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One Hundred and One Occupations
You Can Do From Your Home

By Cordell Vail

Copyright 1999 by Cordell Vail


Loosing your job can be one of the most traumatic experiences a person can have. A single mother with small children being force into the work place by circumstances beyond her control can be an equally traumatic experience. People who have become disabled in some way are also often very fearful to try to enter into the work place to earn a living. All of these people have one thing in common. THEY HAVE TO GO TO WORK. If there is no other solution for them but to go to work to earn a living, then the ideal situation for them would be to have the opportunity to work at home. That would almost be like "having your cake and eating it too."

I have been ask by friends many times in the past several years if I would help them find a way to work at home. Each had a different reason why they felt it would help them in their situation. For some it was an absolute necessity, either because of a disability or family situation. Because of these requests from my friends I began to research ways to earn a living while being able to stay at home. This book is the results of that study. I felt that if there were so many of my friends who were so interested in working at home then there must be thousand's of people in the world who have a similar need and who could benefit from the information I have compiled.



The first thing that I learned as I started to study working at home was the phenomena of being "SELF EMPLOYEED". I can tell you from personal experience and from the experience of many of my acquaintances that being self employed is not for everyone. It in fact is so difficult for some people that it is nearly impossible for them. How could that be. Working at home would appear to be the perfect life. I know one man who even brags that he works at his kitchen table in his underwear every day (never gets dressed except to go out) and he makes $4000 a week doing it. How could you have a better life than that? I can assure you that working in your underwear is not all it is cracked up to be.

Why is being self employed hard? There are two reasons. The first is that you have no boss. Why does that matter? Many people do not have the ambition or the self motivation to work when things get tough. They need a boss to drive them. That may sound harsh and many of you will only understand what I am saying when you experience it. The best example I can think of that is comparable is going to school. I ask you to examine your self carefully and ask yourself what your experience in school would have been if there had been no examinations? What if it was totally an on your honor system and you just went and learned what you could and then left the school when you felt you were ready. Get my point? Some of us needed the exams to force us to study. We learned because we had to. Not every one is that way. But most seem to be.

The second reason it is hard to be self employed is because there is not time clock. Most people have a very hard time learning this lesson of self-employment: "IF YOU DON'T WORK YOU DON'T GET PAID". It is very hard for a self-employed person to learn priorities. If you are working at home and the baby starts to cry, which is more important, take care of the crying baby or finish typing in the data for the company you are doing contract work for on your home computer? . If they fill sick they stay in bed. If they need something at the store they stop work and go to the store. If a friend comes over the stop work and talk for 3 or 4 hours. If someone calls with a personal call they take the call. If you were working for a big corporation and were at the office you would not even consider doing any of those things without clocking out. But working for yourself there is not clock.

They did a study some time ago that is very interesting in relation to a person wanting to be self employed and work at home. They wanted to find out who was sick the most. They found two groups of people who are almost never sick. CEO's of large companies and MOTHERS. Why? Because they are driven to do their job even if they "FEEL" sick. They do their job anyway! That is a great lesson that must be learned by every self employed person. You have to learn to work even when you don't want to. If you can not learn to do that you will likely not be very successful as a self employed person. If you have to have a time clock to make you come to work on time or stay at work until the day is done, self employment is not for you.

Another study was done to see who's children were the most successful in life. Before the study was don't they just assumed that the children of rich people would be the most likely to succeed in life because of the advantages they have from social prestige and backing by family money. As it turned out it was just the opposite. The most likely to succeed were the children of Farmers. And the group that proved second most likely to succeed where people who had delivered papers as a child. Why? Why were those two groups far more likely to succeed than the children of rich people? Both groups had something very much in common. They had to work even when they did not want to. They had to milk the cows or deliver the paper at four o' clock Sunday mornings even when it was 5 degrees below zero and the wind was blowing 40 miles per hour. That is the key to being self employed. If you can not do that then find a regular job. If you have to stop work because the kids are calling you or because your lawn needs mowing then find a regular job, working at home is not for you.

With this bit of "WARNING" aside, if you still think that you have what it takes to work at home, then here is the results of my research. May it be of great value to you in helping you start your own business in your home and be happy, hard working, self disiplined, and financially well off.


