I wish I could charge a dollar
I wish I could charge a dollar for every time I’m asked “how to make money fast” or “how to make money from home” and the almost immediate follow-up question of my opinion on the various options that are available.
My quick answer to the first two questions is to do something that you love to do. If you among the very few who already know what that is, then you are a lucky person indeed. An easy option is finding hobbies that make money.
Either way please read on as there are some very important considerations of which you need to be aware.
We have also provided you with information how to get the right mindset on and to guide ourselves on a daily basis we have developed our own in-house checklist.
Finally you may want to know more about the key characteristics of entrepreneur driven decision-making that may help you decide which of these different ways is best suited to you as you’re finding out how to make money on the side.
If you find you’re not quite ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge, maybe a stepping-stone for you might be to find out what job makes the most money and use your spare time to figure it all out.
However for those who are serious about making money right now, essentially there are three main options:
- real estate renovations and development
- some type of stock market trading
- learning how to make money on internet websites
As it so happens we have explored all of these options and have first-hand experience in all of them.
In the right hands, they can all work fantastically well, but the operative word here is “in the right hands”.
The key is that there needs to be a “fit” between the activity and you, otherwise it’s almost certainly going to end in tears.
Some of these choices are “lumpy”, “slow” or “scary” and after having made/lost/made/lost/etc money, we abandoned them as they just weren’t the right fit, for us. We are now in our sweet-stop and loving it!
I’ll explore some of my own reasoning below. Please remember, this is akin to you looking over my shoulder and experiencing my thinking processes. You will need to make up your own mind.
What’s the right fit for you will almost certainly may be different and that’s why it is important for you to follow the links above as they may help you avoid the lost time and money that we’ve experienced.
What did not work for us
For us real estate investing is too way “lumpy” and too slow. What I mean by lumpy is that it takes huge resources to acquire and develop property, and while you’re spending your money and time over a long period you’re not earning anything.
It’s only after you sell that you’ll find out whether you’ve made a profit sufficient to cover all your costs, be adequately compensated you for your time, and end-up with increased working capital to do it all again.
The risks are well known to those who suffered massive losses as part of the GFC, when housing prices in the US fell on average approximately 30% and have remained near their low point while the unemployment rate remains elevated.
We tried the renovation journey and after having slogged our guts out we found that the property wasn’t worth anything like we put into it. This was probably due to poor choices (eg properties that needed far more than just a quick cosmetic reno) but whatever the reason, it put us right off.
The stock market
The stock market is a scary place and is dominated by institutions with vast financial resources. As has been well documented in the media, while there are many honest players, there are also the so-called “rogue traders” who have no hesitation of engaging in market manipulation.
Furthermore, there are sophisticated automated trading systems currently in common use where every second of the trading day millions of split-second decisions are made by computers. How do you keep up with this?
Unless you’re extremely well trained and very disciplined, with your limited budget you’re just a pawn in this game, fodder for the professionals. That certainly was our experience.
I remember once losing $2,000 in less than 10 minutes and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it! That’s the equivalent of $12,000 per hour. That was the most expensive hour of my life and my nerves just couldn’t handle it.
And it isn’t just individual traders with working from home ideas aiming to make it big on the stock market.
Even Hedge Funds are at risk something that was well demonstrated in the week of 27 October 2008 when the market value of Volkswagen more than doubled to almost $500 per share and a month later it dropped like a lead balloon back down to $200.
The major Hedge Funds on Wall Street and in London had been short-selling VW’s shares and as the VW share price rose were left with an estimated loss of $24bn (£14.5bn). They needed to cover their losses and this caused a massive demand for shares, pushing-up their value even more.
For a brief moment in time VW was the highest-valued company in the world and Porsche’s profit on the shares’ value exceeded $100bn – considerably more than revenues from its car sales.
It turned out that this was due to Porsche’s then CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and CFO Holger Haerter using intermediaries to secretly build-up a large controlling position in VW before announcing their intention to buy VW.
The architects of this drama – Wiedeking and Haerter – have faced a criminal trial over their actions during this failed takeover attempt, hailed in some quarters as one of the biggest alleged trading scandals outside of the banking industry.
Not an environment we wanted to be part of.
What has worked for us
Based on our background the best option for us was to pursue entrepreneurship in the context of the internet – for us it wasn’t just the right fit but the perfect fit as you’ll see when you read our Bio.
For us the Internet is by far the safest option and the one with highest growth potential. What we particularly like about it is that it gives us the chance to have real interaction with real people from all over the world.
No-one is all powerful (unlike the share market), the transactions are small (unlike real estate) so passes our “lumpiness” and “scariness” tests with flying colors!
We firmly believe that for most people it is a better and safer bet than anything else out there, but this may not apply to you – you’ll need to make up your own mind as to what’s best for you.
However if you want to know how to make money on internet focused activities and to do it as safe as possible you must get the right guidance and must align yourself with the right people who can show you how to take advantage of these opportunities.
For many people BusinessNavigate more than fulfils these requirements, but if it doesn’t do it for you (we know it isn’t for everyone and if that describes you we’d love to hear from you how we can improve), we implore you to find another equal high-quality resource but with a better fit with you.
But please be careful.
In many ways the internet of today is still a lot like 100+ years ago when people who wanted to build their own car had to first discover the bits and pieces they needed, then source them and then put them together, all with little or no guidance.
With some obvious exceptions, there are lots of internet shysters and self-proclaimed gurus prancing about marketing their wares offering education, training and software of dubious quality.
The unfortunate fact is that most of the gurus focus their attention on people eager to find new ways but who are new to the Internet. They do this because that’s where the big opportunities are.
They invite you to some “free internet seminar”, spruik to you for an hour or more using cleverly worded phrases that place the audience in a subtle trance.
To secure the sale they use manipulating techniques that lower “buying resistance”. This is typically done with phrases such as “if you do EXACTLY like I did, you will have the same success” combined with scarcity statements such as “the first 10 people who buy today get a massive discount”.
They are very good at their audience and most of these pitches are almost invariable based on the precepts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (aka NLP).
In fact more often than not they spend way more time and money developing these clever pitches than they do on the products they sell.
Having spent their hard earned cash on defective products, the unaware purchaser often discovers that they only get a poorly developed product that only does the little bit that the guru sells then leave it up to you to fill in the rest. Sadly most people end-up giving up.
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 In finance, short selling (also known as shorting or going short) is the practice of selling securities or other financial instruments that are not currently owned, and subsequently repurchasing them (“covering”). In the event of an interim price decline, the short seller will profit, since the cost of (re)purchase will be less than the proceeds which were received upon the initial (short) sale. Conversely, in the event that the price of a shorted instrument rises prior to repurchase, the short sellers will suffer losses. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_(finance)
 Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes (“neuro”), language (“linguistic”) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (“programming”) and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming
Please note that we’re qualified NLP practitioners ourselves and know how effective it can be when trying to really communicate at a deep and meaningful level with other people. However, in the wrong hands it can also be used for negative purposes.