Work From Home Businesses

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In this day and age there is a lot of interest in work from home businesses. The reason is that people are out of work or very unsatisfied with their work.

Too many folks  are earning too little for the amount of time they are working.

Some want to work from home just to make extra money to get by on. Many senior citizens are hard pressed and would prefer to work at home rather work at Walmart.

Others want to get out of the day job rat-race and start earning enough money so that they can do some of the things they cannot afford to do now.

I Hear From Friends

I retired over 20 years ago and started working part-time from home when I retired

I’ve been a member of Wealthy Affiliate University since 2008 and I have many friends there who work from home.

Veronica is from Sweden and she wanted to stay home with her two children. She works from home and pays her way to Sweden several times a year to see her family.

Steve travels to wherever he and his young wife want to go. Recently, he was in Hawaii to meet another friend of mine, Dom, who lives in Taiwan. He was married in Hawaii and Steve and his wife attended the wedding. Both Steve and Dom work from home. They happen to be “home” as long as they can reach a computer.

Ryan and Carson, who own Wealthy Affiliate, worked there way through college up in Vancouver by marketing on the Internet.

So did Ryan, whose mother raised him alone, who earned $500k while in college.

Two of my granddaughters are sending their husbands through college by working from home. One bought a almost new car this week end.

My son is a veterinarian, but he has had two work at home companies, having recently sold one of them to make more time for the more profitable one. He has 15 kids so he needs extra dough.

Working at home is not easy, not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it is a business that is easy to get into but one heap of hard work to get going.

My Home Business Experience

My first job was a work from home business. My friend, Paul, came to  my house and said, “John, grab your wagon.” I was about 8-years old.

This was at the end of the Great Depression and I’m not sure how I got a wagon,  But I did have a red wagon.

Paul didn’t say what we were going to do. We headed west on North Temple Street in Salt Lake City, cross the Jordan River bridge where the Donner party had camped one-day-too -long in 1846, then we headed towards the Salt Lake City airport.

I still didn’t know what we were going to do, but we started to pick up bottles and put them in the wagon. Sometimes I would pick up a bottle and Paul would say, “Not that one.” I soon learned that some bottles had value and some did not.

Red Wagon: The start of a business

Red Wagon: The start of a business

Eventually, the wagon was chock-full of bottles. We took them back into town to the Fairway Market. Ken Horsley counted the bottles and paid Paul the deposit.

I thought that we were finished so that we could start spending money for some stew meat, hot dogs and marshmallows. We could build a fire in my backyard to cook the stew and eat hot dogs while waiting for the stew to cook.

No such luck!

We pulled the wagon across the railroad tracks to the junkyard run by a lady who all the kids in the neighborhood said was a witch.

There were two junkyards next to each other, but I had never been into her junkyards because I was afraid that she was a witch. We sold scrap metal at the other junk yard, and when World War II started, we sold tin foil and rubber. We were not only afraid to go into her junkyard but she paid less for scrap.

The reason that Paul went into her junkyard was that she would sell us bottles at a lower price than the one we usually patronized.

I soon lost my fear of the old lady. She would come crawling out of that junk somewhere when we entered the yard to see what we wanted. I can still see her in raggedy  black clothes “crawling” out of the heaps.

We filled the wagon with bottles again and Paul paid her. She had a very long black purse that she pulled out of her multi layers of clothing and there she dropped the coins.

We took this load of bottles to the store and Ken Horsley purchased them. We repeated the process until Ken  said,” No more bottles!”

Finally we got the stew meat and went home and started cooking, a bunch of neighborhood kids joining in for hot dogs, stew and marshmallows. I remember we use to push extra potatoes into the coals and cook them too.

An Independent Family

Paul came from an independent family. His father had his own business, so did his older brother. He  told me that the middleman makes out best.  He knew these simple principles for business success:

  1. Find a Market
  2. Find a Product that Fits the Market
  3. Get the Product to the Market

Paul later purchased homes, converted them to muti-family units, and rented them out. Later he build condos. Paul was a great speculator and lost his fortune. But he built it back up again. I talk to him frequently and we remissness on past days.

Kids Used to Work from Home

Cutting Lawns is a work-from-home business. Many of us have done that. Some kids have done door-to-door selling at least for a youth organization or school. We use to shovel snow, but seldom got paid for it (a service to widows, etc.) We also did farm work.

Some kids, with the power of the Internet, start their own business and are very successful at it.

The point is that we are as adults still inclined to work from home, especially if it will get us “out of the deep stuff.”

Work From Home Businesses

Thinking Outside the box

Thinking Outside the box

Lot’s of folks want to make money but they never do. Why? Because they never get started!

Affiliate Marketer

One of the old timers in this business saw that a friend was making money from an affiliate program on his site to the sum of $50 each month. He became an affiliate for many companies and repeated the process many times with multiple sites, hiring writers to provide content for the sites. I have a number of friends who do this.

I am an affiliate marketer to some degree.  I have always preferred selling real products and dealing with customers. Affiliate marketers don’t deal with their customers so the vendor ends up owning the customers. That is the main disadvantage.

However, you can make a good living promoting other peoples products. The best training site is Wealthy Affiliate. I suggest that you start with a free membership, set up two free sites, and then decide if that is what you want to do.

When you know your way around and are ready for more depth of study, then become a full member. Here are the differences in membership:

Answering Service

If you can set up phone lines, one for each business you service, you can be in business. Make sure you check your state’s rules and regulations. Click here for more information.

Antique Refurnisher

You can buy furniture and refinish it for profit. You will need to know something about antiques so that you don’t turn $25,000 table into a $15 piece of junk. You can also finish furnishing for customers in your area. Click here for more information.

