You want to make the leap from having a boss to being your own boss. The only problem? M-o-n-e-y!
I wish I could tell you there was a 1-800-Free-Money hotline. Or give you the name of some government office that writes big, no-strings attached checks so people like you can just up and quit your job to start a business.
But I can’t. So that means you have to find another way.
This next idea (#3 in my 5 Ways to Fund Your Dream series) is so simple that you may have overlooked it.
Best of all… anyone can do it.
Strategy #3 Make and Stash Some Extra Cash
For the last nine-and-a-half years of her life, my mother worked as a custodian at a local state university. It was the only way she could see to earn a pension since my Dad didn’t have one.
One of the perks of the job is that college students consume a lot of cans of soda – and beer. And for my Mom that meant extra cash.
That’s because Massachusetts is one of 11 states with a bottle bill, which means consumers get 5 cents for every return. That may not sound like a lot. But my Mom made an extra $100 to $125 a month on the cans students discarded.
What would you do with an extra $1,200 to $1,500 a year?
Before you make up your mind that this kind of money isn’t nearly enough to fully achieve your dream, ask yourself instead how even small chunks of money might move you closer to your dream?
In other words:
- How many photography, cooking, woodworking, beekeeping, or marketing classes could you take?
- What kind of advanced training could you get in coaching, solar energy consulting, horticulture or wherever your interests lay?
- What supplies or books could you buy?
- What kind of equipment could you purchase or upgrade?
- How much of someone else’s time could you buy in terms of business coaching, housecleaning, or administrative assistance?
I’m not suggesting you start collecting cans off the roadside (although plenty of people do and they aren’t all homeless). In fact, there may be ways you can make extra money that will also bring you closer to your dream.
For instance, if you love to paint and you enjoy teaching others check out a company called Paint Nites. The brainchild of co-founder Dan Hermann, Paint Nite® “is a new concept blending two timeless pastimes: painting and drinking cocktails.”
Bars and restaurants with an extra room win because they get paying customers in the door on a slow night to enjoy a drink while taking a fun painting class.
Artists and teachers win because they earn the majority of class fees while Paint Nite® does most of the marketing.
Paint Nite® wins because they profit from a smaller share of the class fees and they get a free venue for their classes.
To learn more and to apply to either host a class or teach one, go here.
Maybe sewing, quilting, jewelry making, or other crafts or hobbies like photography or scrapbooking are more your thing. If so check out You Can Make This.
How it works is, you create the design and the how-to guide and the company features it on their site. When someone buys it, you as the content publisher earn 50 percent of the sale price.
I interviewed company founder Kim Christopherson maybe five years ago. Turns out after just one year, her website was so successful that husband Ryan was able to quit his job to work with Kim full time.
How did she start? It all began when she turned to eBay to earn extra money by selling her crafts.
So, what about you? What can you do to bring in an extra $100-$200 a month?
If you love to shop can you snag great designer clothes at Goodwill, Salvation Army or close out sales and sell them at pricier consignment shops or online?
Could you tutor kids in math or language or an instrument?
Can you make extra money teaching, consulting, or supervising others on how to write a grant, wallpaper a room, build a tree house, use Adobe Illustrator® or anything else where you have some knowledge or skills?
Everyone has stuff you don’t need that you can sell on eBay or Craigslist? Heck I have a dozen old Starbuck’s city series coffee mugs I bought for $10-15 each that now fetch $40-$90 just sitting in a cupboard.
There are all sorts of ways to earn extra money – money you can specifically earmark toward starting your small business.
What you’ll soon realize is that the money itself isn’t the important part. The important part is that you will have taken proactive steps to get from where you are to where you want to be.