The Work At Home Curse

Here’s a story…

2 years ago I quit my career in the customer service industry to pursue my dreams of making money, from home, on my own terms.

I learned everything I could about building great websites and blogs and started flipping them online for cash, which at it’s peak was generating more than 3k per month in profit.  I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a kid who’s spent the majority of his life broke, 3k per month was bling bling!

After my days as a rock star site flipper sizzled down, I got into the offline market and started pitching my services and expertise to local businesses – which was in the later part of 2009.  I knew that I was the best at what I did (WordPress and social media) and had this innocent idea that I would make way more money building a 5 page website for a business than I would flipping it online.

Work the same (8-10 hours a day) and make more money – it was a no brainer.

12 months later…

I have been grinding full time as a guerrilla web designer, copy writer and social media guy, helping businesses all over Canada get more leads, clicks and phone calls from their websites – and things have been good, but there’s just one thing…

I’m still trading hours and tasks for dollars, while working on the client’s clock.  Sure, I make about $300 per month passively through Google Adsense and a bunch of niche blogs I own, but at the end of the day if I stop working, the money stops coming in.

Here is where the problem lies.

When I quit my job, it was because I wanted to work less and make more.  I wanted to make money while I sleep and remove myself from my businesses with no fluctuation in my bank account.  After two years of being able to say I “work at home” I’m not sure I’m on the right path…

It is the work at home curse.

When someone first discovers how to “make money online” and the glorious lifestyle it can bring you, everything is covered in sparkles and ribbons.  The grass smells so sweet and the possibilities are endless.  All you need to do is to build a bunch of websites that make money when people click on them, quit your job and travel the world while you become a millionaire.

Sound familiar?

I know for a fact that there are thousands of people all over the world that are “working from home” and are their own “boss”, and so many of them are just as tired now as when they were working for the suits.  The question I’m really trying to confront is this:

At what point should I stop romanticizing the fact that I’m self employed and actually start making money doing something I love?

Don’t get me wrong, the Internet has been a passion and fascination of mine for 15 years, since my very first encounter with America On Line (remember the free CDs?)

Anyways, I guess what I’m trying to say is all any one can do is dig deeper and wider in hopes of striking “the force” when everything finally aligns…  Consider this day 1 of my personal revolution.



P.S.  You can obviously see that I’ve gotten extremely bored with current design of the blog and decided to start experimenting in real time.  Bare with me!

10 thoughts on “The Work At Home Curse”

  1. Elijah I can really relate to a lot of what your saying. Working from home can be extremely hard and no one is an overnight success. You say that you would like to stop fantasizing about being self employed and do what you really want to do. I was wondering if you would be willing to let us know what you would love doing? Anyhow look forward to checking back here on your response. And just want to say keep up the good work on your blog.

    PS: $300 a month on Adsense is very impressive, congrats.

  2. I feel you dawg, things arnt that eazy these dayz considering the comp & aggressive online social media entrepreneurs. Most social network services are web based and provide means for users to interact over the internet, so that would explain your success as a website builder. The best thing i can say is imagine urself infront of God and he said Elijah what is your calling? I think you need to follow ur heart and continue to drive urself towards ur passion. Let me tell you about a secret society that has brought me so much success in many aspects of my life. Im writing you because you have been choosen by the higher authority whos name i can not reveal. We have many lodges around the world who some of the most powerful people men and women attend. If you are interested into becoming a member to receive our secrets and attend our lodges for brotherhood discusser just respond but let me remind you, you must believe in a higher power of any nature…our faith determines our strength in our souls so reply and i shall tell you more that will benefit you for life Elijah Vieau.

  3. Ouch, dude. I’m at about $200mo passive. Nice little sideline, but definitely not enough to live on! I’m just starting to get back into working on my sites, though- developing a new battle plan since my current passive stream won’t be able to withstand a lot of growth. It’s almost like starting over, but I think I know how to make my current stream push through my new projects a bit.

    I do feel a bit sorry for all those clients out there- Freddie’s slowing down, Ian’s trying to cut his out, and now you’re moving the same direction. 🙂

    Between you and V, I have no doubt of your totally smashing it. And remember, you’ve got a decent pool for links… I mean, support. 😉

  4. Man Don’t I know it. I’ve been slaving lately for a few meager cents it seems, especially with Google latest Algorithm change. Sites that I had ranking at #1 on page 1 of Google, are now either down to #6, or some are on page 32.

    It’s interesting though to see what moving from #1 on the first page down to #3-6, the money falls way off, it’s incredible what a position on page one will do to you, or not do for you.

    Christmas was good but then Google started messing with me and my sites and now I’m wondering how much longer I can do this without getting burned out.

    I’d seriously like to find a sustainable way to make consistent cash flow and not have to work so damn much.
    Thanks for the update, was wondering what happened to you.

  5. I’ve worked at home before it was tough to do with all the distractions. Domains – never tried flipping them for online cash, but $300 month passive income is pretty good.

  6. @p90x – It would be difficult, as I’m passionate about so many things. Helping people, creating music, the outdoors, animals, film… I think trying to help people more rather than “sell” is a good first step for me.

    @Abutted Nerve – Whatchu talkin bout Willis?

    @WV – Ahhh my dear.. It always make’s me smile when I see you’ve left a comment! Our longest, most thoughtful blog reader… I think it’s about time V and I came to visit you!

    @Larry – Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, my income relies very little on Google, and I sort of like it that way for the exact reasons you stated. Do you have a list going? You’d have much more control over that. Page 32? lol.. that has to hurt!

    @Dedicated Cpanel – Thanks. I actually flipped entire websites, but domain flipping is good if you have some money to play with.

  7. Know what Elijah – after close to 1.5 years of being self-employed, I just quit it and got back to a regular job. What I’ve realized is that when you are in the daily grind of the work-at-home job, you stop looking back and understanding how you are going about it.

    Given a chance, I would hire myself as a consultant to advise me on my strategies. That way, I would have not made the mistakes I ended up doing.

    I remember mailing you about your passive-income sites once..Probably it is time you shift your work balance in building your own sites..

  8. Man, do I know where you are! I didn’t necessarily quit to work from home, but I thought I’d figure out the passive income part while I did what I wanted to do to bring money into the house. I average about what you do on Adsense every month as well, but that’s not going to get it done. So I scramble every month for the money to help get our bills paid.

    However, two things. One, I’ve had some great years to counter the bad years. And two, at least it’s all still on my terms, and that bit of freedom is always welcome. Same for you.

  9. @Anand – Yeah, I’ve think about where I want to go more than I think about where I came from (a cubicle). Setting up reliable, recession proof income streams that are passive is probably the MOST time consuming, compared to other ways of making money – it always seems to be the time that I’m lacking!

    @Mitch – Hey! I sort of started out the same way i.e. building up passive niche sites while I was still “employed”. I learned that setting up passive streams is the hardest when you don’t have any start up money to play with (outsource).

    It’s all about numbers at the end of the day – Thanks for the great comments. You guys keep me going!

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