My Dear Extended Family and Friends,
I want to thank you for the outpouring of your inspiring emails. I am very pleased and profoundly gratified to keep sharing this information according to your questions, comments and concerns. Although it is challenging to be totally financially independent, you can move toward that goal. Many of you are concerned because you are dependent on employment income in an uncertain economic environment, or have concerns about your retirement or other benefit income. These are appropriate concerns. I hope to address a solution with the following article. I urge you to consider the suggestions for being more financially independent and self-reliant as I share with you a means to that end.
Be Prepared Financially – Self-Reliant Income
A requisite part of being prepared has to do with planning and alternatives. In looking at alternatives, more options are usually better. Where income is concerned additional income, or the ability to create additional income helps you to be more flexible and therefore more secure. Being able to have additional income and create it when needed can be very important.
Most people are dependent upon a single or specific income stream for their daily lives. This can be employment income, retirement income, disability income, or income from their business. Being completely dependent on one source of income can leave you in a precarious position if for any reason that income source is diminished or vanishes. It can be simply losing your job, or having the funding of a benefit eliminated or reduced. It can be the failure of your primary business. Diversification of income is as important as diversification of investments, if this seems like a foreign concept. We could discuss the things in your life which you could eliminate to help you make ends meet, but the aim of this article is toward prosperity, not austerity. Still, it is important to understand that prosperity and austerity are just different sides of the same coin. We want to focus on prosperity so that extremes of austerity can be avoided.
It is important to look at yourself, your financial security, your fixed costs of living (mortgage, rent, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.) and where you live. What you are able to do for additional income will be significantly dependent on your skill sets, what resources are available and where you live. Also, some jobs are more secure than others it difficult times. Areas of historically secure employment are:
government work (working in government/public positions), quasi-public employment (jobs which average people are particularly dependent upon like utility workers, medical professionals, and are any private sector jobs with a public mandate, etc.) If you live from paycheck to paycheck or on retirement benefits or dependent on public assistance, this article is most important for you. You will be among the most significantly affected in a ‘feces hits the oscillator’ scenario.
You can start to protect yourself and your family, right now by considering a home based business. If you have a stable income stream with future income security, the home based business can be a little more cash to supplement your income. If you have an income stream which may be interrupted in an unsure economic landscape, this will give you something already in place to jump to in order to help support yourself and your loved ones, if needed. If you start now, you will have something to fall back on. It will do no harm, and may be extremely valuable if our/your economic situation becomes unstable. It is best to already have something in place than to try to shift into something if your world changes. This doesn’t have to be a national or global phenomenon, it can be you, losing your job, becoming unable to work, or a public benefit interruption. What we are really discussing here is about you becoming more self-reliant when facing the unknown.
It is challenging to introduce this topic, and the above introduction is to aid you in looking at yourself, your needs and your family’s needs, where you are in the scheme of things, and what you can do.
Acting now will be helpful. Doing something by choice is preferable to doing something because you have no choice or have few options. This can be a fun exercise in which you can involve your family, and friends who are trustworthy and closely aligned with you. You can create opportunities you had not previously considered and make money or gain needed resources from your home based business.
It can be small in starting, but have the ability to grow over time. A home based business would also help you with a fall back income, even if it starts out small. It will give you something to work with to be self-reliant, or more self-reliant, and that is the real goal here.
Now is the perfect time to start a home based enterprise. The beauty of a home based business is that you already have and are paying for your overhead – mortgage, rent, utilities, etc. This will make your start-up costs much smaller no matter what business you choose. When considering your start-up costs, look first at your skill sets. If you are rendering services, you won’t be as dependent on having an inventory of stuff. If you are rendering services, the inventory of materials you need to keep will likely be smaller, but your need for tools and equipment may be greater. For example, someone who repairs a lawn mower will need less inventory than someone who makes clothing.
Start out by looking at your hobbies. These are things you already know and do. When undertaking a home business is it best to stick with what you know, otherwise you need training and mistakes are more likely. If your hobbies are sewing, or cooking, or furniture repair, computer web design/graphics then these are the endeavors you ought to consider. You can do the start up of your business with what you have and what you know. Look at businesses which started out at home based or very small and became world renowned like the Collin Street Bakery in Texas, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company,
Facebook. You don’t need to be the next Zuckerberg, you only need to maintain your daily life. The
Vermont Teddy Bear Company started out selling their bears at a flea market, now they sell half a million bears per year. The Fuller Brush Company was a home based business started in a Boston basement. Brushes were made at night and sold door to door during the day. The business started with a $375 investment. Look at Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, and Jason Products and a host of others.
Some went from small businesses to become Fortune 500 companies. Hobbies are a great place to start. Do you tinker with small machines, build things, make jewelry, work on micro machines like mechanical watches, enjoy cleaning or love to be with and care for children, the elderly or pets? Look at what you already do and enjoy.
In any undertaking, bear in mind and be aware of any licensing or regulatory compliances which may apply to your endeavor, if in force and effect.
If you need some training, find someone who will teach you the basics, possibly mentor you, or apprentice with someone in exchange for your time and energy. Find people who can help you with your skill sets. Advertise on Craigslist.org, look at bulletin boards (virtual/Internet) and at places like churches, grocery stores, etc. to locate the people and things you need to get started. Repair skills of all kinds are valuable and marketable. Study with some Do-It-Yourself books and then get some hands on experience with someone who knows and has experience. People are often willing to share their knowledge and if needed, get them to share it with you in a fair exchange.