Lets start by letting me making a list of every person that I know who successfully works at home and what they do. This chapter of the book is not so much intended to give you a list of businesses that you can do yourself, as it is intended just to stimulate your thinking. Help you think of things you might do yourself that are similar. A later section of this book will cover how you can start such businesses if you are interested. I would bet that after you read this chapter, and start looking around you will be surprised at how many people you know yourself who successfully work at home. Obviously the lesson to be learned here is that if you want to be successful at working at home, start by studying other people who are already doing working at home and what they have done to become successful at it. It will also be helpful to study those who have tried it and failed. They will teach you more than the ones who are successful because they will help you learn to not make the same mistakes they did.


The most successful person I know who is working at home is my wife. She is a house wife. That is her only job. Her job is to keep our home, and be happy which makes me happy. When we are happy together, everything seems to go wonderfully. I have been blessed to be able to find work that allowed me to work at home with her at my side much of my life. I am a self employed computer consultant and QA Software Contractor. I contract out my time to big corporations and she contracts out her time to our family. She is a full time house wife. It seems to me we have the perfect life. If you can have that occupation as a woman, a wife, a mother, I would say you have the perfect occupation and I recommend it to you as the best first choice you could make. If you are not privledged as a woman to be able to list your occupation as "HOUSE WIFE" I would encourage you to make it a goal in life. I know that every woman does not agree with me. I know also that every woman in the world even those who want to be, can not be a house wife. Many because of circumstances beyond their control have to work. But to me it is the highest possable goal that could be obtained by any woman.


(For a more detailed description of each of these home businesses go to chapter 3.)

1. Engraving business
2. Medical Transcribing
3. TV Infomertial order taker
4. Stuffing envelopes for a local mail order business
5. Day Care or Pre-School in your home
6. Day Trading and Investing on your home computer.
7. Photo Studo
8. Payroll Business
9. Book Keeping
10. Tax Preparation and Tax Consulting
11. Car Repair
12. Computer Programming
13. Web Page Building
14. Type Setting for Publishers
15. Proof Reading for Publishers
16. Mail Order Business
17. Home sales (Tupperware, New Skin, Young Living Oils)
18. Telephone soliciting
19. Appliance and small engine repair
20. Buying and Selling used cars
21. Restoring Vintage Cars
22. Yard Sales
23. Cartoonist
24. Artist
25. Radio Talk Show Host
26. Internet business
27. Internet Service Provider
28. Piano or music teacher
29. Computer Training Classes
30. Foreign Language Classes
31. School Tutering
32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.
101. Pan Handeling (just kidding...but in New York some make $100,000 a year sitting in front of their town house.


1. I know a person who retired from his job and decided to start an engraving business in his home. He already had a computer and a scanner but he had to purchase some other equipment to do this job. The next thing he purchased was an engraving machine. He started quite small and increased his equipment as he went along. This business required a small investment in equipment at first to be run successfully, but he did not buy all the equipment he has now in one day. His business has grown now to where he does other things than just engraving. He embossis and puts logos on coffee cups. He does bronzing of baby shoes and placticing of irreplacable pictures. His business has expanded into all the things you would normally find in a trophy shop. But it is all done in his one time garage now converted into work shop area of his home. He has spent about 10 years building up his business. Now days, he does little advertising. His reputation has spread far and wide. Quality is his calling card.

2. I have a friend who have turned her home computer into money making machine. She does data entry for a medical firm. Doctors dictate diagnosis of patients into a voice recording device. The company then sends those voice recording tapes to her and she transcribes them into the computer and sends the files back to the company who give the transcripts back to the doctor to put in the patients files. She does all her work from home. She started out in one state and ended up moving to another state but the company she works for just mailed the tapes to her at her new home. They came in the mail anyway so where she lived was not very important.

3. I have two frineds who work for the TV Informertial companies. When you call in and order something, you are actually ordering it from some one who is working at home on their home computer. To do this job they had to put a second phone line into their home and have a failry fast computer with a high speed modom. But they have both been quite successful at it and like it because it allows them to set their own hours that they are willing to work.

4. I know of a woman who works for a mail order company stuffing envelopes at her home. You have to be very careful with this suggestion. There are many companies out there who are advertising that you can make a lot of money stuffing envelopes in your own home. This is not the business I am talking about. Those are chain letters. SCAMS!!!! Don't get involved with them. This woman works for a ligatimate mail order house. They bring the advertising materials to her and her and her kids stuff the material into the envelopes and then the mail order company picks them up again and mails them.

