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5 Dangers Of Working From Home

Posted by on Apr 14, 2011

I don’t think of it in these terms all that often, but overall I work from home for the most part. Every once in awhile I go on the road for a few days to a few months, but in general I do most of my work from home. What brought me to thinking about it was that I made a list of Work From Home blogs, #21 in fact, and since it’s always nice to be recognized I thought I’d point it out and thank it for giving me an idea of something new to write about.

Before You Quit Your Job

I’ve often encouraged people who are out of work to at least look into the possibility of working for themselves while they’re collecting unemployment. There are many people with great skills that could translate into a profession where they wouldn’t have to deal with weak managers or poor working conditions.

However, there are realities to working for oneself as well. I would recommend that every person who’s even thinking about working for themselves start by reading Before You Quit Your Job by Robert Kiyosaki. Although I probably wouldn’t have changed a thing, I’d have learned some things to watch out for ahead of time.

If you’re not in the mood to read the book just yet you’re in luck, because I’m going to talk about it for a brief bit. In essence, I have 5 things to tell you about working for yourself that you have to watch out for, or that you need to get more information about before you embark on your quest. Here you go:

1. You need to learn more about marketing. I have to say that marketing is the thing I’m the worst at, even after almost 10 years; gasp! I can tell you what doesn’t work, but I can’t tell you what does work. The issue becomes what can one do to captivate their particular audience. For me, the main audience I’d love to reach right now doesn’t do social media, doesn’t do “out of the box” thinking, and doesn’t really do minorities telling them what to do; that’s just being honest. However, my long term career goal works well for each of these, which makes me work on finding a balance between the two.

2. Money will almost always be up and down. I’ve had years that have put me in one of the highest tax brackets that barely kept me middle class. Then I’ve had years like 2009 where, because of the economy, I was scratching every week just to have enough money to pay bills and eat every once in awhile. It takes a lot of discretion not to spend unwisely when it’s coming in like water and a lot of planning to make sure you have enough to spread around and last awhile when things slow down.

3. Wasting time can be easy to do. Man, I feel like I waste time every day. I do, but when I look at it overall I also work more hours than a person working a 9-5 job does. Unless I’m working a project that someone else is paying me for I tend to work in spurts. That means that oftentimes business and pleasure get mixed together. For instance, when I’m checking email, there’s always more business email than personal email these days, yet I tend to do both around the same time. Also, something I learned as a manager is that you have to have “thinking time” because that’s how you come up with ideas for things such as writing or creating stuff. That could be seen as wasting time by some, but I find it crucial, and I find that not enough people take those moments out of their schedule for it.

my desk
My Work Space

4. You can overwork yourself. How many of you remember my 10-hours a day experiment? Hopefully things will change some as it starts to get warmer, but I normally sleep 4 to 5 hours a day, get a couple of 30 minute naps in here and there, and most of the rest of the time I sit at the computer working and thinking and wasting time. I joined the gym to try to get myself out of the house and into shape, but that’s often only an hour, if that. So that pans out to 14 – 16 hours or so at the computer on a regular basis; no wonder my mind feels shot here and there. I need to take more time off, although I know time off means I don’t get paid, but one’s mind just can’t stay sharp working that many hours. However, most of the people I know that work from home do the same thing.

5. You spend a lot of time alone. Why do I write my blogs so much? Because other than when my wife comes home I don’t have many other interactions with people during the day, unless I’m going to a meeting, networking, or I’m out of town. Some people think we just sit around drinking whatever in our pajamas or underwear all day and how nice it is, but there’s something to be said for engaging other people every day, even if it’s only for minutes at a time. If I decide to work out I’m still sitting in Barnes & Noble or Wegmans or the library by myself, even if there are other people around. It’s not always easy mentally, but it’s something you’d have to be ready to get used to.

Did any of that scare you? If not, you might be ready to explore doing this type of thing for yourself. You won’t have to deal with weak or mean managers anymore, but you just might find that your worst and meanest critic is actually you. But if you can get paid well, it eases things dramatically. 😉

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Hi Mitch,

Interesting read! I’m ready to do what I have to do. Learning the ropes. I’m not afraid at all. It does get lonely, but it is all worth it in the long haul.

Take care,

April 14th, 2011 | 9:56 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Evelyn, it’s worth it if you can sustain and grow, and of course find business, which is hard when people think you can’t possibly give them what a large company gives them.

