9 side hustles to make you money!

I know working at home can be tough to get into, especially when you’re new to the whole “work at home” life.
So, if you’re not ready to dive in head first to the full-time work at home life, there are some things you can start doing as a side hustle to make a little extra income.

Baking –
If you have any baking talent, this is a great way to make some side income. Start by offering your cakes, pastries, cookies, or cupcakes to friends and family. Tell them to spread the word. Make a free Facebook page, and start promoting your baked goods.

A true story that happened to a friend of mine – She did this exact thing. She was a teacher, and on weekends she would bake for friends and family. After a while, she got very well known by all the school moms and staff. Her cakes and cupcakes were everyone’s favorite. Pretty soon, she started a Facebook page and was starting to book orders weekly. Then daily, then she got to the point where she could no longer work full time as a teacher. So, she quit teaching, opened up a small bakery in town and is one of the top-ranked ones. So, these side jobs can sometimes turn into more if you work it!

Cooking –
Very similar to the baking, you can start cooking dishes for those in need. This is great for those disabled people who can’t get out of the house and want a home-cooked meal. My next-door neighbor makes the best tamale’s and every few months, she posts on the Facebook groups that she’s selling them. It’s a great way to make a few hundred bucks fast.

Another true story – A friend from my church has a catering business now. She cooks wonderful dishes for parties, or just for your family. Instead of calling out for pizza, call her and she will deliver a fresh yummy home-cooked meal. It’s a win-win, and that is her full-time job now! She was even invited to speak on a Christian TV show about her success!

Consignment –
I know I touched on selling stuff in another post, but doing consignment is a great way to make extra money while purging all the old stuff that no longer fits. If you have kids, this is even better because kid stuff sells rather quickly. If you keep the toys and clothes in good condition you can get a good price for it at these places. I have gone to a bunch since I have three kids, and even maternity clothes sell great at these events.

True story- A friend of mine has made a successful business from putting together these sales three times a year, and not only is this her only job, but she has been able to help those in need around our community. It’s been a great blessing to the town, and we all look forward to the sales.

Crafts –
If you’re a crafty person, then there is a lot of wonderful things you can do to make extra money. Make jewelry, and sell it on Etsy. Also, knitting has become very popular. If you can knit a hat, scarf or doll, these things go for a high price. As a matter of fact, I bought both my daughters custom made crochet dolls. They love them and have had them for over three years now. I paid about $35 for each doll and to be honest, I feel it was well worth it.

If you can make anything pretty or unique, then why not sell it. Today is the day my friends. We live in the best time ever to make a profit with our passions and talents. Make that thing you love and sell it. This even goes for furniture and big items. If you can build it, someone will buy it!

Art –
I for one love to look at art. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but I buy art all the time. My bookshelf is filled with books of my favorite artist work.

If you are gifted with the ability to make art, then get on these online sites and sell it. These days you have places like Twitch, where you get viewers to pay you just to watch you draw or paint!

This is a perfect time to be an artist. There are so many people needing illustrations for their books, blogs, and even logos for their business. If you have the ability to make art, then you have a huge advantage.

True story – I know of a teenage girl who has started a business drawing flash art for tattoo places. She is seventeen years old and makes extra money after school, drawing. What a great way for her to use her time to get paid. I mean, she would have been drawing in her free time anyway, but now she gets paid to do it!

Writing –
I know I talk about freelance writing a lot, but hey, it’s how I got started and writing is my passion. I may not be able to draw or do crafts but I can write!

Writing is how I helped support my family for three years. Now, if you’re not ready to be at home full time, and still want to work, then you can get some side gigs by writing.

Places like Craigslist, and even Indeed post gigs for writers all the time. If you have a pretty good grasp on grammar, then why not write a few articles a week on a subject you enjoy. You might get $25 for a few hours of work.

