In today’s digital landscape, there is more opportunity than ever for people to leverage hobbies and talents to supplement their earnings! A study by Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors, receiving some portion of their income reported on US Form 1099 through participation in the ‘gig economy’ or having started their own small business. With the world now at our fingertips, contract, freelance, and gig employment have been supercharged with the potential to become robust income boosters and bridges to entrepreneurship.
The bottom line: if there is something you do well, now is the time to sell! "Tap Your ASSets" by capitalizing on your passions and talents and turning them into income-generators to pay off debt, meet your financial goals, offset monthly expenses and avoid over reliance on credit.
Pro Tip: Use What You’ve Got; Earn What You Want
What is the ‘thing’ that you are passionate about, often complimented on, or can naturally do better than others?
For me, it’s saving and investing money — something I first capitalized on by developing a budgeting system and conducting personal finance workshops. What began as a hobby and part-time job has today manifested in my work as CEO of Saving Solutions, a firm specializing in saving individuals and businesses time and money with three powerful, high-impact solutions: budgeting, business development and buzz marketing.
As a full-time entrepreneur, I work to supplement my base income with my passion projects: authorship and voiceover work (i.e., commercials, emceeing, audiobook narration, etc.)! In the soon-to-be-released book I co-authored, you’ll have a chance to learn about my journey to becoming a "Savings Passionista," and how an upbringing in poverty was motivation to build a radically different life for myself — one grounded in wealth-building.
Pro Tip: Start Small
Not quite ready to file articles of organization for your small business, but definitely ready to begin monetizing your talents? Start anyway! You don’t have to launch a full-fledged business to begin turning your passion into profit. In fact, there are smart advantages to ‘starting small,’ including time to: save money for start-up costs, conduct market research and go through trial and error to build on lessons learned.
Pro Tip: Get Social
Got talent? Show and tell by starting an Instagram account to share photos and videos of your work. Be sure to add relevant hashtags as consumers search these hashtags when seeking vendors and service providers. It may feel like you’re just sharing photos, but this is actually ‘pull marketing’ that helps potential customers find you! Additionally, there are several websites that instantly connect service providers with those seeking a service — a good starting point for channeling your passion into income.
Pro Tip: Go Local
“Find local professionals for pretty much anything.” That’s the motto of popular online startup Thumbtack, which matches customers with local professionals in more than 1,000 categories, from home maintenance to party DJs.
The beauty in Thumbtack is that its search is hyperlocal — zip code-based — and the site offers checks and balances for users unlike similar platforms such as Craigslist. Facebook Marketplace is another way to sell items and services to people in your community.
Although the internet presents endless opportunity in a global marketplace, there’s still power in targeting your local market. Nobody knows ‘home’ as well as you.
Pro Tip: Choose Collaborative Consumption
In today’s super connected ‘sharing economy,’ in addition to monetizing your passion, you can leverage your ASSets and provide services and resources to others to earn extra income!
Got designer clothing, shoes or electronics you can part with? Resale, e-consignment and auction sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, The RealReal and Ebay enable you to channel your Marie Kondo, all while making a profit and living sustainably!