An Introduction to Alternative Lifestyle Business Opportunities
Author: Pete Coetzee
Everyone is familiar with the traditional models for making money. There are a few options available: Either you work for somebody as an employee, or you work as a self-employer, or you run some sort of business. Each of these has their own sets of advantages and disadvantages to weigh up. But they all generally imply that you will be actively working for a number of specified hours every week, and that you get paid accordingly. You are normally confined to working from a specific location, and more often than not this is not from your home which leads to one of the headaches of modern day living: commuting.
Recent polls have shown that the trend has been shifting gradually towards a better balance between work and lifestyle over the last few decades. People don't want to spend their precious free time commuting to and from work. And then once at work they don't want to work for a boss that tells them what they have to do, and how they should dress to get it done. People want to be able to work based from home and be in charge of their own time management. They want to spend more time with their families. More and more mothers want to be able to create some sort of income by working from home whilst looking after children.
And so was born the alternative lifestyle business opportunities.
There are numerous ads out for opportunities working from home. And now that just about every household has a PC and is connected to the internet, there is absolutely no reason why people should not be able to work from home on-line. And that means choosing the hours that you want to work, which frees up time that can be spent on improving your lifestyle.
Unfortunately with all of the advertised alternative lifestyle business opportunities also came a lot of scams and opportunities that will lose you money. There are the MLM (multilevel marketing) opportunities that, even though not all pyramid schemes, are still dependent on you finding more people to join the network in order for it to become profitable. You don't promote a product as such. You promote a system that benefits from you doing the head-hunting for it. And even though these MLM opportunities do reward you for your efforts, the reward is seldom proportional to the effort. But they sell the opportunity as work based from home and thereby generate the interest.
Then there are all the other advertisements that are trying to sell you opportunities that, once bought, are simply not as lucrative as they are made out to be. They promise you untold wealth for completing online surveys or doing data entry work, and they all sell themselves to you on your desire to work from home on-line to improve your lifestyle. But almost without fail you will have to pay a fee to join their scheme. Some of them even have the nerve to say that they charge a fee to separate those that are serious about the opportunities from those that are not! But once joined you will seldom find that the opportunity is as lucrative as it was made to sound originally.
The good news, however, is that there are opportunities available out there that are honest and do work. As with all other business models, they require hard work to set up but they also do provide returns. And above all, these returns are proportional to your effort. But the thing to understand is that there is no one "opportunity" that, once you've joined, will make you earn a reasonable living from home.
So how do you know the difference between good opportunities and money wasters?
The answer is simple. In the same way that you know whether a traditional business opportunity is a good or a bad one: you have to do proper research. You have to understand that there is no such thing as a "get-rich-quick-by-working-a-few-hours-a-week-from-home" scheme using the internet. You have to educate yourself in how online business models work as apposed to traditional business models. Understanding the internet as medium for business opportunities is the only way for you to be able to identify true alternative lifestyle business opportunities as they present themselves.
There is plenty of material available on the subject on the internet. And more often than not there is a price attached to these (let's be honest, you have to spend some money to make some money). But the difference here is that investing in this research offers you something in return for your money that you can utilize to start your business.
And how do you know which research material to invest in?
Again you do this by doing proper research on the material itself. Before you buy a book on home decoration, for example, you do some research on that book, don't you? You read reviews about it and follow recommendations from trusted sources. Well the same is true for reference material regarding business opportunities on the internet.
And once you're properly equipped with the knowledge, well the rest is, as they say, history.
About the author: Pete Coetzee is the webmaster for http://www.internet-business-machine.com, a site of articles, reviews and resources for online entrepreneurs and internet business resources.
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