What is a Legitimate Work from Home Business? Must Know Details…

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What is a Legitimate Work from Home Business?

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If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a Legitimate Work from Home Business?”, you’re in the right place.

About five years ago, I began exploring legitimate work from home business opportunities. I was active duty in the Air Force and I’d deployed and dedicated alot of time away from my family. I wanted my values to reflect more in my time, I wanted more flexibility, and I was pretty confident that starting a good work from home business would be a step in the right direction.

In my quest, I ran into scam after scam, low quality training after another, and high priced experiment after another until I found something that really resonated. Now, after finding something that works for me, I write reviews of business opportunities (some good and some bad) in effort to prevent others from going thru the maze and disappointment I went thru to “find my groove”. In this post, I want to share with you some general rules of thumb I’ve found for determining legitimate work from home businesses from bad ones, and give you some direction for how you can get started yourself.

1. There Should be ProofWhat is a Legitimate Work from Home Business

I’ve seen time after time where product and course creators will flaunt their own personal income as a means of showing their system is proven, but just because a nurse knows how to do CPR doesn’t mean she can teach it to someone else, right?

It doesn’t. To make matters worse, some people fabricate their results, so it makes it even more difficult to identify proven systems from scams.

As a result, I always look for proof:

  • Student success
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Expert reviews
  • Third party sites (like G2Crowd, TrustPilot, ShopperApproved, independant reviewers, and others)

I try to observe whether there’s a monopoly of negative or positive reviews, and keep that in mind.

That’s not the only thing I look at though. I also look consider…

2. The Sales Tactics Should Be Ethical and Voluntary–Avoid Lots of Pressure

I look at the sales tactics and decide whether they’re pushing me to make a decision or whether they’re answering my questions and letting me control my own buying process. In a previous post, I wrote alot more about sales versus manipulation, and you should be very careful to identify the differences.

Many companies have philosophies about the buyer where they believe they need to manipulate or put lots of pressure on the buyer in order for them to make their sales. To some extent, the sales philosophies hold some truth, but when I see too many high pressure tactics involved in the sales process, it’s a red flag for me, and I recommend you proceed with caution when you see that especially if:

  • They’re insulting you (even indirectly)
  • They’re implying they have more than you (or being arrogant)
  • When they’re obviously exaggerating or omitting information
  • Or, when they’re obviously lying

Typically, a good and solid product won’t require lots of pushing and tugging, so when you see too much pressure, it might be a signal that the product is too hyped up, and it really isn’t that great.

3. They Give Enough Information for You to Make an Informed Decision before Making a PurchaseWhat is a Legitimate Work from Home Business?

When you look at ethical companies like Apple, they allow you to touch the product, they tell all of the specifications of the product, and based on your experience and knowledge of the product and mission, they make the sale.

Some companies (especially unethical and low quality ones) make their sales by sparking your curiosity about what’s inside, but not giving you enough information to determine whether or not the product or service will achieve your goals.

For example, they’ll say something like “Pay $199 to learn the “secret” that earns me $100,000/mo online”, but they don’t tell you what tools might be required, how much time is required, what the training format would be, etc.

Watch out for programs that omit too much information because once you pay, you could find out the program is not even close to what you were looking for!

4. Avoid Exaggeration or Anomaly Claims and Find Average Performance Instead

Some people will drastically exaggerate by telling you:

  • That you can make money faster than what’s realistic
  • Omitting details about how much time is required
  • Not telling you when prerequisite tools are needed
  • By taking credit for success that came from somewhere else
  • and, by presenting one-off success stories as if they are averages or normal events

Be careful to identify what’s normal rather than riding your hopes on an anomaly situation. It’ like if every child who gets into peewee basketball thought they would end up in the NBA! Realistically speaking, only a very small percentage of kids who play peewee sports will be able to go into professional teams one day, but it helps to know that up front.

