Whether you are inbetween jobs, unemployed, underemployed, or an entrepreneur falling short of income goals chances are you can create cash sooner rather than later. One of the biggest trends born from the crazy economy is that of mini-jobs or a portfolio career where someone has multiple jobs (freelance or part-time) that add up to a full time paycheck. Even if you don't have enough of these mini-jobs to make a full paycheck, capitalizing on what you already know is a fast path to cash.
I happened to be reading the article "The Joblet Recovery: Not everyone can find full-time work. Then again, not everyone wants to" by John Gerzema in Inc. Magazine. recently and it reminded me of a a triend and true fact that is getting more attention in today's economy. That fact is - if there is knowledge you possess or something you can do that someone else needs, that is how you create cash regardless of what is going on in the economy at large. As he shares in the article:
According to my company's data, 48 percent of Americans believe that since the financial crisis, we have become more capable of starting our own businesses. But as work becomes atomized, perhaps people should think smaller—about individuals rather than companies and tasks rather than accounts. Ambitious entrepreneurs can always build out that landscaping service or car-detailing shop when the economy rebounds. Meanwhile, worker-bee networks are a way to monetize skills at a time when (with apologies to Norma Desmond) the need is big.
In the article he talks about sites such as Mechanical Turk, SkillSlate, TaskRabbit , and Skillshare which are more or less auction sites for particular skillsets or types of projects. We're all familiar with Odesk and Elance (though in both you have to fight the price wars with overseas workers). I got to thinking about the old-school way of making cash. In the days long before any of us wandered the planet, people literally traded goods... I have tomatoes and you need hay, you have meats and I have a tractor so let's swap. It was the early form of barter. Today barter can still be great, but cash is king. I don't know about you but I can't pay my mortgage with a good barter arrangement. So while I still have a few select barter arrangements, for the most part if someone asks me if they can barter for my services, the answer is no. However, there is the often overlooked idea of simply performing a needed task for cash that can be very lucrative and an awesome way to generate flow when things seem to be operating at a trickle. You don't need to start up a business, create a business plan, or worry about whether a company is hiring. You hit the pavement looking for opportunities and say yes to them.
Consider the fact that it is almost winter (last week's screwy early season Noreaster notwithstanding, it is still autumn!!). Maybe there are some neighbors who need their driveways shoveled (you can do that for a fee). Maybe some neighbors need someone with an SUV (that you happen to have) to drive them during inclement weather (you can do that for a fee). You get the gist. This is the grown-ups game of school kid grass cutting, paper delivering, and yard cleaning. It doesn't have to end at manual labor (in fact, it's likely you won't be all that jazzed about full sweat equity). What was the thing that someone always came to you for during your last job? Was it PC help? Organizational prowess? Writing skills? Handy assembling "easy-to-assemble" furniture? If so, start scouting around at local networking organizations, your neighborhood, community centers, and clubs to ask if anyone needs this sort of help.
It might not feel glamorous, but it sure beats sitting home whining. I know when I first started my business (heck before I even left corporate), I was willing to do what it took to create the cash flow necessary to keep going. I did a lot of things from creating powerpoints for people, writing articles, and even helping others get organized. Now of course if you have a bigger vision you are working on, you don't want your extracurricular activities of say making coffee for the neighbors to curtail your efforts, but with the proper balance it can actually be interesting and fruitful.
What creative ways have you found to make money in the last few years? What worked for you? What great ideas fell flat? Would love to hear your thoughts and personal experiences.... do you think this is a trend to stay?
Credit Image: myrtti on Flickr
Paula Gregorowicz, The Intuitive Intelligence™ Coach
Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.intuitiveintelligencecoaching
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