When living with an invisible illness you still have bills to pay, so you still need money, right? For many of us living with fibromyalgia, the financial burden that often follows is worse than the illness itself. The stress of financial concerns can really take a toll on one’s mental and physical health, thus making your conditions even worse. Maybe you have looked for work you can do online, or thought about starting a home-based business.
It can be difficult to know what to do, or where to start, when it comes to generating an income from home. Here are seven tips to help get you started.
1. Evaluate your budget. Decide how much extra money you need per month. Be realistic. If this amount is only a couple hundred dollars, your budget may not require the added income of an online job. The solution could be as simple as saving money and cutting costs. Monitor your monthly expenses. I really love Wells Fargo’s expense tracker that breaks down your spending by categories. It was only then that I realized the shocking amount I was spending on groceries and eating out. I was spending more than $1,000 a month dining out and buying groceries, so I had to get that in check.
2. Focus on the things you can do. When you have physical limitations you have to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do, and find a way to monetize those skills. Think about your hobbies. Could you turn these into income somehow?
3. What are you good at? What do people compliment you on? Or what do people come to you for? Are you good at giving advice? Maybe consulting could be your niche. Are you a good writer? Write ebooks or articles and sell your work. Make crafts or jewelry? Sell them on Etsy or at local craft fairs. In my area there’s a store that features the work of local artisans; there might be something like that in your area.
4. Do you want an actual job or just a gig? Personally, having gigs that I can take on at my own leisure, and according to how I’m feeling, is key to being most productive. If I overextend myself by taking on too much too quickly, I quickly realize that I didn’t make the best decision. I get stressed and burned out quickly. I have to have flexibility in everything I do.
5. Be patient. Sometimes the right opportunity will come by accident. For me it did. I found this one by just commenting and subscribing to Fibromyalgia News Today, and I got a lucky break. I’m not going say that finding a work-at-home job is easy, but it is possible with the right skills, the right attitude, patience and perseverance. What I have learned along my journey is it is much easier to work for yourself online, rather than finding a work-at-home job.
6. Use reputable websites. The most important aspect of finding a job or work online is to know which jobs to steer clear of. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Some red flags to look out for are anything with a fee up-front. That said, there are some very reputable websites that charge a membership fee. The ones I personally recommend and have used are flexjobs.com and hiremymom.com. These have been a great source for finding very reputable gigs.
7. Word of mouth. Ask around. Tell your friends and family you are looking for at-home work. Even if they don’t know of anything available, they might have a friend or co-worker who does. The key is to network. I recently contacted an old boss I worked for 5 years ago. He actually is now working from home doing the same kind of work I do, and introduced me to clients and contacts of his that hire graphic designers. He doesn’t do graphic design, but often has clients who need this kind of work. It is a win-win for us both.
I love helping others find ways to work at home, so much that I wrote an ebook on the subject Money Making Mommies, available on Amazon, which has a wealth of ideas and tips to find a work-at-home job, or start your own business. You also may visit my personal blog for more information like this.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.