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TELECOMMUTING EMPLOYMENT

The Compllete Guiide

Version 3.10.01.10.02

 

Edward B. Toupin

 

All trademarks mentioned throughout this publication are property of their respective owners.

Published in 2001 by Edward B. Toupin, Las Vegas, NV, United States. Copyright © 2001, Edward B. Toupin. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of Edward B. Toupin.

Contact the publisher at publish@toupin.com and the author at etoupin@toupin.com.

 

Visit the online library at http://www.toupin.com/library/. Provide your feedback at http://www.toupin.com/library/form_main.html.

 

Table of Contents

 

List of Tables .......................................................................................................................................vii
List of Figures.....................................................................................................................................viii
About The Author .................................................................................................................................ix
Acknowledgements ..............................................................................................................................xi
Preface ................................................................................................................................................xiii
Introduction ...........................................................................................................................................1

Why do it? ...........................................................................................................................................1
Can I do it?..........................................................................................................................................2
What do I do? ......................................................................................................................................2
How do I do it? ....................................................................................................................................2

Making the Decision ..............................................................................................................................3

Influencing Factors ..............................................................................................................................3
Do I have what it takes?.......................................................................................................................4
Making It Happen ................................................................................................................................6

What are the steps?...............................................................................................................................9

Preparing Your Plan ............................................................................................................................9
Set Yourself Up .................................................................................................................................10
Prepare Your Business ......................................................................................................................10
Market Your Product or Service .........................................................................................................10
Pack Away the Money .......................................................................................................................11
Easy Does It......................................................................................................................................11
Quit Your Job ....................................................................................................................................11

Planning ...............................................................................................................................................13

Determining the Objectives ................................................................................................................13
Steps to Defining your Objectives ..................................................................................................14
Defining Your Mission........................................................................................................................15
Steps to Creating the Mission Statement .......................................................................................16
Defining Your Vision ..........................................................................................................................17
Steps to Creating the Vision Statement..........................................................................................17
Redefining Your Goals.......................................................................................................................18
Steps to Defining Goals .................................................................................................................19
Establishing an Action Plan ...............................................................................................................19
Steps to Creating the Action Plan ..................................................................................................20
The Basic Business Plan ...................................................................................................................20

Setting Yourself Up .............................................................................................................................23

Establish Yourself..............................................................................................................................24
Locating a Job ...................................................................................................................................25
Make Yourself Known........................................................................................................................26
The Presentation ...............................................................................................................................27
Interviews ..........................................................................................................................................28
Offers and Acceptance ......................................................................................................................30

Telecommuting ....................................................................................................................................31

Possible Telecommuting Jobs............................................................................................................32
Business Ideas ....................................................................................................................................35

Business Consulting ..........................................................................................................................35
Booklet Publishing .............................................................................................................................40
Home-Based Typing ..........................................................................................................................41
Personal Factors ...........................................................................................................................42
Imagination....................................................................................................................................42
Ensuring Success and Survival......................................................................................................43
Lack of Money is No Excuse for Failure .........................................................................................43
Your Banker ..................................................................................................................................44
Naming Your Business ..................................................................................................................44
Pricing...........................................................................................................................................45
Service Guidelines.........................................................................................................................45
Pace Yourself................................................................................................................................45

Information Brokering ........................................................................................................................46
Phone Counselor...............................................................................................................................47
How do you qualify? ......................................................................................................................48
How do I get started? ....................................................................................................................48
Ok, I can read tarot. Now what?....................................................................................................49
How does this work? .....................................................................................................................49
What's the catch? ..........................................................................................................................50
For you, I see ... ............................................................................................................................50

Resume Writing.................................................................................................................................50
Setting Up .....................................................................................................................................52
Resumes and Cover Letters ..........................................................................................................52
Marketing ......................................................................................................................................53
Interviewing the Client ...................................................................................................................54
Preparing the Resume...................................................................................................................55
Fees for Your Service....................................................................................................................56
Cover Letter ..................................................................................................................................56
Make It Happen.............................................................................................................................56

