The following is a guest post from SB as part of a Yakezie blog swap. SB blogs at One Cent at a Time. My guest post on the same topic is up at his blog so, please check it out!
I sincerely thank John for allowing me to guest post on his fabulous blog today. I have been blogging only for little over two years now. Nothing as compared to John's experience in blogging. (Nah, just stubbornness. 😉 ~MBH)
In my 30 something years of life I have tried various ways at earning extra money on the side. It's not that I am not a good wage earner at my day job, being a software professional I earn decent money every month.
But, this entrepreneurship instinct of mine forces me to go and try something on my own. And, like most of us, I haven't yet master a courage to quit the day job to start a business venture. I am keeping myself satisfied with part-time and off-hour gigs.
I can remember my first venture, it was selling Teakequity, teak wood shares, while still in college in India. Every day after the classes were over, I used to go to local people selling teak shares. I was selling to 2-3 people everyday and was going to almost 30 – 40 households.
Back in India, part time jobs for college students is a non-existing thing, because of a large pool of educated and qualified population of unemployed persons. So I had to take in whatever came my way.
Even though the commission was great, I was frustrated with the success rate. Mainly because of my young age and lack of persuasive skills, people didn't want to invest money based on my words. I soon left it after 6 months selling teak shares.
Lesson: Customer relationships and customer care is key to a business success. If you can't persuade customers, you'll fail in your venture.
Then, after joining the workforce (with IBM as programmer), I got interested in day trading. I was a good stock picker since my high school days, it's a skill I got from my father. Naturally, the colleagues whom I advised on stocks, talked me in to day trading. I found something that I can do online, so even while at work I can earn extra money.
Moreover,I can earn money quickly, with no limit. With margins I was seeing tremendous potential for earning extra!
I was over-confident, and did too many transactions with call and put options both. needless to say, with mostly bad calls, pretty soon I ran out of my initial investment. This forced me to reconsider on my strategy.
Now I am a long-term investor only and I don't do day trading any more. I buy stocks only as long-term investment
Lesson: There's no easy way to earn money, there are a few quick ways to earn cash, but not through stock trading. Also, I learned that little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Unless you know what you are doing, you shouldn't commit much resource (in terms of your time and money) in to it.
Then, after coming to US I tried my third side gig, buying items from garage sells and selling them on Craigslist and eBay. It was a routine for every weekend to go out and visit various garage sells.
With the price arbitrage, within a couple of months I did earn enough to buy a DSLR camera and a HD camcorder. I set up this goal to buy those two items from the side gig and promised my wife to stop doing this as soon as I have enough money earned. It did take almost 3 months to earn that amount of money though.
My wife, first, didn't like this idea and secondly, was missing me during weekends.
Lesson: Do something that you can be proud of doing and have a support system around you. Once you get constant encouragement, instead of flak, you'll have better chance of success. Also, business is a game of demand and supply. At garage sells, I didn't have constant supply of goods to make money. I could sell thing easily at a higher price but getting quality sell-able items was the problem.
And, then in 2011 I started my 4th side gig, that is blogging.
So far, blogging has been a success. I implemented all lessons I learned from earlier ventures. Still, I am learning a new skill every day. Most importantly, I finally found a side gig that I love to continue with.
The lessons I learned from blogging? I will keep it for another day.
Thanks for reading the article! I will appreciate if you share your experience of earning extra income.