and yes at times I become lazy and wander around the house, but, these moments aside, I enjoy the peace of my day, and yet I am just a phone call from my office. I enjoy going to lunch with my work mates and I also have the benefit of maximizing my time to allow flexibility, such as an extra long break when going to the beach, or finish early on a Friday as I made up time the evening before. This is what working at home allows for me.

  19. You are soooo right about having a mentor and support system. It's hard to make an income online and there is always so much to learn. My learning curve is still sharply rising. It's really good that you provide this encouragement in your blog. I'm hoping to be 100% online soon too.

  20. Lynn... awesome article. Not only are people fearful to take the risk financially or risk losing their valued spare time, there is another risk that takes some facing: Fear of Failure.

    In all cases, I agree with you - support is key... and the realization that it's a process and doesn't have to be achieved overnight. I started in 1997 with a dream to work at home full time and it took me until 2004 to quit my day job. I was the sole bread winner in our family at the time with small kids, so it doesn't have to be that long for everyone.

    The motivating factor is that you can potentially do so much better financially on your own than working for a pay check. A bigger factor for me however, was the freedom. I get the kids up, make them breakfast and drive them to school. I pick them up in the afternoon. I bring them their lunch when they forget it.. ha ha.

    My wife works part time out of the home and my freedom allows her to not have to run ragged like so many working women are because their husbands are gone 50 hours a week.

    Whether you are man or a women, there is so much free online information as you mentioned that in the beginning, just a steady commitment to do some research is all you need to get started. Thanks for a great article!

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