Start A Home Business

But First, Look Within!

The most important factor when you start a home business is YOU! In order to be successful, your home business has to fit your talents and interests. You can't start a home based business just because it looks good to you.

If you already know yourself well and have a good idea of what your values and interests are, you can skip this page and go directly to the Start a Home Business - Practical Considerations page.

If you are doing something you love, your inspiration will help you to persevere in the face of the inevitable challenges involved in starting a home business. Though this sounds a bit obvious, many people who start a home business forget this.

How easily we forget!

I am a prime example! Well educated, bright, resourceful...and even trained in business(!), I did not stop to consider the obvious when I needed to start a home business... and neither do many otherwise intelligent folks.

To start a home business, and make it profitable takes time. It also takes an investment of money. Sometimes it takes years to show a profit.

You need to enjoy what you're doing so you can stick with it! The decision to start a home business is such an important one, why not make sure that it is a good match for you?

How do I get started?

"So how do I start a home business that fits me?" you ask. First, let's look at YOU, and what motivates and inspires you. So grab a piece of paper, or open up a notepad document on your computer. Think about this:

What gives your life meaning?

  • What brings meaning to your life?
  • What brings you the most joy and fulfillment?
  • What are your values?
These may sound like cosmic questions, but they are VERY important when you start a home business. Write down a short list. What if you're not sure what gives your life meaning? "I never thought much about this?" you say.

If this first excercise is difficult for you, take a visit to our Free Career Tests page and take a few of the tests. Have fun and get to know yourself! When you're done, come back to this page.

OK, back to your list. There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions. Each of us is as unique as a snowflake. This uniqueness is the key to starting a home business that works for you. Here are a few examples (the names are fictional!) What brings Annie's life meaning is:

  • Taking care of my children
  • My relationships with my friends and family
  • Being able to enjoy nature
  • My relationship with God
What brings Brenda's life meaning is:
  • Intellectual pursuits
  • Enough time to read, write and research
  • Service to my community
  • Helping my family and friends

GREAT, you've done well! You have a list of the most meaningful aspects of your life. These are your priorities, and are your own unique expression in the world. Start a home business with YOU in mind!

What activities do I most enjoy?

Now, make a second list. Choose the top 5 or 6 activities that you most enjoy doing, that you would do even if you didn't HAVE to do them... The activities Annie most enjoys are:
  • Playing with my children
  • Taking walks in nature
  • Cooking and baking
  • Reading
  • Taking care of my garden
The activities Brenda most enjoys are:
  • Going to classes
  • Writing and reading
  • Surfing the internet
  • Participating in community service projects
  • Watching movies

What do I most dislike doing?

Okay, let's write your LAST list. Write down 5 or 6 of the activities you just can't stand! Usually this isn't TOO difficult a list to write! What Annie most dislikes doing:
  • Paying bills and doing my taxes
  • Spending too much time in the mall
  • Watching the news
  • Housecleaning
  • Going to parties
What Cheryl most dislikes doing:
  • Having to sit still too long
  • Doing my laundry
  • Housecleaning
  • Watching TV
  • Being stuck in traffic
  • Working in a boring job

Now let's put it all together!

Okay, by now, you've got some good information about yourself!

NOW, lets look at what you've got. Put all three lists together. We'll use Annie's lists as an example: What brings Annie's life the most meaning and joy is:

  • Taking care of my family
  • My relationships with my friends and family
  • Being able to enjoy nature
  • My relationship with God
The activities Annie most enjoys are:
  • Playing with my children
  • Taking walks in nature
  • Cooking and baking
  • Reading
  • Taking care of my home
The activities Annie really dislikes are:
  • Paying bills, and doing my taxes
  • Spending too much time in the mall
  • Parties and small-talk
  • Housecleaning
  • Paperwork, typing
These lists are very simple, but they are your blueprint to help you start a home business.

The decisionmaking process!

Your lists will be a BEGINNING for your search. There are many other factors involved when you start a home business which we'll discuss on Starting a Home Business page. But first, lets look at your decisionmaking process.

If you find a legitimate business opportunity, you'll look at it from the perspective of MATCHING your interests with whatever business you are looking at. You will start a home business with your lists in mind. You will pay special attention to your first list, about what gives your life meaning.

Looking at opportunities

Before you look at home business opportunities, take the time to educate yourself about Work at Home Scams. Let's see how Annie uses her lists to help her make decisions about business opportunities.

She loves to take care of people, and her relationships are important to her. Any home business she chooses MUST allow her to express this part of herself.

First Annie finds an ad for a Pre-Paid Legal business. She decides that's not a good opportunity for her, since she hates doing taxes and other kinds of paperwork, and law doesn't interest her.

There are a lot of 'help wanted' signs in her neighborhood for housecleaners, but she doesn't like housecleaning, so starting a home business in that area would end up eventually feeling like a drain on her energy.

She sees some information on starting a Virtual Assistant business, which is a tempting idea because these services are in demand in her area...but Annie remembers that she really hates doing paperwork!

Finding the home business within!

Eventually Annie does some research in her community and learns that there are many working people who don't have time to cook for themselves. She gets an idea to open her own catering service, preparing ready-to-eat home cooked dinners.

Perhaps she can even use her home grown vegetables from her garden to save money on her costs and also increase the appeal of her meals. Who wouldn't love a home cooked meal made with garden fresh vegetables!

Because Annie loves to nurture people, she really likes this idea. She is energized enough by the idea to explore start-up costs, local business zoning regulations, and other factors involved when you start a home business.

A good match

Annie's story is just one example of how you can use this simple information about yourself to match a home business opportunity to your own unique interests.

Examine each opportunity with YOU in mind. Don't get swayed by how potentially lucrative it might be. This is secondary to whether or not YOU will enjoy what you are doing.

If you like what you're doing, starting a home business can actually be fun! A good match allows you to start a home business with excitement, motivation and enough interest to keep you going for the long haul.

Other important factors when you start a home business!

Once you've figured out what you are good at, and what interests you, learn about the other factors to keep in mind when you are starting a home business.