The online world is appealing for the flexibility and versatility it offers to us mums, who want to work from home and skip out of juggling a boss and kids exclusively.
I bet you’ve logged onto Facebook and seen a swarm of posts with mums and their kids saying how amazing their laptop lifestyle is.
How it is so easy.
And, how you can do it too.
But, is it all true?
Or just a scam?
The answer is both.
I’ve been a mum in business full-time for ten years now and I will say straight up an online business can create far more flexibility and freedom in your life than a job, but hey, it can also make you want to throw the laptop out the window sometimes as well.
Anyone that says you can earn $5000 a week in just a few weeks, is straight up is lying.
And, I will go one further…
Anyone saying that working with kids anywhere near your laptop is awesome, is also lying.
Unless they are asleep. Or maybe on their ipads.
Because the reality is, even if they are the most well-behaved kids, we as mums are programmed to feel guilty as hell for not paying them attention.
Take comfort in knowing that when you see those those photos, with kids, mum working away on a laptop, all looking happy and at peace?
I know, I’ve been trying to do it for ten years now.
And, I had to bribe my kids with ice-cream and pay them out in chocolate behind the scenes to make us all look like a fun lovin’ family.
The truth is….
I can’t tell you how crazy I’ve gone from trying to work with my kids around me.
And god knows how or why, but once my kids where nice and settled in at school and I had peace and serenity during 9-3pm to work, I ended up with twins.
Who are 7 months old now and I am doing the whole thing all over again.
Yay for me.
I am not saying it can’t be done. I am living proof. I am just saying, that isn’t always that fun or easy.
It takes sacrifice, it takes determination, it takes grit and it isn’t for the faint hearted but once you get the hang of it, all that freedom and good stuff.
It really does come.
That’s why I teach my clients, and share in my Facebook group of over 14,000 like-minded business mums how to manage not only their time, but also their mindset and give them insights to how to work and stay sane running a business from home.
So, if you’re going to go all in, how do you know you aren’t unwittingly buying into something that you actually will end up hating?
Firstly, it is about taking one step at a time.
The first step is understanding what is actually involved behind the facade people show you online, I’ll help you out by doing a quick summary.
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling or network marketing or referral marketing where you are essentially selling someone else’s products. Think Tupperware, Avon, Isagenix, Doterra and the like. You earn a commission from commissions of sales you make and/or from those whom you recruit to also sell products.
Jenny from next door all of a sudden wants to meet for a coffee and then starts raving about her amazing new makeup, and how you could make money and sell it too? That’s MLM. A friend you haven’t heard from in 5 years commenting on your post telling you about this amazing essential oil she is using to help her son sleep? That is MLM. I am not saying MLM is fake or a scam, I have some friends that have done really well in MLM, but the industry is unfortunately saturated with a poor reputation from underhanded tactics for a reason.
The pros? There are low start up costs within this model, entry is easy but the cons the success of generating an income comes down to how well you can sell and recruit to your friends, family and network. You also do not own or have any rights over the business, how it is run or access to any shares or profits and are at mercy of the company’s reputation.
GAZ is an online training platform that is designed to help the average person start making enough money online to make a full-time income using the training that they provide – well that is what they say but essentially what it is, is people signing other people up to the program and those people get paid a commission, generally they don’t actually make any money from their actual ‘business’ but only from recruiting others into it.
You might hear it being described as ‘running Facebook ads’ or ‘having a social media business’ because you need to run Facebook ads to try and make sales which isn’t that abnormal but these people love to say they earn $5000 a week doing just a few hours a week and that is the part that makes me cranky. It just isn’t true. You’ll see that they hide all of the info behind a ‘PM me babe’ and that they don’t actually have a website or a reputable platform for you to absorb what it is really all about. If anyone is saying they have a successful business, ask to see it first.
Freelancer / Contractor
If you have any skills or expertise leveraging off them is a great way to enter the work at home market and work for businesses where you can set your own hours and hourly rate, after I was fired from my full-time job for being a mum, I started freelancing from home whilst building a proper business of my own. I loved this, I had semi permanent work and flexibility to choose my own working hours.
Freelancing is a great flexible way to work from home, however you are still working for someone else and capped in certain areas such as income and creativity, plus it isn’t your own business to grow and nurture, all profits go back to you the business you’re working for.
Your Own Business
With your own business, you decide on your own business name, have your logos and website designed and are in full control of your growth. Yes, it is scary and yes there is a lot to factor in, this also isn’t for everyone. But, whether you have any experience or not, anyone can start their own business and learn the ropes. From selling products to selling a service to selling information or advertising space with the right mindset you can achieve great things and the beauty is you are your own boss, you don’t answer to anyone, and you are not tied to anyone or anything – what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.
Here are some clues to look for to validate the legitimacy of a business:
They have legit reviews and case studies.
You want to be looking for reviews that link back to a real person, website or business, also beware, it has been known for some businesses to buy ‘reviews’ so stalk them to determine whether the review is real or fake.
They just don’t say they have experience, they can also demonstrate it and validate it.
Watch the person for a little while, after some time you’ll get an idea for whether the person actually knows what they are talking about. Read their content, listen to their interviews and listen to your gut feeling. Do you feel motivated and inspired? Or is there something that isn’t sitting right with you?
They have been featured in the media/podcasts/articles.
Whilst this is not an absolute requirement, it does give weight to the person’s credibility. To be featured in high tier media you need to be vetted and it is a tick in the right box. It shows they are serious about their business, that it isn’t just a flash in the pan and more likely than not, they know what they are doing.
They have an ABN and website.
It sounds like a pretty standard expectation however I have come across many people who claim to have ‘successful’ businesses only to find that they don’t have an ABN at all. An ABN should be displayed in the footer of their website and you can go to https://abr.business.gov.au/ to check whether it is still valid. Also, anyone that claims to earn a lot of money should be registered for GST (if earning over $75k per year, so also cross check that too)
Their FB post comments and engagement aren’t solely from people who look to be from the Philippines or India.
Yes. People hire other people to do this. It is fake and gives you an idea straight up about the persons credibility.
They have social proof / a community / a following.
Another one that isn’t an absolute requirement but it does give weight to their credibility, I know from growing my own to over a collective 40,000 like-minded business owners that a lot work goes into nurturing relationships and if you aren’t the real deal you won’t be able to get very far.