I loved my time as a freelance writer, as a matter of fact, I’m still currently doing it very part-time. Just wrote a review for an e-book that is being published. Even though I may no longer be a full-time freelance writer, as you can tell by my blog, I still write all the time!

There are a lot of places to get writing gigs and if you’d like to dig deeper into Freelance Writing, check out my blog post on all things writing!

Music –
People love to be entertained. With YouTube and other social media, your talents can be heard all around the world. You no longer have to play in bars to get an audience. Now you post a video and millions of people are listening to you.

I love to sing, and if I was not so darn scared I might make a few videos myself. Stage fright takes over and I can’t handle the nerves.

No matter what your talents are, get them out so the world can see, and ignore the haters because to quote Taylor Swift “people throw rocks at things that shine”.

If you have the nerve, try out for one of those TV shows. America’s Got Talent, Britain’s got talent, American Idol, The Voice, The X Factor. There are so many to choose from. Get your videos on the web, get a following, and start making music!

Gaming –
Yes, you can even make money gaming. Because of Twitch and their patron program now you can play your favorite video games and get paid to do it. Now, it’s not as easy as just playing, no, you have to be entertaining. You have to keep people engaged in your gameplay, and you have to make them want to come back each week for your episodes.

It’s like any business. You have to be consistent and it will take time to get followers, but once you get those followers, they will pay you to see more.

True Story – I was watching a girl play my favorite PC game, and at the time, I watched, I want to say it was about thirty minutes, she made two thousand dollars. That’s more then I make at my day job in a week. On Twitch it shows on the screen each time someone donates, and I was in shock! She has been on Twitch for over a year now, but it still amazes me!

E-Books –
I know this is touching on writing, but if you are knowledgeable on a subject, and know you can help someone with that knowledge, why not write it down? I know so many people who make a paycheck each month from their book sales. It may only be a few extra dollars but, money is money. I know how excited they get when the check ends up being a few hundred dollars.

True story – My cousin has a few e-books out. She makes consistent income from them each month. Sometimes it’s thirty dollars, and sometimes more. But, I remember one day my cousin was struggling and was not sure how she was going to cover bills that month. She called me so excited because her e-books made her $300 that month! That’s a few bills right there.

I am also working on a few e-books just for all of you. So, I will be joining the e-book club very soon. If you’d like to get info for my e-books, don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list.

Good Luck

These are just a few things you can do to help make extra income while keeping your day job. Side hustles are a great way to get that little extra that you could use for an unexpected expense or the bill you were not sure how was going to get paid.

Side hustles have been helping my family stay afloat for many years now. I only touched on a few of the things that have worked for people I know or have worked for me. There are many others out there, and I’ll be posting more later on.

I always love to hear from you so feel free to find me on Social Media. You can see all that info on my About Me Page!

Jobs you can do on your schedule!

Working around your schedule.

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A question I seem to be getting a lot lately is about jobs you can do around your schedule. So not necessarily a home-based job, but jobs where you can be flexible and create your own hours.  Believe it or not, there are quite a few jobs like this out there. Here is one that I did.

Kindermusik

Back when I was pregnant with my son Dominik, who is now 2 years old, I started a music class. It all began when I was working as a Preschool assistant teacher. Every Friday I would do ‘Music Time with Ms. Sheena”. The kids loved it and even some of the teachers who heard me singing would come in a sit for my music time. We had fun singing nursery rhythms, tapping on the floor with our feet and hands, or pretending to be animals. The Preschool teacher came over to me after my singing class one day, and said: “Why haven’t you become a Kindermusik teacher?”

I had never heard of Kindermusik, so after that day, I went to trusty Google and started searching. When I saw all that Kindermusik was, I realized I was already doing this with my classes. So, while I was pregnant I spent my days working 6 am to 6 pm at the school, and my nights going to online music classes.  It took about 6 months to finish the course, and by that time I was almost ready to pop. But, it worked out perfect because, by the time Dominik was born, I was ready to quit my day job and launch Kindermusilk with Ms. Sheena.

