Freedom From 9 to 5

What A Way To Make A Living

Yesterday I wrote of several recent attacks on personal freedom.  This evening, while mowing the grass and enjoying a relaxing cigar, I thought of different ways a person could begin an entrepreneurial enterprise.  Here's a few of those ideas.  They may work for you, or they may spark another idea for you.  Not everyone wants to strike out on their own, and it may not be right for you to start a solo career, but if you can get something going on the side, it can contribute to your personal freedom and be a good cushion to fall back on if something happens to your primary job.


In The Postman movie, an old guy wanted to join the postal service in their war.  The rest of the mail carriers were young, and the guy says he can't ride and moves slow.  Costner asks what he can do.  The guy says, "I know stuff."  Costner then sees his Vietnam-era Airborne tattoo and understands.

Maybe you know stuff that others want to know.  A simple web page, an ad in the local Trading Post or Penny Saver, and a location to teach, and you've got a side business.
  • Show new homeowners how to use and maintain power equipment and yard tools
  • Offer classes to teen drivers on basic car maintenance... changing oil, tires, wiper blades and belts; jump starting; proper washing; basic tune ups
  • Sewing
  • Canning
  • Marksmanship and firearms safety
  • Extreme couponing
  • Home brewing or wine making

Services for busy people

Think about the household chores and jobs that a lot of young teens might try to make summer vacation money.  Why can't an adult do them on the side?
  • Grass cutting
  • Pet sitting
  • Garden tending
  • Housekeeping
  • "Come to you" car detailing
  • Laundry and ironing (maybe just dry cleaning pick up and delivery)

Special Skills

There are plenty of things that lots of people want, but they don't want to learn how to do on their own or maybe they need long-term guidance
  • Custom sewing (curtains, throw pillows, quilts, costumes)
  • Computer or home electronics set up
  • Personal trainer
  • Gourmet cooking or party catering
  • Event planning
  • Graphic arts (if you can do this, please shoot me an email, I need to get something designed!)
  • Photography
  • Room staging for real estate agents and home sellers
  • Tutoring

  • Clean out garages, attics, basements, repossessed homes, etc... with the understanding that you will get rid of everything in the location, either to the dump, or you can keep it (for resale or your own use).  You get paid for the clean up, and everything you keep is a bonus.
  • If you are artistic, make jewelry, picture frames, scrap metal sculptures and other things for sale at craft shows or in a consignment studio.
  • If you have a knack for numbers, think about getting on with H&R Block or another tax service.  You go through their proprietary training and work your tail off for four months of the year.
  • Go to yard sales for specific items, then resell them.  I once knew a lady who was a pretty successful morning drive disc jockey.  She quit the radio biz when she had a baby.  She began buying baby clothes at yard sales, many of which were nearly new, and sold them on EBay.  She made more money doing that than she did as a DJ and she got to be a stay at home mom.

Just a Start

These are just a few ideas I have thought of tonight.  There are countless ways that a person can make side money, and it could even grow to a career.  The key is, you've got to be passionate about whatever it is you do.  You can't see someone else do a particular thing successfully and think that you can necessarily do that same thing.  If it doesn't thrill you, you won't be successful in the long term.

I really encourage you to read Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It!  Gary is the epitome of entrepreneur and his book is a fantastic guide to marketing yourself and as he puts it, "cashing in on your passion."

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