A quiet revolution is taking shape among American women. Unlike in the 1970s, when women left the home and entered the workforce in droves, many of today’s women are leaving their 9-to-5 jobs in favor of being at home – not as homemakers, but as work-at-home entrepreneurs.

Designing a New Career

Elizabeth Mahusay understands this path well. Her life changed dramatically when she began her work-at-home journey with Premier Designs after casually attending a jewelry show for the company one memorable evening. After weighing her options, the chemistry teacher gave notice at the high school where she had taught for nearly a decade and began her own business so she could have greater flexibility with her schedule.

Elizabeth Mahusay stands with her Premier Designs display.

Elizabeth Mahusay stands with her Premier Designs display.

 

“I wasn't actually looking for direct sales opportunities, but I knew I wanted a change in my career,” Mahusay says. “I was planning to return to my full-time position, but Premier Designs offered me flexibility to work at home and spend more time with my son.

“The simplicity of their marketing plan as well as the high return on investment of time immediately sold me, and since that day, I've never regretted a moment. Within three years of starting my home-based business, I replaced my full-time teaching income, and it was one of the best and most rewarding decisions I've ever made.”

Mahusay isn't alone. Women today are seeking entrepreneurial opportunities that offer financial rewards, combined with flexible schedules that enable more time for family and friends. A study by the Center for Women's Business Research indicates young women and mothers are two of the fastest-growing sectors for entrepreneurs.

 

 

According to a 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs operate their businesses from home, and among startup companies that run home businesses, 72 percent are operated by women, versus 61 percent of men. The range of available home-based businesses is vast, and women are creating new ideas all the time. From running a conventional business out of a home office, to developing a business around a specific talent or skill, to pursuing a network marketing strategy, home-based ideas are out there for the taking for almost anyone.

Healthy Alternatives

Susan Jones

Susan Jones

 

Susan Jones runs her Wildtree products business to generate additional income as well as to provide healthy food choices for her husband and young family. Wildtree is a direct-sales company that offers an all-natural, organically-gourmet culinary blend of products, all without the use of genetically-modified organisms. They are sold directly through representatives at home tasting parties.

“Originally I was attracted to Wildtree's array of health products because of their all-natural and certified organically-grown ingredients,” Jones says. “As a mom of young children, I wanted only the best for my family, and we had several health issues that required some dietary changes. Using their grapeseed oil, dressings and marinades for our own personal use for over two years, we saw great success and results in our health. A year and a half ago, I launched my own business, and through the home parties and tasting shows, I've been able to earn an average of $500 per month with minimal effort. Wildtree offers me the flexibility that coordinates with my children's schedule, with the advantage of earning some extra spending money. It's been an excellent decision for me.”

Growing Trend

According to a 2012 Pew Research study, most working mothers (62 percent) say that they would prefer to work part-time, and only 37 percent say they prefer full-time work. Also, women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years and tend to create small businesses of less than five employees. Women will generate more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018, and large numbers are doing this from home offices across the country.

For Mahusay, Premier Designs offers her the opportunity to manage her own time within the comfort of her own home while remaining flexible for the needs of her husband and children. Their direct-selling program allows her the chance to do what she did as a full-time employee – teach. Instead of educating kids about the properties of various substances and how these substances can change and interact, she teaches women of all ages about attractive jewelry items, in addition to offering an opportunity for individuals to provide an extra means of income.

 

 

“With the return on investment, as well as Premier Design's generous commission structure, my husband and I built this business to be our full-time income stream, providing us the freedom to move from the Florida area to McKinney on our own terms,” Mahusay says. “Today, this business gives me the flexibility to be involved in my boys' lives while working from home. I absolutely love it.”

Embracing Flexibility

Lisa Hammett (left) and her husband Tyler.

Lisa Hammett (left) and her husband Tyler.

 

Lisa Hammett agrees. As a former employee of several large retail establishments and now a current representative of the network marketing company Pixingo, a place to visit on the web to create personal cards and photo books, Hammett fell in love with owning her own business and being her own boss.

“Initially, I worked for Southern Living at Home (SLAH) as a side business while I worked full-time,” she says. “In 2005, I said goodbye to corporate America, and eventually, when SLAH closed their doors, I discovered Pixingo. I love the flexibility offered with direct sales and owning my own business, but I am very intentional about my time and make sure I am productive, even when working from home.

“In my business, I encounter many stereotypes of individuals imagining 'get rich quick' scenarios, and I'm here to tell you – it takes time, lots of hard work, and accountability to not become distracted. I don't think I could ever go back.”

Women are increasingly embracing entrepreneurship and succeeding, starting businesses that align with their personal values and taking charge of their schedule to gain additional freedom and flexibility within their lives. One thing is for sure: this women’s movement, the 21st century’s quiet revolution, is here to stay and it’s getting louder and louder.

 

About the author: Carolyn Cameron is a writer and marketer who fancies coffee, her family, random creative endeavors and finishing a home project — but not necessarily in that order. Contact her at cameronviolet@gmail.com.