Extra Income Report: How I Made $500 Last Month

You all loved when I wrote about how I made $700 from my side gigs in July. I decided to turn the idea into a monthly extra income report to show you how you can monetize your skills and earn side income (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t wanna make more money?)

You can earn extra income in several ways:

a. Getting a raise at your job

b. Starting a business

c. Doing freelance work

d. Growing a side hustle

Option a doesn’t happen as often as we’d like and depends on factors outside our control. Option b (aka entrepreneurship) isn’t for everyone. I like options c and d because they give me direct control over how much I make. I think of freelancing as doing work for other people on your own time. Having a side hustle is different in that you’re typically your own boss. You follow a course of action that creates the opportunities. Your earning potential is limitless and it correlates with the amount of work you put in. If you’re skilled in many areas and you’re up for the challenge, follow these 5 steps to diversify your income.

Here’s a breakdown of how I made an extra $500 this month:

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

I met this client in June at a sample sale and we started working together in August. She has a handbag company and she reached out to me for help with social media photography, copywriting and posting. If you spend a lot of time on social media and came to develop a great understanding of how each platform works, do not take it for granted! You can find clients that will pay you to teach them how to use the platforms or how to grow their following on them. Research gigs on sites such as Fiverr, Elance or Craigslist and check out 10 More Great Sites to Find Gigs and Part-Time Work

Writing – $100

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

Great writers will always be on demand. This is because writing is at the basis of most business communications. You don’t need a degree in English to know how to write. If you can clearly articulate your thoughts and know a lot about a particular topic, consider offering writing services to startups that are looking to build thought leadership or to popular blogs. There are a lot of great online resources for aspiring writers. If you’re one of them, check out The Write Life.

Event Discovery – $50

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.

You wouldn’t imagine the things people are willing to pay for! If you’re good at finding things to do, you have your side business idea. People don’t always have time to look for plans or places worth visiting so by either having a discovery website or posting reviews, you could bring that value to them. I recently started working with this fashion business owner and I get paid $50 a week for helping her find networking events for her business. You can too, if that’s your thing of course.

There’s a lot of money waiting to be made! Go as far as your skills and creativity take you.

How do you generate extra income? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Uncommon Ways I Tried to Make Money As a Kid

I was a young hustler. I must have always liked making money. From middle school to high school, I probably started 2-3 small businesses.  Back home, there wasn’t really a way to make money at that age aside from collecting your parents’ allowances. One had to be resourceful. And resourceful I was! Here are just a few ways I made money as a kid:

Mobile candy store
how to make money as a kid
Courtesy of Pixabay

We weren’t allowed to sell at school. The cafeteria didn’t want any competitors. My reason for starting to sell candies was, “If you’re gonna be a monopoly in something, be so good at it no one will want to try to do it better.” As you probably guessed by now, my school failed at showing variety. Everyone grew bored of their options and I took advantage of it.

I started selling gum, lollipops, chocolates, cookies…you name it. I would buy them in bulk for really cheap abroad and sell the unit at a price that guaranteed profit. It was all clandestine as getting caught could result in being suspended. I got away with it for some time and I quickly became the go-to person for people with a sweet tooth.

Juice stand
how to make money as a kid
Courtesy of Pixabay

I randomly came up with the idea when I was bored at home one day and noticed how well-stocked our refrigerator was. We had way too many fruits and vegetables: lemons, carrots, grapefruits, passion fruits, oranges etc. Naturally, I made different juices and set up a small stand in front of my house. My parents didn’t know but they were my suppliers so my business came with relatively no cost. As you would imagine, this venture didn’t last long and I was grounded for some time (but with my savings on point though haha).

Jewelry shop
how to make money as a kid
Courtesy of Pixabay

I can’t think of something I didn’t try to sell. Whenever I noticed a need in the market, I tried to fill that void. Going to an all-girl school was very strategic in that sense as beauty products were always in demand.

