(This is a guest post from Morgan who is a retired physical therapist, blogger, business consultant, and writer. She welcomes you to visit her blog: TheDebtDance.com. And if you love cats you will enjoy her fun site TwoPennyCat.com featuring videos, cat themed products, contests, and more.)
The key to most things in life, including earning money, is to do what you really love. If you need extra money for whatever reason-you’ve lost your job, you want to wipe out your debt, your kid (or you) needs tuition money-whatever the reason you do not have to settle for something you hate doing just because you do not know what else to do.
How do you design a money making scenario around the activities you like? You can start by making a list of everything you love/like to do. Then write down how these things might make you money. If you’re short on ideas I’ll give you some springboards and you can search the internet and bookstores for more. One book full of good options is Weekend Entrepreneur: 101 Great Ways to Earn Extra Cash by Anton, Sander.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” - Albert Schweitzer
How to earn money doing what you love
Start by completing this sentence…
I LOVE TO:
1.…Sit down and chat.
…be an elder companion (greatly needed in our graying communities.) Many caretakers need just a few hours to shop, go to lunch with friends, etc. They would love to have someone reliable to sit with their loved one while they take a breather.
…specialize in a shopping service, e.g. corporate gifts, or conference give-aways. Many organizations dread the time consuming task of holiday gift giving. But do not wait until November. Some companies start planning months ahead.
…stand out from the crowd of candle makers by creating custom candles. Take my granddaughter as a for-instance. She loves pink and Hannah Montana. I would probably spend at least $25-$30 for a special candle with her name in it, Hannah’s pictures, and various accessories like guitars…you could do baby showers, confirmations, bar/bah mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays, job promotions, graduations… Set up a little website and have a blast. (A top selling colorful website that you could glean ideas from is a birthday party website, BirthdayPartyIdeas.com)
4….Be around animals.
…start a pet escort service. Take people’s pets to the vet, groomer, etc. This service is particularly attractive to people, like the elderly and disabled, who do not drive, or for busy people who just can’t get to it.
5….Work at my computer, organizing information, and business.
…open a niche market website. To succeed online you need to be very focused because people searching online search for specific information or items. This will also dramatically reduce your costs. Perhaps you love to camp. You could open a website selling specific types of camping gear—different from what the big stores are selling. You could sell (or give—making your money on advertising on your site) some sort of camping information, like campfire recipes, how to entertain small children camping, etc. Or you could open a blog (again, setting up advertising—we use CJ.com) to earn money and discuss camping spots. Get a discussion going with your readers to add richness to the information. You will need to educate yourself on blogging if you are new to it. The best book I’ve found is ProBlogger by Rowse, Darren.
…start a fundraising event company. If you want to keep it small specialize in certain types of events, e.g. auctions, trivia nights, or children’s fairs.
“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” - Brendan Francis
7….Hang out with youngsters.
…start a much-needed summer resource program for bored tweens. Offer to take “your kids” two to three days per week during the summer. Include the library and volunteerism to all the fun activities (like the movies, swimming, the mall, the arcade, etc.) and make it a meaningful summer. Or, if you love tween and teen girls how about a birthday service? Bring make-up, hair do accessories, games, outrageous goodies to bake, cool crafts or jewelry to make.
…start a flower box service. Build the boxes, fill with hardy plants, and install. Or, provide birthday party entertainment: help little folks hammer together a simple project that you provide. Parents are always looking for something new for eight, nine, and ten year olds.
9….Work from home.
…become a virtual assistant. This is usually a marketing or office assistant that is outsourced. The virtual assistant performs a vast variety of tasks (the more skills you have the better, of course) and many virtual assistants work for more than one person or company. Check this out on the internet or this nifty book: Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA by Ennen and Poelker.
10….Work for the environment.
…start a business helping others go green. From selling green products on the internet to teaching people how to have a smaller “footprint” green is red hot. Try this book for ideas: 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference by Croston.
…decide on a profitable focus area. When you hit an estate sale know which cups and saucers will yield a dollar or $100. Specialize in what you like, educate yourself, become an expert in one or two lucrative areas. It takes just as much time to learn what designer baby clothes are selling for—yielding perhaps $2-$6 if you are lucky–as it does to learn about cookie jars and other ceramics which can bring you hundreds. Two books you may enjoy are: How and Where to Locate the Merchandise to Sell on ebay, by Blacharski, and Titanium eBay: A Tactical Guide to Becoming a Millionaire PowerSeller by McGrath.
…consider starting a mural painting business. This reference may give you some great ideas: How to Start a Faux Painting or Mural Business by Pitman. CustomPaintedMurals.com may also be a good example for you.
“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius
(Note from Bob: I really agree with Morgan about this – there are so many ways to earn extra money by doing things we love. Heck, I still can’t believe make enough money blogging to pay the bills. It seems to me the hardest part is deciding to do it! But, we should just go for it, we only live once and if it doesn’t work out, life goes on and we will have learned something to help us do it better the next time. I am going to be writing more about earning extra money in the upcoming weeks – stay tuned…)