Searching for Alternative Forms of Income

August 3, 2011 at 3:55 AM 7 comments

Since I decided to test the waters as a stay-at-home I thought it would be wise to investigate the money making opportunities that might be available from the comforts of my very own home. In an ideal world I would love to contribute to the family income while still spending the majority of my daytime hours with the little-one-to-be.

To be honest I can’t imagine a world in which I won’t bring home a paycheck every two weeks. I’ve been working since I turned fifteen, (since nine if you count babysitting), so the idea of not bringing in any income is a foreign concept to me.

In an effort to merge the best of both worlds I started investigating a number of career options that might provide me with the ability to work primarily from home. I’ve considered a plethora of ideas including working in real estate, technical recruiting or simply writing software from home. My concerns range from wondering if the income with be steady, will it take away from my family if I am living in my workplace, and how do I file taxes if I am self employed?. Since some of these options may require additional training or certification I’ve also thought of taking a more direct look at alternative sources of income.

Some ideas are certainly easier to implement than others. I can try to increase advertising revenue for my blog, write an eBook or consider direct sales. My mom sold Tupperware in the 80s and I’ve known many friends and coworkers in recent years who have worked for companies like Pampered Chef, Avon and Southern Living.

A couple of my favorite blogs recently hosted giveaways from a site called NOVICA. As an entry into one of the contests I had to search around the site for items I might be interested in purchasing. While I was poking around I noticed they recently started a home party division for those interested in direct sales and I started researching the costs associated with starting a small home based business like this one.

According to the website NOVICA works with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their talents and provide access to the world market. They sell a range of items including women’s accessories, men’s accessories, cufflinks, jewelry and home decor.That seems like an interesting niche for a direct sales company. Many of the others focus exclusively on makeup or jewelry.

I know people who have had amazing success with direct sales and some who haven’t had any success at all. I’m not sure if I’ll pursue this, but I am definitely interested in investigating my options and deciding whether or not it might be the right fit for me.

What are your thoughts on direct sales? Have you ever tried this line of work and if so did you have any success with it? I’d love to hear your suggestions and recommendations.

On one hand I’d love to earn some extra income. On the other hand I’m the type of girl who typically recommends saving not spending money, so I’m not sure how this would fit with my particular personality.

Entry filed under: making money. Tags: .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. spaghetti0625  |  August 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    It all depends on what you would like to sell and what other people are buying.

    I did/do Partylite and it you work your business, you can make a very nice check. You get 25% on all sales, and if you 'bonus' you get an extra 7%. And you get rewards and stuff for excelling (free product).

    I started, wow, let's see in college, so maybe 11 years ago? I've done it off and on. You get a free kit, which is why I started. The other ones you had to pay for your kit. Now, they are more focused on doing 'online' shows, instead of home shoes, so it's even more time to spend at home with your little one to be.

    There are meetings you can attend and it's almost like a big group of friends. However, they do talk to you about 'moving up' and recruiting people. This is similar in all direct sales. The more people below you, the more money you make. It's Multi level marketing. I never recruited b/c I knew the people and it just wasn't for them but they always called me for candle orders. I was just a plain consultant and when I did shows and focused on my business, I did very well for myself.

    But they are pretty much all the same, you just have to find one that you will LOVE the product that way your heart is in it. And even with Partylite, I did a few shoes where the product sold itself. The people there hadn't seen each other in ages and all they wanted to do was catch up while ordering from the catalog.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    Reply
  • 2. Newlyweds on a Budget  |  August 3, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    I would love to work from home when I have kids so this is a topic I'm interested in, BUT I know that direct sales is just not for me. I didn't even like selling candy for school because I hated asking people. so yeah that's out.

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymous  |  August 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Why not try to build on what you already have? Like blogging…any way to beef up your site and maybe get a bit more money through advertising, or reviewing books and products? I know absolutely nothing about making money that way, though. If you like sales, I guess you would first need to identify a product or company you really believe in and want to support, like Spaghetti said. Or maybe even babysitting one other child in your home?

    Reply
  • 4. Anonymous  |  August 3, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Oh, oops, you did already mention advertising in the blog. Sorry. :P

    Reply
  • 5. Ruby Leigh  |  August 5, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    I strongly considered becoming a Pampered Chef rep a couple years back when I was between jobs. I think their products are great and love too cook, so it seemed like a good fit. Even found a group that seemed relatively supportive and helpful.

    I had a few reasons for not committing. One) You have to start by advertising to your friends, which I didn't care for but also would be difficult because most of my friends were too young to want a stockpile of kitchen utensils. Two) The income was decent, but not comparable to my previous salary (or not until you started having underlings and really power-sold).

    Overall, I don't think they are entirely bad gig. However, if you have skill in Software Development… you could most likely find non-sales wfm work. If you need additional training, take the time you have at home to pursue that. It could be as simple as taking a additional language course.

    Reply
  • 6. One Frugal Girl  |  August 5, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    It's funny how many of you suggested staying away from direct sales in favor of something that I'm more passionate about or could make more money doing :-) @spaghetti0625 seems to have made her work with direct sales pretty enjoyable. If that's possible I would definitely be interested, but because of my anti-clutter, "don't buy things unnecessarily" approach to living I'm not sure that sales is the appropriate place for someone like me. Still… I figured I'd add it to the list of 'at home' jobs to consider.

    Reply
  • 7. Jerry  |  August 5, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Good for you that you have decided to stay at home. Unfortunately, when our first daughter was born, it was not possible and my wife had to continue working to keep our health insurance. When you make a big decision like that it does lead to being more creative about how to support your family.

    Reply

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