I’ve grown a lot since my early entrepreneurial days. One thing that’s stayed consistent however is my adaptability. As a multipotentialite, you develop a wide range of interests and learning how to leverage them to either acquire new knowledge or skills (and become more competitive) or earn extra income will benefit you in the long run. 

What were some of your early side hustles? Let me know in the comments!

Related:

5 Steps to Diversifying Your Income And Making More Money

I Added $700 To My Income Last Month. You Can Too. Here’s How

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The Secret to Career Success No One Tells You About

What’s the secret to career success?

I was recently asked what I wanted out of life. To answer the question, I wrote down a list of career goals. Here are just a few:

  1. Give a TED talk
  2. Write for Forbes
  3. Teach a class at General Assembly
  4. Coach millennials
  5. Launch a clothing line
  6. Found an education non-profit
  7. Lead guided tours in New York
  8. Operate a food truck
  9. Create online courses
  10. Publish an eBook
  11. Own a coffee shop
  12. Be an angel investor

As you can see, not all these items are related (if only you saw the full list). It spans a variety of industries (education, business, retail, tourism etc.) Some may say I lack focus, but having options is empowering. I don’t know if many of these pursuits will pan out, but I would regret not giving them a try. It is how one can ultimately reach career success, through experimentation. It’s not just thepath to career success, but also self-awareness and personal fulfillment.

Most things in life work a lot like trial and error. Your career is one of them. It’s only when you allow yourself to explore your interests that you’ll acquire a better sense of who you are and what you’d like to do for the rest of your life.

Success isn’t linear, especially for multi-passionate people. We have to let go of this idea that we can achieve our career goals by following a straight path (i.e. get a degree, find a job and become so rich you can do whatever you want and live happily ever after). Though this old model may work for a lot of people, it doesn’t guarantee career success or long-term happiness. You can work at Goldman Sachs after getting a master’s in investment banking and still not be successful or happy. If success is measured in numbers, then sure, but is personal fulfillment (an integral part of success) only a matter of living comfortably?

The truth is, most people rarely end up working in the field they studied in college. This is because somewhere along the way, life happens. They cultivate other interests, develop new skills or find quicker ways to make money. As someone with different abilities (otherwise known as a multi-potentialite), the path to success has never been more unclear. You’re not always sure which way to go or where to begin. To that I say, just start! Somewhere, anywhere.

You love making birthday cards and doing stand-up comedy? Start making them for your family and friends, gage their reaction and consider setting up an Etsy shop. At the same time, sign up for open mic nights and test how good you are at making people laugh. You have nothing to lose by giving both a try. Babysit on weekends or pick up two side jobs if you need to pay bills. If you see early signs of success from your creative pursuits and you’re still passionate about making cards and doing improv comedy, keep doing them! Otherwise, don’t be discouraged if they don’t work out or you’re not as into them anymore. You’ll find other ways.

When it comes to their career, most people forget they always have a choice. Risk it all while you still can. Experimenting will take you where you’re meant to be. It’s the only way to discover what you’re good at and your real passions. And when it’s all done, you’ll have reached fulfillment and learned from diverse experiences.

A major characteristic of the millennial generation is that we’re not afraid to embrace our singularity. We don’t feel the need to fit in as much and are confident in charting our own course. There exist so many more opportunities now to creatively design your career, you should not have to settle and sacrifice your dreams. You can still pay your bills and feed your passions. It takes real determination and a little preparation.

As Erica Jong puts it,

Think of your career as a trip to an unknown destination. Invest in the process and enjoy every moment of it! You might wake up in Mykonos!

Do you have the courage to do what you love?  

Related: Here’s How You Can Turn Your Passion Into a Dream Career

PS: I’m curious to know what your career goals are. Feel free to share them in the comments!

3 Actionable Tips to Leverage Being a Jack of All Trades and Land More Gigs

Being good at a lot of things (aka a Jack of all trades)1 can be confusing. You don’t have a clear sense of direction and you aren’t always sure which position to apply to when you’re looking at jobs.

The consensus on being a Jack of all trades is still unclear. Some people praise its benefits (i.e. it makes you adaptable, expands your knowledge etc.) while others argue it’s the worst personal brand. I sit somewhere in the middle.

