Women’s Money Week Feature Article
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Ever since my first lemonade stand in elementary school, I’ve been an entrepreneur. At age 16, I replied to a published job announcement and started my door to door Avon sales business. In college I made “hippie” shirts and sold them to my friends. While working as a business intern in Spain, I gave English lessons on the side. I enjoyed my stint selling real estate, as my compensation was directly tied to my effort. After obtaining my first Masters degree in counseling and while employed at San Diego State University, I had a side career counseling practice to help offset my husbands huge graduate school tuition bills. I’ve held garage sales and sold stuff on Craigslist. Embedded in my DNA are ways to increase income.
Women are particularly suited to increase their income. Yes, I know we make less than men per hour, but do not let that stop you from increasing your income. As moms, students, and employees, we are adept at going from one task to another. How many women have fed a baby while checking their email? Earning more money is a mindset. There are money making opportunities wherever you look, if you want to trade time for money, make it a priority.
Actions Determine Priorities
We are all dealt our own individual hands. Some have more money to start than others. Opportunities are more available for others. There are those who are more beautiful and smarter than the rest. Don’t worry about where you begin or what you cannot change. Spend your time and effort on what you can control. Say no to people and activities that do not move you forward. If you want to increase your income, take action! Create a money making plan and stick with it. Don’t expect money to roll in immediately, but over time, if you commit to increasing your income, you can make it a reality.
5 Strategies to Increase Your Income
1. Ask for a Raise
If you have a job, are a valued employee, and help your company reach its financial goals, ask for a raise. The economy is improving making it a great time to participate in your company’s growth. How to ask for a raise? Never say, “I need the money”. Who doesn’t? Schedule the meeting at a “low stress” time in the day and week. List how you help the company meet its goals and how your individual contributions contribute to the collective progress of the company. Consider how you interview for a job, and translate those type of accomplishment oriented selling strategies to your pitch. Don’t stop if the answer is no. Ask to revisit the discussion in three months.
2. Start a Side Business
What skills do you have that others need or want? Are you a teacher? Mow lawns or paint in the summer and over breaks. If you have older children, enlist them in your money making scheme. Are you a whiz at selling on eBay? Offer to sell other peoples stuff on eBay or Craigslist for a commission. Is your skill writing and editing? Promote your proofreading and editing expertise. Do you have a particular in demand skill or subject knowledge? Offer tutoring or teach a class. Everyone has some particular skill; sell yours. Elance and Odesk offer a forum for freelancers to market their skills.
3. Sell Your Stuff
If you’re like most individuals in the USA, UK, Australia, Europe and the rest of the developed world, you have too much stuff. Hold a garage sale or market your unwanted stuff on eBay and Craigslist. There are many guides and tutorials online to help you get started. My neighbors held garage sales twice a year, and with three girls, had lots of stuff to get rid of. They make extra cash to fund an annual vacation.
4. Open a Flea Market Business
Passionate about antiques? Love electronics? Visit garage sales, search online, and collect goods. Resell them at a flea market. This is another money maker in which the whole family can participate. Make it an adventure to hunt for goods to resell. Buy inventory at the dollar store and mark up fifty percent. If you like shopping and selling, this is a fun money making strategy.
5. Open a Dirty Business
There are certain tasks that people hate to do; clean out the garage, clean out the gutters, wash their car, clean out the attic, apartment move out cleaning etc. These types of jobs command high compensation because they are unpleasant. Advertise with flyers in proximate neighborhoods and on Craigslist or other online bulletin boards.
Take a personal inventory and figure out what strategy suits you. Be prepared to put in time and effort. Expect disappointments and set backs. If one strategy doesn’t work, try something else. Visit the Women’s Money Week site for more great money articles.
How have you made extra money?
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