"Is it really possible? Can I really stay at home and make money?" We've heard that question asked by thousands of women and men across the country. Our resounding answer is "Yes!" This is the perfect time, because the world of work is growing and changing. It's less rigid and more fluid, less restrictive and more inclusive, less traditional and more innovative. Why?
It's partly the trends, which we'll explore a bit further. You're probably already aware of some of them. Others may be news to you. Together, they're creating that "Big Bang" of opportunity we mentioned -- a new world with a galaxy of different job titles, small businesses, and ways to make money from home. These trends -- and your own gumption -- can take you out of the office, out of debt, out of your boring routine, and into a richer, fuller life.
Continuing advances in technology A global, changing workplace Emphasis on work/life balance A desire for more control
No matter what your needs, your skills, or your plans, these are trends to use. Let them encourage you. You're not the only one wondering if there isn't a better way to fit work into your life.
Others share your dreams. There's a whole army of smart, determined people out there who are overcoming the obstacles and finding solutions. You'll meet them as you journey through this guide.
There's a growing movement, a revolution going on, right now. It's real and wide and welcoming.
Tapping Into the Trends
Whether you grew up with a laptop, or can remember rotary phones, computers have rocked your world. We live in an information age and a global economy because of technology. Think high-speed connections, the World Wide Web, PCs, cell phones, and Instant Imaging. We can connect and do business with people all over the world, from almost anywhere, including home.
In the '80s, students began taking courses through "distance learning." Now American surgeons train doctors in Third World countries using remote-controlled, computer-guided robots. You can learn how to design Web sites, a job that didn't exist in the '70s, as well as any other number of skills.
In the '90s, companies harnessed the power of e-commerce. Want to buy a computer, new towels, a car seat, or a vacation? Shop online. Now workers travel and meet online as well. No need to waste time and money traveling to a meeting when they can share thoughts, images, voice, and text, in real time, by teleconferencing.
Millions of Americans research a medical diagnosis, apply for college, search for a job, plan a vacation, buy clothing, or find their dream house online. No doubt, you're one of them.
Maybe you logged onto the Internet at school or the office, but it's just as likely that you have searched, or shopped, from your den or bedroom. Ah, and there's the difference. Technology isn't new. It's been around since before the Industrial Revolution. It's just that now it has advanced to bring the machine home to us. More affordable and powerful computers and the spread of broadband have removed any technical barriers from working at home. We can change the world from our kitchens. We're all geeks, wired and ready to work right here, right now. Thank goodness for technology.