There are situations when being a Jack of all trades is favorable (i.e. when you’re trying to diversify your income) and others where it sends a confusing message about your brand (i.e. listing all your skills when applying for a specific job). Nevertheless, having a diverse skill set increases your chances of getting hired. This is particularly true for freelancers. From my experience, clients look for people who can provide different services. It makes sense from a business standpoint because the cost of hiring someone who can “do it all” tends to be lower than that of hiring a whole team.

So if, like me, you’re sometimes unclear about your message because you can do a lot – fret not. Congratulations, actually! You are in a strategic position to increase your income from side hustles or freelance work. Here are some tactics that will help you leverage that “Jack of all trades” quality and land more opportunities:

business-962354

Have more than one resume

Getting a job or doing what you love shouldn’t be about downplaying your potential, but customizing your previous experience to fill a specific void. Curating your past jobs can achieve that.

I’ve done a lot during college (internships, freelance gigs, part-time work) so I have experience in various fields. I created a resume for jobs in marketing or social media, editorial writing, and public relations. I even have a resume for bartending and event assistance gigs (don’t judge a girl’s hustle!). This allows me to tailor my application to a specific job and do more without confusing prospective employers/clients.

Get involved in online groups

Social media groups are great because they bring like-minded people together. Instead of having to narrow your focus, you can spread your interests across different groups and pursue them simultaneously.

Take advantage of these niche networks. Whether you like real-estate crowdfunding, songwriting and comic books, you’ll find a happy home online for each of these interests.

Groups give you exclusive access to insights from industry leaders or people with similar goals. You have a space to ask questions, learn about resources to hone your skills or opportunities to advance your career. Be sure to actively participate, share interesting articles and connect with other people.

Meet people in real life

The Internet is awesome, but nothing beats a real-life connection! Put on your best attire and go connect with people in real time. Take genuine interest in their background, ask thoughtful questions and share your passions. Your drive will naturally manifest itself and it’ll resonate with a lot of people. Network with intention and give out business cards. Be sure to follow-up with everyone and cultivate long-term relationships. The benefits may not be immediate, but they are worth the investment. 

Can you relate to being a Jack (or Jill) of all trades? How do you navigate that? Share some tips in the comments!

Millennial Spotlight: How Cori Large Is Knitting Her Way to the Life She Wants

Meet Cori: Librarian, Craftswoman & Blogger
Polk County, Florida
Profile Pic

1. Tell me about yourself

My name is Cori Large. I have a full-time job as a Librarian as well two side hustles: Tales From A Polk County Girl, my blog and YouTube channel; and a crafting business where I sell my knitting and other handmade items.

2. What inspired you to start your side hustles?

I started my knitting business about six years ago. I decided to knit cotton dishcloths as Christmas presents and a friend encouraged me to sell them. So for the last six years, I’ve been knitting dishcloths and other items nine months out of the year and I spend Oct-Dec participating in craft shows.

The blog originally started out as a free WordPress blog: A Head Without a Thought, where I posted book reviews mainly, but then branched out. In 2015, I decided to pay for a hosted site, and rebranded as Tales from a Polk County Girl. A few weeks later, I started a YouTube channel by the same name. On this blog, I post about planners and other things that interest me (books I’ve read, recipes I’ve made, etc.)

Earlier this year, I became interested in Traveler’s Notebooks, and wasn’t happy with the inserts that were out there, so I started designing my own. These are sold as digital downloads on my ETSY shop.

3. How do you manage your time to juggle all these projects?

I started making monthly goals that include working on my side hustles. I make X amount of craft show products, film 5 videos a month and write 10 blog posts (I like have a backlog in case of a slow month). Some months I do really well, others I’m struggling to meet my goals.

4. What advice do you have for anyone who’s looking to start a side hustle?

Start slow and be consistent before you add more work.

5. What are some resources that have helped or continue to help you along the way?

Alexis, or @MissTrenchcoat on YouTube has been an inspiration. Also, just listening to and believing in myself.