Working from home has its own set of challenges, but even so, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Remote work from a homestead or farm can bring a family together, build resiliency and provide many income streams. Whether you are just beginning to work remotely or have been working at a home-based business for a long time, there are many benefits to working from home.
Working from home on the farm can benefit the whole family. Different generations can interact and learn from one another, assisting in different aspects of the family enterprise. A business run from the farm can involve everyone, allowing parents to show the day-to-day operations of their work while letting children see the various tasks their parents do to operate a business.
It can also permit one partner to stay home with the children while the other partner works on the business. Harrowsmith home and farm editor Steve Maxwell, whose Bailey Line Road business is based on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, was happy to share some advantages of working from home. “For me, it’s all benefits,” he says. “The last time I had a regular ‘job’ was in 1989, and since then I’ve been working exclusively from my homestead, creating and selling articles, videos and online courses. My income has allowed my wife to follow her dream of staying home, and it has also allowed our five kids to grow up with two parents at home all the time. I look forward to my work every day.”
The Gig Economy
Making a living working from home means that the products or services you offer are something that people need and want to purchase. It is important, too, to have multiple sources of income coming in. Maxwell confirms this importance, adding, “For people like me, it’s an exciting challenge earning a living for a family without any guarantees. In 30 years, it has consistently worked out fine. Part of the reason is that all working-from-home businesses should have multiple streams of income.” If one stream slows down, you will still have other sources that are bringing in money. In setting up multiple income streams in this gig economy, entrepreneurs know the value of creating digital downloads of e-books, video tutorials, Zoom online workshops, writing for related publications, consulting or coaching.
The Secrets of Success (Are Not Secrets at All)
Farmers and homesteaders are well aware that the care and upkeep of their property takes time, perseverance, and non-stop work. Running a home-based business is no different and demands the same elements. “Success working from any kind of home involves diligently applying skills that surprisingly few people seem willing or able to exercise,” says Maxwell. “You need to set your own schedule, fix your own computer and gear, sell your services, deal with clients, look after payments, and brainstorm creative ideas that the world is willing to pay for. People who already earn money farming probably have these skills, so the transition to working from the farm digitally will probably be easier.”
Despite the long hours, there’s a distinct advantage in setting your own schedule and eliminating the commute. Dedication and a willingness to try new things and adjust as needed are part of the keys to successfully working remotely.
By developing a business that allows you to work remotely from your homestead, you can secure a place to withstand economic changes, as most encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The C-19 event has reminded me how valuable it is to earn a living from our homestead,” Maxwell says. “There’s been no significant change in our life here, except two university-age kids coming home. The ability to earn money digitally from the farm is part of a larger theme of self-reliance that we’ve put into practice here since 1989. My two university boys, who are back home now, also earn money online while doing their schooling online. One is writing articles for clients in the U.S., and the other is doing medical research and video analysis.”
Generating a consistent income will become increasingly vital to withstand any up-and-down changes that the economy may bring. A successful home-based business can offer more control over income and stability, provided cautious financial measures are in place.
Making money through a home-based business is extremely rewarding. Yes, it is up to the individual to make all the decisions regarding work hours and finding clients and items to sell. However, working from home on the farm and homestead gives you the opportunity to diversify and maximize your income, the independence to be resilient when facing unforeseen economic circumstances, and the time to spend with your family.
Barbori Garnet is a Creative Arts Professional – writer, artist, musician, and gardener – based in Calgary, AB. She enjoys writing non-fiction and writes on remote work, home offices, gardening, and more. Visit Barbori at barborigarnet.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @BarboriGarnet.