Elaine Hancock on Working from Home

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When I took early retirement from a Corporate job to work from Home, friends, family and colleagues thought I might have "lost my marbles" - but I was fedup with all the travelling and stress working for a boss entails and my mind was stubbornly made up.

Having lost my husband to skin cancer, I had read every article on caring for your skin I could lay my eyes on and this was the area I wanted to pursue in my own time.  It was a complete turn-around from what I had done all my working life, but it was something I felt passionate about.

I had always admired the people who took chances to enhance their lives and felt envious of all those who seemed so relaxed earning money at something they loved, and at hours of their convenience. To me it gave more meaning to the saying "Work smarter, not harder".  Think of all the hours you have put in, just to make some company rich, why not do that for yourself.

First I enrolled for night classes at a Beauty College, while carrying on with my day job.  At 57 I was the "old lady" in the classes and sure I must have been laughed at by a lot of students, but I wasn't to be put off, taking my daughter in as my model when needed.  (My peers were too embarrassed).

Six months later I was a qualified therapist and able to join a beauty house to learn their products in detail and so started my home salon, which has been in operation for 3 years now.  I am stress free and have great job satisfaction, my only regret is that I didn't do this sooner.

I recommend anyone who is thinking of starting up something at home, to try it out on a part-time basis (week-ends and evenings) to gain confidence and get an idea of what your particular interest would involve.  In these economic times it even makes sense to have idea of what you might do should you unexpectedly find yourself out of work.  Everyone is good at something, you just have to find your passion.

I am no expert but I have learned that the following 10 points will go a long way in making a success of Working at Home for yourself.

1.  You are never too old or too young

2.  Trust your gut feelings

3.  Don't get despondent - every day is a new opportunity

4.  Clients/Customers don't fall from the sky - have patience!

5.  Word of mouth is the best marketing, speak to everyone you meet

6.  Join clubs or social events where you can network with others

7.  Get onto as many free websites as you can.  (Search: Free classifieds on the web)

8.  Start small and add to your services as you gain confidence and cash flow

9.  If you are thinking about Working at Home, investigate the possiblities, there must be a reason

10.Advertise, advertise, advertise.