I won’t go through a backstory and all the tips we’ve already hear/read about the ways COVID-19 has changed the nature of work. Let’s get straight to the point–how can we continue to make money during a crisis? What is the simplest way to monetize a side hustle? Is there a such thing as job security anymore??
1. How can we continue to make money during a crisis?
Which careers and jobs are still popping? While it is clear that grocery store employees and sanitation workers are essential, there seems to be a lot of gray area when it comes to defining essential work. DJ D-Nice is one artist who made it clear that art/music/creativity are essential during a pandemic. Zoom may not be paying your utility bills, but the platforms ensures that many of us can work from home. Many fashion brands went from making prim dresses to face masks as the demands of our world changed. What pivots can we make in either our job or business to ensure that the product/service we provide is essential?
2. What is the simplest way to monetize a side hustle?
I see a lot of people on social media making a detrimental mistake–they try to start a whole new business related to COVID-19. They pay for a graphic designer to make a business card, they purchase a domain, they spend money on merchandise and promo materials or ads/influencers–all before they ever make their first sale.
I know the saying is “you have to spend money to make money”, but don’t go so hard with that. My company made six figures before I even spent a dime. My travel and supplies were covered by clients. I bartered in-kind services as I networked horizontally (shout out to Issa Rae). I started small and kept my regular job to alleviate start up stress. I joined professional groups (online and in person) where I could learn best practices from those who had already gone through t
he growing pains of starting a business. I am not into Ted Talks, but I ofter follow women like Amanda Seales on IG where she discussed her journey. Minda Honey and Cassia Herron share their writing journeys on social media. I got paid to interview Tomi Adeyemi about her book Children of Bone and Blood before it came out.
Yes, I am bragging on myself a little bit, but I am doing that to let you know that you don’t have to spend money to start making money. Check my work so you know it’s real. The simplest way to monetize a side hustle is to go where your customers are and see what they need. Instead of making a new product from scratch or offering a whole new service, re-brand your current portfolio to fit their needs. Here’s a good example: I used to offer a grant writing package: 20 grants for $50/hour. The first grant took me about 10 hours to research, write, revise, and submit. Every grant after that (as long as it was for the same organization) only took about 1 hour because I already had the foundation. That was a great pre-corona money maker. Now I offer a #COVIDquickHitter — this is a grant research guide. For $50 I research and vet at least 10 funding opportunities, then present the proposal to clients. The guide includes contact, deadlines, contact info, and notes from the funder. They do the work to actually apply. All I do is put some options on the table. When time permits, I can upsell customers by offering my grant writing services. This product has been a major success.
Take a moment to think about how you can monetize your current side hustle.
3. Is there a such thing as job security?
No job is 100% secure. I have several friends and colleagues who lost jobs where they had seniority and had been on good terms with their supervisors. And just like that, COVID-19 destroyed their finances. Every career has something unexpected. This pandemic demonstrates why entrepreneurship, aggressive saving, and cooperative economics are key to real financial security.
So–what career pivots are you struggling with during COVID-19? How can Lnee R+D help you to get out of a debt trap and into your dream job? The first 2 commenters will get a free 15-minute consultation and resume review.