10 steps to extra income

10 steps to extra income
26 February 2013

IF THERE is one thing to take from periods of economic hardship, it is the resourcefulness with which we begin to approach our everyday life. We take stock, we budget; we, in short, get creative with our time and money. And in doing this, we’re actually taking the first steps towards opening up new streams of income. The key is in changing your mind set.

This occurred to me when I first looked at the prospect of becoming a freelancer. I spoke with a mentor at the time who had taken the step to managing herself as a freelance stylist eight years before. “I started to see everything as a source of income, a way to pay the bills,” she told me. And in hearing this, I started to make the connections myself. No longer did I look at my ‘spare time’ hobbies as just that, I began to wonder if they could be profitable business ideas. My possessions became assets I could trade in, and my workplace became a crowdsourcing goldmine of opinions for future ventures. Once you make the decision to make your life more profitable, you’ll start seeing opportunities everywhere…

10 simple steps to extra income

STEP 1: YOUR SKILLS ARE SALEABLE – It seems basic, but have you ever broken down your job description into skill sets? Do you do a lot of fact-checking and analysis at work? Looking into proof-reading could be a valuable skill for you to offer at an hourly rate. If you have a flair for Photoshop, designing websites or header graphics can pay anywhere from $10-20 to hundreds, depending on your skill and how reputable you become. Start thinking of your profitable skills you could monetize. One of the easiest places to do this online is Nabbesh, created by Alexandra Tohme - look out for her profile as part of our 'Women In Business' segment, next week!

STEP 2: NETWORKING IS THE NEW LUNCH DATE – A lot of us never make use of the resources at our fingertips – namely our friends, family, even those acquaintances you catch up with less than you should. Never be afraid or too proud or shy of calling in a favour – give them a business card, tell them about your new venture or what you’re planning to do, ask them to weigh in, include them in your goal! People love to feel useful. By giving them the opportunity to be involved in your start-up or idea, they’ll feel inspired and excited by it too – this is how word of mouth happens! Positive energy is infectious.

STEP 3: MEET YOUR NEW ‘SMALL VENTURE’ – Hobbies. Remember those? Did you know that beautiful black and white photograph you took on holiday could actually pull in some money at a site like Deviant Art? Or those Christmas cards you handmade to save a little money could be sold on Etsy for a small profit? In a world of mass production and consumerism, people love the unique, the ‘one off’, the handmade. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make money from your projects!

STEP 4: BUILD A CLIENT BASE – Never underestimate the value of tying your small business or venture to social media – having a Facebook page for satisfied customers/interested parties to ‘like’, a Twitter for people to follow – social media gives you power through numbers, endorsements and its broader reach than your everyday life.

STEP 5: YOUR ‘TRASH’ IS ALWAYS SOMEONE’S TREASURE – Start now and take stock of your life. Inventory any possessions that you no longer need, want or use. Can these items be repurposed? Are they in a sellable condition? Can they be used to supplement your venture? Ebay and Souq.com are your new best friends!

STEP 6: DISCIPLINE YOURSELF – The ONLY way a self-starter can work is with motivation, dedication and discipline. You are your own boss now. If you don’t put yourself to work, you won’t get paid – it’s that simple. Routine is key here – set aside ‘working hours’ for yourself, and discipline yourself to stick to it daily until you begin to see the results you want and find the rhythm of your new employ.

STEP 7: GIVE YOUR OPINION – A small way to keep a steady flow of petty cash, if you can master the discipline aspect and monotonous work, is to get paid for giving your opinion with surveys online. There’s a great article at Money Saving Expert regarding which how survey sites work, which pay the best and keep to their word.

STEP 8: GET PAID TO SHOP – Sound like a dream? It’s still a relatively new concept in the Middle East, but websites such as Assosia are looking for mystery shoppers all over the world to visit restaurants, retail outlets and hotels, and rate their experience for money.

STEP 9: WRITE THE NEXT GREAT NOVEL – With the introduction of the Amazon Kindle Store and desktop publishing, it has never been easier to get your work published and available for people to read and pay for. Amazon handles the marketing of your book for you and, although it is unlikely you will end up on the New York Times Bestseller list, some have been known to make a few hundred extra dollars through publishing on the site.

STEP 10: FIND YOUR ‘X FACTOR’ – Survey your friends and ask them what you are best at. It’s the easiest way to learn the skills you’d never think to put to use. Organized? Why not look into party planning or being a personal assistant part-time? Good with figures and fast maths? Why not tutor, or offer to balance peoples’ books?

So, there it is, in short. There are all kinds of opportunities, if we’d only open our eyes to them. I wish you luck, productivity and a lot of dedication if you decide to step forward and look for your next ‘pot of gold’.

Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net


ARE YOU looking for extra streams of income, or do you manage your own business? Will you take any or all of the steps we’ve mentioned? Tell cashy below!


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