The response to this new music class was amazing. I scheduled the classes around Dominik’s nap times and did a family class (all ages) after the girls got home from school. The first 5 months were perfect. Dominik was a newborn and loved the music. He would have tummy time with the other infants and even to this day, he loves music.

Before I finish this story let me tell you a little bit about Kindermusik. Taken from www.Kindermusik.com Kindermusik is the world’s leading provider of music-based education for children from birth through age seven. We use the power and joy of music-making to help children learn and grow during the years most critical to brain development. Since 1978, Kindermusik has helped millions of children around the world build a strong foundation for a lifetime love of learning.

After 5 months, the place where I was renting the room, decided they no longer wanted to rent out their space, so I was in a pickle to find a place to do my classes in less than a week. I ended up holding a few classes at local parks, but being the kids were so young most of them just wanted to play on the playground. Then I got a contract with a local bounce house letting me rent out their party room. It was perfect. The owner even gave my students a discount if they wanted to bounce after class. A match made in heaven, but as with most small businesses, the numbers began to fade, and pretty soon I was paying more in rent then I was getting paid.

It lasted a little over 1 year, and I would not trade those days for anything. I made some great friends and lasting impacts on kids in my town. I’m still known as Ms. Sheena when they see me, plus it was a lot of fun. Here is a video of a very pregnant me in one of my practice classes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSUCGiAzSfA

 

So, if you are thinking of doing something outside the house, on your own schedule I recommend looking into programs like this one. There are so many to choose from. Here are just a few.

https://musicwithmar.com/
https://www.zumbini.com/
Mommy and me classes – check local listings
https://kidsmusicround.com/

Signing Time

I also considered doing signing time, I almost signed up for this one after closing the doors to my Kindermusik classes, but I didn’t want to invest more, after losing money. However, I do highly recommend Signing Time, and if not to teach, perhaps check out the videos for your kids! Very educational for teaching sign language to kids. https://www.signingtime.com/academy/certification-details/

Just do a quick Google search of your area, and see what programs are already around. Then think of your skills. Are you good with kids, do you like to sing, dance, play? Would you like teaching sign language? Whatever it is you’re good at, you can find a class to teach, or just create your own.
I can’t tell you enough, how rewarding my time doing Kindermusik was. It was the perfect job to be able to balance a new baby, 2 older girls, and all the extra stuff we do during the weekdays.

It is possible to find jobs on for your schedule, these are just touching on a few that involve kids. But there are a wide variety of other niches out there.
If you would like more information on other programs like these, in a different area of expertise, subscribe to my blog, and send me an email. Or you can always find me on my social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Patreon. 

How Podcasting can help you in your career!

I got the privilege to speak with longtime podcaster and social media queen, Ileane Smith. She has been podcasting for over 9 years and pours her heart and soul into all of us who may not be tech-savvy. She teaches you how to start a podcast, blog, youtube channel, and so many other things.
You can listen to the entire interview right here.

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You might be wondering how podcasting can help you in your career. Well, the truth is, by podcasting you start to build an audience. People will start getting to know you, and want to buy your products, or support your cause later on. Just by me starting my podcast 9 months ago, I’ve made so many wonderful connections, and built friendships with people all over the world, including the amazing Ileane Smith, that we heard from today! I even just sent girl scout cookies to one of my listeners in Ireland.

Anchor.fm is a great place to start. Now, Anchor is not your normal podcasting platform. Think of it more as a social media. With the traditional podcast, you record your voice, and that’s it. You get no interaction or feedback. With Anchor, you have to listen and comment, and call into other stations to get yours heard. So, if you just record and never listen, then you won’t make connections, and chances are your podcast won’t get heard. Now, with Anchor, your RSS feed gets sent to Itunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket cast.

This app is used primarily on your smartphone. You can listen to segments on the computer if you know the URL of the person you want to hear, example: www.anchor.fm/wahmradio,  or www.anchor.fm/freepodcasthost  but to podcast your own episodes, you will need to download the Anchor app. If you want step by step details on how to do this visit: Anchor Boot Camps.

