Work from home - for real?


Alright, this is an extension of the thread I submitted earlier for my husband, this time inquiring for me.

I have tried out a couple of websites (one of them even Catholic) for mothers seeking to work from home. Sorry, can’t remember the names specifically. Both times I’ve taken a call from a ‘team lead’ and it boiled down to: MELALEUCA.

I have a hard time even asking for Mary Kay orders at work - I HATE asking people to buy things, especially stuff I wouldn’t spend money on myself. I seriously considered trying to get some training from a medical facility offering transcription on the web.

On the other hand, as much as I long to be at home w/ my children, I’m not sure how much actual ‘work’ I could get done or how much actual quality time I could have w/ my kids.

Any advice or suggestions?


Working from home and having a home-based business are not the same.

I work from home. I have a full time job, and an office. I travel. I work OT. I don’t have kids, but if I did the expectation would be that they are in childcare.

There are some work from home jobs that are legitimate and very flexible, but again, during the hours you are working you would be expected to have a quiet, business environment and children supervised by others. There are call centers that employ home-based agens (, Jet Blue, etc). Some let you work at home but require you to live within X miles of one of their offices, others are completely virtual.

Consulting work can also be done virtually if you are in the right field, like computer programming, training development, technical writing, etc.

Contrasting that is a home-based business. You set your own hours. You create a product or service, sell it IRL or online, or do some sort of work that can be done when kids are sleeping, etc. Most of these don’t produce the type of income that a full time job does-- work at home or not.

I have a couple of friends who are FT moms and have home-based businesses. They work hard, but do have flexibility. One sells on the internet. She makes a product and sells online-- she now has some wholesale customers. She is very busy, but I don’t know how much she actually makes… I do know she’s been in business over 5 years.

The other had an in-home bridal accessory business she had for about 6 years. She doesn’t do it anymore, but she had the spare bedroom set up as her bride room. She did tradeshows (like the Bridal Extraveganza that comes to major cities) she advertized, she got word-of-mouth referrals. She ended up giving it up when she had #2 b/c it was too hard to have people coming to the house and the kids needing her attention. She made “spending money” not a second income.

Oh, and another makes hand-made jewelry and sells online and at craft fairs. Again, I don’t know how much she makes, or if this is just “spending money” and something she enjoys doing.


Multi Level Marketing aka Network Marketing (what Amway and all those other companies are…) like to paint a picture that you can work 30 minutes a month and make a kajillion dollars.

One CAN make money at them, but, you have to be committed to work them like a full time job. That would mean being out there, holding meetings and demonstrations and recruiting, pounding the keyboard and the pavement, working the phones, and getting in front of a vast number of people.

If you are looking for something you can do for an hour or two a day when the kids are taking a nap - MLM would not be the ticket.


I had a friend who did medical transcription at home while she raised her kids. She is a top-notch typist and was able to work on her own schedule. The UPS man would deliver the material and she would transcribe it & send it back. I don’t know how much she made, but it worked for her.



direct market sales are tough-- as you already know. you have to be ‘on’ all the time, always open to making the next pitch. no product sells itslef.

as for medical transcripts and insurance billing from home, two of my friends paid a lot of moneey to complete those on-line courses and buy the software but the orders never came. a lot of those companies have no connections. this happened with two differnet work-from-home marketing ploys.

if you want to do that kind of work, find somebody like Linda’s friend-- somebody who is already making it work-- and follow their route.


I looked into work-from-home schemes a while back. The thing is even the technically legit ones are competitive – one site warned that medical transcriptionists are extremely so, and as for selling health products from home, well, some people I know do really well at that but they are natural salespeople, healthy themselves, well-connected to large health-conscious communities and among the first around them to get into that kind of work, so the market was wide open when they started. Then they worked much harder at it than at a regular job. Maybe even all that isn’t enough to guarantee a profit to everyone who meets the criteria.
You have to fight this job market on its own terms right now. It’s based on a million applicants for each job. OK then, apply for two million jobs. A million people want in on a marketing scheme? Check out a few million schemes. That’s how I’m doing it. It doesn’t look like there’s any other way to get by anymore. Hope you find the right one.:thumbsup:


I have to say to make any of those Home business opportunities work whether it is like Mary Kay or Avon or one of the party based businesses such as Tupperware or Pampered Chef you have to put the time in, you can choose your own schedule but in order to make money at it plan on spending a minimum of 40 hrs a week at it. I know, I am an Avon Lady ;). I make money when I put the time in, I don’t when I don’t put the time in.

I know some who make enough to support themselves and their families - those are the rare few though and they are very disciplined - only working at it when their children are in school (don’t know what they do in the summers).

I am very much into doing it more for something to do, more a hobby than a money making prospect. I have shown a profit about two of the eight years I have done this. I don’t have the drive to do anything else or the need right now either. And so you all know, I have ultra-sensitive skin and can not use many of the products I sell including make-up and some of the jewelry!

