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Just What Is Your Time Worth?

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Recently, I got the brilliant idea that I’d like to work outside my home again. Yes, any freelancer alive considers this from time to time. Late paying clients, lack of work, or sometimes simple burnout can make you think you’d be better off punching a clock for some company somewhere.

To Work or To Work from Home?

For some people, working for an outside company could be a good solution with a small business on the side.

When to Work Outside the Home

  • If you can’t stick to a freelance schedule and find yourself not getting work done, then it might be best to work for someone else who can keep you on task.
  • If, after giving it your best shot, you still don’t have clients or enough income to survive, you might be better off getting a paycheck from a company.
  • If you are the sole breadwinner and need money to put food on the table, then freelancing probably isn’t going to happen overnight for you. You may need to use our steps to transitioning from work to home.

When to Work for Yourself

  • You are organized and a hard working self-starter.
  • You can make more per hour as a consultant than as an employee because of specialized knowledge.
  • You have savings or another income (from a spouse, for example) to keep you afloat while you get started.

$16 an Hour May Not Be Worth It

In the Midwestern area where I live, $16 an hour is pretty good pay. Most people would jump at a job that paid around that. However, after a recent interview, I came home and crunched some numbers. Here is what I found:

  • I make a lot more than $16/hour
  • I like working for myself and setting my own schedule. The thought of punching that clock 8 to 5 every weekday wasn’t a pleasant one.
  • I wasn’t working efficiently. I waste time. I play Facebook games. I get on Twitter. I check out what’s going on over at LinkedIn. I browse the news. I read through e-mails. I chat with friends. Were I to put in the same number of hours I was considering going in and sitting at a desk, I would easily double my current income.

Ultimately, it just isn’t worth investing in a new wardrobe, being gone all day every day, having to plan my vacations around someone else’s schedule and being thoroughly exhausted. I simply need to be more focused and then the late paying clients really won’t make that much of a difference. I also will have more flexibility to cut loose the ones who do not pay on time.

Consider More Than Just the Money

Making a decision to work from home or in an office comes down to a lot more than just how much you can make per hour. If you’re an outgoing introvert like I am (that’s right – you would never know I am an introvert if you met me because I’ll talk your ear off, but I prefer to be alone most of the time), then working from home by yourself will be ideal. There are times I crave company. I just get in my car and go visit my friend Jenny or I walk across the street and chat with my parents. Most of the time, I am very happy sitting in my home alone during the day and working on my writing, editing, web design and promotional items.

Keep in mind that I have a family. They are home in the evenings and I get plenty of human interaction.

On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who is extremely social, you probably will not be happy working at home alone.

Ultimately, you have to look at both earning potential and where you’ll be happiest and make the decision to work from home or not. As for me? I have come to a new realization that I truly love the freedom of working for myself. If you want to join me on this journey, come back for more articles on how to start your own home business journey.


Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.