2014 will be the year of self-employment on Preparedness Pro. Sure, I’m going to continue to write regarding ALL of the 10 Principles of Preparedness, but this year I feel a sense of urgency, coupled with a strong passion, to really help make a change in the lives of our readers—specifically when it comes to creating and being able to rely upon an independent revenue stream.
Far too many people view the words “self-employment” as some out-of-reach, risky proposal that only the most learned, lucky, or well-connected persons can achieve but I’m telling you right here, right now that successful self-employment in today’s world does NOT require such conditions.
I believe that 2014 will begin to uncover some of the most significant economic and social upheaval that this nation has ever endured. This anticipation puts me in a position of considering strategic counter-moves to this crisis; I start thinking of “if this happens, what’s the best defense?” The answer to that question leads me to this Self-Employment Solution series of articles that I began posting back in November of last year.
The first two segments of this Self-Employment Solutions series highlighted specific criteria that you need in order to begin your journey to financial self-sufficiency. Today’s part will provide you with a little shot in the arm to help show you just how serious I am when I say that YES, you CAN create an alternative income stream. Not only that, but I’m going to give you a peek into the lives of some folks who have been able to do this amidst a myriad of circumstances; circumstances such as a full-time single mother of six being able to support herself by working ONE HOUR a day. Or perhaps you’d be more interested in the middle-aged man with nothing more than a high school degree, who’s gone from barely making ends meet living on disability after a serious car accident with an uninsured driver left him paralyzed from the waist down, and, as he put it, from the heart, up, emotionally speaking. Personally, my favorite is a friend of mine who came to me only 8 months ago, living off of every government handout option she could find, only to turn things completely around and now earn ALL of her income as a result of her own efforts, at home, where she homeschools 5 special needs children.
Now, before I get into some more information on some of these possibilities with you I want to clear up a misconception that I see passed around a lot. There’s a saying that “Knowledge is power”. Well, I’m here to tell you that knowledge is NOT power, but it sure does have the potential to play a pivotal role in becoming more empowered to live your life instead of having your life beat the living daylights out of you. The truthful statement is “APPLIED Knowledge is power.” If the mere possession of knowledge was power, then all of those people who pontificate 10 paragraph answers on social media would rule the world and receive medals of honor. Everyone thinks that Einstein was a brilliant man as if he was merely born that way, but he mentions frequently in his journals that he succeeded only by applying the lessons learned from his mistakes. If Leonardo Da Vinci were here today he’d also tell you that his masterful inventions and pieces of art he created were inspired by someone else’s knowledge that had simply failed to be applied to its highest levels of possibilities. I’m sharing this with you because what we try to do at Preparedness Pro is to share KNOWLEDGE. But in the name of self-sufficiency, which is at the core of the reason for trying to share that knowledge, is that you actually APPLY it, and DO something with it. So, as I share these examples of possibilities with you, DON’T allow yourself to dismiss them as unique events of success or some freakish anomaly. Yes, there may be a million ways for a business to fail out there, but you only need ONE way to make it succeed. I firmly believe that for every way there is to fail in business, there’s at least ten ways to succeed, though sometimes it doesn’t seem that way because those that fail at business have far too much time on their hands to moan and whine and complain while those who are succeeding at business are off actually APPLYING their knowledge.
Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios. (And, by the way, for those of you who are skittish, you’ll note that NONE of these scenarios that I’ll share with you include a person involved in multi-level marketing, aka network marketing, which is often improperly categorized as a pyramid scheme.)
Let’s first take my friend Pam Ritter. Pam is a single mother of 6 (though we are trying patiently to rectify the “single” status with her newfound Prince Charming. *grin*) yes, I said SIX. And yes, at present all 6 of her children are under her care. 2 years ago when she found herself newly divorced, she felt that it was more important to be a PRESENT mother, than an always absent one which is what would have been required of her if she were to take the typical route of working full-time. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that can attest that working full-time when you have SIX kids to care for isn’t likely to be enough unless you’re independently wealthy. So, instead of going to the government for support, she decided to create a solution for a particular niche that she identified. She created a blog site and everyday on that site she links to a unique webpage that she’s created that contains the pictures of various Amazon e-books which fit her chosen niche of homesteading, preparedness, and basically that whole “do-it-yourself” mentality. If a person clicks on these e-books and makes a purchase, then she makes a small commission from Amazon depending on how many purchase she gets in a month’s time. Furthermore, because she’s providing a conduit for customers to go onto Amazon, Amazon rewards her by giving her a commission on anything else that this person might purchase over the next 24 hours time on Amazon. So someone could merely click on a 99 cent book about all natural cures for poison ivy, but instead of buying that book, they may instead end up buying an alternative book that’s Amazon suggests, and Cha-Ching, Pam has just earned a commission.
Yes, it’s that easy. The e-books she identifies each day really have no rhyme or reason to them. They may be on sale, they may be free, or they may even be regularly priced, but if they interest her during the few hours time that she looks for them each day, she posts them and their unique Amazon Associates link on her webpage. http://www.pamspriderecommendations.com She doesn’t write a recommendation for the books, or a review. She doesn’t even alphabetize them. They may be cookbooks, instruction books, or amateur novels dealing with zombies or last days. It doesn’t really matter to her so long as she believes they would be interesting for her specifically chosen niche.
