Tired of the 9-5 life but think it’s impossible to live without the predictability of a regular pay check? What if I told you that there are plenty of ways to make great money, working less hours, and having fun in the process. Well, there are and I know because I’m the master of making money quickly. Necessity forced me to find alternative sources of income because for almost two years I couldn’t find a job in my field. However, it was that struggle that set me on a path of discovery where I was able to find out how not only to get by but thrive in the “gig” economy. Little did I know that I would grow to love the ever changing environments I’d find myself in, that I’d learn so much about marketing, and that I’d get to travel and see the world and experience all the creativity and newness it had to offer. Talk about winning! I’ve won and keep winning because I’ve learn to think outside the box when it comes to obtaining financial stability and monetizing my free spirited nature at the same time.
1. Become a Brand Ambassador
Did you know that the girl passing out chocolates to you at the metro doesn’t actually work for that chocolate company, or that the guy taking you for a test drive of Ford’s latest hybrid at the Green Expo doesn’t actually work for Ford? Usually most of the people you interact with at conventions, expos, and even those passing out samples on the street are freelancers called Brand Ambassadors. Being a Brand Ambassador has been by far my biggest cash cow when it comes to making lots of money quickly, with little effort. Starting at the going hourly base rate of $20, nationwide, and shifts that are generally about 10 hours, the funds pile up real fast. And, the best part is that you get to hanging out at fun places and talk about the stuff you love. Sign up with a promotional tour and you will also get your travel, accommodations, and, sometimes, even your food covered on top of your pay as a Brand Ambassador. It’s a win win. I’ve made as much as $1200 in one weekend driving people around an obstacle course in pickup trucks for an auto company! Not a bad gig, huh! Make no mistake, being a Brand Ambassador requires you to be high energy but if you have an adventurous spirit chances are you have just the right stuff.
2. Monetize Your Blog
If you are an adventurer, then you know life is always full of crazy stories to tell. Doing so can a big win and it’s a great way to live your passions all the way to the bank. It take guts to walk on the wild side and the truth is most people value stability and safety. Because of this, many people live vicariously through others. If you are not one of the many, then don’t only live the dream, tell the rest all about it. Believe me, they want to hear it. You might even be the inspiration for another person’s grand adventure, like hopefully I’m yours.
By using google ads or signing up to be a brand affiliate (referring people to products through your posts), you can earn money simply by telling folks about the things you see and do. Dying to grab your back pack and head off on a European adventure? Be sure to have your laptop (or as I prefer, iPad) in tow and end each day by sharing all your wonderful stories. Have a trinket that came in handy at the right moment, or a tool that you simply can’t leave home without, then that’s the brand you sign up to be an affiliate with. Monetizing your blog might seem like a lot of work but with the proper forethought it can be a great way to make sure you always have money coming in no matter where you are.
3. Monetize Your YouTube Videos
You got a story to tell and there is no better way to tell it than by sharing your experiences with others on video. Sometimes words on a page just aren’t enough to convey the sights, sounds, and emotions of what’s going on in your world. Letting people see and hear what you do can also be a great way to create value for others while funding your desires. Discover a new product you want to tell the world about, did you find the next Mozart on a park bench in Montreal, or did you just climb Kilamajaro despite having holes in your shoes? What better way to share such things than with video, and just as with monetizing your blog, it can earn you plenty of pennies.
4. Become a Social Media Influencer
All this travel, and teaching, and blogging, you’ve gotten a large social media following by now, right? If the answer is no, then hop to it! If the answer is yes, then it’s time to capitalize on it. Who knew you can be paid to tweet? I remember the first time I got an offer to participate in a paid Twitter party ($75 for 30 minutes, for a product that I used). Drop the phone! You gotta be kidding me! “Beam me up Scotty!” I was all over that one. For the past 5 years I’ve gotten paid to post things on Twitter and Facebook. How I got my start, posting about the discoveries I had made in my beauty boxes.
No lies. No deceptive marketing required. If you like something and don’t mind sharing your thoughts about it for a few bucks, fine. If not, wait til another offer comes along. There is nothing easier and, just as every jet-setter loves, can be done from anywhere.
5. Become a Consultant and Trainer
I’m definitely one of those people who was a serial academic, probably because I knew the 9-5 world would never suit me. Do you have lots of education and ever wonder what are you going to do with all that “book learning?” Well, the answer is simple, you can offer up your specific knowledge set as a consultant and/or trainer. One thing about this new gig economy is that people have realized that expertise matters and they are willing to pay for it. If you have mastered the art of the tweet, got the best swing moves of the century, can speak a dead language, no matter what it is, I guarantee someone needs to know too. And thanks to the sharing economy, you can get a spot to teach it almost anywhere very inexpensively. All you have to do is advertise what you’re offering. If you post, it they will come.