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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 January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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