Artist or Designer

When my daughter was about 4 years old, along with the boys, we started painting together. My oldest son and my daughter, Alice, showed talent and interest (both required). When her husband was in residency, etc., I sent her money for professional training. Her husband continued the practice. She became a professional portrait artist, later finished an RN she couldn’t complete earlier, and then continued her art studies expanding to landscapes and such (simply because that is what I try to do.) She opened up a studio on the internet. (Click Here to see her art.)

Many artist and designer and illustrators earn income on the Internet as well by selling at fairs and exhibitions near there homes. There are artist on who will supply artwork in about any form. Webmasters are always looking for logos and banners and headers and such. As I writer, I had 50 animals drawn for kids to color.

Some artist paint portraits children and such near there homes.

Book Dealer

I sold books on the Internet for years. I sold on and and I had a book site where I sold Tyler HIck’s books and he shipped them.

I wrote a small book: How to Buy Books for Pennies and Sell them for Dollars on the Internet. It is a bit out of date, but if you will send me $2.00, I will send you a copy:

TJ Books

213 3rd Ave N

Buhl, Idaho 83316


ISBN 0-9669816-1-8

$2.00 U.S.


How to Buy Books and What to Pay for Them

How to Store Your Books

How to Price Your Books for Sale

How to Catalog Your Books

How to Receive and Process Your Orders

Packaging Your Books for Shipment

How to Handle Postage and Shipping Rates

Scheduling Your Shipments

Placing Extra Income Inserts into Your Shipments



You can order this booklet by sending $2.00 U.S. cash or money order to TJBooks 213 3rd Avenue N., Buhl, ID 83316.

The first book I sold on was Birds of New Mexico for $150.00. I paid 50 cents for the book. I often bought books for 10 cents a piece and sold them for up to $10.00.

The situation is a bit different today. There are many book sellers and they will give them to you for free at because they then have you as a customer and they earn enough from the Amazon handling and shipping charge to make it still profitable.

You can open an online bookstore and sell books from major publishers just like a storefront bookstore.

It is a good idea to specialize in an online bookstore. Amazon, B & N and Alibris  and ABE books are strong competitors (but they will be glad to sell your books for you).


I did some come engineering consulting after I retired. I did  some for industry and some for the State Department (who paid only expenses as I remember.) I traveled to South America but turned down a trip to Egypt because of time, turning it over to a fellow engineer who barely got a minute to see the pyramids. I have a number of friends and former employees who do this.

If you have special knowledge in about any field, you can become a consultant. Read More!


Because of Uber, some people become taxi drivers using their own cars. There is some objection to this by taxi companies and drivers and there are regulations to go with it. But you could start a small delivery service locally to help merchants get their stuff distributed  quickly.

Ebay Trader

It’s like the stock market: buy low and sell high. You can buy on Ebay or at a yard sale or thrift store, then sell on Ebay.


Craig’s List Trader

Same deal as Ebay.

Gofer or Handyman

Interior Decorator

I’m not talking about an Interior Designer. If you have a good eye and some experience in home decorating, you can go into business without extensive training, but some training at your local community college will give you a boost. Some folks learn interior decorating while working in furniture stores.

Manufacturers Representative

Engineers like to do this when they want to be on their on. It involves travel but you are still working out of your home. Manufacturers that do not have a huge budget for advertising often pay commissions to representatives. Read More!

You also contact manufacturers, ask them if they will drop ship products, sell them on the Internet and then have the manufacturer or distributor ship them. I sold flagpoles and accessories for years this way and also business books. Read More!


I have never made money as a photographer, but many do. Some start out by taking baby or pet pictures. Some take pictures of weddings and reunions and anniversary parties. Some photograph landscapes, historic sites, animal in the wild, etc., and sell them to magazines or photography sites. Read More!

Resale Equipment Buying and Selling

If you can evaluate equipment and price it, you can make money buying, trading and selling equipment.

Sales Representative

You can represent companies following their leads. I decided to buy a pair of twin beds for my wife and I and a friend showed up and sold us the beds. He got his lead from the company and followed it through.

Secretarial Services

If you have special secretarial skills, especially medical or legal experience, you can work from home for local doctors, etc. You might want to have a dictation service so they can call in a letter which you would then type up and mail. Read More!

Start Baking Cookies

More than one business has started by home cooking. You can also run a catering business from your home. Click Here to Start Catering!


Some folks are set up to do telemarketing from their home. Click Here!

Website Designer

Website designers can provide service locally, preparing websites, getting them hosted and then keeping them up to date. You can make up to several hundred dollars a month from a single client. Read More!


My father was a writer at times. Being an old rancher, he had his typewriter out in the garage. That looked fun to me. I wrote a few engineering books before I retired and decided to write some novels when I retired (under the pen name of Taylor Jones, Bull: A Western Saga, Revenge on the Mogollon Rim, In No way Guilty (compulsive gambler mystery) and Bone China (no hints to spoil it).

I had written hundreds of technical articles over the years. When I retired, I wrote hundreds of articles for online magazines. I also have quite a few websites.

One work from home job, other than writing for yourself, is writing for others. If you go to, you will see many writers offering their services. There are many other sites too.

Writing histories of local businesses is one way to make money from home. You can also write sales copy (copywriting). Read More!


There are hundreds of Work From Home Businesses. You are different from everyone else on this globe so if you can apply your past to your future, you can become very successful.

I have watched a number of people take an existing storefront business and put it on the Internet and double their income overnight. I have seen many start affiliate marketing and have a good income within one year, some withing six months.

One fellow I read about had juggling as his hobby. He opened an online juggling store.

The main thing is to think things out and to get going. You do want to get out of the day-to-day rat race don’t you?


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