5. I know seveal women who have small children and want to have those children in a Day Care or Pre-school but can not afford it. So they have started their own and actually now have people paying her to have their kids AND HER OWN in the Day Care or Pre-school. You normally do not have to have any special education to start a Day Care or Pre-school. In all states you have to have a license. But normally the license is based on the safty of your home or where you are having the Day Care or Pre-School not on your credentials. It also normally limits the number of children you can have at one time depending on the size of your home.

6. The big rage right now with a lot of people is Day Trading. This is something you can do at home with your home computer. It is a very, very risky business. If you are interested in getting into investing at home on your home computer I hope you will spend a great deal of time studying it first and then let others who are already successful at it help you learn. It is not much different than gambling if you start into it without knowing what you are doing. I know several people who have become quite wealthy doing it in the past few years. I know a few who have also lost everything they had (including their day time job they quit to do it).... BE CAREFUL!!!!

7. I know several people who have started photo studios in their home. Two in particular that I know personally are very succesful at it and have been in that business IN THEIR OWN HOME for several years making a very nice living. They both do go out and take pictures at weddings, high school reunions, and the like. But they go back home to develop the pictures and process them. They have of course had to buy cameras and developing equipment and converted parts of their home into studios and dark rooms. In some cases you may need a special permit or license to have a business in your home where the public will come to purchase things from you. Check your local zoning ordinances before you go out and buy an expensive camera if this one interests you.

8. Years ago my first home business was a payroll business. I bought a small computer, obtained some software, wrote some software of my own, and then went out and found some customers. I very quickly learned that it was a very competative business. But I also learned very quicly that there were three kinds of customers. There were the ones that were very big and had lots of money. They mostly hired big accounting firms or payroll houses to do their books and taxes. The second were very, very small businesses. Usually one or two employees. They were too small and could not afford to hire anyone to do the payroll. It was not big enough. But we learned that there was a whole group of middle size businesses. They were not big enough to be able to afford big accounting firm prices but had 20 to 50 employees and were struggling getting the payroll done correctly and on time. This was especially true of companies who had employees in more than one state like building contractors. We very quickly learned to sepcalize in one kind of business and made quite a nice living doing it.

9. I know several people who have received some type of associate degree or even college degree in accounting and now work out of their homes doing "BOOK KEEPING" for small businesses. They are not accountants. They just do the pick and shovel daily book keeping work for the company. They bring the books and statements to their home and then pick them up. That business in not as easy to find now days when so many companies have their own computers. But there are still some there if that is something you like to do.

10. There are many people who have received training in tax preperation and do the work from their own home. You do not have to be an accountant to do tax work. But you will need training and certification to be successful. I have never met anyone who did not welcome help doing their taxes. If you are good and your reputation spreads, April 15th can turn into tax consulting every day of the year.

11. It is not uncommon to find people making quite a good living repairing cars for their friends and do it right in their own yard at home. This is again of course dependent on the zoning laws in your neighbourhood. But I know several people who make quite a lot of money doing one car at a time for friends and friends of friends.

12. I know many people who are computer contractors who do computer programming at home. They go to businesses and find out what they want, then as a contractor go home and produce it and take it back to that customer. This will of course necessitate your knowing the current computer languages and keeping up. About every four years everything you used to know will become quite obsolete.

13. A very fast growing home business righ now is web page building. But like any other computer related business it is changing very, very fast. Those who only know HTML now are being left far behind. But it is a very workable business you can do from your home if you are good at it and can find businesses that are looking for what you do best. There are very few busninesses now days that do not have a web page. Someone had to build those pages. Not very many companies can afford a full time web page builder unless they are a very large business.

14. I know a person who used to be a type setter back in the old days. She worked at a publishing company. Then when computers came along she learned how to do all that on a computer. Then she started doing some of it at home. Eventually she bought bigger and better computers and software and finally ended up having a very successful business in her home setting type for publishing companies. They give her the manuscripts and she gives them back the files containing the finished book.

15. I have an aquatence who is a proof reader. She works for a publishing company. She does the proof reading in her home. You can emagine she knows the English language quite well. And makes the amount of money she desiers to make righ in her own home.

16. There are many people who have successfully started mail order businesses in their own homes. This can again be a very risky business and there are lots of scams out there. But if you study the ones who are successful, it something very doable for someone with out any special trainig or skills that can not be quickly and easily learned. There are several very good mail order courses that a person can take to learn how. The beauty of mail order is that it does not matter where you live as long there is a post office there.






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