What It’s Like To Work Online From Home In My Experience

Last Updated on February 4, 2020 by Kari

I’ve been working from home for almost 11 years. More specifically, I’ve been working online as a blogger, freelance writer, and affiliate marketer. In other words, it’s not like I’m working for a company and doing my work at home. And I’m not working online for a company as an employee. I’m working for myself at home and doing everything online.

Woman Typing on Computer

Working At An Offline Job Has Benefits

Some days I think about signing off forever and going to a job every day. I know that sounds crazy. When I was working at a nursing home, I dreamed about NOT going into a job every day. I don’t think I ever would have imagined myself wanting to work at a 9-5 job. But, it has some advantages.

Working at a job usually means:

  • Your hours are outlined and you don’t need to work after your shift.
  • You are guaranteed a certain amount of pay each day/week/month/year.
  • You have a clear schedule and know exactly what you need to be doing for the day.
  • You can slack off and still get paid.
  • You get to interact with other people face-to-face.
  • You don’t spend all day online reading the latest news and all the negativity that comes with that.
  • You have a boss or manager who keeps you in line if you start to slack off or perform poorly. You don’t need to self-regulate too much.
  • Getting paid for sick days or vacation.

Yep, sometimes I want to go get a job so I can experience these benefits, but I know that if I do, I will eventually be miserable.

Working Online For Yourself Has Benefits Too

The thing is I know that I belong online. I feel like my purpose in life is to inspire positivity and well-being through writing.

Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed writing. And, ever since I can remember I’ve been on a personal development journey, which has helped me become happier, healthier, and more aware. I want to share what I’ve learned and continue to learn in the only way I know how – online through my writing. And I want to make a living doing it.

So the main benefits of working online at home are:

  • Doing what I feel passionate about.
  • Having the ability to be creative and go in my own direction.
  • Feeling like I’m contributing to the world and not just a company.
  • Spending a lot of quality time with my dogs and husband.
  • Not having to travel each day to work, especially during poor weather.
  • Being able to stay in my pajamas and work if I’m not feeling good.

Those are some big benefits. Some of them allow me to keep a good balance in my life between work and everything else; in other words, work on my level 10 life. And some of them allow me to live my truth and stay in line with who am I am, and that is fulfilling, but…

Working Online For Yourself Also Has Drawbacks

It’s not all rainbows and puppies at home… well, for me there are puppies, but you know what I mean. Some drawbacks include:

  • Feeling cut off from the outside world. Sometimes I go work at the library or a coffee shop just to feel like I’m part of the world.
  • It’s not easy money. You have to actually take the time to build something if you decide to blog or build a website or build a social media presence, or you have to put in the time and work if you decide to freelance.
  • There is no schedule. Sure you can make up a schedule, but when you know that you can do other things – like nap, watch TV, clean, cook, or work on a hobby, it’s hard to stick to that schedule.
  • Random distractions. Just as I was writing about the schedule point, the doorbell rang and my dog started barking. I went to see who it was and found a package at my door. I spent the next few minutes opening the package – which was some Kappa Carrageenan I ordered so that I could make some vegan mozzarella. Then I thought about what I was going to try to make tonight, and before I knew it, I had wasted 30 minutes on that one distraction. That can happen way more than one time per day, so it adds up if you let it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve realized it was 3pm and I had wasted much of my day on distractions like that.
  • Negative self-talk. Thoughts like Am I good enough? pop up quite a bit. When I worked at a job, my biggest thoughts were about breaks and after work. I knew I was capable of doing my job and as long as I had the job, I knew that I was performing well enough. But, working online for yourself is different. The focus goes on how well you are doing or how good you are, and sometimes it’s hard to gauge that, so those negative thoughts can easily pop up.
  • Having to constantly educate yourself on new rules and trends and then try to understand how you should tweak your business to maximize your success.
  • You need to be motivated to work each day. Without the proper motivation, you will do nothing and build nothing and experience no benefits. It’s painful to have accomplished nothing day after day. Believe me.
  • Needing to have more than one egg in your basket. Sometimes websites fail, you screw up, or unexpected worst-case scenarios happen, and if you only have one source of income, you are screwed. That’s why it’s important to be working on a few things or have multiple sources of income. For example, for a few years, I had a steady client I wrote for. I was making really good money off him, so I didn’t bother maintaining my blogs… actually, I didn’t have a lot of extra time or energy to do so. When that client disappeared suddenly, so did my income. It was painful and depressing and overwhelming all at the same time. The regret of not doing anything else while I wrote for him was real.
  • Not being sure if sales are actually sales. Sometimes I wonder if I make more sales than are being credited to me. After all, I can’t see the back-end of the affiliate software companies use for their products. In some cases, I can’t see if sales are being refunded or not. So, I’m left to wonder if I’m actually going to get a paycheck based on the numbers I see or if I’ll get nothing because the affiliate software is not showing me the returns that have occurred since the sale went through.
  • Dealing with lazy/unhelpful affiliate managers who just don’t care. I know affiliate managers would be livid if they didn’t get their paycheck on time, but I’ve dealt with some affiliate managers who take weeks to reply to your questions or concerns, including what happened to a paycheck. I honestly believe that affiliate managers should have the compassion and integrity to respond quickly and honestly to your questions and concerns. I have almost quit working online because of poor affiliate mangers that made things very stressful.
  • The internet can be a shitty place. Sometimes the internet is downright depressing. There are so many hateful and ignorant people who are posting stuff at a rapid pace, and you do come across their posts daily. It can make you angry. It can make you lose hope. It can make you hate everyone around you – and even not around you.

Yet, I recommend Working Online For Yourself To My Friends

When I look at my friends, I see their potential. I see what they have to offer the world, and I know that working online for themselves would be the optimal way for them to do that. They can reach the largest audience and get their messages out in a big way online, whether they decide to blog, freelance, open up an online shop, or teach people through videos.

So, if you are thinking about working online for yourself, I wouldn’t ever try to talk you out of it. While there are a lot of drawbacks, I think the benefits outweigh those drawbacks. In my opinion, being able to live your truth and follow your passion is worth it at the end of the day.

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