5. You can try a Sample before Exchanging Money

After reviewing and trying hundreds of programs who require upfront payments, I can honestly say it’s best to buy from companies who will let you try before you buy. Most companies who are confident about the value their products and services offer will give you a trial, a free sample, or something to evaluate whether or not it’s worth it for you.

I recommend testing products and services out, then buying based on your needs and goals.

6. It Connects with your Innate Skills and Interests

What is a Legitimate Work from Home Business?I’ve seen time and time again where startup entrepreneurs try a business opportunity because they hear it makes money rather than self-evaluating and identifying their skills and interests. While an opportunity could make great money for some people, it may not be enjoyable for you, and it may not be a good use of your skills and interests.

You could be absolutely miserable choosing work from home business opportunities based on the wrong criteria. The wrong criteria is:

  • Emotional sales pitches
  • High income claims
  • Other people’s success
  • Or, being forced (or attempting to satisfy) someone else

When you choose a business opportunity, you want to choose based on a clear inventory of your interests, skills, background, connections, and overall life goals.

7. There’s Proof it can Achieve Your Financial Goals

Another sad thing I’ve seen is people who invest way too much time in something that could never achieve their financial goals. For example, there are quite a few videos and articles online advocating for making money doing surveys, but many survey sites pay pennies to complete surveys!

You could earn much less than minimum wage completing surveys if you’re not careful!

It’s not as easy to find proof of income with business opportunities as it is to find it with a job, so you may have to dig and do research, but it’s well worth it. The last thing you want to do is invest your time and money into something that has no chance in getting you to the income and lifestyle goals you desire.

8. It Resonates with Your Values

When I was looking for work from home opportunities, I wanted:

  • a Flexible schedule
  • Location independence
  • No glass ceiling on my income potential
  • No recruiting
  • Full control of my income congruent with my work ethic
  • and, the ability to be available as a mom, wife, and overall nurturing person

Some opportunities were more suited than others for my list. I chose what worked best for me. Similarly, you should sit down and evaluate what’s a high priority for you. Is it flexible scheduling? The freedom to work from any location? Involvement in your local community?

Whatever are your main values should be taken into strong consideration as your evaluating work from home opportunities.

9. Your Instincts are at Peace with it

Too often, we try to go with what others are saying or believe what’s happening for everyone else will automatically happen for us, but it’s not true. We each have a purpose and unique gifts, talents, and opportunities where we can blossom.

I love the quote by T.D. Jakes that says:

“When you’re living by instinct, then you will naturally enhance everything and everyone around you. In other words, success will come naturally! When both your intellect and instincts are aligned, then producing the fruits of your labors brings satisfaction beyond measure.”

Trust your gut and don’t ignore that quiet voice inside you that tells you when something feels right or it doesn’t.


Overall, finding a great work from home opportunity can be immensely rewarding! As a result of working from home, I’ve been able:

  • To support my husband as he’s started his own business
  • To homeschool my son for the majority of his elementary years
  • Keep my daughter home for her first two years of life
  • Encourage people from all over the world
  • and make money!

Working from home has been a great ride for me, and I encourage those who are interested to give it a shot!  If you’re unsure where to start looking for a good work from home opportunity, I’d recommend you check out these articles I’ve written:

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below! I’d love to help you out.

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14 thoughts on “What is a Legitimate Work from Home Business? Must Know Details…”

  1. As a customer, I also appreciate free trials.  If a company stands by their product or training, they will allow someone to test it out first.  Social proof is helpful, but can be skewed with so many affiliates around.  Always do your research before buying something.   Just my 2 cents. 

    1. I agree. Affiliates and salespeople are okay as long as they have a track record of being honest. The social proof that’s really bothersome to me is when product creators buy reviews and testimonials. Often times, they pay actors who don’t even try the product before acting like they like it. I agree that it’s important to do your due diligence and research, and some of these points can help as a format for the research.

