Home-Based Business Opportunity Seeker- Learning What Not to DO as You Seek Business Opportunities

Like a moment captured in time, I remember leaving work on my 25th birthday, heading for the train to whisk me to my sanctuary: my home base. En route towards the subway station, I peered at all the magazines in a newsstand. After a long, exhausting, anxiety-provoking day, I decided to take a few moments, gather myself, collect my composure, and read – one of my favorite diversions.

My eye immediately caught sight of a plethora of money-making, small business, and home-based business opportunity magazines. They beckoned me closer, promising that I, too, could escape the rat race if I followed the secret blueprints included within the magazines’ contents. Moreover, according to so many magazine authors, the transformation from workplace peon to entrepreneurial magnate could readily occur without too much work and at breathtaking speed.

I never envisioned that I was a home-based business opportunity seeker. But perhaps it was fate (in my 20′s, I believed that fate was responsible for everything!) that led me to these myriad opportunities, guiding me in a direction away from Corporate America to my favorite place in the world, my home.

The thought of working at home, serving as my own boss, was tantamount to winning a lottery – freedom from demanding bosses, gossipy coworkers, long commutes, capped salaries, etc. I was going to do everything in my power so that I could head towards the seemingly greener pastures of self-employment. With inexhaustible determination, I was going to empower myself — to become my own boss, to pull my own strings. This was the birthday present that I was going to give myself!

Toward this end, I stayed up all night reading the five business opportunity magazines that I had purchased at the newsstand. There were so many home-based business opportunities to explore. The people who were disclosing the secrets of their success seemed so earnest and caring, so intelligent, perceptive and friendly. Surely they wanted the reader to join them in the good life. (Interestingly, it seemed as though every picture of such people revealed wealth beyond measure. Mansions, expensive cars, awe-inspiring surrounding landscape were staples of each image. And the smiling countenance of all connected me to the “benefactors.”)

If financial constraints were not a problem at the time, I would have purchased all the programs offered in all the magazines I had read. Still, I narrowed my selection down and purchased 10 of the deemed best home-based business opportunities available. $300 was a small price to pay for one’s freedom.

With credit card in hand, I called each company making small talk with each representative, wondering why they had not simply taken advantage of the wisdom provided by the information that was so accessible to them. Perhaps it was fine to work for someone – as long as the boss was not just a cog in a corporate wheel, but a truly inspirational and creative entrepreneur.

Nevertheless, my entrepreneurial path was already set and I would soon graduate from mere home-based business opportunity seeker to home-based business opportunity doer. Of course, I needed the coveted blueprints from my prudent purchases but they were due to arrive within a week. I could hardly wait!

Anticipatory excitement reached a feverish pitch and I remember racing to my room to open the first business opportunity package that was delivered. But in the mere course of 15 minutes, I knew that this program did not come with an accompanying blueprint for success. It seemed incomplete, poorly written and organized, and merely rehashed the benefits of multi-level marketing (MLM) – something that I had been exposed to (reluctantly) when I was in college. I was to promote their product, gaining direct commission, and then benefit from those I had signed under me when their promotion efforts were rewarded.

Feeling deflated and defeated, I subsequently compared the ad with the actual program. I thought if they invested half as much time to create a viable program as the creation of this clever ad, I might have found a means to an end: finding the Shangri-La of self-employment. Still, when I read the ad closer, it appeared that the purveyor of the program never indicated what the program entailed! The ad only pointed out what was not entailed.

The nine other packages followed suit – all providing useless information that would not propel me towards entrepreneurship. Upon reflection, closely examining the ads, the purveyors misled the reader, dissembled motives, embellished the potential profit, negated the work involved, etc. I suppose I received a $300 education as to how NOT to become your own boss. Actually, some of the companies honored their money back guarantee, so my cost was not as high. Still, I believed that the road to an entrepreneurial venture could be uncovered.

Years have passed and through the benefit of business and life experience, I can now offer the following important points to home-based opportunity seekers:

  • It is unreasonable to expect earning a considerable sum of money in a short duration of time. Yes, others have accomplished this feat but it is certainly the exception and not the rule. It takes time to build a business, including a home-based business.
  • It is similarly illogical for you to expect that hard work will not be a prerequisite for business success to be attained. There are many business owners who delegate responsibilities but not typically at the beginning stages of their business. I have heard many entrepreneurs mention that at the inception of their business, they worked 50-60 hours per week and longer. The “work smart and not hard” principle is not always easy to apply.
  • While the lure of an Internet home-based business is seductive, there is much competition. Be realistic in your goals but aspire towards greatness. You can succeed but understand the underpinnings of your business. You may have to learn about or contract with those with expertise in web design, shopping carts, gateways, merchant accounts, search engine optimization, marketing, etc. As your knowledge base grows about your field and about the online world of business in general, you will prosper.
  • The ability to market and even advertise your business rank among the most important factors to its long-term survival. Regardless of how great your product or service is, it is meaningless if potential customers do not know you exist. Realize that you have to gain marketing prowess for your business to flourish or be willing to pay someone who possesses marketing skill. You need to consider free and paid advertising sources as well.
  • As you assume the role of home-based business opportunity seeker, consider what type of business you want to own. Do you want to pursue multi-level marketing projects? Would you rather participate in drop shipping programs or affiliate marketing programs? Perhaps you can create your own product or offer a particular service. As you consider the all-important direction that you want to take, factor in your interests, hobbies, passion, experience, aptitude and even potential.
  • Reach out and find people that you trust where you can bounce ideas off each other. Certain business forums offer a wealth of information. Many members truly want to contribute, ensuring the success of others. You can even visit your local SCORE office – an organization designed to help new business owners, free of charge.
  • Do not believe everything that you read and embrace the “If it is too good to be true, it probably is” truism. Be wary of business opportunities that require an investment, do not have a money back guarantee, are vague with their business description, etc. You should know all parameters of a potential business. Let common sense prevail.
  • You don’t necessarily need to buy a designed program or follow in anyone else’s footsteps. We tell children to “Use your imagination.” We should follow suit.
  • As you engage in the research and preparation of the business, promise yourself that you will not forever remain a home-based business opportunity seeker. You will take action when the time is right! Indeed, success will never materialize if you remain on the complex and convoluted home-based business opportunities fence. Eventually, choose a direction and never look back!