A great way to get a nice looking podcast is to have podcasting art. Ileane tells us about Fivver, where you can pay someone to design that for you, or do it yourself using 1400 X 1400 pixel and 3000 by 3000. Having nice looking podcasting art is a great step to adding visualization to your audio.

Now, once you get bitten by the podcasting bug, to use Queen Ileane’s words, there are a lot of platforms you can use to start making money podcasting. In the episode above, Ileane talks about Libsyn and has a code from her friend Dave Jackson to get you a free month. SOPFREE. Spreaker is also a great site to host your podcast, and it’s the one I use on my website. You can sign up for free and they give you 5 hours of space, once you use those 5 hours they ask you to pay for the subscription or will delete the last 3 episodes to keep you at 5 hours of content only.

You can also use a site called Podbean, as well as Buzzsprout. These are all great platforms to continue adding content for, and getting heard by, your audience that you’re building. These are free to join but you will need to pay after you get so much content. Honestly, if you see results and engagement on your podcast, I feel it’s worth the investment.

We also discussed affiliate marketing for your podcast, and how a podcast can actually make you money. Among the big companies, like Go Daddy, Amazon, and eBay, you can also make money by getting subscribers. Ileane spoke about her top two places that she is able to have people pay monthly for her exclusive services. I have to say that if you have any questions on how these platforms work, she is the one to ask, and you can support her by donating on her Patreon account. I also have Patreon, and Podbean so you can see how to create your own and you’re welcome to support me there as well!

As you can see, podcasting is a wonderful way to get your message heard. We all have something to say, and someone out there wants to listen. Just like the amazing success story of Nicole Purvy, from Better Than Success who didn’t like speaking in front of people and didn’t want to podcast. However, after some persuading from her mother, she started her podcasting journey, and now talks in front of big crowds comfortable, and has really made a name for herself. She has a wonderful array of Youtube videos to help you succeed.

Ileane Smith has helped thousands of people learn how to create their own blogs, podcast, and youtube channels. If you enjoyed our podcast today, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and her Podcast.

She will also be speaking at The Entrepreneurs and Leaders Conference.

 

 

Direct Sales MLM – Worth it or not?

Almost every day, a friend or family member of mine asked me to buy something from them. I get it on text messages, on social media and even over the phone. I’m sure you can relate to that feeling of, “oh no it’s Sally calling again, she’s wanting me to buy Avon”. We’ve all been there, and we all know someone who is selling something. To be completely transparent with you, I have done about 5 of these direct sale companies myself.

Mary Kay:

When Keira my firstborn came along I was determined to be a stay at home mom, so I joined Mary Kay. You pay $100 for the starter kit, you get brochures, a bag, and sample products to use at parties, plus your website is free for 3 months. You do have to sell so much within a 3-month span to keep you active as a consultant.

I did okay at first, but back 11 years ago the internet was not like it is today, and I had to do a lot of house parties. It cost me a lot of gas, and in products because I had to have the products to sell them. Needless to say, I could only make it about 1 year before I called it quits. I still love Mary Kay beauty products but the high price keeps people away.

Avon:

I needed to make extra income so when my second daughter Sasha came along I thought I’d try going with Avon. My mom had sold Avon, and I was familiar with a lot of their products cause I’ve used them all my life. When I joined Avon it was $25 to join, you had to buy your campaign books every two weeks, and had to sell a certain amount to stay active each month. The website is also free for three months, but you do pay $10 a month after that.

Now, I am not going to lie, I actually did really good with Avon. I got a downline and began making money even when I wasn’t selling due to the people who I signed up. I had regular customers, and even became the lead for my area. I really loved selling Avon, and it didn’t hurt that I also loved the products as well.

