When I tell people that I work from my home office, I always hear the same thing: “that must be nice”. However, I get the vibe that people still think working from home is restricted to only a select group of people. I disagree. In fact, the opportunity to work from home has never been greater. Therefore, I wanted to do a blog posting that explores the question, “Are you (or could you be) an Executive in Sweatpants?”.
Four Simple Requirements
First, let’s consider a different question: what does it take to become an Executive in Sweatpants? In reality, it requires four elements:
- Do you have a professional skill (accounting, marketing, sales, writing, etc)?
- Do you have a computer and a reliable Internet connection?
- Are you willing to continuously market yourself?
- Are you disciplined and willing to be your own boss?
Who Is Working from Home?
If you’ve answered “yes” to all four questions above, you might be ready to embark on your work-from-home entrepreneurial journey. In fact, I believe there are millions of people who would also answer yes to these questions. Let’s take a closer look at who might be in the same position as you.
- Stay at Home Moms (& Dads) – The US Census Bureau estimates that there are nearly 5 million stay-at-home moms in the United States alone. Many of these women are highly educated but lack the time to commit to a full-time position. As an Executive in Sweatpants, you can leverage platforms such as oDesk.com to work the number of hours that fit your schedule.
- Corporate Executives Looking for a Change – A recent Gallup survey found that over 70% of employees are dissatisfied with their current jobs. A major cause is the lack of connection between the company’s goals and self-fulfillment. Corporate execs can trade in their slacks for sweats by following the simple, yet effective plan I’ve communicated throughout this blog and the upcoming book.
- College Students – There are currently 21 million college students enrolled in US universities. Instead of playing beer pong, smart students are building their online resumes and gaining real-world experience. If you have skills that are marketable, I personally know many clients who will not require a degree before hiring you. In fact, such relationships can really be a win-win.
- Retired Professionals – So you’ve “retired”….why not leverage your decades of experience into some hourly consulting work? There are many companies that would love to tap into your expertise on a limited basis.
- Business Professionals with Disabilities – Working from home is especially nice for business professionals with certain disabilities. I recently worked with a contractor who had a difficult time sitting in an office chair for long durations. By working from home, she was able to find steady work and accomodate her disability.
In conclusion, it is my firm belief that we’ve only seen the tip of the work-from-home iceberg. When people realize that they can work from home and make more money than in a “normal” job, the floodgates will open. The target markets are certainly large, but it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the next 5 to 10 years.
Executive in Sweatpants is the upcoming book from marketer and author Matt Keener. The book is a how-to guide for launching and growing a successful work-from-home consulting business. Sign up to receive future blog postings and news sent directly to your email inbox.