Ready to be an entrepreneur in our new economy? Things may not be “normal” for a long time but there are many ways to earn spending money and maybe create new and bigger work for the future.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 10, creating multiple businesses, large and small. I’ve never worked for anyone but myself. I imported and sold leather clothing from Spain in the 70’s, owned the largest dinnerware and cookware store in the Southeast in the 70’s and 80’s, and opened a chain of retail alterations and monogram stores that became a franchise in the mid-80’s.
In 1985 I became a Clinical Nutritionist and later opened my San Antonio health clinic, office suites and meeting rooms.
My Economics degree and MBA didn’t help any of these.
It was my ability to see a niche and act to fill it
How to Think Like an Entrepreneur
The key to creating a small job, bring in a little income or barter, help others, and possibly lead to bigger things starts with two questions.
#1). What could YOU use right now? Odds are someone else needs it too.
#2). What can you do? Sing, compute, play ball, run, dig, tutor, cook, garden, drive, sew, hammer, draw?
Make a list of all the big and little talents and pleasures you enjoy. Someone needs you!
What Do People Need Right Now?
Here’s some totally random ideas to help you think. Many are done Virtually or from a neighbor’s porch or yard. Maybe these ideas lead to bigger ideas. Market them to your neighborhood and on your social media. People need small services right now.
HELP WITH KIDS AND PARENTS: play ball every day with a child, teen or Dad – set up hoops, obstacles, portable targets; back yard baby sit; spend time with elderly parents or disabled family virtually or from the yard; set up pickleball and play with the family; tutor children and adults in math, computer or languages; alter and repair clothes to help families that don’t sew; help with budgeting, taxes or filing relief forms
NEW SKILLS: become a coach to adults and children – biking, running, basketball, voice, soccer and piano can all use coaching; upgrade your photography skills and take “formal” family photos; teach the low tech how to Skype/FaceTime or take online classes in a field the new economy might reward; make You Tube videos of you coaching baseball in the backyard.
BETTER HOME AND GARDENS: dig, plant and weed gardens; repair the front steps, security lights and mailbox; clean the deck and deck furniture; play with and baby sit dogs and children; stencil designs on bedroom walls; refinish furniture; repair small motors; chain saw downed limbs and trees; house sit homes for sale or rent; store a boat or RV at your house; create fun garden art (mobiles, squirrel feeders, mosaic steeping stones); clean out and organize garages; handyman services are always hard to find – a handy neighbor is a great find.
ENTERTAINMENT: install TV’s and stereos; teach guitar/harmonica/flute; help a kid write, record and perform a song album; watch movies with the home-alones; set up outdoor lawn movie or magic parties and accept take-out tokens as your fee; buy, set up and install a new household pet such as goldfish or a hamster.
FOOD IS LOVE: give virtual cooking lessons to a neighbor in real time; teach people more ways to use their appliances (slow cookers, Insta Pots, steamers, grills); cook and deliver simple meals from your own home.
ERRANDS: many people do not drive or are afraid to go out – help them out and they may have other work for you.
Think Small to Start
Where are the people who need you? They’re all around you.
Your building, your street, your neighborhood. Post flyers at the mail box, corner, under doors. Put your happy face on the flyer to encourage trust. Add a reference from a neighbor.
Look for that small niche and fill it. Maybe it’s pocket change but every bit helps and being productive is a healthy thing. Bigger opportunities present themselves when you show up for the small stuff.
My amazing dinnerware and cookware store came from a simple but unsuccessful quest to buy a souffle dish in the days before they were widely available.
How Much Should I Charge?
Let people choose what to pay you for small things. Or undercharge. They’ll generally tip more than you asked for. If it’s a specific job such as refinishing a table or virtual voice lessons, agree on a fair price.
Small things lead to bigger things
Let your imagination run free and have fun. If you’ve been on a one-track career you may find a smaller niche that’s pleasurable and could grow to a respectable interim company. Let the older children work too. They may have better ideas on what kids than you.
When you hear yourself say “Someone should…” there’s a niche. Play with the idea and see where it goes. Best wishes to you all.
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