Where you live may dictate a lot about what you can do. Look at where you live and see what is available and what natural resources are plentiful. If you live in California, you can grow things or make laundry products. The borax in the USA comes from California and was able to be distributed nationally by 20 Mule Team. If you live in New England, you can make candy due to the maple sugar which is available. If you live in the South Eastern USA you are near peanuts and can make peanut products, butters and candies, and grow produce. In the Southern states you have access to oranges which can also be candied. Most people enjoy sweets, so candies and cookies are a good cottage industry. Look at the history of the Famous Amos cookie. Mr. Amos sent his homemade cookies to celebrities and started his business from home. Eventually there were too many cooks involved in his business, but in the meantime the business had a meteoric rise from a home based business to a giant enterprise. Salt is a commodity and the salt flats areas are an opportunity where this vital element can be processed and packaged. If you live in the North, you may be a trapper and furrier. Anywhere you can grow or obtain fruits and vegetables you can dehydrate or ferment to preserve even if you don’t know how to home can, or have the materials to can or bottle for storage. In a home based business it is best to stick with what people need to live, or can’t resist. The opportunities are as varied as you are.
See what is plentiful where you live and what you can do with it. Make this fun for yourself and others. There will always be someone who will want or need something. It is up to you to recognize it, create it, and provide it.
Fifty years ago, there were many products and services which were delivered to the homes – milk, bread, eggs, butter, cheese, brushes, brooms, knife sharpening services, groceries from the farm or market, etc. and services like tree trimming, music lessons, book and encyclopedia sales. Much of this has been replaced by internet shopping and delivery, yet other services are location specific. Work to be performed at the property is still a necessity and location specific.
It is not only important to know what to do for a home based business, but also to know what to stay away from. Knowing what to avoid can save you a lot of headache, heartache and income. Avoid anything known as a Multi Level Marketing scheme. These are Ponzi schemes. If you don’t know what these are, then allow Google to be your friend and stay far away from anything which has a pyramid structure, where you get other people involved to try to make money for yourself. These businesses are like death spirals and have destroyed the lives of many people who were sold on such awful schemes.
Be independent, and the best advice in joining with others is to never take a partner you don’t need.
You may already have marketable abilities or you may be able to attain them, and profit from them if your main source of income is diminished or interrupted. Don’t forget – what you know, you can also teach. In difficult times, with a home based business you can still have an income and grow your prospects from there. Do some internet research, but below is a list of things you may consider:
Large and small appliance repairs
Computer and electronics repairs
Hair stylist, cosmetician
Interior design/ decorator, home organizer.
Small engine repairs – mowers, snow blowers, motorcycles, tillers
Grow vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs and flowers
Mail order goods from your locale
Music teacher, academics teacher/tutor/ESL teacher/online or internet class teacher
Animal trainer, pet groomer, dog walker, pet sitter, doggie day care
Pet food, pet products, pet toys
Leather working, tanner, furrier
Adult/child/disabled services and care, day care
Writing, editing, proof reading, compose articles, internet blogging
Self-defense trainer, weapons specialist, fire arms safety, shooting, gunsmith, home security, locksmith
Pest removal services for insects, vermin, etc.
Garage sales, flea market sales, estate sales services
Personal trainer, dance or exercise instructor
Business services, bookkeeper, typing, communications
Event organizer, wedding planner, reunion coordinator
Jewelry maker, watch and clock repair
Laundry services, ironing
Landscaping, snow removal, lawn care, fencing installer, removal/disposal
Graphic artist, art, photography
Herbalist, naturopath, colloidal silver maker, insect repellent makers
Foraging specialist for edible plants, mushrooms, roots, etc.
Teach hunting, shooting, trapping, fishing, skinning, cleaning and dressing animals and fishes
Broom, brush making, basket weaving, candle making
Animal husbandry, breeding, sheering, birthing, slaughtering services
Soap making (solid/liquid) laundry detergents, dish washing liquid
Personal hygiene and cleaning products, shampoos, body washes, toothpaste
Cosmetics, perfumes, skin products, deodorants
Massage or physical therapist
Welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical services, tinsmith, mason, blade sharpener, and building trades
Solar/alternative energy consultant/ technician,
Sewing, mending, knitting, crocheting, weaving, (if materials are in short supply – teach these skills)
Cooking, baking, fermenting, canning, dehydrating, cheese making, catering, candy maker– do or teach
Teaching and tutoring in general
Furniture repair, upholstery services
It is vital to become at least partially financially self-reliant. In this way, you are in control of your own income to an extent, even if the extent is small. The control of this income isn’t dictated by an employer or dependent on a retirement plan or government subsidy. Becoming even partially financially independent may not only be profitable but it will be self-empowering. Although charity is important, in general, in challenging times, if you have a marketable talent or skill, don’t give it away for free. Trade it, barter it, sell it and be financially self-reliant to the highest degree possible. You can have a supplemental income from a home based business. Please consider starting a home based business for your security. It could lead not only to financial stability but to prosperity in the future.