Self-Publishing ..................................................................................................................................57
Find Your Market...........................................................................................................................57
Cash in on Your Creativity and Expertise.......................................................................................58
Packaging .....................................................................................................................................58
Focus on Salable Material .............................................................................................................58
Fill the Material with Benefits .........................................................................................................59
Emotional Appeal ..........................................................................................................................59
Advertising ....................................................................................................................................59

Remote Temporary Help....................................................................................................................61

Setting Up Your Business ...................................................................................................................69

Creating the Organization ..................................................................................................................69
Sole Proprietorship ........................................................................................................................70
Partnership....................................................................................................................................70
Limited Liability Company ..............................................................................................................71
Corporation ...................................................................................................................................72

The IRS.............................................................................................................................................73
Payroll Taxes ................................................................................................................................73
Federal Income Tax Obligations ....................................................................................................74
Sales Tax ......................................................................................................................................75
State Tax.......................................................................................................................................76

Insurance ..........................................................................................................................................76
Business Resources ..........................................................................................................................77

Marketing Your Wares .........................................................................................................................79

Writing Free Content..........................................................................................................................80
Using the Internet to Promote ............................................................................................................81
Web Site Madness ........................................................................................................................81
Discussion Groups ........................................................................................................................82
Zines .............................................................................................................................................82
Newsgroups ..................................................................................................................................83

Make Sense of the Search...................................................................................................................85

Why so many?...................................................................................................................................85
I'm over here! ....................................................................................................................................86
The Search Methods .........................................................................................................................87
Using a Tool ......................................................................................................................................88
The Presentation ...............................................................................................................................88
What's next?......................................................................................................................................88

Locating Opportunities........................................................................................................................91

What can I do? ..................................................................................................................................91
How do I smell?.................................................................................................................................92
Locating Opportunities.......................................................................................................................92
Search Sites..................................................................................................................................93
Other Resources ...........................................................................................................................93

Make Yourself Known........................................................................................................................94
The Interview.....................................................................................................................................94
Landing a Job....................................................................................................................................95

Balancing Your Finances ....................................................................................................................97 Financial Planning .............................................................................................................................97 Paying the Bills..................................................................................................................................98 Working & Living at Home.................................................................................................................101

Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day .................................................................................................... 101
Combining Work and Home............................................................................................................. 102
Your Home Office ............................................................................................................................ 104
Can your business thrive out of your home? ................................................................................ 104
Dealing with Customers and Suppliers......................................................................................... 105
Neighbors and Family.................................................................................................................. 106
Being Your Own Boss ................................................................................................................. 106
Professionalism ........................................................................................................................... 107
Healthy Lifestyle .......................................................................................................................... 107
Work Hours ................................................................................................................................. 108

Legal Restrictions ............................................................................................................................ 108
Tips to Help You Telecommute Successfully.................................................................................... 109

Taking the Leap .................................................................................................................................111

Before You Quit............................................................................................................................... 111
Quit—With Dignity! .......................................................................................................................... 112
Things to be aware of... ................................................................................................................... 113
Security....................................................................................................................................... 113
Socializing and Being Liked ......................................................................................................... 114
Promotion and Visibility ............................................................................................................... 114
Fear ............................................................................................................................................ 115
Bartering for Work ....................................................................................................................... 115
Sure, I'll Do It For Free! ............................................................................................................... 116

Scheduling Your Time .......................................................................................................................117

Starting Out ..................................................................................................................................... 117
If You Schedule It, Make It Happen.................................................................................................. 119
Last Minute Scheduling ................................................................................................................... 119

A1. General Links ........................................................................................................................122
A2. Research Links......................................................................................................................124
A3. Tools and Software ...............................................................................................................125
A4. E-Book Marketing Links........................................................................................................127
A5. Web Site Marketing Plan.......................................................................................................131
A6. Telecommuting Web Sites ....................................................................................................132
A7. Telecommuting Companies..................................................................................................134
A8. Government Links.................................................................................................................138
A9. Personal Objectives ..............................................................................................................139
A10. Do I have what it takes?........................................................................................................140
A11. Am I ready? ...........................................................................................................................142

