Get Paid to Write

Enter your name and email address to sign up to my newsletter and get my list of 47 Websites that Pay Writers $50+ Per Article (including a site that pays up to $1,000 per article)

Get Out of Mom’s Basement

basementNot too long ago, admitting that you were moving back in with your parents after graduating from college was a red flag. For everyone. Girlfriends, perspective employers, family members, friends – they’d all raise an eyebrow or worse, reply with an incredulous “Oh…really?” at the mere mention. But, oh, how times have changed. High unemployment rates and oppressive student loans have made the exception, the rule, with 85% of new college grads planning to move back in with their parents.

The good news: Your girlfriend still thinks you’re cool. The bad news: You live with your parents. The worse news: You’re under- or unemployed.
Instead of throwing yourself into a deep well of depression, look at the advantages. As any business networking site will tell you, employers are always looking for candidates who are clever enough to turn a bad situation into a positive, money-making opportunity. And lucky for you, you’re in the perfect position to do just that.
Trying to get out of your mom’s basement? Become an entrepreneur!

Wait? Become a what?

C’mon! Owning your own business, being your own boss… you know you’ve thought about it! Starting a business may be a fantasy to those with a mortgage and family to feed, but for recent grads, there is no better time to think about starting your own business. Even if you’re working part-time or full-time at a low salary, you can still start your own business without a lot of risk. But with just a third of new businesses failing in the first two years, the key to entrepreneurship is to find right business for you.

Do what you love can tolerate

You may be a diehard gamer, but are you really prepared to set up an eDistribution site for new and used video games? Making your hobby your business may put you on a path to resenting the very thing you love. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but try tapping into your strengths. Were you always the go-to guy for fixing computers back in college? You might have resented the endless requests back then, but maybe you’d be more inclined to install new motherboards for $50 per service call and $60 per hour.

If you find yourself struggling to identify a marketable strength, try jotting down the things you are good at and seeing if you can develop the skills needed to make them profitable. You might be a novice knitter now, but if you spend just a little time each day learning new techniques, eventually you’ll be able to make something unique that people want to buy.

Mom’s Basement = Your New Office?

Comfy furnishings, all day access to snacks and Xbox 360 within arm’s reach? Most people would kill for your office space. Creating an office in your parent’s house is not only frugal, but a potential tax write-off as well. Be warned, your bedroom can’t double as your office space. The IRS has strict guidelines for office space tax write-offs, so make sure to talk with a tax professional.

It may sound obvious, but it’s important to keep your parents in the loop. Although they love you and want you to succeed, don’t take advantage of their generosity. If you plan on having meetings in your office, you’ll want to let them know about the possibility of having strangers in the house. Keeping the parents happy will decrease the chances that they decide to turn your new office into storage space.

Market yourself

Once you get your business off the ground, it’s time to get the word out. Set up a website (use a content management system if you’re not too web savvy), register your business on Facebook and Twitter and print out some business cards (you can get cheap and simple business cards printed out at your local office supply shop).

Are you shy when it comes to networking? Tap into your built-in live-at-home network. There is no shame in asking your parents to make connections for you, as long as you are the one to ultimately sell yourself. Chances are they will be happy to pass on your business card as long as it means you might have a few bucks coming your way…which you can use to move out of their home.
When it comes time to update your resume, don’t forget to include your new venture. Employers will love to hear about what you’ve learned in the process of starting a business. Who knows, maybe your small basement venture will turn into a multinational corporation. There’s only one way to find out.


Shawn Hessinger is the chief moderator of BizSugar, an online community of small business owners.

Category: blogging

29 Comments on "Get Out of Mom’s Basement"

  1. Jawed @ Earn Money Online says:

    Nice post Shawn, agree with all your well defined points. I had also started somehow similar to that but had a quick success and now i am doing this full time.

  2. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Shawn,

    Entrepreneurs find a way.

    For a number of months I received help from my parents, and loved ones. I never asked – my ego was too big, and foolish, at the time – but people around me went ahead and helped me.

    I lived on my own, but if I didn’t get help I might have been in my parent’s basement 😉

    An entrepreneur are creative. He does what he can, with what he has. Whether in your folks’ basement, or even being homeless, I’ve learned people with the desire to succeed with their own business do anything to make it happen.

    I sold my car. I walked back and forth to the library miles away for many months, sometimes in sub zero temperatures. I moved out of my apartment. I did what it took to grow my business and now I’m travelling Asia for a year, living my dreams because I did what it took to make them happen.

    Was it a big deal, making all those sacrifices? Now I’m overlooking Central Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I’ve already stayed in Bali and Phuket on my trip. Yeah, I think it was worth it 😉

    Never lose your vision. Never let your dreams go.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration Shawn, and super creative ideas.

    To our overflowing wealth,


    • Kalen @ Learn Internet Marketing says:

      I agree Ryan. I would not have an income right now if I didn’t become self-employed. As I work on moving from being self-employed to an entrepreneur, I think I will be happier. For the moment there is just some solace knowing I am getting by without government aid. In this economy, being creative isn’t just helpful, it’s essential to survive.

  3. sibin says:

    I agree with you.But it is not a Simple one.Need more Time and Knowledge to Develop a Own Business .Money also a Problem .Anyway i trying with my blog www[dot]7chip[dot]com.Now Google ads income reach 70$.

