You read that correctly. $120,000. Much of it wasted. Please learn from my mistakes. The home business world can be very rewarding, however for most new entrants it just tuns out to be both expensive and frustrating. After 3 years elbow-deep in this industry I may be able to offer some useful tips.
Hindsight, as we all know, is the clearest of visions. In this case it will save you a pile of money, wasted months or years, not to mention an emotional rollercoaster ride.
This industry is a minefield. Peril and loss lurk at every corner and most new entrepreneurs pay a hefty price on their way up the learning ladder. I certainly did.
Most advice on offer is either inaccurate or little more than a thinly disguised sales tool. People don't tell you, they sell you. If you are looking for feet-on-the-ground practical advice please read on.
Let's Cut To The Chase: Are There Any Real Opportunities?
This is a common and valid question as there is an excess of dubious and over priced opportunities on offer. The short answer is yes. However just because an opportunity is 'real' does not mean that you will not lose money. Taking forex trading as an example, even though it is a real business opportunity, when matched to the wrong type of person, it suddenly becomes a disaster waiting to happen.
Property or real estate, trading the financial markets, direct response marketing and e-commerce are all well established real businesses, and all fall under the canopy of the home business industry. There are plenty of real opportunities.
Alright, So How Much Can I Make?
Do you think anyone can answer that honestly or accurately who doesn't know you? The extremes I personally came across were: one man who made over $100,000 in one month and another who lost $40,000 in 24 hours. Most lose money. This position could be reversed if a few guidelines are followed.
Home Business: The Big Picture
There are no guarantees. If you are not prepared to accept full responsibility for any decision, outcome or loss, do not start. Complainers and moaners should not enter this bloody arena.
The good news: after 3 years of testing, I would say that this is one of the best times in history for an average individual to make money through a home business.
The bad news: more than 91% of people who start just lose money.
The easiest way to sum up the big picture of my observations, and at the risk of sounding patronising, is to reprint the email I sent my oldest son after getting the following question:
'Dad I want to earn some extra money while I am at University, does any of the stuff you have been researching work? If so how do I go about doing it?'
If you want to start a home business there are 12 important aspects to think about:
1. The quickest way to make extra money is to reduce your expenses and increase your working hours, that's not very sexy but it's true. Home business is a medium to long term strategy.
2. It isn't going to be easy or quick, but it is doable. It is also probably easier, cheaper and quicker now than ever before.
3. DO NOT rely on it working or being able to pay any bills!
4. Start part-time.
5. You need to assess yourself. Or better still do it with me, because regardless of telling you the best option - the biggest unknown to you making a home business work is you: your temperament, your motivation level, your experiences, your intelligence, and your work ethic.
6. The single biggest variable of 'you' is your inherent temperament. This determines how you go about the day to day actions and reactions to your business and the inevitable problems. We can discuss this in more detail later.
7. When we have done the above I can then match you to the best option.
8. Depending on what transpires you may need to find a friend/system to balance your weaknesses.
9. You can start with nothing but determination and drive, a willingness to learn and the ability to recognise and lever your own weaknesses - and my help! You need no capital if you can find someone to joint venture with, otherwise allow $400 or 200 GBP minimum.
10. Have a realistic expectation. You will pay upfront in time, expense and effort. Like anything there is a steep learning curve which means it will take many attempts before you succeed. Once you have it your skill and knowledge will stay with you always, so it is well worth the effort.
11. How much you make and how long it takes is entirely up to you. No one can predict it, be wary if they do. There are only a few companies, products etc that are value-for-money and worth using.
12. Be aware that the failure rate I have seen is over 90%. However this is mainly because people are being sold businesses or tools that will never work for them. I can lend you a strong helping hand, but most of the success will hinge on your shoulders.
Bottom line: Assess yourself and choose the home business that is right for you at the start, and you will have won half the battle. Then, if you are prepared to allow the time, pain and patience to become skilled, success is just a matter of time.
If you get it right you will have true freedom and financial dignity - high goals to aim for, but also a long way to fall.