There are a lot of people who want to work at home. Getting up at noon, going to your office in your pajamas, being able to work from wherever you want and take vacations whenever you want; it’s practically the new American dream. If we’re being completely honest, that’s part of why you’re reading this blog right now, since I’d like to be able to make a good living from home writing it. But I could certainly use some help in that respect, and I know there are plenty of other people with even less success; just what should we do to make our work-at-home dreams come true?
The Work-at-Home Success Bible attempts to answer that question. Leslie Truex, a work-at-home veteran with more than a decade of experience, shares her advice for someone just getting started as to how to create a great at home work environment and provide a good source of income. Of course, if I had a dollar for everyone who claimed that they could set up that sort of business, I wouldn’t need to work. Does this book achieve what most others can’t? Let’s drive in to find out!
Summary of The Work-at-Home Success Bible
The Work-at-Home Success Bible starts with an Introduction sharing Truex’s experience, what the book is (a guide on how to work at home) and isn’t (an instant source of online success), before getting into the main portion of the book.
Part One: Living and Working at Home
Chapter One: The Reality of Living and Working at Home
Chapter one shares the pros and cons of working at home, as well as the skills that are needed if you are hoping to succeed while working at home. There’s also an emphasis on the need to find time for work, rather expecting to spend most of your time doing whatever you wish.
Chapter Two: The Best Way to Work at Home
The book continues on with methods to find your ideal job, choosing your skills and determining how to put them to work productively. It also shares ways to avoid scams and prevent falling into false work opportunities.
Chapter Three: Can You Afford NOT to Work at Home?
This chapter is basically a method of reviewing your personal financial situation and seeing if it would be better off when working at home, between the money earned and the decrease in money spent in work expenses.
Chapter Four: Making Working at Home Work for You and Your Family
Here’s where things like spouses and children are discussed in the context of working at home. It also provides a starting guide to organizing a home office.
Chapter Five: Home Sweet Home Office
This chapter finishes off the first part of the book by covering all the details of setting up a home office, from the needed equipment to appropriate area of the house.
Part Two: Telecommuting
Chapter Six: Turn Your Job into a Telecommuting
The start of the telecommuting section covers how to make a current, non-telecommuting job into a telecommuting one, covering methods to verify that such an arrangement would be reasonable for you and then convincing your boss to let you work from home.
Chapter Seven: Finding Work-at-Home Jobs
If telecommuting to a current job isn’t an option, the next two chapters discuss how to find your own telecommuting job. Chapter seven looks at how to identify useful skills and how to use job search sites to turn those skills into a job.
Chapter Eight: Getting Hired to Work at Home
Chapter eight finishes the telecommuting section by looking at how to read job postings (particularly those for telecommuting positions) and how to apply to the job successfully.
Part Three: Home Business
Chapter Nine: Starting a Home Business
The third part of the book opens by looking at the difference between telecommuting and starting your own home business. It then looks at several examples of the sort of businesses that you could potentially start.
Chapter Ten: Creating a Business From Scratch Versus Buying a Home Business
In the tenth chapter, there are several methods of making a home business discussed, from creating your own business to becoming part of a franchise, with numerous checklists provided to help you determine your best option.
Chapter Eleven: Starting a Business Online
After a brief look at taking a current business online, most of the chapter looks at the basics of choosing an appropriate online business to start on your own.
Chapter Twelve: Making Money with eBay, Amazon.com, and Storefronts
The last three chapters of Part Three cover various methods of creating such an online business. Chapter twelve provides advice on selling items through eBay, Amazon, or your own individual online store.
Chapter Thirteen: Making Money with Affiliate Programs
The thirteenth chapter covers affiliate marketing, promoting other products and services that pay you for referring customers to them. It gives advice on finding good affiliate sources, avoiding the bad ones, and briefly covers methods you can use to help generate references.
Chapter Fourteen: Making Money from Information
There’s then a chapter on how to create your own information based product. It provides the basics of creating written, audio, or visual data and then turning that into a usable product for yourself (or others) to promote and sell.
Chapter Fifteen: Getting Online
With all the methods of making money online out of the way, this section rounds out helping readers to get online. It shares some web basics for work-at-home websites, and weighs some of the pros and cons of creating the site yourself versus hiring someone to put it up for you and your business.
Part Four: The Business of Running a Business
Chapter Sixteen: Making It Legal
The final part of the book focuses on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into running a business, starting with the legal setup. The different legal issues that must be met, such as tax structure, meeting zoning laws, and handling copyrights and patents, are all mentioned and briefly discussed.
Chapter Seventeen: Money Matters
Here you find information on money management within a business structure, such as getting startup money, organizing your expenses, and getting appropriate insurance. It even covers the issue of ensuring you are paid if your customers are late coming up with the appropriate money.
Chapter Eighteen: It Takes a Village
Chapter eighteen discusses the outside help you might need to keep your business running, both to give you guidance (mentors and coaches) and provide needed services (lawyers, accountants, and contractors).
Chapter Nineteen: The Business Plan
With all the needed supplies noted, the nineteenth chapter provides a checklist (actually, a series of checklists) that give advice on how to organize a business plan for a would-be home business.
Chapter Twenty: The Marketing Plan
The next three chapters cover the art of marketing, starting with creating a plan to do your marketing. That involves identifying a market where your product will be needed and finding a way to reach that market using the techniques covered in the next two chapters.
Chapter Twenty-One: Marketing Unplugged
First comes offline marketing. Everything from elevator pitches to classified ads to the venerable business card are discussed, and methods of applying them are covered. The chapter also includes a lengthy segment on how to make a sale once you have an interested prospect.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Marketing Online
After that comes online marketing. This chapter covers things like making your site more appealing to search engines (Search Engine Optimization), creating internet mailing lists, and podcasting. It also provides some guidance into the world of online advertising.
Chapter Twenty-Three: Running a Successful Home-Based Business
The final chapter gives some general advice about organizing and running a home business once it has been set up. It includes advice on creating schedules, managing email, and staying motivated, among other issues. The chapter wraps up with some advice on how to create and handle multiple income streams at one time.
The book finishes off with several appendices, most providing lists of resources. They include sources about telecommuting, home business, consumer protection, and online education websites intended for the would-be home-worker.
- Very Easy to Read: Truex’s writing style is very easy to follow, even when wading into complex subjects like legal matters and technical issues.
- Provides Lots of Resources and Guides: Every chapter includes a checklist (usually more than one) of things to do in order to succeed, and lots of links to other guides and sources of advice are provided, particularly in the final appendices.
- Covers a Ton of Areas… : There is a LOT of different areas covered in here (I barely covered half of it), discussing just about every method of how to work at home and every issue that needs to be covered to do so successfully.
- …But Not in Much Detail: As you might guess, none of the areas (most of which would warrant a book or two of their own) are covered in depth and most need to be researched further.
- Doesn’t Provide Much Advice For Moms: For a book with a subtitle ‘A Complete Guide for Moms’, the actual advice on how to be both parent and homeworker is extremely limited, taking up less than two pages.
The Work-at-Home Success Bible is an excellent book for the aspiring work-at-home mom (or dad, for that matter). It won’t provide all the information you need in most areas, probably requiring further research to fill in the gaps. That said, it’s the most thorough guide to working at home that I have ever seen, particularly when it comes to starting your own home business, and I intend to use it in the future for my enterprising endeavors.