  4. alamin says:

    Dear!!! this is called mother. They are totally different

  5. Nice article again dude.You really write some unique artiles:)

  6. Edgar says:

    Entrepreneurship is a dream that we’re all chasing. I just hope that all of these efforts will come to good results.

  7. symfony says:

    I adore the idea that some hard times make people very creative and really hard-working. I know it from my own experience. now my country is having really bad times and I think I should be ready to work even harder.

  8. Pratap Reddy says:

    starting a own business needs perfect planning. Even who can afford also should plan the business duly considering many factors. I have seen many young people who started small business, now they are well-off. When i have joined in Government service, my friend’s family members came to city and started a small way side breakfast center in a movable vehicle. Now they are owners of two hotels and a big building.I also suggest young brothers to think in different way. State small business with what ever you can afford. Don’t dream to become big business man in overnight. If you have little amount also, build your business from bottom level and use different strategies to make it success.

  9. Mark @ TheBitBot SEM Blog says:

    Personally, I love the idea of using “mom’s basement” as a “first office”.

    Starting your own business is tough and the less start-up costs you have initially, the better.

    Specifically, IM is tough and there is a pretty stiff learning curve unless you know the right people of have the right information.

    If your parents will let you, I say do it…:)


  10. Deji says:

    @mark i dont think im is that tough but u need a solid plan for you to succed. Enterprenureship is freedom

  11. Kalen @ Learn Internet Marketing says:

    Hey Shawn this post might as well have been written strictly for me. I moved back to my parents house last summer and worked 70 hours a week on my own company. I moved out three months later and am now self-employed. Granted, I don’t feel being self-emplolyed is the same as being an entrepreneur but its a start. And I am at least out of my parents’ house doing what I love.

  12. Danielle @ Instant Affiliate Paydays says:

    I like how you encourage people to do what they are already interested in. Some people in the IM circle advise away from that because hobbies are not always the most profitable but you put a really positive spin on that which I relate to and appreciate.

    Thanks for this post. Well written.

  13. TsarShu says:

    You gave me an excellent idea, but I don’t think that my mum will be happy to see my office in her basement and in general to see me at home. We don’t get on well with her. I like the tips and I will think how to use them considering my life story.

  14. karan says:

    Agree with your point about grad students having a massive opportunity these days. As the great gary vaynerchuk says this is the biggest social change occuring in our society ever:D

  15. Tina @ wedding favors says:

    Me and my cousin are planning to have our own business because we want to be the bosses not the other way around. great post you got there. Oni has great guest bloggers.

  16. Michael @Blast4Traffic says:

    Yes, I agree with you on starting off a new business right from home. It could be challenging but it pays great dividend in the long run. It’s fun to be here with you.

  17. Hikapo says:

    Hahaha, I am one of those live in with my parents graduates, using my room as my business ground.

    Have to suck it up for now.

    I am giving myself 2 years to fly again.

    Thanks for sharing the post.

  18. supercuts says:

    I think there is nothing like your own business.Attraction and learning in business is more than a job.

  19. Melvin says:

    I dont really know if I can get out of my moms basement but I just rented my own apartment. As far as starting your own business, its always as risky as well but I gotta agree with Ryan that entrepreneurs find a way. With that, it then becomes a game of who can persist the most

  20. Very good point. Insightful idea for entrepreneurs!

    Primarily from where I came from, it has not been a big deal whether if a person is way pass 18, he/she should depart from his/her parent’s house. I personally would prefer to be near to my mom and dad. 🙂

    Anyway, I also get a message here that nothing should stop us from reaching our goals. Or shall I say, nothing should hinder us from becoming wealthy in all aspects of life, especially earning money, honor and prestige.


  21. Sparkle says:

    People are really apprehensive to working for themselves because they are afraid of failure but what they don’t understand is that if they don’t try, they still have failed. And they will never know what could have become of themselves if they had tried.

    I also think in the world of super tight economy and money not being as plentiful because jobs are not plentiful, I believe that some people are worried that if their business fail, they could possibly end up homeless.

    I hope people will research and learn about the markets and try and make a business for themselves.

  22. Raymund@Lexmark toner cartridges says:

    In our country, moving to your parents’ house is not a big deal as long as you can support yourself and not be a burden to them. Having an office at your parent’s house is a good idea but a bad idea if you want to have quality time with your gf/bf and friends.

  23. Ha..Nice discussion my fren..And what you said is exactly correct..u must be dependent on family to some extent only..after certain age u must be independent and u shud make urself be proud..If any one follow ur policy there would be a great change..

  24. I certainly agree that this would be great. I will definitely follow some of you tips. Well done on this review.

  25. susan says:

    My mum would be only happy if I started something serious from her point of your as she doesn’t consider my online work like work in fact. She would like me to get a new career which is more challenging in fact.

  26. ES says:

    I think moving out of home and becoming independent is as important as moving in and supporting your parents during their old age, when they need it the most.

  27. jo says:

    i had no idea the number was that high.85% seems like a lot.but im for the idea,i think more people should be doing that.Here in india,it is very common to stay with parents,rents are so high,you would end up paying half your salary on a rental,it makes mroe sense to live with your parents

  28. My mum doesn’t like the idea of me doing online job because it is like a no brainer. But I guess she is so wrong. How many people know about this stuff that we do? I guess it is the most intellectual career.


Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

Find out more »