If you work from home or are thinking about it, you’ve probably read some myths or false truths about what working from home entails.
Well, I’m here to tell you not to believe everything you read online. I’ve been freelancing for over 4 years and here are some of the major freelancing/work-from-home business myths and the real truths. Lean in!
You don’t need an office
It’s your home, right? You can work at the dining room table, on your couch or a favourite chair. While most people would tell you that successful freelancers or work-from-home workers have an office, I’d like to digress a bit.
I don’t have an office, yet I wake up early, take care of my home and kids, get myself ready, work, take a lunch break and work hard. If you can afford to have an office set up, please do. However, the most important thing to know is that if you aren’t disciplined, you’ll end up doing nothing, home office or not.
Meetings have to be physical
Not anymore. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught individuals and businesses anything, it’s that majority of businesses can work from home. Video conferencing allows highly productive meetings to take place on sophisticated platforms or Facetiming on your iPhone.
If anybody still believes that they have to meet their clients physically, they are probably living in the stone age. However, if you have local clients, you can take the time to meet them for lunch or an appointment. There’s still that trust that comes with seeing someone physically (even if it’s once).
It’s harder to work than in a traditional office
I often hear many freelancers or work-from-home workers compare their workload to that of traditional office employers. Maybe this is to assert the legitimacy that their work deserves? However, I’d like to reiterate that every business owner (work-from-home or traditional) works hard, irrespective of the location. Let’s just get the job done!
Now, this is one myth that irritates the heck outta me. Many people believe that working from home grants the worker flexibility. The truth is that even if we don’t have a boss, we have customers and they demand services that meet certain deadlines. Those deadlines often take the flexibility out of our schedules.
Clients won’t take you seriously
Indeed, some customers don’t want to work with freelancers, but most will. Everybody has preferences on the type of business they find trustworthy. You won’t win all clients as a home-based worker but you can certainly win enough.
Other than overhead, there is no financial incentive for working at home
Overhead is a pretty big financial incentive but home office deductions, office supplies, software, mileage, travel, fuel, data, telephone charges and childcare are a few of the potential expenses—just like a traditional office.
The family will lower your productivity
You can’t make a living as a freelancer if you’re trying to babysit your children but there are ways around that. Your hours could be after they go to bed and before they wake up. You could get a babysitter to take care of them during the holiday until the kids resume and head to school every day. Find what works for you.
Let’s not forget that a traditional office has its massive share of distractions as well.
There are virtually no startup costs
For some businesses, that’s true. Consultants, for example, may have next to no startup costs. However, specialized work requires specialized equipment that costs money – sometimes, a lot of money.
It will never be more than part-time income regardless of how hard you work
It used to be difficult to make a full-time living as a home-based worker but today, the playing field is far better than it used to be. To earn a comfortable living in any field, you have to invest time to gain experience, invest money into education, and a whole lot of sweat equity. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or an office, the way to succeed is to outwork your competitors.
You can get rich quick
People still fall for these myths. You can still see plenty of advertisements for work-at-home businesses that make N300,000 per day or more. That’s statistically not going to happen. Aim for comfortable living and don’t fall for anything that doesn’t hold up to the rules of common sense. Period!
Online business is strictly passive income
I’d like to laugh in Spanish with this statement. Boy! I’ve heard it countless times. Sure, sales happen when people sleep but the amount of work it takes to build a successful online business means they probably aren’t sleeping much anyway.
Only after an extraordinary amount of work will you begin to see some passive income but you must work hard to figure out how to sustain it. There’s no rest when you’re in the online business.
Don’t fall for the lies you read or hear. If you want to know the true picture of what working from home looks like, ask somebody who has found success doing it. Don’t believe everything you read.