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How to Work from Home to Add Supplementary Income to Your Life

How to Work from Home to Add Supplementary Income to Your Life

You’ve had enough settling with your current income. Your boss isn’t willing to give you a raise and you don’t have enough time to drive back and forth to multiple jobs.

Having extra income would allow you to pay off debt faster, enjoy a longer vacation, or quit your soul-sucking job. Afterall, life is too short.

But how could you earn additional income and fit it around your busy schedule?

In today’s online world, you have the ability to earn money working from your laptop. There are hundreds of income-generating opportunities but it boils down to choosing one that’s the most appealing to you.

The problem is, choosing your ideal “side-job” is only half the battle. You’ll have to understand how to market your service, build your reputation and treat your side-job as a business if you hope to succeed.

Most importantly, you’ll need to have the right mindset.

1. Set clear goals to be successful

By this point you already know that you want to start a side-job, but before you start you need to know your “why”.

The going will get tough and you’ll need to be clear on why you started in the first place if you hope to succeed. Start by asking the following questions:

  1. Do I love my current job?
  2. Am I content with my work/life balance?
  3. What will I use the extra money I earn from my side-job for?

Write these questions down somewhere you’ll constantly see them to be reminded on why you’ve started in the first place.

Goals without deadlines rarely get accomplished. Don’t believe me?

If you were like most people back in high school you procrastinated until the last minute before you started working on your essay. Now imagine if there wasn’t a deadline. Your essay would take longer to get completed.

It will be challenging when you’re first starting off to know how long different tasks will take to finish, but you’ll need to set an end date.

Start by breaking down your goal into smaller tasks, and use journals to help you review your daily progress.

2. Set clear expectations from the start

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax” – Abraham Lincoln

Before you start working on your side-job, you need to understand what to expect. Here are the most important key things to consider:

Build patience

Once you’ve chosen your idea, it’ll be easy to find others who are succeeding.

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This is where most people run into trouble because they’ll believe they can reach similar success in a short period of time.

Your side-job can take a few months or even years for it to take off. Most people won’t tell you this because it’s not sexy to hear.

If you plan to succeed in building your side-job you’ll need to have patience. Instead of chasing the money, chase the journey.

Choose a side-job you love, so when the going gets tough it’ll be easier to stay committed.

Make time in your busy schedule

Make time to fit your side-job around your busy schedule. This means waking up earlier and staying up late to build your side-job.

Build systems to maintain consistency. Use tools like Google Calendar to block out time throughout your week and follow them with the same importance you do with your current job’s schedule.

Don’t be afraid to fail

It’s tempting to look at other successful people and assume they knew which job they were going to enjoy working with the most.

The reality is that most failed with their initial ideas before they landed in one they loved. So what’s my point?

Stop overthinking which side-job to start with and allow yourself to fail.

Take Jim Carey for example, he was booed off stage in a comedy club in Toronto and failed to land a part in Saturday Night Live. Nevertheless, he didn’t give up and be eventually became the star we know today.

It boils down to this, pick a job you’re curious about and start working. If you realize that this job isn’t for you, move on to your next idea. Eventually, you’ll find a job that you enjoy working with the most.

3. Increase your odds at being successful

There are no shortcuts to success, but you can avoid wasting time. In certain circumstances, it’s worth spending money to save you time and unnecessary headaches.

You can always get by with the “free” route, but be prepared to spend more time and make more mistakes. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered which types of resources are worth investing in the early stages of your side-job.

These resources include:

Website

Nowadays, if you’re running a side-job, you’ll need a website to showcase your skills and build credibility.

With a simple Google search, you’ll easily find dozens of free website alternatives. The problem with this route is that your domain won’t feel professional (i.e. example.wordpress.com), and you’ll need to understand basic HTML to make your website look professional.

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Instead, purchase a unqiue domain name, and build your website with a professional WordPress theme .

You’ll still have to invest some time in building your website with the paid route, but you’ll have access to premium themes that are easy to install.

Be prepared to invest 1 to 2 weeks to build your professional looking website. Don’t aim for perfection, and focus on your main objective.

Mentors

The best way to learn is from those who are already in the position you’d hope to be in one day.

This is why mentors are a valuable resource to have as you’re building your side-job. They’ve already learned from their mistakes and know how to overcome the obstacles you’re currently facing.

But where can you find mentors? Mentors come in different forms. You can access them by reading books, listening to podcasts, joining paid masterminds, or paying for one on one coaching.

Start by reading books on your chosen field and gradually work your way up to purchasing your mentor’s premium resources.