More importantly though, this work enables Pam to be at every crossroad she needs to be for her children. With an average of ONLY 350 hits on her blog page daily, she earns sufficient income to pay her mortgage, her electric and her phone bill every month! I don’t know about you, but for ONE HOUR a day, working in your pj’s or comfy work pants, that isn’t anything to sneeze at. I’ll be providing you more detailed information on the newly recorded Preparedness Pro Podcast that I hope will be all set up by the end of the month. (More on that later.)
How about if we switch gears a bit and go to another scenario. Let’s just say, for giggles and kicks, that you absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE baking and creating delicious concoctions to celebrate the special occasions in your life or perhaps, to make the ordinary moments of everyday life more extraordinary. And let’s just say that instead of spending thousands and thousands of dollars at Le Cordon Bleu, learning how to be a world-class baker, and then hoping and praying to get a good job in your chosen career—you are able to immediately create a job for yourself simply by sharing the fruit of your passions a couple times a week. And let’s just say that doing so earns you several thousand dollars a month during non-holiday months, and more than $10,000 a month during traditional holiday months such as Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? Hmmm…do you think you might be interested in that kind of gig??
Introducing Beth, the creative author of one of my favorite guilty pleasure websites, HungryHappenings.com. Beth is the perfect example of turning one’s passion into profits.
In spite of being raised by a mother whose idea of “cooking” was heating up TV dinners in the microwave, Beth discovered a passion for creating delicious and entertaining concoctions—both savory and sweet. She refers to her work as “edible crafts”. Right out of college she landed a corporate job, but was honest enough with herself to admit that she just didn’t like it. So, while still in her 20’s she successfully operated her own store selling her memorable chocolate creations, candies and supplies. But then…the recession hit. People started cutting back on purchases. So, in the face of a shrinking income and a life challenge that hit about the same time, Beth decided to change strategies.
Today she runs a very successful blog. I say successful—not by Amazon, Facebook, or YouTube standards, but it’s a blog success because it pays her VERY well in exchange for her doing what she loves to do. Twice a week, during most months, and three times a week during holiday months, Beth will create a visually exciting treat that will tempt even the most ardent dieter. I’ve found that she uses very simple supplies and ingredients—nothing too “froo froo” that I would only have one use for. She then demonstrates clearly and succinctly how anyone who has a pulse can replicate her design. Because she’s able to live an unfettered life in a career that’s full of passion rather than permissions, she’s been able to push herself in the uniqueness of her designs and her repertoire of possibilities. Perhaps a reader will ask about creating a savory version of fondant; by gum, Beth will find it and come up with an inspiring way or two (or 30) to use it. In exchange for her pursuing her passions, combined with today’s technology, Beth is able to earn more income each month than many persons who have a masters or doctorate degrees and she does so today with an average of 75,000 readers on her blog during normal months, and about 150,000 during key holiday months. Compare that to the 25 MILLION reader visits that sites like TMZ or People Magazine will generate each month. And yet she generates sufficient for her needs in the competitive world of blogging through a combination of advertisers on her blog, affiliate commissions (more on that later) and Amazon Associate commissions.
For example, when Beth uses the Wilton silicone flower mold, as she does for this design http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2013/04/daisy-cakes-spring-dessert-bridal-shower-mothers-day.html , people like me look at that recipe and think “I can do that for my neighbors this month.” Or “I can surprise my mother-in-law with this cute little arrangement this week.” And then, people like me will simply click on her link which is hyperlinked in her instructions, and will immediately be taken to the site where I can purchase the item (such as Amazon or other sites). When I make the purchase, Beth gets a commission. It’s as simple as that.
Mind you, Beth works more hours daily than the other example I’ve provided. Eight hours is very normal for her. But she also gets to use those 8 hours doing what she LOVES to do, as well as take time out for herself and her husband and friends. In fact, I couldn’t get ahold of Beth to interview her for the longest time because she was so busy, entertaining out-of-town guests, going on vacation, and even jet-setting around the nation doing food reviews for a company that discovered her through her talented creations that have been made all over the world, posted on Pinterest, and have been featured on Martha Stewart’s site and other widely read magazines! Oh, and while she’s living her passion, she’s also being pursued by top cooking and crafting companies to do freelance work and create unique creations and tutorials specifically for them. This facet of her work has now become the majority of her income. The most memorable thing I had in my mind after interviewing Beth was when I asked her, “What is the most challenging part of what you do?” I was shocked when she replied that it’s the taking of the pictures, even going so far as to call it “the bane of my existence!” Ironically, it is because of the gorgeous and creative pictures she’s able to take which accompany her step-by-step instructions, that keep me coming back to her site! But since this article is already 4 pages long, I think we’ll have to save that particular lesson for another time.
So far, just with these two examples, we have excellent examples of independent revenue streams coming in, creating something out of nothing that has no requirement for licensing, college degrees, bank accounts, specific real estate locations, high overhead, risky financial investments, or even a massive amount of creativity. Instead you have people who keep saying I WANT to do this, so now I just need to figure out a way to monetize it and make it pay. Well, that’s where I’ll come in this year as I endeavor to help our readers succeed at these efforts via our articles and podcasts, newsletter, and heavier use of our YouTube channel. You can come up with any excuse under the sun as to why you “can’t” create some sort of self-employment for yourself, but I’m telling you that you’ll never convince me that it’s accurate.
Here’s to a HAPPY and very NEW Year as well as Peace in your Preparedness!
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