If you want to do a home-based business though, stick with the major names such as Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Melaluca (yes, it is a legit one), Pampered Chef etc. Personally I don’t like the party plan ones PM me if you want more information about Avon though I just don’t want to violate any forum rules ;).

Brenda V.


Take this for what it is… I have taken in the KoolAide and given this type of biz a run.As well, I have graduate degrees in engineering and business and sell Amway. People sell and intrude all the time, the Televions is the biggest intrusion known to man. Eh, so what. Selling is a learned behavior.

While these educational experience do not make me smarter than everyone else, they do provide insight into important areas of business. Amway was actually THE company that paved the way with its products and style of business over 50 years ago. The rest of these types of comapnies hold no candle. It is not really a Multi Level Marketing strategy in my view… it is a Networked team approach which has been farmed out by the holding company so that they don’t have to staff sales people to payroll.

Things I don’t like-
-Myth busting, Ive actually just quit doing that since it is my brand and my company that makes or breaks the success.
-The fact that it was started by very high level Masons and the Company is stull run by Masons, ( I am currently struggling with this a bit, but the Amway business is a great idea and concept)
-Rudeness- Your gour to run into people who are rally clueless and challenging. I see it as a method of making my “flint” harder and being more emotionally intelligent.
-False remarks about Amway… they make you buy stuff. (you dont have to buy anything) Those Amway people arent very nice (every business creates its own model… you can not expect everyone to be St. Therisa) Joining Amway is like looking for a franchise or company to work for, you have to like and feel synergy with the person you are going to team up with.

Things I do like

  • You really meet some honest people trying to provide for their families and make a better buck.
    -The products are quite impressive and I can drop ship them without keeping inventory.
    -Extra income
    -Getting to know more people and providing them a way out of their mess.

It provides a number of opportunities for tax breaks, learning for success in life, their tapes and sales tracking sites are incredible… In a nutshell, I think its the most turnkey business a person can take a run at. If you dont have anything beyond a GED, I recommend giving it a run. If you are down and out, I recommend giving it a run. If your being blackballed because your too old or made some mistakes in corporate america, give it a run. It doesn’t really take as much time as you think. It is really a brilliant concept and the products are world class.

Keys to success are like any other business effort… they include integrity, trust in your team and visa versa, persistence, belief. and a strong personal goal that is connected in some way to Gods will in your life… sending your children to college, paying off your house and getting out of debt(bondage), more time to spend in prayer, going to daily Mass, These are all drivers. If your desperate to change your life, think seriously about this home based business.


Thanks for the post & thread!:thumbsup:


I used to telecommute. I worked in insurance and after working there a number of months, they actually encouraged telecommuting because it allowed them to expand without renting or building more office space. I worked lots of overtime and the office had to be a room of its own. Had my daughter been born before I quit, I would have had to find childcare. They had me on 10 hours mandatory overtime every week and often increased overtime when a paid holiday came up. I spoke to another pregnant woman who worked there who admitted filling out her leave papers on company time because the company had taken all of her personal time away from her. I was very happy to find another job.

If you’re looking for a little extra money that you can earn in your free time, you might want to look into Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program.

But I’ve heard you have to be careful with it. Its not that you won’t get paid, its that the tasks don’t pay much. I think its a system that you’d have to learn to use well to make the most of your time. Otherwise you might spend an hour making a dollar.


I’m a network marketer. LOVE It. I’ve been working my biz as I can. I’m ranking appropriate to the amt. of time I put in.

You want a legit company, with low entrance cost. Actually ability to get an ROI.

Network marketing isn’t about selling products. It’s about team building. You could sell thousands and thousands a month. If you don’t develop a team, you won’t make anything. At least you won’t retire on this job.

I personally know the people up my line who are making substantial incomes…

I don’t do party’s. I don’t carry inventory. I have low overhead… you have to pick an choose. Just like restaurants. There are plenty of gourmet restaurants out there… and plenty that will make you sick as a dog…

Good luck!


I’m a lawyer-turned-translator and work from home with a “company” registered in my name. Mostly translate legal stuff. All work done home or on a borrowed laptop occasionally (I don’t even own one, actually). Love the flexibility and free time and all, or the not splitting a lion’s share of the profits away to a boss, don’t really love being phoneable like from early morning to late night and never being conclusively off work. I’m only so when I sleep or something like that. I guess this is the price for never really being conclusively at work, that is, no other person can stand above my shoulder and order me around. I work for others and surely do it to their order, but my work on my own turf. This is nice. Home-run businesses are good. Often work from home for a real employer, or some kind of independent contractor that’s neither salaried nor a sole-prop, can be better. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to work as a webdesigner but I’ve never done that for money (it’s a very cool thing to do anyway).