We ended up moving and I lost all my regulars. I actually did Avon for about 3 years before we moved, but it never was a full-time income. It gave me gas money but that’s about all. Needless to say, after losing my regulars, my business died a quick death.

Now Avon offers you 3 start-up kits. One that cost $25, one that’s $50 and one that’s $100. Funny thing is, I still get calls for Avon and I have not been active for over 5 years now.

Juice Plus:

After I went to work outside of the home when my youngest daughter turned 3, I worked in childcare. I was the pre-school assistant teacher and moved up to be in charge of the extended care department. Being around all those kids took its toll on my health, and I got sick a lot. One of the teachers suggested I start taking Juice Plus.

She said since she started taking the vitamins she hardly ever got sick. So, yet again I signed up to sell another product and this time it was Juice Plus. It cost you $50 to join but you do have to enroll in monthly shipments of the vitamins as well. I was okay with that being I needed them for work.

Honestly, I have to say they did work. When I was regularly taking Juice Plus, I hardly ever got sick. As a matter of fact, I was being called in to sub for the subs who had gotten the funk going around, and I was healthy as a horse, while everyone else was sick around me. Juice Plus is all the servings of vitamins and veggies your body needs in a day, put into a capsule. My kids even loved the vitamins gummies they have.

Overall, I never made a penny with Juice Plus. Not a cent! I bought it for myself, and my kids but ended up spending a lot of money on it because the cost of the vitamins were about $50 a month. Yes, they work. I did not get sick and did feel better, but honestly, that’s high way robbery in my eyes. $50 a month for vitamins! The worst part was that I could not sell them to anyone, no matter how hard I tried. Epic fail as far as virtual franchises go!

Jamberry Nails:

I told myself I was done with direct sales and didn’t want to have anything to do with them again. Well, my friend Joann called me and invited me to a girls party at her house doing our nails. I thought sure why not, sounds fun, plus I had never heard of Jamberry Nails before so I was curious.

I went to the party and had an absolute blast with all my mom friends. The nail wraps were so pretty. You cut them to fit your nail, then used this cute little heater to heat them up. Then you press them on and they stay on your nail for a few weeks. It was adorable and you can guess what happened. I was sold and ended up joining the team of my friend who had the party.

I have to admit, selling Jamberry nails was by far the easiest MLM I’ve ever done. The designs are so cute that they really sell themselves. Plus, they are very inexpensive. The nail wraps only cost $15 and you can do your toes twice & nails twice with that one sheet. The startup was $100 but you got a ton of stuff. I never did a house party with Jamberry nails, I did all my parties on Facebook and I did okay at first.

As far as perks go, Jamberry Nails is where it’s at. I got so many free wraps that I still have some to this day. It was short lived though, the fad died after only 5 months of me selling it. I think it was also my fault because I started getting aggravated that my hair would get stuck in my wraps while I was taking a shower. I’d get so frustrated that I’d tear them off and it started damaging my nails. Again, my fault, but it was pretty annoying.

Scentsy:

After yet again swearing I was done with these MLM things, I got introduced to the amazing smelling world that is Scentsy. I am a sucker for nice smells. I love candles and always had them burning in my house until my younger daughter burned her finger by putting it in the hot wax one day.

After that, I threw out my candles and started using plug-ins. That was until I was invited to a Scentsy party with a lady from my church. I was hooked from the moment I walked into her house and smelled the baked apple pie scent.

The warmers never get hot enough to burn little fingers, and the wax has no chemicals. I promised myself I was not going to join another MLM so instead, I bought Scentsy from her. I think I was probably her best customer because I bought a lot of Scentsy. After a few months, she says to me, “you know Sheena, as much as you buy from me it would be worth it for you to sign up and be a consultant so you can get the discount and just buy from yourself.” Lightbulb! I bet you can guess what happened next!