Take a look at this guide if you want to learn about how to pick a good mentor for yourself:

A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

Premium courses

When you’re looking to learn specific skills or overcome a specific struggle, courses are a great option. Why? Because they’re often cheaper than hiring a mentor, and still provide tailored guidance on how to reach a specific goal.

The best courses will come from your mentors. Often times they have courses in their blog or recommend ones that have helped them achieve results.

Once you’re at a mentor’s website, be on the lookout for their “products” or “resources” page.

Network with like-minded people

“Your network is your net-worth”

As you’re starting your side-job, it’s important that you surround yourself with like-minded people. You’ll benefit receiving support from others experiencing the same challenges, and continue to stay motivated.

Think of starting a side-job similar to starting a business, you’ll be marketing your product/service, handling incoming orders, managing your accounting and so on. In other words, you’re an entrepreneur running your small business.

Often times, the entrepreneurial journey is a lonely one. Even if your spouse or kids support you, they won’t fully understand what you’re experiencing. That’s why attending conferences, joining masterminds and attending local meetups can help you reach higher levels while staying motivated.

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4. Be so good you can’t be ignored

By this point, you already know that starting a side-job isn’t easy.

Most people fail because they’re not prepared, but not you. You’re already equipped with setting clear goals, what to expect, and the different ways to increase your odds at succeeding.

What if you still want more guidance with choosing a stable side-job? Here are some popular side-jobs that are in demand and that may be a good fit for you:

Blogging

Blogging has become more popular these past few years.

Today roughly 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites,[1] and 23% of online time is spent on a blog or social media. This number will continue to increase as new technology makes it easier to stay connected online.

Pros:

  • Easy to build
  • Multiple ways to earn income (i.e. affiliate marketing, advertising, courses, etc.)

Cons:

  • Slow at building income (i.e. it can take months or years before you earn sustainable income)
  • Time-consuming to create content with little to no audience

Helpful resources:

Freelance writer

Freelance writing is similar to blogging except you’re strictly writing for other businesses. As blogs continue to grow in popularity, the demand for freelance writers will also rise.

Pros:

  • Strong demand for freelance writers
  • Ability to increase your rate as you gain more credibility

Cons:

  • Challenging to find your first customers
  • You may need to write for free or for a low rate when first starting off

Helpful resources:

Virtual assistant

Roughly 69% of U.S. entrepreneurs build their businesses online.[2] As online businesses continue to grow, they’ll need virtual assistants to help them manage their website, marketing, etc.

Pros:

  • No experience required to start
  • Gain exposure in a wide range of tasks

Cons:

  • Competing with offshore workers can force you to charge low rates
  • Work on many tasks you dislike until you specialize in one or more tasks

Helpful Resources:

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Facebooks Ad consultant

Roughly 80% of Americans use Facebook[3] and almost 1/4 of your time online is spent on social media. That’s why more businesses are starting to invest more money in Facebook Ads.

For the businesses who don’t want to invest time to learn how to manage Facebook Ads, they’ll hire Facebook Ad consultants.

Pros:

  • Many FREE resources available to learn how to manage Facebook Ads
  • As low as $5 entry cost to test ads

Cons:

  • Facebook’s algorithm and policy are constantly changing, making it difficult to keep up.
  • It can take a few weeks or months to view ad progress

Helpful resources:

Amazon FBA

Amazon has grown into one of the largest online retailers and accounts for 43% of all online sales.[4]

Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) allows you to resell items online without shipping to the buyers directly. You’d go to different stores to find profitable items, and ship them back to Amazon. Since Amazon ships about 1.6 million packages per day, you’ll many opportunities to earn a profit.

Pros:

  • Low-cost entry barrier
  • Amazon Seller App makes it easy to determine if a product is profitable

Cons:

  • Pooled inventory means the product you ship may not be the one your customer receives
  • Not all of your items will sell

Helpful resources:

Start earning additional income!

Imagine working from home and earning enough additional income to pay off your debt faster than ever before!

But that’s not all, you’re earning just as much income from your side-job than you are with your full-time job. You’re empowered knowing that you’re not obligated to work in a job you hate.

You’re surprised to what happens next, your relationships improve, and you’re more motivated than ever to wake up each morning.

All after working long hours, setting clear goals and investing in yourself.

Amazing isn’t it? You know you have the resources you need to build a sustainable income working from home. It won’t be easy but anything worth pursuing isn’t.

Start learning additional income and see how your life begins to change.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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Christopher Alarcon

Content Marketer and Finance Analyst

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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