  2. Excellent advice everyone should follow! It’s scary how often people give money (often a LOT of money) for the promise of something great without even knowing what they’ll be getting. That always screams scam to me. They always make promises as to their service, not what you’ll actually be doing or learning or the service or product. People have no idea, yet still pay hundreds for these quick rich tricks. Honestly, anything promoting itself as fast and easy to make thousands in one week makes me hit the back button. Even if they’re offering an actual service, it’s not usually very ethical or self-sustaining.

    Thanks for this article! It’s so very useful!

    1. Thanks so much Selenity for sharing your experience. Your example would scream scam to me too, for sure. I do try to give product creators the benefit of the doubt, and think sometimes, “maybe they don’t know they look scammy”, but there are so many narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths out there, we can’t be too naïve.

  3. I enjoyed this post. Thanks for taking the time to put together this guide showing us how to find a legitimate work from home business. There are so much scams out there that it is necessary for us to know what to look for and what should be considered as red flags. I also like your point about choosing something that aligns with our values. Even though there are several ways to make money from home, we should choose something that we will feel comfortable with and proud to say we’re doing it.

    Keep up the good work and I hope this helps many others find real work from home business opportunities!


    1. Thanks Marlinda! I think we often overlook our values in exchange for making money, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For me, it’s values first and the money making opportunity has to align with that. Thanks for highlighting that point and for your well wishes.

  4. The title definitely peaked my interest. I have been subjected to scams and schemes that did not resonate with me. As I read through, I was on familiar ground when you explained the various shady deals that are around. The one that hit hime was the tactic many use to use soft insulting methods to shame you into parting with your hard earned money so as to not appear foolish. 

    I liked that you not only explained what ARE legitimate home businesses but also what ARE NOT. Plus. you even made it clear that even if the business is legitimate it may not be the right one for me. Good companies want to ensure there is a good match. If they are not, then all they are interested in is taking your money. 

    1. Thanks so much Edwin for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear people having experiences with scams and poor quality programs. The growth of the internet and drastic interest to learn how to make money from home has led many scammers to go there posing as solutions. Sorry to hear you had experiences like that. Me too. I completely agree with the manipulative methods you pointed out and that they just want customers to part with their money. There is an ethical way to go about it, and shaming people isn’t the right way. Thanks for pointing that out.

  5. Ibrahim Abdulrahman

    Those 9 general rules of thumb you shared in the article are helpful in differentiating between the legit working from home business from bad ones. Working from home can have many benefits to you and your business including: saving you money – save on start-up costs, as you do not need  to rent a premises, however for a beginner I will be glad if you can assist in recommending the right Niche that will be suitable for the audience  Thanks

    1. I’m glad it was helpful for you Ibrahim! Unfortunately, I can’t say what would be most appropriate for everyone. I can say that starting a home business and monetizing with affiliate marketing has been a step in the right direction for me though. You can read more on my take on that in my article “Why start an affiliate marketing business?”.

  6. I love your website and your articles! I have been working from home since 2015. But lately, I have been feeling this “quarter-life crisis syndrome”. I can say maybe because of the job I have doesn’t resonate with my values.

    It pays good, yes, but I feel like I needed more because I am still living paycheck to paycheck. And my schedule is not flexible which sometimes stresses me out. This year, my #1 goal is to see if my newly startup online business will work for me. Thanks for sharing these tips and advice. I have also read your other articles and I am learning a lot from it!

    1. Thanks so much Donna for your compliments and for sharing your experience. I’ve been in your shoes where I’m working from home doing something that doesn’t align. It can feel nearly as bad as working outside of the home! Thanks for chiming in on that.

  7. I totally agree with you on giving consumers enough information, I really hate those companies who bait us with an offer of a lifetime just to use our curiosity against us. There are just so many scammers who prey on the beginners like that and not just for online marketing programs but also brick and mortar businesses.

    Air Asia one was sued because people found out they charge an additional fee the moment they’ve paid so someone reported and the law took action so after that they never pulled anything like that again.

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