I’d look for jobs coinciding with your education (always helps to have some formal credentials), your interests, your skills, your other personal strengths; then jobs you could see yourself learning from a course and performing for a living from that point onward, at least for a while.

Be careful with any shady firms, make a million bucks without sweating much businesses etc. Be extremely careful with anybody who’d actually require you to pay any money initially, e.g. for a training or some form of deposit, let alone as a penalty for not getting sufficient results in something. In short, don’t become the victim of a scammer.


no, not Melaluka!!

Ok, I'm sorry, but my mom's friend sold that stuff when I was younger. It smells HORRIBLE and doesn't really work.

Maybe it's better now, maybe it's great now, but if I were you, INSIST on samples before you commit to anything. You want to "believe in" a product you are going to sell (unless you are an incredible actor) so if it's as horrible as I remember, you may have to do a lot of acting.

It IS a real product, not a scam, but again, I would make sure you LIKE the stuff first.

(if I remember correctly it was natural cleaners, lotions etc. from Australia or something?)

I don't remember that lady making any money off of it. But if you have LOTS of friends, it could work. I can't imagine that you wouldn't ever have to leave your house though. Unless you do all your selling online perhaps, but then how will people know what the product is like?


as a side note-- this has been an issue, esp. with women, for a VERY long time!

I have some magazines from the 1950’s and in the back are DOZENS of ads that say “work from home” and they are usually sewing projects.

In my 5 years as a SAHM, I found very few ways to truly make money at home.

one was painting (and selling paintings at a gallery)

consigning clothes that my girls outgrew (didn’t make much with that)

I got lucky a few times and did some “mailings” for people-- like stuffing envelopes.

I always wanted to do some mass-produced craft type things, but I couldn’t decide on what would produce the most profit for the materials (and something that people would actually buy).

One idea (even if you are crafty) is to make things that could be sold for Christmas gifts. Esp. religious things like rosaries, little ornaments etc.

Or, there’s the option of Ebay, you can sell almost anything. But of course you would have to still go to the post office to mail things. I thought about doing this, just going to thrift stores and finding little knick knacks and then try to sell them for more than you bought them (or restoring things you find at flea markets) But then again, if you aren’t “crafty”, none of this would appeal to you, so sorry)


if you are crafty or anything, you can get an Etsy site…LOTs of neat things to sell there! i would do homework and research FIRST before i dive into a transcription program. most BIG practices have in-house transcriptionists. you may find luck, though, in smaller medical practices and doctors who have their own practices…


I am so very blessed with a job I do from home. It’s my own business and I work my own hours. If I had small children at home, I could do my work while they napped and after they went to bed at night. However, I HAVE to get orders done and shipped in a timely fashion and I’m guessing when I had very large orders I would have to send the children to the sitter for a few hours for a couple of days.

When I did have children at home, I tried Mary Kay, Coppercraft, Avon, A craft/stitchery party business and Tupperware. With each of them I made enough money to cover the initial outlay and to made enough to get a lot of products that I wanted. While I’m a great salesman if you come to me wanting the product I’m selling (what I do now) I am not so good at convincing people to buy something that they don’t really need and might not buy unless I can convince them.

Here where I live, there are about 10 people for every medical transcription job available. I never tried that, though I would probably be good at it since I’m a nurse and can key upwards of 120 words a minute. I think that more and more hospitals, medical institutions, offices and such are going to computerized stuff and the Doc’s put their own notes into the computer. Lots of physicians are using keyboards that they carry with them, so there’s nothing to transcribe.

Before you decide that you are going to try to sell something or make something, make sure it’s something you like and can use and want. If you don’t like it, you won’t be able to convince me that I need to buy it from you.

My best advice would be to take a hobby that you love and turn it into a business…
Examples would be: Cake baking and decorating, alterations for others, quilting, candle making, making baby clothing, crocheting/knitting dog sweaters, stamping, scrap booking, etc. and so forth. If you make something and anyone has ever gone, “wow, that’s wonderful, I’d sure love to have one” then there is the potential to turn it into a business. :slight_smile:

Good luck!


[quote="gh4, post:16, topic:117045"]

My best advice would be to take a hobby that you love and turn it into a business...
Examples would be: Cake baking and decorating, alterations for others, quilting, candle making, making baby clothing, crocheting/knitting dog sweaters, stamping, scrap booking, etc. and so forth. If you make something and anyone has ever gone, "wow, that's wonderful, I'd sure love to have one" then there is the potential to turn it into a business. :)

Good luck!


One thing about selling food from home: check your local zoning laws and health department regulations. Unless you're just doing it for friends and friends of friends, you're going to run into problems advertising this out to strangers, as well as facing potential problems if anyone claims to get sick from your product. And if the health department gets involved, you may have to do drastic remodeling to your kitchen (and your lifestyle if you own pets) in order to do this sort of work from home... and that's IF your home meets zoning regulations.


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