By Jeffrey Green
My kids are obsessed with watching gamer channels on YouTube. At first I thought these YouTubers must be deadbeat basement dwellers until my kids showed me that they have billions of views. I later found out that some of them make up to $8000 per day from Google ads alone! If teenage gamers can make more money than their parents by using free technology to do what they love, anyone can do it.
In the U.S., 102 million working-age Americans are unemployed (41% of this age group). This statistic seems horrible, and it surely is for some, but a good many are voluntarily unemployed — like stay-at-home moms, homeschooling parents, or self-employed people working in the gray market. Heck, I’m considered unemployed according to official numbers, but I still pay my bills.
If you are involuntarily unemployed, this expanding gray market now offers unlimited opportunities to end your dependence on the job/public-assistance paradigm. The gray market is essentially the economy that happens without permission. In other words, it’s made up self-employed people who don’t formally register a business but transact in legal products or services.
Free technology opens a global marketplace to anyone who’s willing to endure the learning curve to gain the necessary skills. And it’s never been easier to learn because of countless “How To” videos on YouTube. All you have to do is define something you’re passionate about, identify the market, and locate the tools to make money from it.
Technology has made it so simple to turn your passion into a living income, it’s almost inexcusable not to. You owe it to yourself and all others who will benefit from your participation in that arena.
Here are 10 of the easiest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) real employment opportunities including the tools needed to succeed:
Vintage dealer – Are you an obsessive collector of vintage items? Clothing, jewelry, coins, antiques, toys, etc.? Well, why is that not your business? Between moving sales, storage auctions, Craigslist and eBay you could be getting paid for doing what you love. No excuses.
Chef/Cook – Good, passionate chefs rarely have trouble finding work. However, the restaurant business has grueling hours. If you love to cook but hate working in restaurants, services like EatWith connect you with customers who want a homecooked gourmet meal with a more personal setting. You can now get paid to cook a few meals per week for small groups of people on your terms.
Reporter – Are you a wanna-be reporter or just a loud mouth with an opinion? Why aren’t you making money from that? There are many freelance profit-sharing platforms like Examiner or DigitalJournal. Plus, setting up a free blog website has never been easier. Professional website templates exist for free platforms like Blogger or WordPress. Monetization with Google ads, Amazon and other affiliates are a breeze to set up. Additionally, learning to set up and operate a blog is vital to every profession on this list. Consider it your new business card. Get a good DIY guide to blogging and get it done.
Novelist – If you loving writing fiction, your dream of making money from it is frictionless in the digital age. I scarcely know anyone who reads fiction that doesn’t use a Kindle-like device. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing makes it easy for you to publish books, series, short stories, informative pamphlets; whatever, and sell them through Amazon. Then you promote them through blog posts, interviews, and writing reviews for, and networking in, your genre. Simple formula. If you produce good content, you will make money.
Professional Foodie – Food prices are exploding, especially for quality food. This presents huge opportunities for organic gardeners or animal lovers to make a living from the food revolution. I have a doctor friend who just bought a milch cow due to the high demand for grass-fed raw milk in our area. At the current price per gallon, he will make his money back in 4 months if his family was the only ones using the milk, 2 months if he sells some of it. I buy his milk, and I also buy sprouts from a guy who grows them in his apartment, pastured broiler chickens from a family who raises them in their yard, raw honey from local beekeepers, and when my personal production of organic fruits and veggies and free-range eggs fall short they’re easily found locally. I found them on Craigslist, LocalHarvest, and at my local farmers markets. These products cost about double what their factory-produced alternatives cost, and I and many others gladly pay it. In fact, demand is so high there are often waiting lists to get these foods! Produce it and they will come.
Driver – Do you have a car, time on your hands, and enjoy meeting new people? Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services are simple platforms to connect you to paying customers who need a ride. (Even if you don’t have a car, you could offer walking tours of your town or city to introduce newcomers and tourists to the local sites and businesses.)
Technician – Can you fix or service computers, lawn mowers, anything? Can you build a website, write code, or design a logo? Then why are you even looking for a normal job? Have you heard of Craigslist, elance, fiverr, LinkedIn, etc.? Mechanics can even use Snapgoods to rent out their tools and equipment. All this can be managed with a smartphone now. What are you waiting for?
Contractor/Handyman – Do you like to build things or refinish old stuff to look beautiful again? Offer your services on Angieslist, Craigslist, or local timebanks or cooperatives. Or you can develop a niche like building custom chicken coops or dog houses. Build one, display it in your front yard with a sign, and put it for sale on Craigslist. Design a few different models and sell the blueprints and how-to instructions at your blog. Tell me this wouldn’t be more satisfying than hanging drywall 6 days a week … if those jobs even still exist.
Inventors – Kickstarter.com, enough said.
Artists – Artists, musicians, animators, crafters, video producers and creative people everywhere, listen up: there is no reason why you can’t make a living with your craft. You have instant access to free blogs, ecommerce templates, podcast software, YouTube channels, and every tool in between to be self-employed. Musicians can pre-sell a new album and tickets to their launch concert using Indiegogo, or do guitar lessons on YouTube or Skype. Graphic artists, animators and video producers can submit bids at 99designs or launch their own products. Photographers can sell images using SmugMug or other services. The opportunities are endless.
While it’s true that it takes dedication to make a living at these, the sky is truly the limit once you start. It only takes one step at a time to reach your peak and, luckily, the climb is not nearly as steep as it used to be when these tools did not exist.