In a recent post I spoke about how people with hearing loss faced difficulties when it came to mainstream employment (read it here). I have since been asked about those who cannot work in the mainstream. What are the options for working and disability. It is something that applies to various people with a disability, not just those of us with hearing loss.
I have Menieres Disease. It is a debilitating condition that affects my hearing and my balance along with severe tinnitus. Mention those three symptoms and any prospective employer will run for the hills.
That is why I turned to the internet. I wanted to take control of my life. I knew I was pretty much unemployable. Despite what some people told me I knew that I would face an insurmountable task in getting back into mainstream employment.
What did I hope to achieve online.
The simple answer to that was that I wanted to be successful. But how did I measure success? Did it mean becoming rich? Did I have to become one of these internet guru’s? Did I have to sell my soul to the internet devil?
The answer to all those was and is NO. I measure my success online through two things. A certain level of financial independence and a work/life balance that no mainstream job was going to give me.
Where am I now and how did I get here.
I have got to where I am by taking a very long road trip. I spent almost three years looking at and trying various ways to make a living online. At first everything seemed to be just one scam after another.
Then I began to learn how to detect the scams and how to avoid them. That opened new possibilities. I was able to start finding genuine opportunities to make a living online. I spent about a year drop shipping.
For those of you who don’t know what drop shipping is, you basically sell products that you don’t see and never own. Whilst I made some decent money from this venture I eventually realised that I was in effect just selling products for someone else. It was really just another job.
I really wanted to own something that I could be passionate about. That is when I came across a community called WEALTHY AFFILIATE.
Who are wealthy affiliate and what do they do.
Wealthy Affiliate are a community of people online (about 800,000 members last I heard) who help, encourage and motivate each other to succeed in achieving their online goals.
The biggest lesson that I have learned over the last few years is that anyone wanting to be successful online needs to have the following three things.
Everyone must have some help.
None of us are an Island. We all get frustrated, annoyed and down heartened at times. We all need a little bit of help to get us through. The hard part is knowing where to get that help. At Wealthy Affiliate that helping hand is there for me 24/7
You must have your own website.
Having your own website is simply a must online. Even with the onset of social media etc… having an authoritative website full of engaging content is an absolute key to succeeding. At Wealthy Affiliate you you get two fully functional wordpress sites.
You have to keep learning and putting it into practice.
The internet keeps changing so we have to learn to adapt with it. It is an ongoing process. This is the best thing about Wealthy Affiliate for me. The training is like nothing I have ever come across before. Between the tutorials and videos you are walked through the entire process of setting up a complete online business.
AND THE BEST OF ALL IS THAT IT IS FREE TO JOIN.
Yes, this is what drew me to Wealthy Affiliate. It is 100% FREE to join. When you join and fill in your profile you will have immediate access to the whole online community, where you can ask questions and receive answers straight away, including on the live chat option.
You will be given two FREE fully functional wordpress websites ready for launching on the internet.
You will have access to what I have no hesitation in calling the very best training I have ever come across. You will have access to video classes, tutorials, classrooms and courses to walk you through how to succeed online.
There is a premium option that you will want to consider but as you can see from the table below the starter pack with everything I have mentioned above is at NO COST.
I have been with Wealthy Affiliate for a few months now and it has allowed me to achieve everything I wanted. I have learned more in the few months here than I did in the previous three years when I was trying to go it alone.
I now understand what it takes to succeed online. Things like SEO (search engine optimisation). How to get ranked on google and other search engines. Website traffic flow. Keyword research. Creating engaging content. Stuff that I just couldn’t get anywhere else.
I want to make one thing absolutely clear here. Wealthy Affiliate is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme. You can not simply expect to set up a website, throw it on the internet and make piles of money by tomorrow. That is not reality. To succeed online you will need to work hard and put the effort in. I simply believe that Wealthy Affiliate is giving me the best opportunity that I can get.
Why is something like Wealthy Affiliate good for people with a disability.
Whilst I believe that this a good option for other disability suffers I can only speak from my own point of view, (Hearing loss), with any authority. Wealthy Affiliate is 100% conducted online. I have never spoken to another member by phone or in person. This way I am on the exact same level as everyone else.
I am fully integrated into the Wealthy Affiliate system. My hearing loss is simply not an issue. In fact, had I not put it on my profile page then no one in the community would even know that I have hearing loss.
In practical terms there are no barriers to me being the very best I can be here. I operate my business from my home office with my laptop. Thats it. No special requirements, no induction loops or amplified phones needed. I can even take my hearing aids out and give my ears a break during the day. Mind you I did miss a delivery yesterday when I took them out!!
The businesses I am creating here have the potential to bring me complete financial freedom. For someone who worked all his life and suddenly found himself relying on the state and others to get by, that is a very big thing indeed.
I am certainly not the only person here at Wealthy Affiliate with a disability. Others have sent me private messages once they seen my profile and we have had some great discussions around the issue of working and disability in general.
Is the online option the right one for you.
Only you can answer that. When I was first diagnosed with Menieres Disease I felt that my working life was over. In reality it has just moved in another direction. I am busier and happier than ever. I am doing something that I love and with a purpose.
The important thing for me is to show you that there are options out there. You don’t need to look at a career in the mainstream only. The opportunities offered by the explosion of the internet are vast.
Being online and creating your own success can take you away from all the difficulties and obstacles we face when working in the mainstream workforce with a disability. It puts you on a level playing field with everyone else.
If you are passionate about something and want to turn it into a successful online business then why not have a look at Wealthy Affiliate. The starter pack is totally free and it might just be the beginning of something great.
I hope you have enjoyed my latest post. If I can help in any way in anything related to hearing loss or health then please just leave a comment and I will get back to you asap. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org