This is a repost of my article on Medium.
Just as 9/11 changed travel. The coronavirus is going to change our working lives forever.
The closure of many businesses will have many people realizing how unstable having a regular job is. Just as it did in the 2008 recession.
Add to this the explosion in remote work and the rise of the gig economy the past few years, and we have a recipe for huge changes in the way we work.
People will come to realize that they need a side-gig, and more savings, and maybe even some kind of passive income trickling in. One job is not enough.
The average millionaire has seven sources of income.
If you want to survive the coming recession, you can’t have all your eggs in one basket.
As a freelancer, I’m already quite lucky. I can work from home so my income wasn’t directly affected, yet.
However, my clients incomes were affected, and this will begin to affect me in the coming months.
What I’m doing about it.
I’ve decided on 5 different ways that I’m going to use my existing skills to make more money.
Now I’m not talking about building a whole new business. I just need a safety cushion. An extra $500 a month is great when you are trying to make ends meet.
I won’t just be using my web development skills either, because I don’t want to rely on one skill too much. Just as people diversify their investments I believe we should diversify our skills.
I’ve written out all the skills that I have or things that I’m somewhat good at or interested in.
You can do the same, just open a notepad and think about what you enjoy or what people have told you that you might have a talent for.
“Play to your strengths.”
“I haven’t got any,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Excuse me,” growled Moody, “you’ve got strengths if I say you’ve got them. Think now. What are you best at?”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
I believe that in order to be successful you must play to your strengths. And you must know your weaknesses too. Accepting your strengths and weaknesses reveals which tools are available to you.
Here’s the list I came up with:
- Fitness & Martial Arts: This is a huge passion of mine and I need to figure out a way to monetize it at least a bit. I have spent too many hours of my life on this already, not to be earning something from it!
- Writing: I enjoy it, and I think it’s one of those timeless skills that are worth developing for anyone and everyone. Whatever you do to make money, it probably involves writing to some extent.
- Investing: Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of money to invest, but this is still something I want to get into. I also have the rare ability to research this topic for hours without getting bored.
- Teaching: This one is a bit vague but it’s also the most available to anyone. I believe everyone has something they do well and can teach. There is no doubt that online courses will experience huge growth during this time of quarantine.
- Etsy: I think it’s important to be able to do something with your hands. As in, be able to create a non-digital, physical object. I will list some ideas below.
So now that we have our list of skills, we need to think about how we can actually make money from them.
This could be as easy as typing your skills into Google “How to monetize X” for some quick ideas. You might even get so many ideas that you are confused about which to go for. In this case try to sort them by easiest to hardest.
Here’s what I’ve got:
Fitness & Martial Arts Blogging & Vlogging
For this hobby of mine, the best way to make money is with videos. Fitness youtube channels are huge and quite profitable for their creators.
However, you have to be good at a few things to run a successful Youtube channel. Some things can be learned, like video editing. Whereas some are much more difficult, like charisma.
I’m not great at talking to a camera, and so making videos just isn’t playing to my strengths.
The next best thing that I can do is blogging. Being a fitness blogger isn’t as lucrative as making videos. But for me, it’s 10 times easier and quicker to write an article than to produce a video. So I think this is the way to go. It also ties in nicely with my second interest which is developing my writing skills.
I will be starting with Medium as my platform, but in future may move to a website of my own. Getting listed in fitness publications will be my main goal for the short-term. Affiliate marketing may be a good monetization strategy in the long-term.
Eventually I will make the move to video. Having a large body of written work will help with that transition.
There are so many opportunities with writing.
Obviously Medium is one, and it is probably the easiest to monetize. You don’t need to review any products, or run any ads as you would if you used the normal blogging monetization strategies. Simply write good stuff and if people read it you get paid.
However, the downside of Medium is that it is a social network after all. You could get banned for some reason, your work could get deleted. Things can go wrong. That’s why I believe it’s good to have your own website or blog also.
If you have your own blog you can promote affiliate links to products, or you can further hook your reader with a paid webinar or course.
When I talk about investing I don’t mean trading or trying to time the market. Specifically my strategy will be to hold ETF’s.
My ETFs are going to be heavily asia-weighted since I believe that in the next 10 or 20 years China will be the number 1 economy in the world.
I would also like to focus on dividends. There are pros and cons to this strategy. But I like the stability of dividends.
If you want to learn about ETF investing I highly recommend JL Collins’ ‘Stock Series’ blog. If you aren’t from USA, read it anyway, then find an investment blogger in your country and read all their blogs too.
Teaching ties in with writing too. I plan to mainly teach about web development and the Shopify platform, and also how to become a freelancer when you’re relatively young.
There are many teaching platforms now. The most popular is Udemy but you can also set up your own website using Teachable.
Everyone is able to teach something. It’s a matter of being organized with your content and remembering what it is like to be a beginner. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
This is kind of for fun. I don’t expect to make a lot of sales but I will still develop a healthy and useful skill.
Woodworking has always appealed to me but I always thought you need a huge workshop for it. I live in a pretty small apartment with just a balcony.
Recently though I discovered that with just an axe and a knife you can start making spoons and cups and other small utensils from wood you find in your local forest.
It’s called green wood carving, and it really appeals to me because of the minimal tools and the ability to craft a beautiful solid object just with your hands. No screws and nails and measuring and hammering. Just create.
Other skills you can try are Leatherworking, Jewellery-making, Pottery, Candle-making…
Try checking https://obby.co.uk/ for workshops of specific skills. You might find something you like, take a class, then go home and work on your craft for a few months before starting to sell on Etsy.
Even cooking can be monetized if you are good at it. And no I don’t mean working as a professional chef; I once built a website for a client who bakes cookies filled with nutritional ingredients for pregnant or breastfeeding mums. She sells them online via her Shopify store. Cookies are a great example because they are easy to ship and don’t spoil easily.
Many small items such as leather belts are selling on Etsy for around $40-$80 on average. So think about how long it takes and how many you can make.
Lastly, in this economy I would encourage you to create things that are actually useful rather than just beautiful or decorative.
I hope my this article gave you some ideas on how you can weather this oncoming recession in 2020.
Like I said it’s unlikely that you will make lots of money quickly from any of these. But, if you just need some extra financial cushion, these should open up some opportunities. You never know what might take off.
More importantly, you will be turning bad luck into something positive.
I encourage you to come up with at least 5 alternative ways that you can make money, and please comment below with your ideas.
About the author:
I write about Money, Fitness, eCommerce, and Sustainable living.
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