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By: Sylvie Fortin

When I broke on to the telecommuting scene, I was just that…broke! Life had dealt me some tough cards: I was divorced, on welfare, and had three small children to support. Believe me, telecommuting wasn't a choice, it was my only hope. If I worked away from home, the day care expenses alone would have run me into the poorhouse. I didn't even have a computer, but I knew I had to make money from home and I had to figure out a way to do it fast. Frankly, I was totally overwhelmed.

But, wait a minute; I'm not here to share my sob story. I am here today to share my success story and insider's tips to help you take that next big step toward controlling your financial future. We all experience hard times in our lives; times when it feels like the whole world is trying to knock us down. You know what I'm talking about, right? Each of us has our own personal success stories as to how we got out of that tight jam. I am here today to let you know how anybody — even a simple gal like myself — can take the cards life deals us and turn them into a winning hand time and time again. And, yes, that means that you can do it, too!

And, what's more, you can do it without a fancy degree, without getting suckered into the latest “work-at-home” scams, and — yes — without even having a computer of your own. There are so many great opportunities out there for you. Hopefully, with a little help and a little chutzpah, you'll be sure to turn the next hard hand life deals you into a winner!

When I first started looking for ways to work from home, I decided not to focus on what I didn't have. I chose instead to take a look at what I did have. I was a hard worker. I was creative. I was committed to doing excellent work. Little did I know at the time, but these were the very traits that every telecommuter needs to possess to be successful.

Here's how I put these traits to work for me and how you can do the same:

  • Stay Committed. Looking for a telecommuting job can be frustrating. When it feels like you have to do it all on your own, it can be really daunting. To avoid being totally overwhelmed, I decided to set smaller daily and weekly goals for myself. In time, my persistence paid off and I started making more money than I ever imagined possible. Many people give up quickly. Set goals for yourself and stick to them. If you stick it out, the jobs will come. Persistence is the name of the game.
  • Never Pay. There are many work-at-home sites on the Web that ask you to pay for jobs. Before you plunk down your precious cash, think about this: Can you imagine walking into a job interview and being asked to pay $25 just to be interviewed? Of course not! The rules that apply in the “real” world also apply in the work-at-home world. Never pay for a job. Remember, you are the one looking to get paid, not to pay somebody else. At all costs, trust your instincts and never ever pay for a job!
  • Be Creative. When I started my business, all I had to my name was a telephone and a typewriter with a sticky E. I assessed what I was good at doing and realized that I loved talking to people. So, I picked up my phone book and started calling companies in all kinds of fields. I offered my services to them as a leads generator. I agreed to be paid only for the calls I made that led to a lead for their salesman to close. I started making money immediately. That is to say, get creative. Assess your strengths and brainstorm ways you can make these strengths work for you. Even your phone can be turned into a business!
  • No Computer Required. In today's Web world, it seems like everybody has a computer. But, do you know what? You don't need a computer to be successful in your home-based business. It's true. When I started out, I decided to make my simple typewriter work for me. I went to my local university and posted flyers advertising term paper writing services. I would work with students “scribbles, notes, textbooks, scratchpads” and type up their reports. Believe it or not, I made $10,000 in two months! Computers are so reasonably priced these days, so there's no excuse — buy yourself a basic model and get typing today!

Believe me, there are real home-based jobs out there today. The simple truth of the matter is: What will separate you from the pack and allow you to begin your successful journey toward financial independence and lifelong satisfaction is hard work. Assess your strengths. Be creative. Trust your instincts. Stay committed and work hard. The future is yours. Are you ready?