Are you frustrated with your search to work at home? Do you feel like everything is a scam? Does everyone seem to just want your money? Is there really a legitimate way to earn money from home?

These are probably the questions that have been running through your head since you began your search to earn money from home. Certainly you've heard other people say they are earning money from home, so where are these jobs and why can't you find them? Odds are, you probably aren't finding them because you haven't really considered what it is you're looking for, and to do that, the question you need to first ask and answer is, "Do you want a JOB at home or a BUSINESS at home"? If you didn't know there were two options, then you're going to want to explore them and find out the difference. Truly, I believe this needs to be addressed before you continue searching out any more options.

I'm going to review the options here, so take the time to stop and read this in full and figure out your needs, otherwise, you're going to get frustrated and give up before finding the right opportunity. The moment you do that, you'll go back to your 9 to 5 (or more) work life that you've always known, working outside the home, and think, wrongly, that it just doesn't exist. I write this passionately, from the voice of experience, because when I began my search in 2007 I had no idea that there were distinctions between the two! I just stumbled along long enough looking such that, somewhere along the way, I figured it out. Much to my surprise, although I thought I was looking for a job to work from home, what I really wanted was a business of my own, based upon my goals and expectations. If someone had told me that up front without learning the differences between them, I honestly would have thought they'd lost their mind. After all, I had no experience whatsoever in running or owning my own business, no business, accounting, or marketing degree, nor ever a notion to have my own restaurant, retail store, or otherwise. Some people are born knowing that, and others, like me, are led to it through circumstances in our lives. It was in thinking about my goals and expectations that I realized the better match was my own home business rather than a job at home.

So let's explore the pros and cons of each, so that you, too, can determine which direction is going to make you happiest. It may lead in the opposite direction you intended, like myself, but only you can know what is right for you. My ultimate goal in writing this article is to help you get what you want out of life in terms of your livelihood. It's not about what I want for you.

JOB at home – You are an employee with a boss. You're given a schedule to work and have a specific role/project to work and report on. You receive hourly pay, so you know exactly what you'll make each week because you have assigned hours and the pay rate. There are no start-up fees, since you work FOR someone and are getting paid to perform a specific task. Pros – Predictable schedule, predictable pay, and no start-up costs, although you may be required to have a dedicated, unique phone line or certain type of computer, at your own expense. Cons – No freedom or flexibility – you must still ask permission for time off, just like you would any local job. Low pay - expect $6 - $9 per hour. (The best I ever found was $12, although this may have changed over the years. You'll need to get on with a great company and do well.)

BUSINESS at home – You are NOT an employee, you are independent. You have no boss, no quotas, and no assigned schedule. You set your own hours, working as much or as little as you choose on any given day or week, which means your pay will vary depending on IF you work and if so, how much and how effectively. As with any business on any street corner, this is yours, so expect some start-up costs. Pros - Complete freedom and flexibility of your time in and around household or personal needs, and no cap placed on how much you can earn in a given year. Anyone can earn any amount, regardless of starting skill level, provided ample time is given to develop it. In addition, tax advantages are given to small business owners, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket (or get more back at year's end). Cons – No predictable amount of weekly pay since it varies by individual effort, skill set, development, and so forth. No guarantee of success, since that's dependent on how effectively you run your business and whether or not you take advantage of the training and resources available. Lastly, a start-up cost,but you should expect this to be significantly lower than a restaurant or retail business with a store-front, due to the reduced overhead expenses of working from home.

Decide what it is you are truly looking for – is it stability and predictability of income with a realized loss of flexibility and true wealth or is it higher income potential and more freedom, with known up-front effort and risk? Think of it like investing – if you go with bonds, the money is stable and secure, but the payout is lower. If you go with stocks, there is no guaranteed income and more risk, but far greater reward over time.

Are you happy with a middle-class, comfortable life, only wishing to make a “decent” living and not having to worry about bills? Are you okay with going to work each day? If so, get a job and work your way up the income ladder with a goal to retire. On the other hand, if you want to live above just being comfortable, if you want your money working for you, instead of you working for your money, if you wish to work a 4 hour work week as opposed to a 40+ hour work week, if you wish to go where you like when you like and buy what you like without thought, then you'd best look at having a business of your own.

Be honest with yourself right now so that you can be at peace with your decision and accept it for all that it is. Understand it's okay to choose a JOB from home over a business if that suits your temperament and needs better. Each of us has different aspirations, resources, and tolerances, and all work is equally important and needs to be done by someone.... it is up to you to pick the one that's right for you.

That decided, the next step is finding the right company to partner with for your job or business from home. Finding a good fit is your next step in the journey to success in working from home.

Author's Bio: 

A native of Orlando, Kellie Blackwell is a former mircrobiologist, turned Corporate healthcare IT professional, turned Entrepreneur from home. She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of both passive and residual income streams to grow wealth versus the traditional linear pay for time worked. She developed this passion after having reinvented herself 6 times in 18 years as an employee for others.