Yep, I signed up and am still currently selling Scentsy. Although I only made money during Christmas, the rest of the time I just buy from myself. Plus Scentsy, as much as I love the products, makes it really hard to ship. In order to get free shipping, you have to make $200 in sales. So, if you have a party that only makes $100 in sales, then your host has to cover shipping, and I just think that stinks. Plus, you have to pay for shipping for the catalogs, and any marketing materials you buy.

The perks are not good like others I’ve seen, and the warmers can be as much as $50 or more, for one warmer. So a little on the costly side in my opinion. I honestly just love the scents and how my house smells every day. I’ve tried other things and Scentsy has the best smelling scents by far. That’s really the only reason I still sell it. However, I have not made my quota this month, so I will probably lose my consultant status come next month. I’m honestly okay with that, I think I’d rather buy from someone else then have to spend $200 every three months.

Pros and cons:

So, why did I tell you about these experiences?  I wanted you to see that I have done many multi-level marketing sales. It’s true you can make money doing them if you hustle. Yes, I know people who drive the pink Mary Kay car and have opened an Avon store. Even the lady who I signed up for Scentsy with is a director now because she’s made so many sales. She’s been on two cruises just last year paid for by Scentsy, so yes it’s possible to make money doing these businesses.

Pros:

  1. When I was doing these MLM businesses, It did teach me how to market my products, and how to conduct myself as a businesswoman.
  2. I gained some great people skills and learned to speak in front of a group comfortably.
  3. Confidence and excitement about the products kept me going.
  4. Learned a lot of skills on what to do and what not to do.
  5. Direct sales gave me a goal to work towards.

Cons:

  1. Didn’t really make enough money to make an impact.
  2. You become THAT person that everyone hates to talk to.
  3. Friends start avoiding your calls, messages, and text.
  4. You spend more money on products then you sell to keep you at consultant status.
  5. You are your best customer and sometimes the only customer.

But let’s break it down for a minute.

You pay $100 on average to join this MLM company. You become the representative or salesperson for that company. Then it’s your job to market the crap out of it to make a sale. Now this MLM company is getting FREE marketing because you’re doing it for them. But wait, then after you make a sale, you don’t get to keep that money…nope, you only get to keep a small percentage of that sale you just did all that work for.

Some of the companies I signed up for, were as little as 10% of my sales. So here I am, working my butt off, taking time away from my family to work this MLM business to make my sale so that I can stay in the representative status for a lousy 10%! Let’s think about this for a second. The company has all these people all over the world selling their products, having you do all the work, and then asking you to pay them for it!

Let’s go even further, you are not only doing a lot of work for very little back, but you also have to buy a certain amount of products each month to stay active. Or you have to sell a certain amount of products to continue having the consultant status. So, you pay to join the company, and pay to keep selling the products, while only making a small amount back, does this still sound like a good business plan for your future goals?

When you join these companies they sell you on a business idea. You’ll be your own boss, leave your corporate job behind and have freedom. But, what you’re not seeing is they are getting rich from your hard work, while you are only making pennies.

Anytime you join these companies the first thing they tell you to do is write down 20 names of people you know right now, that you can sell these products to. That might be okay at first, but I know from experience that I avoid those friends now.

True story, I had a really close friend who I adored, started selling a diet product and would only call me to ask me for a sale. After a while, I stopped answering her calls, and sadly we hardly talk anymore. It happens with family members as well. You don’t hear from someone in a long time, and they message you out of the blue, you get all excited, just to realize they want you to join their jewelry company.

I was that person, I got blocked by friends who were tired of me pitching my products. I get it, I hate that as well, and when you join these MLM just understand you will start to be disliked. You will upset your friends, and you might even lose some friends due to it. So in the simplest terms possible, before considering this type of thing, ask yourself, do you want to be hated?

I have a solution if you are still wanting to have your own business. I’m putting together a mentoring program where I will be coaching you on how to find work at home jobs, or how to start your own! If this is something you’d be interested in here is a short survey for you. As a bonus, if you leave your email address, you’ll be among the first to be notified when the program is starting.

 

 

 

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