Working from home is something many of us lust after. Especially if you’re living with a chronic illness. It means you’re able to work from your bed if you need to and be much more comfortable. It can mean that if one day you’re not feeling great then you can take that day off, or just much slower if needs be. Working from home with a chronic illness can lead to time and financial freedom, something many of us are longing for. Creating a better work/life balance can help our mental and emotional well-being, as well as our physical health, too.
So, I thought it would be helpful to share with you some working from home ideas with a chronic illness. Hopefully, these will give you some inspiration and starting points to get you on the path to your own entrepreneurial journey. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information check out my affiliate disclosure. I hope you find these working from home with a chronic illness ideas useful.
Direct Sales/Network Marketing
I truly believe that Direct Sales/Network Marketing can be a great option for people living with a chronic illness. I wrote an article on Direct Sales with a Chronic Illness you may find interesting. Direct Sales isn’t for everyone, but it can be a really wonderful choice for the right person. Here are some of the things I love about the industry:
- Community – as soon as you join you’re thrown into team groups and meeting people within your company online. It can be a great way to make new friends and meet like-minded people with an entrepreneurial spirit. I have made some of my best friends within Direct Sales and couldn’t imagine my life without them in it.
- Flexibility – you can work when you like. As long as you do still do some work, you really can set your own hours. When I had a large team I was holding coaching calls on certain days of the week and working my personal business on others. I could fit it around my full-time job and take some time to myself if I needed. When I needed to have a procedure in January of 2016 I took some time away from my business and it all worked out OK. By planning and allowing for this, my business didn’t suffer.
- Ready to sell products – this is a biggie. The products are ready and waiting for you to tell them. Unlike starting a conventional business where you would need to create your own products, or plan your own services. You often have marketing images to help, too.
- Business in a box – most of these companies have everything set up for you ready to go in your starter kit. There are usually step-by-step instructions on starting your business, too. It is all very duplicatable and so anyone really can succeed.
- Training – this truly is one of my favourite aspects of the industry. There is so much training available, whether within your organisation or other areas. Self-development really is encouraged like I have never seen before, and it is very inspiring. I have learnt so much about sales, social media, mindset, goal setting, running a business… I could go on.
Your Direct Sales business can definitely be run mostly online, too. With savvy social media skills, you can definitely earn an income without having to leave your house and do in-person parties, if you want. Facebook parties are very popular, Instagram can also make a huge difference, too. It’s all about having a good attraction marketing strategy and using it effectively. If you can combine a Direct Sales business with a blog then you really are setting yourself up for success, too.
Physical Offline In-person Jobs
This is an area that needs some thought when you have a chronic illness. They may not be suitable for you, depending on your physical and mental health. However, there could be something here that really works for you and ends up being the perfect solution. Here are some ideas to think about within this area:
- Child Minding – if you have kids then this might be a really good fit. It can be a great way to earn an income whilst staying at home with your little one(s). Knowing what the rules are about how to set up a business like this is incredibly important. There are likely to be legal checks needed, and your home may need to pass inspections. Do your research and really take your health into account before embarking on this as a business opportunity.
- Pet sitting/walking – many people are interested in these kinds of services now (it’s something I need to source at the moment!) and so it could be very lucrative. The same kinds of things need to be considered as with child minding, though there is likely to be less (or no) legal issues to worry about. Making decisions about whether you invite pets into your home, or whether you only visit others is key. As well as the size and type of pets you’re comfortable with. It may only be suitable for you to care for smaller dogs.
- Teaching – if you have something you’re really good at then teaching could be a good option. Skills such as piano, a foreign language, sign-language, photography etc can all be created into in-person classes and taught from your home.
This deserves its very own section, for sure. Becoming a Virtual Assistant has some very exciting potential as a solution for working from home with a chronic illness. More and more people are setting up their own online businesses and need help. Often larger companies don’t have a problem with their assistants being based virtually, too.
From the research I have done into this area I understand that having a speciality will help the most. So pick an area and learn everything you can about it to then help people with. You could look into bookkeeping, social media management, Pinterest, customer services, video editing, graphic design, Facebook ads. There really are so many options. Pinterest is a great place to get some ideas.
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Other Virtual Jobs
There are some other options such as mystery shopping, user testing, taking surveys and playing games. All of these can earn you some money. I do feel that there can be quite a high time commitment for the money earned. However, if you really enjoy some of these options then they can be really great.
These could all be good things you can do whilst starting another business, or cutting down hours at a full-time job, to help bring in some extra cash. Check out this article from The Busy Budgeter on ways you can make money from your smart phone.
Selling online can be a fantastic way to work from home with a chronic illness. You can purchase items and re-sell on places like eBay and Amazon. If you are creative you can design some physical products like planner stickers and sell them on Etsy. The only issue I see with this area is the physical side of packaging items and taking them to the post office. This is something I can struggle with sometimes, and it means items get posted later than planned. That can lead to bad reviews and things like that. So, take your physical health into account here before entering into online selling.
However, if you look at digital products then this could be a better option for someone with a chronic illness. If you are good at graphic design then you can set up a store on Creative Market. Or, if you can make printables then Etsy may work. This actually leads quite nicely into my final two options.
Do you feel like an expert on a topic? Or like you’ve always had a book inside of you? Why not look at writing a book, whether that be an eBook or not. You can learn how to write and sell it on Amazon. Or, if publishing a book isn’t your thing, you could look into copy writing or ghost writing for others. I hear of many bloggers looking for help from people willing to ghost write for them, whether it be blog posts or eBook downloads perhaps.
Personally, I think blogging is a fantastic way to earn an income working from home with a chronic illness. Especially if you partner it with product creation like the digital products I mentioned above, or perhaps an eBook or similar. If you think blogging might be your jam then I have some great recommendations for you to get started.
My goal with this blog is for it to become my full-time income and maybe even support my husband one day, too. However, I totally get that starting a blog can seem scary and completely overwhelming with many people not knowing where to begin. There are so many options available to you right now, so I am going to break it down and make it super simple. It also totally depends on how ‘techy’ you are. I am working on something that that is a super simple info sheet on starting blogging. If you’d like to get notified when it’s ready then sign up to join my newsletter as they will be the first to know about it.
So, there’s a complete list of ideas for working from home with a Chronic Illness. I am hopeful that this will give you some inspiration to get started on one of these options to help you regain control and a better work/life balance. These are all self-employed options as I believe they will give you the best flexibility. What do you think of this list? Are there any others you’d add? Come along and join the discussion in our Facebook group.