When you have a 9-5 job and desperately want to change your life, you may be thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, a business owner. The majority of people would stop here and stay in the dream zone. It’s great to dream, as there were many brilliant ideas, inventions and things that came out of dreaming, but not without one key ingredient outside of the dream stage – action. When you’re past this and want to do something further, you may be thinking about finding that ideal, profitable business idea. In fact you may have had several and don’t know which one to choose now. I know it can be equally frustrating – having no ideas or having too many.
In the upcoming series I’ll cover several ways of generating and testing your ideas. Here’s the catch: many people disregard valuable information, because it seems small or requires actual work. People are so used to doing nothing with their time, they almost feel entitled to be given money when sitting. Here’s an example: some people would rather spend £/$3 less on a lunch than spend an hour of freelance job for £/$10-60 in the evening or weekend, because ‘it’s their time and they are allowed to rest’. I truly believe in the art of balancing and harmony in life. Yet since it’s your time you can also decide to make your money in it.
MONETIZE YOUR INNER EXPERT
There are lots of sources promising the get-rich-quick schemes or passive income with no-work at all. In order to create your dream lifestyle where you don’t have to do as much, first you have to invest your time, your effort and prepare the right framework. It’s easy to forget that the fastest way to make money is to utilise the skills you already have and start freelancing. It is the easiest because you can start NOW. You take your existing skills and turn them into income that then fuels your business or increases your monthly salary.
You can turn most vocations, especially so-called office jobs, into freelancing. And it really isn’t as scary as people paint it. The ones that curse freelancing are usually the ones that don’t actually want to work and earn. The majority of people will also pinpoint the fact that it involves time. The truth is – there are no results without an investment of either money or time. As the name suggests FREElancing allows you to stay in control of your time. It gives you FREEdom to decide how little or how much you want to work. Here are a few examples of turning existing skills into side gigs:
EXAMPLES OF FREELANCING JOBS
- Skill: Admin –> Side gig: Virtual Assistant
- Skill: good with children –> Side gig: childminder
- Skill: good with animals –> Side gig: dog walker/boarder
- Skill: design/photography/illustration –> Side gig: Creative services
- Skill: blogging, vlogging –> Side gig: copywriting, short clips creation
- Skill: your first language in a foreign country –> Side gig: teaching your mother tongue
There is plenty more. Remember that it isn’t going to be without some ‘failure’, as this is an element of growth. The difference between these who stay at the same place in life and you is that you’re not going to complain, but you will start DOING.
TIP: Start from talking to real people, instead of creating an online profile of you or your freelance business. Contracts are built on conversations and relationships, which are much easier to build in real life and not online. Facebook account, Twitter, Instagram are time consuming and if you’re trying to earn money to invest in the future, you want to utilise it on doing the work and not creating an image. The image/a brand will create itself with time and good service. Then you have people who will create these spaces with you should you decide to grow the freelance gig into something bigger.
When you have no one to talk about you or with you online it may be costly (money and time) to create the community first. Once you’re on the social networks you get distracted within minutes and end up doing no work at all.
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THINK ABOUT THEM
We have a tendency to focus on us, but totally miss the fact that creating a business is solving someone else’s problems. This is why when generating business ideas you should look outwards. The fact that you may not want to pay for certain thing doesn’t mean others won’t. Many things in life are subjective and we spend money on needs, priorities and individual preferences.
The fact that you wouldn’t pay for a weight loss programme or a photo session, doesn’t mean others won’t either. You, however, may spend a few hundred or thousand on a designer bag, a pair of shoes, where your partner will think it’s a total waste of money. People are paying for what has value for them. Is a Chanel bag really worth more than the Italian one made by skilled craftsmen in a family business? Think art – people pay millions for drawings, photographs or paintings which look like a few splashes. It’s all about value!
The challenge starts with knowing what to offer. What will people pay for? You may have thought about tenths or maybe even hundreds of ideas, things you could potentially do to earn money. Yet the sheer volume makes you cringe. Your brain feels like it’s about to explode. It’s called analysis paralysis and it happens when you think too much, but do too little. Let’s assume you are past this stage. You may spend hours or figuring out the name for your business, creating a website, business cards, preparing your perfect pitch for networking events. Stop and think – did you actually do a market research, did you talk to people? Did you think about them?
WILL THEY PAY ME THE MONEY?
Now, you are still with us – that means you serious about earning more and changing your life standard. Before we go any further – have in mind that no matter how good people are or how helpful, most people care about themselves. Their wellness comes before anything else. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact air hostesses recommend it in planes, when they tell to put the oxygen masks on adults first. It IS a good thing for you and your offering. You WILL be able to find people who WANT to pay you.
Make sure that what you do is targets people who are able to pay. You can be a great copywriter, yet you believe in helping others, so you start looking for charities to send your offer to. Many of them can’t pay at all or pay very little and there’s nothing wrong with that. They are charitable organisations in the end. Before you are at the financial stage where you can become philanthropist focus on the earning potential first. There are a few important aspects of the freelance offering you’ll need to meet for the idea to work.
COMPETITION IS GOOD
I don’t know about you, but I grew in an environment where almost everyone was scared of competition. They were terrified to the point of going out of business or not starting one. When you see that there are many providers of the service you offer it can actually mean that there is demand for it. Before you celebrate you can easily check on your own whether anyone is looking for your skills. Here’s an example: Axela lives in a newly developed area, where community members actively participate in conversations in a closed Facebook group, just like our one for Fearless Bosses. It allows them to ask questions, learn new things, but also ask for recommendations for services. The frequency at which certain topics seem to suggest a demand for certain type of products or services.
THE POWERFUL DEMAND
Another way of checking demand include Craigslist, Job Boards, word of mouth, social gatherings, conversations in public transport or before and after organised classes, such as yoga or gym. You can also post your own survey to friends, on forums and see what the results are. Be mindful of an environment and a group you are posting to, so you can get the most adequate answers. Lastly you can interview people in person – talk to them, be genuinely interested.
Hopefully the post gave you some ideas on how to earn money on the side. I know that you will need it for a further investment into your dream business. Whether it’s coaching, consulting, freelancing or selling online courses – there is a way to earn the cash.
In the next posts I will be talking about passion, business ideas and starting your own online business. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog, Facebook.
Did you ever try freelancing or have you thought about it? How was your experience?
Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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