The path to building your dream business from home is a long and demanding one. Anyone who tells you that shifting from nine-to-five work to managing a home business is a quick and smooth transition is probably selling you something scammy.

But the flip side of the coin is equally valid.

While it’s not easy, starting a business from home can be incredibly rewarding, particularly when you begin to see it grow. So, in the spirit of giving a balanced account, here are three reasons you should start a home business, followed by three reasons you shouldn’t.

Three Reasons You Should

Want more hours in your day? A home biz can make that happen.

This first reason in the should column might seem a bit counter-intuitive. Most new home business owners implicitly understand the importance of putting in long hours, particularly when you get established. There aren’t too many ways to avoid that.

The quality and flexibility of that time are very different, however. Prefer to work in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed? The right home business for you will let you do that. Fancy a few days off for a road trip? You won’t need permission forms, leave-slips, or HR departments to make that magic happen. All you need to do is make sure you catch up some other way. Your time is your time.

Owning your own home business often means you get more bang for your temporal buck.

Owning your own business helps you better understand money… and maybe even life.

OK, that does sound a bit weird. Unless you’ve only just parted ways with a remote commune in a desert somewhere, you’re probably down with the general concept of spending money to get stuff.

But salaried work makes the value of currency seem abstract. Money happens when you endure your job through to the next paycheck. More money happens when you polish your resume and jump through the requisite hoops to land a better job. Rinse and repeat until you retire.

Owning your own home business short-circuits all that. You start thinking of money more dynamically. Unburdened by the bludgeoning monotony of a well-worn career track, you’ll likely begin to perceive money less as the result of endurance and more as the combined product of energy, talent, and insight.

Oddly, how much you earn may become less critical, even as the qualities that drive self-made wealth become more important. You may even find you become much more alert to the notion that life is what you make it.

A home business can be less lonely than the nine-to-five grind.

Now, this one is a tad complicated and comes with a few caveats. Make no mistake: a home business can be isolating. If your work is inherently solitary, you can all-too-easily go days without being forced to interact with anyone. Building meaningful relationships while growing your home business takes work and dedication.

However, provided you make an effort, managing your own home business can lead to more fulfilling professional relationships.

Networking with other home business owners isn’t dampened and soured by the strictures of a highly regulated and managed workplace. You’re allowed to talk freely about ambition, fear, uncertainty — all the ingredients of what it means to be a human.

A home business is an adventure with a constant flow of victories and defeats, obstacles, and hidden alleyways. Sharing those moments with fellow home business adventurers can lead to some strong and lasting friendships.

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t

More is at stake, and that can be a stress.

Most regular jobs come with a little bit of wiggle room. You’ll have days where you can kind of dial it in. If you ate a bad shrimp the night before, most (though by no means all) nine-to-five jobs will give you leeway.

Also, you probably get insurance, paid leave, and other perks that make life more manageable when plans go astray.

When you own a home business, all of the above becomes more complex. You’ll have days where you feel unwell but still need to work. You may experience months where you need to put in extra hours to pay the bills. Finding good insurance can be hard and expensive when it’s just you, your bank account, and the deep blue sea.

The working from home lifestyle can be isolating.

Remember how I said that owning a home business can be less lonely? That is true, but you’ll have to work on building those relationships to achieve networking nirvana.
When you start, none of that support will exist. In those early stages, working from home can become very isolating indeed, especially if you live alone.

It’s avoidable. Just have a plan for getting out and meeting people. Oh, and no excuses! Be sure to stick with it. You’ll need other folks to help you on your journey.

You’ll lose your “zones.”

Normal working life allocates certain physical zones.

When you’re at work, you’re typically expected to be professionally conventional. Your employers may even frown a bit if you opt to wear pink flamingo slippers. On your commute, society dictates that you be quiet and orderly — and again, abstaining from wearing comfortable, pink, avian-themed footwear is generally preferred. When you’re at home, you’re allowed to relax, sleep, and eat cheese.

Owning your own business will dissolve those zones. While this can be liberating, it also means your home will always be your office. You’ll never have a lengthy commute separating you from your fridge, and all the cheesy treats housed therein.

You’ll need the discipline to finish your work at an allotted time, even if your office is only a few footsteps away. Likewise, if you’re a serial snacker like me, you’ll also need to get good at telling yourself “no!” when all those delicious distractions beckon.

In the End, It’s Simple

In the final analysis, it’s almost disturbingly simple. You should start a home business if you really, really, really want to. I’m not usually a fan of thrice-repeated adverbs, but in this case, it’s justified. Two really’s won’t cut it.

Should you start a business from home? Absolutely. Provided you’re on fire to make it happen.