Job-free ways of Making Money

by Crystal on February 3, 2009

blue-or-red-pillMost of us have been taught from an early age that there is only one real way to make money, and that’s through getting (and keeping) a job.

No wonder so many people are panicked about the recession.

A quick review:

Money has been around since the 3rd Millennium BC, if not earlier.  The Babylonians had banking by then.  The first written records of money are from 1300BC.  So it’s at least 3300 years old, and probably more than 5300 years.  Some people believe it’s been around in one form or another since Neanderthal days.
Paid Labour, on the other hand, only became the primary means of support during the Industrial age – a couple of hundred years, less than a millennium.

Clearly, for hundreds if not thousands of years, people have supported themselves without jobs.

No limits

The truth is, there’s no limit to the ways you can raise money. You just have to open your mind to the fact that it can be done.  You’ve probably held a garage sale at some time in your life.  Most people know someone who invests in shares and/or real estate, and if you’ve ever gone shopping, you’ve dealt with plenty of people who own companies. You’ve just never put yourself mentally into those shoes.  It’s unfamiliar territory, and for most people, that makes it plenty scary.

There is one exception to this, though.  Rich people don’t find it scary at all.  Coincidence?

Money-making for the rich

When you think of rich people, what are the first 3 names that come to mind?  I’d be willing to stake money that none of them are rich from working for a living.  But most of them probably stay rich (or get richer) because of other people who work for a living for them.  If these 3 people suddenly lost everything, do you think a single one of them would scour the unemployment ads?  No.  They know that making money – REAL money – doesn’t come that way, from giving someone else control of your life in exchange for a regular (limited) injection of cash.  Word of mouth has it that for most rich people, the idea of having a job limiting your time and options is the scarier path!

Finding alternatives

Here’s where you start having fun.  Open your mind to the idea that money can come in without you having to sell part of your life for it.  What you’re looking for, instead, is ways you can offer value to people, so that they give you money in return.  I could list a whole heap of options, but chances are only a few of them would suit you, and your circumstances.  I’ll get you started in a bit, but there really is no alternative to sitting down and brainstorming out for yourself the various ways you could raise cash.

For a side-benefit, by doing this exercise, you’ll reduce how stressed you feel about money.  You’ll know that worst case scenario, you’re not going to be left without options.  (Truth is, you never can be.  You always have choices.)

As with any new skill, though, you want to start with baby-steps.  Your first step is going to be to come up with at least 10 ways you could raise quick cash.  Short term options that you’re not looking to support yourself with, just make a quick cash injection if you have a larger than expected bill.  They have to be things you can do here and now, without needing to do any courses, buy any equipment or in any way having to use money to get started.

Short term cash injections

Here’s a sample list, but remember: you have to come up with your own!  Minimum of ten, ok?

  1. Already mentioned, but an old standby – have a garage sale
  2. Put some stuff up for sale on ebay (this one takes cash, but since they don’t charge you until after the auction’s finished I’m including it)
  3. Search online skill-marketplaces for quick jobs you can do – there are any number of forums, and most skill-sites like elance offer free membership levels
  4. Offer to babysit for a friend
  5. Tell that friend/family member with a shockingly messy garage that you’ll sort it out for them, for a fee
  6. Ask the neighbour if they’d like you to walk their dog for them
  7. Mention an affiliate (gives commission) product to a few friends you think might like it
  8. …you get the idea…

Obviously, these need to be things you have the skills, time and willingness to do – and the more they help other people the more likely they are to happen for you when you need them (and keep happening).  Finally, just in case someone wants to read more into this than I intended, let me specify: nothing illegal or hurtful, please.  There are plenty of ways to get what you want that won’t land you in that kind of trouble.

Sustainable, ongoing cashflow

This is the next step, where you really break free from the mindset that holds everyone captive for a third of their lives.  You have skills, right?  Someone’s currently (or has in the past) paid you for the use of those skills.  So if they’re important enough for someone to buy that much of your life to use those skills exclusively for them, why not choose how much of your life you’re willing to sell – and where you’re willing to sell it?  Contract work, temp work, outsourcing: they all describe the same thing – selling those skills on a short term basis instead of a full time one.  When people hire you this way, they’re usually willing to pay a premium (the idea is that it’s not as secure as full time work.  In truth, full time work isn’t really that secure anyway.) so you can make the same amount without having to sell as much of your time.  Sounds good, right?

Here’s the secret, though.  Most people who do this, do it through agencies, and do it for one skill only.  There’s another two ways you can expand your cashflow hidden right there.  List a few skills, and list them with several agencies – both online and offline.  Start learning how to sell those skills yourself, and land a few contracts directly.  Before you know it, you could find yourself knocking back contracts because there’s too much work.  One word of warning: put part of that extra cash aside to cover you for holidays, because you become responsible for financing those.

The fun part is working out the skills you’re going to use to develop that cashflow.  Start listing.  Not just jobs – any skills.  Even the silliest things can become cash sources.  For example: blowing up balloons at kids parties – no doubt the restaurants and play-rooms locally would love casual, non-contract help they can call.  How about packing lunchboxes?  Well, you could offer your services to working parents nearby, or you could write a downloadable report on how to do it, and sign people up to a newsletter service that sends them shopping lists and recipes on a weekly basis.  I don’t believe there’s a single skill that couldn’t be turned into income, if you found people that wanted it, and a way to deliver it to them.

Break Free

So put aside a half hour or so for brainstorming to build the confidence that you can support yourself – job or no job – for the rest of your life.  Don’t you think it will be time well spent?  Go on.  Take the red pill.  Let go of believing that lotto is your only hope of freedom.

Have fun, and see you on the other side!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

maximum light February 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I love this — a good reminder of things we can do to make extra moola. I sell on Ebay and Amazon, and it has certainly opened my mind to other entrepreneurial pursuits. I find that after you take some steps, and see some return in the form of cash, you start looking for other ways to make money.

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Melissa February 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Amazon has international sites: Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany and China. I’m guessing that as long as you have a bank account in your country of residence, you’re good to go!

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Crystal February 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Thanks, but from Australia we’re not quite on the list yet. Oh well. Someday, maybe.

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Melissa February 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

Hi Crystal,

Great post! Another way to raise money fast is to sell your used books online at Amazon.com. I wrote an article on how to do this at MyMochaMoney.com.

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Crystal February 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Thanks for the tip, Melissa. I looked into that a few years ago, but you had to have a US bank account and SS number, so if you were international you couldn’t do it. I started going with ebay instead.
Do you by any chance know if they’ve changed that now?

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Karen Leslie February 3, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Great post Crystal.

I find that people are too busy working for money to really think about how to make money without working 🙂

And I think that you are right that opening your mind is the first step!

Regards,
Karen Leslie

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