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7 Ways to Earn $1,000 on the Side While You Pursue Your Dreams

7 Ways to Earn $1,000 on the Side While You Pursue Your Dreams

We all have dreams that we want to achieve, but the world can be a tough place.

Instead of waiting and possibly going broke while you pursue your dream, you can get creative, develop new skills, and earn money in the process. In fact, there are several things you can do to earn a side income, and most of these activities will easily net you $1,000 in extra income monthly. Here are seven such activities:

1. Do Content Writing Jobs

According to data from Contently, freelancers make an average of about $10,000 to $20,000 annually. A good portion of freelancers make over $50,000 annually. There are many ways you can earn extra income as a freelancer, but one of the most profitable ways is by being a writer. You don’t have to learn to code and you don’t have to be tech-savvy. With above-average writing skills and good marketing, you can build a sustainable working income as a part-time content writer. This is not surprising when you consider the fact that you can make as much as $30-$50 per hour doing content writing jobs on sites like Upwork. If you get paid $30 per hour and you are able to dedicate two hours a day and five days a week to content writing jobs you’ll be able to easily net $1,000 in extra income in a month.

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2. Blog to Make Ends Meet

Many of us are familiar with blogging superstars like Arianna Huffington, Pete Cashmere, and Darren Rowse. It is easy to say to ourselves, “Oh, no! I can’t do this!” Do not despair. While your chances of earning a million dollars blogging are very slim, you can earn a realistic side income by blogging. You will achieve the most results by focusing on a small, specialized niche and then looking for a product or service to sell to these people. If done right, even with a small blog of a few thousand visitors it isn’t unusual to earn $500 to $1,000 on the side recommending products and offering your services to readers. Blogging isn’t as complicated as it used to be. Thanks to WordPress and guides like this one, you can have your blog ready in an hour or two.

3. Make Your Car Work For You

If you have a car, you’ve got a better chance at earning extra income than most people. Instead of doing nothing in your spare time or worrying about not having enough income, you can key into the sharing economy to generate some spare change for yourself. You can either rent out your car to others by the hour, or you can act as a temporary driver offering rides to others. This side job allows you to earn up to $35 or more per hour, and when you do this for two hours a day for a month, it quickly adds up to over $1,000 in extra income monthly. Services like Lyft make this possible and easy.

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4. Start a Consulting Business

Since you don’t plan to consult full time, don’t expect to be rich from it. However, many people have started a full-time company from a part-time consulting business. A good example is Stefan Kartner, the founder of Realspace3d.com, a 3D printing company. He consulted with businesses on 3D printing while running his dream company.

If you have specialized skills the only way to earn isn’t by doing. Instead, you can also earn by directing people what to do. Many companies need help with various areas of their sites. It could be with things like content strategy, marketing strategy, sales strategy, design optimization, etc. The point is that they aren’t very good at doing these things themselves, and they aren’t willing to hire a full-time staff for these basic tasks either. By offering consulting services to these companies you help them save money on employee costs, and you also earn enough on the side while you pursue your dreams.

5. Be a Part of an Online Jury

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We’re seeing a lot of interesting cases and verdicts being delivered in the court these days, but how do attorneys know if a case will stand? Thanks to the internet, trial attorneys now hire people to review real cases before taking these cases to court. By having an idea of what regular people think about their case, they have a better idea of whether it will stand in the court or not.

A simple Google search will reveal sites that pay you to join an online jury, and many of these sites will pay you up to $60 per case you review. This quickly adds up.

6. Help Other People Do Their Assignments

If you’re bored and need extra cash, what is an easy way to have fun and make money? Help other people do their assignments. There are lots of students who aren’t willing to do their assignments, and who will happily outsource the task online. Here’s an article listing sites that pay people to do assignments for others. It has probably been a long time since you have had school assignments, so have fun challenging your brain and earning money at the same time.

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7. Create Your Own Online Course

If you have a special skill that others will love to learn and you’re comfortable in the front of a camera, you just got lucky! You can earn an extra $1,000 monthly by creating video courses for sites like Udemy. A major advantage to creating online courses for sites like Udemy is that you get to benefit from their audience. Udemy boasts over ten million students, and you get to benefit from such a massive audience. To make Udemy work, make sure your course is about something with high demand because it helps if there are not a lot of similar courses already on the site.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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