Monday, April 14, 2008

5 ways to make money on the side.

So instead of rambling on about my financial successes/issues once again today I think I might as well give some advice. My qualifications - I'm a debt free black male who's under 30 (at least for the next few weeks). So here are some tips to make some extra cash on the side assuming you already have a day job that pays you just enough to get to the next payday and you want some more.

  1. Get a part-time job (DUH!) - This is so blindingly obvious. Over the past year or so, I've had two part time jobs while working my full-time job. This is the easiest way to make some extra cash and also the most dependable. In your average city or town there are plenty of businesses that need qualified, dependable people to do the things that the business owner's can't (or don't want to) do themselves. People who are already employed tend to fit the 'qualified & dependable' description. The downside of course is not only are you a wage-slave at the first job you are wage-slave at two jobs which, assuming you're working close to 60 hours or more a week altogether can make you wonder if you are working to live or living to work.
  2. Sell things online - I've been experimenting with this a little myself with a few nibbles but, no bites so far. However, a former co-worker of mine has an E-bay business (on the side mind you) where he averages about $1000 a month in additional income. He's been doing it for a little over a year and says the more he learns about the better his bottom-line becomes. E-bay isn't the only place you can sell things online of course, there is also if you want to keep it local. I believe is also trying to move into E-bay territory, although not by selling things by auction. If you have written something or created some artwork or made the perfect design for a T-shirt, there are a growing number of sites that connect buyers and artistic sellers together. Getting the buyers to buy though is a different story though....
  3. Have other's sell things online for you - I personally had a bad experience with this. However, that's not to say that letting a 'brick & mortar' e-bay store do the work for you is an entirely bad idea. If you don't have the time to photograph, write marketing copy and the know-how of how to get everything shipped out, I strongly suggest it. Companies like - I Sold it on E-bay, or the Online Outpost are both physical stores that will take your stuff and do all the hard work for your ignorance. In exchange they take a chunk of the profits. Again, I had a bad experience and thus may be why I'm still sore about the subject. Ignorance will keep you poor.
  4. Make money off of something you love to do - This if course is a difficult one, to try and do. I'm currently planning to do. I have a book written which probably needs some work but, over the year's I've noticed that I don't exactly hate writing in fact in a lot of cases it allows me to relax and flesh out ideas much better. Doing something you love though does not always translate into millionaire/rock star success. As Dan Kennedy points out in his book - to paraphrase - I like watching sports and eating Pizza but there's not a whole lot of people who will pay me to do that. I guess the key here is to focus on something you love to do that can have a beneficial impact to others as well. If you love Hot-rods and know a '48 truck engine like the back of your hand. You might offer specialty mechanic services for show cars on the weekends. Or if you're a black belt in Kung Fu you can offer personalized lessons for a fee.
  5. Find something you can sell on the side - Last but, not least, you can look for customers in your part of the world to sell something that you don't necessarily like but can make some money off of. I have a friend who sells beauty products to her co-workers who then in turn tell their friends and allows her to make some walking around money on the side. I know of another friend who most recent endeavor is selling vacations or getting people interested in timeshares on the side for a fee. I also heard that being a 'weekend realtor' was a pretty good part-time profession a few year's back but, now given the current market, it might be a hard path to walk. My guess though is that those who become weekend realtor's now when the market is low and they aren't dependent on the extra income may become fairly skilled and experienced once the market rebounds a year or so from now.

If you've noticed almost all of my suggestions involve selling of some sort or another - even by settling for the part-time job you have to sell yourself to customers and/or your future boss in the interview.

After reading a book by Dan Kennedy recently I've become a little bit more than inspired to get off my duff and start doing something about my financial situation which is OK now but, with a future, soon-to-be jobless wife to look out for, it could definitely be better.

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