If you’re interested in finding a way to earn great money and not have to crawl back into a corporate cubicle, then this article is for you! One of the things that struck me when I was downsized, was how lost I felt initially. Actually, to be honest, it was more than “initially.” It was more like, a long time.
So many of you have emailed me, or I’ve spoken to directly, have shared the same feeling. It’s especially true of the days immediately following your surplus. All the connectivity you had is gone, your network of peers, supervisors — whether good or not — are gone. There’s a strange aura of not wanting to be connected to them anymore, at the same time you don’t want to feel disconnected to it all as it’s been such a big part of your life for so long.
I get it. We all get it. Seriously, it will pass eventually.
But what I realized, now that I wasn’t in a position to do what I was doing anymore…. was exactly how much knowledge I had amassed over a 31-year career. And not just corporate knowledge, but a ton of other things that come from life experience, family life, additional education, from being around your kids, being a wife, husband, mother, father, brother, sister, friend, church member, whatever.
My point is that you have more knowledge, experience, and expertise than you even realize. And that knowledge, experience and expertise don’t have to just now re-direct toward another chapter of a corporate career.
Did you know that expert-based businesses are growing exponentially? What’s an “Expert Business?” you may ask… well, it’s the hottest trend on the internet. In a nutshell, it’s when you sell your personal expertise to other people. Maybe you’re a consultant, maybe you’re a coach, maybe you’re a service provider (like me). There are a zillion different things you can do. I bet, when you stop to think about it, initially you’ll think “I can’t think of ANYTHING I can do or teach that anyone would actually pay me for. ” And that’s what I thought too. Then I remembered just how capable and smart and talented people always say I am…. and all the things friends and family seek me out to help them with. Like:
- Getting their small business online – I develop websites and do digital marketing for folks (that’s what I earn a living doing now).
- Interior design, painting, selecting fabrics, matching and coordinating elements, picking materials (granite, floor tile, wall coverings, cabinets) for kitchen remodels; designing rooms including floor plans and wall elevations.
- Buying and selling stuff on eBay, Craigslist and Nextdoor
- Just to name a few…..
And then I helped my cousin come up with her own online business. She’s a Voice Dialogue Coach, which is a really cool special type of client/patient discussion (kinda like a therapy session) that uncovers subconscious things that hold us back. And it’s funny. You talk about the thing that’s bothering you, and then you switch to a different chair… and by the questions, the coach asks, and the action of switching chairs, it really really makes you realize why that thing bothers you, worries you, scares you or otherwise is an obstacle. So she’s got a thriving business doing that.
If you are interested in starting an expert business, there’s a great book I can recommend, and you can get it for free when you just pay the shipping. I’ve bought it, read it, and executed on it, and I can honestly say that everything Russell says is true, and as long as you have an idea, if you just do what he says, you can make it work. In February 2019 I went to a huge digital marketing conference, hosted by Russell, I got to meet him, and he’s build a great company with great tools to help the little business owners, like us, succeed. It’s well worth checking his book out. Click the image below to order it.
some other business ideas
Even things that don’t necessarily require a ton of expertise, can become a revenue-generating endeavor. For example – I have been selling stuff on eBay for years. Just because I am the exact OPPOSITE of a hoarder – I’m a purger… (maybe they’ll make a show out of it!!!) and I was practically wrestling expensive toys out of my kids hands asking “do you still play with this? Actively?” he he he. Seriously, I’m not quite that bad, but I do love to “reduce, reuse, recycle” stuff and some of the toys, games and clothes and uniforms my kids had were VERY expensive. LIke $500 for fencing gear so my son could participate on the fencing team at school (it’s pretty popular here on the East Coast). But man, that stuff is expensive. The knickers, the socks, special shoes, the vest, the electric vest if you are competing, the electric cords to plug in your electric vest, the face mask, the swords themselves and of course a gigantic bag (that could fit a body) to carry it all in. I spent a small fortune on this stuff and he outgrew it in year 1. So I had to buy it all again, in the next size up. All the parents out there can probably relate. Now, this wasn’t an insurmountable amount to handle when I had my job and a nice salary. And even then, I would sell this type of thing on eBay after he’d out-grown it just to help defray the cost of the new gear.
And now that my income was gone, I certainly wanted to make sure I was squeezing every penny out of every former investment I’d ever made. Ballet pointe shoes – sold on eBay. They were $85 brand new, sold them for $50 very slightly used. Fencing shoes – $125 brand new sold for $75 briefly worn. Yes, people pay for used stuff, especially when it’s for kids. They know that Halloween costume was likely worn for 2 hours one time. It’s worth it to buy a used one for a huge discount rather than contribute more clutter to the planet in unused costumes and whatnot.
