Today my sister-in-law came up to me and said, “Josh, we need to talk!” (which is her way way of saying, “Hey, I have a question.”)
“Sure, what’s up?” I said.
“I want to get a second job… but one where I can work from home.”
We didn’t get a chance to finish talking because at that moment her new RV that she just bought, and that was being delivered, showed up.
So I figured instead of just writing her an email to finish the conversation I’d blog about it. 🙂
So first let’s define the goal:
To figure out a way to make money working from home (or anywhere with WiFi).
I believe the reason my sister-in-law asked this question was because she loves to travel. She just moved out of her house she was renting into an RV.
You may not want to travel. Maybe you just hate your commute.
But I’m assuming, for whatever reason, you want to be able to wake up in the morning, open your laptop, do some work and have people pay you for that work.
“Yes, that’s what I want! But where do I start?”
Here’s what to do…
Unless you already know what kind of remote work you want to do I suggest you first start reading stories of how others found “location independent” work.
The point isn’t to copy exactly what they did. We all have our own path to walk and cookie-cutter formulas (especially the “make money from home” ones) rarely work.
They don’t usually work because everyone’s situation, experience and skills are different. But I do think it’s important to get inspired by listening to these stories because once you “catch the vision” for what you want to do you’ll find a way to figure out the rest.
So where do you find these stories? Here are a few great resources I recommend you start with. I’m sure you’ll find more as you continue down this path:
1) 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller: Dan has a great book that can help you figure out what type of work would be suited for you. But he also shares a lot of good real life stories from people who have found or created work they love. He also has a good podcast and blog.
2) The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau: Chris found 1,500 people who built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less). He whittled that group down to 50 of the most intriguing stories. Most of the stories include people with no special skills who discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized. These people designed their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment in their work.
3) The Side Hustle School Podcast by Chris Guillebeau: I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet but I’m including it in this list because I’ve been following Chris for the last 7 years and everything he’s put out has been world class. So I’m confident this will be too. Here’s how Chris describes his podcast:
“When you have more than one source of income, you’re no longer dependent on a single employer. You’ll have much greater opportunity. You’ll learn new skills. Oh, and you’ll also have … more money.
When you have more than one paycheck arriving every month, you feel better about yourself. You look to the future differently, and you consider a wider set of options as you make decisions.
It’s also fun. Starting a side hustle is like “playing entrepreneurially” without making a huge commitment. The stakes are low and the potential is high.”
4) The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris: I think this list would be incomplete if I failed to mention Tim’s book. There’s a lot of great lessons in this book but even if you just read the case studies from readers who have doubled their income, escaped the rat race and found their own version of freedom, then it’d be worth reading.
Those resources should keep you busy for a while and provide plenty of ideas about businesses or remote work jobs you could start. Hope this helps!
And of course “getting inspired” and finding good ideas is only part of the process. After that you have to figure out what skills you have and who would pay you for those skills. I’ll try to write some future posts about that too.
Even though this blog is mainly about how to go from being a freelancer to an entrepreneur (which is the journey I’m on now), I also want to share lessons from my past of going from an employee to a freelancer. So stay tuned! More to come.