April 15th, 2011 | 12:49 AM

Hi Mitch,

I agree. The biggest danger, in my opinion, is failure to understand marketing. It certainly has held me back! Here’s the thing, you can easily modify your BEHAVIOR to deal with Wasting time, overworking and being alone. However, lack of marketing directly impacts cash flow and that is something you have to LEARN.



April 14th, 2011 | 4:25 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Mitch, and I wholeheartedly agree. And the thing is that it takes more technique and chutzpah than anything else, something I still haven’t quite gotten down.

April 15th, 2011 | 12:57 AM

I am in similar situation in the last 12 years, excepts few years that I was working in an office. You are right it is easy to waste time when working at home, especially on social networks and twitter. About money up and down, I also agree, my experience and by my opinion every business is seasonal.

April 15th, 2011 | 2:20 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Carl. I thought about an office out of the home for only a minute once and decided it would be a major waste of money.

April 15th, 2011 | 11:36 AM

I think the best possible format is to have an two storey house. First floor an office and to live on the 2nd floor. Ideal way to expand small home based business and add some workers.

April 18th, 2011 | 9:40 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Well Carl, as I live in a one level home that kind of kills me. lol

April 18th, 2011 | 10:12 AM

You and me both. It would be great to have a sound-insulated room to be busy without the distractions of life — so you make do with what you have.

April 25th, 2011 | 10:33 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ari, as long as that sound insulated room was large so that I didn’t feel like I was in a padded room, I’d be good to go. lol

April 25th, 2011 | 10:54 AM

Hello Mitch,

Working from home can have a lot of dangerous attached and it’s not always fun.

Most of those who work from home might be less social then others just because they are at home and dont have a lot of interaction with other, while at work you have to talk with your colleagues or customers.
Also like you said, you always have the feeling that you are not working enough, you feel like you could do more, while you are at an office you think you did too much.

It also boils down to character, some may be fit to work from home while other will buckle under the pressure.

April 15th, 2011 | 6:02 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s true Alex. Sometimes it’s a lot of pressure, other times it’s just hard to get going. Then there are those times when things are humming and that’s when you feel really good about what you do.

April 15th, 2011 | 10:51 PM

Number 5 gets me all the time, I can go weeks without human contact sometimes hahaha terrible.

And also you can add a number 6. Put on weight! When im at home I can snack anytime I want and its a hard habit to curb, so I could do with a gym from home too 🙂

April 16th, 2011 | 7:51 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Truthfully, I haven’t put on weight by working at home, probably because since I can’t just buy food that’s already prepared it’s up to me to cook for myself, which means it goes on the back burner. lol

April 16th, 2011 | 4:42 PM

Mitch, I’ve been working from home for a very long time and could relate to every single thing you said in this post. With so many people either unemployed or miserable at work, this information could be very helpful to anyone thinking about taking the leap into the world of the self-employed.

Congratulations on making the Work From Home list.

April 16th, 2011 | 11:31 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Charles. I know most people who work from home can relate to it. I wish they could relate to me saying I was a millionaire by working from home instead. lol

April 16th, 2011 | 4:43 PM


I need to be arrested for SWS: sitting while snacking. That has become more and more of a problem for me as I spend more and more time on the computer. I spend a lot of time alone but I honestly don’t mind that because as soon as my grandson comes home from daycare, my life is no longer my own.

April 16th, 2011 | 3:49 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Yeah, you do have that “child” diversion, don’t you Bev? lol Hey, if people got arrested for sitting while snacking the jails would fill up real fast.

April 16th, 2011 | 4:48 PM

For me, Mitch, the danger of working at home is getting sidetracked always. I love spending time with my sons. Watching them and their antics is always a pleasure, so I am afraid that if I work at home, I will end up just playing with them the whole day. 😉

April 19th, 2011 | 1:37 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Wes, it takes awhile to get acclimated to working at home. For me, if I could get things on a more perfect course, I’d have a career that allowed me to do more of my work in the evenings, when I feel more alert and, well, I stay up pretty late, and then I could do what I needed to do during the day along with wasting lots of time. A day like today, where I did a webinar on a health care topic for a couple of hours that I put together over the course of a couple of weeks that included rehearsal time. I put it together mainly in the evenings and then I rehearsed mainly during the day, where in between doing that I could do other things.

April 19th, 2011 | 1:55 AM