Leslie Truex is the founder and owner of WorkAtHomeSuccess.com, which she founded more than two decades back in 1998. She has been helping work-at-home people with free tips, tutorials, and resources to find or create a work-at-home career. Her company was one of the very first work-at-home websites on the Internet, particularly in the area of telecommuting.
Leslie is a famed writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker, fitness instructor, and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Her articles have appeared on Entrepreneur.com, Yahoo!, Small Business, and more. Leslie also authored several books, including The Work-At-Home Success Bible, among many others. She has also been featured on ABC News, CNN, Fox Business, Consumer Digest, and the list goes long.
And, we got Leslie on our uSpeak channel to share some insight on finding work-at-home jobs and more.
Topics covered on the podcast:
Minnie: How did you come up with the idea of starting Work At Home Success?
Leslie: Well, it’s interesting because back in the ‘90s, I was a new mom and having a tough time leaving my kids at daycare, and I wanted to work from home, and the work at home landscape was so different back then. Anybody I knew working from home was mostly moms doing direct sales type things, and the internet – I mean, this is before Google and PayPal, and Amazon was just this little company that some guy was running out of his garage, right? So, I mean, it was really very different back then.
So, I was looking to work from home, and I did have a computer. I’d been working on computers for a long time, using them, and I had Microsoft Publisher, and on the back of the box, it says you could build a website, and I thought, “Well, that sounds like fun.” So, it was sort of a whim. I was like, “I’m gonna build this thing.” Back then, I paid $70.00 for my domain name, and I built this site where I was sort of talking about my journey. It wasn’t a blog because they didn’t have blogs then, but I would share kinda what I learned and what I was discovering, and it just kinda grew from that.
Minnie: What will be your tips and advice for people who are looking for legitimate work from home? What should be their first step?
Leslie: Well, one of the things that have always fascinated me over the years is that if people need a job in the regular world, they think, “Okay, what kind of jobs can I do?” and then they go out and look in the want ads or whatever to find that job. But when they think about I wanna work from home, especially in a work-at-home job, they go to Google and just start typing “work-at-home job”, and it doesn’t occur to them to think, “What can I do?” You know, what kind of jobs I could do.
But really, whether you want a work-at-home job, whether you wanna start a home business, whether you wanna freelance, whatever it is you wanna do, in my mind, it always starts with first inventorying what it is you can do because in a job or home business, somebody is buying your skill, or your knowledge, or something like that. So, whether it’s beauty techniques on YouTube or whether it’s your ability to type fast and accurately or whatever it is, so I always tell people it starts with that. What is it that you’re good at that somebody else is gonna pay you to do for them or to teach them or whatever it is?
So, that’s usually where I start them, and then after that, I’m like, “Now you need to go to the places where those people are looking for you, which is not Google,” right? So, people who are looking to hire people are gonna post their jobs on their websites or on career sites. People who need someone to type fast and accurately are gonna post on Upwork or something like that. So, those are usually the two things. It’s like what can you do and where are those people who are looking for you?
Minnie: how would you rate transcription as a work-from-home career? Can it be a full-time career according to you?
Leslie: I think so. And you know, it’s funny, when I first started a lot of the email I get is I wanna do data entry or typing, and when I started, those were very dangerous things to look for because mostly it was scammers who were selling some sort of kit. But as the internet has grown and content has become really important and it’s become global, data entry and typing, which is transcription now, is a viable job. But I tell people who say, “I just wanna sit home and type,” I’m like, “Well, how fast can you type and how good at it are you?” Because even places that are hiring transcriptionists or data entry people, they still want you to have the skill to do the job.
They’re not just looking for somebody to sit home and type letters. They’re looking for people to perform something for them. And I have seen entry-level transcription work, so you don’t have to necessarily do 80 words a minute, but the idea that you can just sign up and sit home, I tell them, “You can’t do that.” Even with transcription jobs, it is a viable job, but they’re gonna make you take a test probably. Sometimes, you’re gonna have to know what it is you’re typing, so if it’s in the legal field or the medical field, they’re gonna want you to know what that is. So yeah, I do. Today, I’m all behind that. I have several articles and resources on the site that talks about that.
Minnie: what are the most common problems or challenges with which people come to you?
Leslie: Well, the thing I hear the most is “I want a work-at-home job and all I find are scams”. And so, that tells me they’re looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place, so they’re probably going to Google and typing “work-at-home” or “work-at-home data entry” or something like that where they’re most likely to get in trouble.
The other thing that I get is there are people who do understand that getting a work-at-home job is like getting any other job, and so they’re applying and they’re doing what they need to do, and they’re just not hearing back, and that is a real issue. But these employers half the time won’t even let you know they got your application, so it’s frustrating. So, a lot of it is just saying you just gotta keep searching, and keep applying, and keep doing what you have to do. And of course, it’s the same in anything. If you started a freelance career, if you’re doing transcription, sometimes it can take a while to build up your client base and you just have to keep at it.
Minnie: what is your word of encouragement for people out there who are thinking of quitting their 9 to 5 jobs but are afraid of doing so?
Leslie: That’s a hard one, especially these days in the middle of a pandemic, it doesn’t seem a good idea to quit. And I’ll admit, I’m a cautious person. I mean, right now, my kids are grown and they’re gone, so I’m sort of in a transition stage. I’m actually moving out of some things that I do into something different just so I can have more time and I can retire someday, and even now, I’m very cautious about I don’t wanna burn any bridges, I don’t wanna let anybody down because if I have to go back and ask for that work back, I wanna be able to have it.
So, I think if you have a job, that’s great, but there are things that you can do around that were – a side hustle or you can search for work in the morning or in the evening, and it’s just a matter of prioritizing it. I think a lot of people say, “Well, I’m really busy. I don’t have time,” and I know busy. I raised two kids, but I also know I watched TV, you know? I know there are times that I waste, and if you decide, look, I’m not gonna read for pleasure, and I’m not gonna watch Netflix or whatever, and you have an hour to search the internet, or learn something new, or install WordPress or whatever, every little bit’s gonna move you forward.
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