Of course you’re not going to replace your AT&T salary by selling spare crap on eBay, but – it’ll give you something to focus on when you’re not working on the job search, or when you need a break from your expert business work.
But what many folks don’t realize is that this selling of “stuff” on eBay and even Craigslist or Amazon, can be a business all by itself! (Depending on what your income needs are.) I know there are some of you out there who love to go antiquing, thrift-store shopping, etc. Did you ever think you could earn money by shopping for stuff and then re-selling it online? Well, you can! I’ve come across people, and have had clients, who do nothing but this. They go shopping, they buy stuff, and they re-sell it. The trick is to know how to sell stuff online, whether it’s eBay, Etsy, Craigslist or Amazon, and then to also know WHAT sells online.
I can tell you from my experience, a brief list of in-demand items on eBay:
- kids Halloween costumes, the more expensive initially, the better (I already explained why)
- High-end baby clothes (designer stuff like Burberry you sell each item individually, lower end stuff like Baby Gap, if it’s all in pristine condition, you can make “bundles” and sell the bundle – like “baby boy 0-3 month summer clothes bundle of 10 outfits $30)
- Authentic Designer Clothing (DVF dresses, Louis Vuitton, etc.) but beware of knockoffs
- Cool, rare things (sporting goods with a neat history, etc.)
- Lululemon skirts, pre-2017 are still in pretty high demand. $54 new they sell on eBay for $99 and up – even used. Now that’s incredible. Used running/yoga wear that sells for more than 2x what it cost brand new)
- Designer handbags – Louis Vuitton, Chanel, etc. – but you’d better be able to prove their authenticity
- Used iPhones, iPads, etc. – they hold their value nicely and even if it’s broken, some people will buy them just for the parts. Make sure you wipe it clean of all data!!
I’ve sold over $20,000 worth of “stuff” that I no longer needed or wanted on eBay over the years… stuff that would have ended up in the trash most likely. I’ve sold stuff worldwide — Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Canada, Germany, Russia and of course, all over the US. Shipping is easy, and eBay is just a great resource.
In addition to selling online, there are other ways to make money. Maybe you’re an expert at something. If you’re in my age-range (above 49) you probably are a good expert at something. What’s that thing that everyone says “you should start a business!” That’s the thing you can use to start an expert based business. If you’re that good at it, you can teach others how to do it. There’s always someone who wants to learn.
Of course, it takes a lot of hard work to make it happen, but it can happen. You just have to figure out what it is you can offer, develop your “offering” including how you will set up the business and market it. But with the power of digital marketing, you can basically sell anything online. The world is your marketplace…. but if you plan to market to customers in the European Union, there are specific new data-privacy laws going into effect on May 26, 2018, so you’ll need to be well versed in how to protect yourself and your business in light of GDPR.
I hope this has given you some food for thought…… I’m happy to be a resource to anyone who needs more information or help. Be sure to fill out the “contact me” form with your question and I’ll be able to reply directly.
and one more entrepreneur option for you
Long before I left AT&T, I learned how to create websites… the old-school way – with straight HTML text. I learned it because it came instinctively to me…. when I started at AT&T as a kid (aged 17 technically I was a work study student in high school) I learned Unix. This was 1985. I learned the text editors “ed” and “vi” and shell commands.
I still remember the day when I got a PC on my desk at AT&T, around in 1987, and I turned it on and saw…. C:/
The C Prompt! I knew what that was!!!! And that was it for me….. I’ve since created websites using my knowledge of Unix, and then much later on, Microsoft Front Page (no longer exists) and then Rapidweaver, Dreamweaver and of course WordPress, Wix and all the other systems. I created websites for friends and family who had businesses. I loved it, it was both creative and technical – perfect for me.
So when I got laid off, I “hung my shingle” as a website developer, and I started a business. I forget how I stumbled on the Proposal Secrets course, but it changed my life. Literally. So smart. I was kicking myself for not having thought of these tactics myself! But who cares who thought of it, the smart person is the one who sees a good idea and uses it. Regardless of where it came from.
So I’m sharing my find with you…. if you have a service based business — like — you’re a copy writer, a resume writer, a graphic designer, a website creator, a digital marketer, a virtual assistant, etc. – this course will walk you through how to pitch your business, sign clients and get paid for writing the proposal. It’s a gem. Click the image below and I believe there’s a free webinar you can watch.