A12. Business Plan .......................................................................................................................143
Information Resources..................................................................................................................... 144
A13. Job Search Checklist ............................................................................................................147

A14. Glossary ................................................................................................................................148
Index...................................................................................................................................................151

List of Tables

 

Table 1: Potential Telecommuting Jobs..................................................................................................32

 

List of Figures

 

Figure 1: Creating Your Goals................................................................................................................18

 

About The Author

Edward B. Toupin is a freelance consultant, writer, and published author living in Las Vegas. He currently handles technical writing tasks for various companies in New York, Chicago, and Denver as well as imagineers and markets feature-length and short screenplays.

Edward provides quality Web site design, development, and marketing as well as writing, document design and planning, and e-book publishing services. You can visit his Web site at http://www.toupin.com or contact him at etoupin@toupin.com.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, I want to thank my clients and my friends for supporting me when I decided to take the leap into the telecommuting lifestyle. It was very much like skydiving for the first time—massive fear and adrenaline until you land on the ground. If you get it right once, you want to do it again and again.

Above all, I want to thank my wife for not passing out the day I showed up at home for lunch—and never went back. Through my odd little twists and turns in my latest endeavors, even though you didn't understand everything I did, you have been most supportive! Thank you.

Preface

I actually had a wonderful career as a software engineer. I worked on real-time, process control systems for the larger oil companies. I had a big house in the mountains, two fancy trucks, and all the bills that usually come with the idea of living comfortably. I was caught in Corporate America by the golden handcuffs, but I had to have more. Not more money—I wanted more time to spend with the family and more time to do the things that I wanted to do.

Being in Corporate America for so long, I took the standard approach to finding more—I started searching for higher paying jobs. I was able to locate and qualify for numerous technical and managerial positions; however, I began to realize that I was going deeper into a corporate hole. Unless I was willing to give up my identity, my creativity, all my spare time, and my ability to enjoy life, then finding a new job was not going to work. I found that I was spending more time at the office, more money maintaining the image and less time with my family. Even with a higher paying job, I still just broke even on all fronts!

One of the major issues I had when I left my former company was that I no longer felt like I was accomplishing anything, because everyone wanted me to do something. I know, this sounds whiney, but the problem was that I was a Web developer, a writer, a software engineer, and a mathematician. I was working in every department doing all kinds of things from tutoring developers in software engineering processes, to writing Internet applications, to Web design, to writing manuals and white papers. I was even used in various meetings, and on various documents, to translate highly technical items into layman's terms for the clients.

One day, I decided to play hooky. I just relaxed on my deck and read a book. Out of the blue, I felt this cold chill go down my back—all the tiny hairs stood up on end. A vision of freedom flashed through my brain and I finally realized that I had to quit my day job! Yes, tell the boss that I've had it and I quit! Then I realized that I still have that big house in the mountains, two fancy trucks, and all the bills. I was stuck!

Here is where I have to explain something. For the past decade or so, I've been writing for various publishers and developing Web sites on the side. My little part-time hobby was grossing more than my full-time day job. I never realized that I could succeed on my own until I took a long, hard look at what was happening in my life. I was brainwashed by the corporate mentality! I felt as though I needed to work for others to make it in this world. My actual realization was not that I just had to quit my job—I had to work for myself.

During the past six years, I learned how to find telecommuting work, how to contact publishers, how to contact producers, and how to make it happen. With the experience I gained over the years, I knew how to make it happen all along—I just had to do it! What I'm going to show you is how to use your experience to begin establishing yourself. In this way, you can eventually break out of your golden handcuffs and turn your life, and your career, into something that you want. It's not easy! In fact, at the beginning, you'll end up with sleepless nights and probably end up wishing you were employed full-time again. But, after all is said and done and you break out of the corporate mind-set, it's rewarding and it's yours!