By June 22, 2012 Read More →

Do you earn enough working from home?

Do you earn enough working from home?It’s hard to give concrete numbers from my home working survey carried out at the end of last year, because the questions were deliberately open-ended in order to elicit the most information.

But more than twice as many people said they were not meeting their financial goals as said they were.

We’re living in difficult times, people are facing redundancy, both individuals and companies have tightened their belts, so it might seem obvious that the end result for home workers is less income.

Yet I can’t help noticing that the financial return we get is linked to attitude and expectations. As so many of us were brought up by parents affected by the scarcity and rationing of World War 2 and the 50s, we have unconsciously absorbed the belief that money and material things are hard to come by.

Then there’s the Protestant work ethic that has drummed into us that we can only achieve what we want through hard work and sacrifice. That in fact anything else is immoral!

Add the hours working alone experienced by the typical home worker, and the way that tends to whittle away at self belief and confidence, and it’s not surprising we sometimes struggle to make as much money as we’d like.

Women also have a tendency to put themselves at the bottom of the pecking order, put other people’s needs first and feel they shouldn’t ask for much, according to Barbara Stanny, the author of ‘Overcoming Underearning’.

She used her own experience of moving from being a hard-up writer to earning six figures to put together a workshop, the workbook for which eventually became her book.

I’ve written a review you can find on the Home Working Books page, and I’d love to hear your experiences of quoting for work, negotiating for a pay rise, and meeting your financial goals.

Posted in: Making money

8 Comments on "Do you earn enough working from home?"

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  1. Anil Amrit says:

    My earnings have dropped compared to the last 2 years.
    Primarily down to too much outsourcing from businesses and very tight budgets.

    The design/web industry is now saturated with crowdsourcing sites/companies of which are producing sub standard results at a fraction of what a highly skilled professional would charge. UK businesses/industries need to stop this as it is not helping business growth in this country whatsoever.

    Skilled professionals like myself are being squeezed tight when it comes down to quoting & production now as we are having to fight even harder to keep projects here in the UK and cutting our profit margins to have a steady workflow.

    Having a niche and specialising in a particular area was once a valuable asset and clients would pay well for quality. Sadly clients/projects like these are getting more and more difficult to find as businesses simply do not have the money.

    Personal view based on experience and feedback from industry pros.

    • Judy says:

      Hi Anil, and thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right and this is the case with many industries, including writing. If I had known before I wrote my book that it (almost 70,000 words) would be sold on Kindle for just over £3, would I still have gone ahead and written it? I’m really not sure. The only people who make any money as writers these days are the big bestsellers, we all know who they are.

      I also think that the subject of beliefs about money is a fascinating one. I was certainly brought up with a scarcity mentality, as so many of us were, and will probably always have to work on it.

      Good luck with your design business. (I should mention here that Anil designed the luscious green UK Jelly logo that’s become so familiar).

  2. Sammie Clemmons says:

    My earnings have increased significantly this year— I believe in part because I have paid my dues and built a reputation, and a bigger part due to the hustle and attitude I have this year.
    At the end of last year, my husband injured his back badly, but refused to take off work due to our financial situation. He is better now, but it really bothered me that I could not step up enough to allow him to stay home and heal, and I decided that would never happen again!
    So I guess that a lot of it IS attitude and expectations.

    • Judy says:

      Thanks for telling us about your experience, Sammie. It’s great your husband is better, and also that you’ve upped your earnings, well done! I think it’s human nature to operate at a level we feel comfortable with until an external event kicks us into thinking bigger, and often it is an unpleasant event, like somebody falling ill. I think we home workers have a tougher time in this respect because we tend to work alone, which is not conducive to pushing boundaries – and makes your achievement even greater 🙂

  3. Small Biz Tribe says:

    That’s some great food for thought.

    Of the small biz people I’ve interviewed, only a small proportion mentioned earning more now than they had in the bad old days when they had a job.

    There’s no question that working for yourself brings amazing rewards, but it does seem like tons of money is not always one of them!

    • Judy says:

      That’s exactly what I’ve found talking to home workers. Many say the money is erratic but they enjoy what they do so much they wouldn’t want to have a job again. Would be nice to have the cash as well as job satisfaction!

  4. Judy Mansfield says:

    I think homeworkers pitch prices too low, and clients believe they should charge less because they work from home. This is wrong, but having the courage to turn down a client who challenges your pricing takes some doing. My earnings went UP after I got to grips with self-limiting beliefs, got the courage to say ‘no’ to the ‘something for nothing’ brigade. All thanks to the book/film The Secret, and reading the law of attraction. Also check out Picasso and the difference between price and value – amazingly simple but effective riposte to anyone who tries to get you to lower your price!

    • Judy says:

      Well done, Judy! I think it’s especially hard at the moment, when we’re all aware that individuals and companies are watching their budgets so closely.

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