We’re continually asked about “how to make money fast”, “making money online”, “make money from home”, “how to start a side gig or side hustle”, “money making ideas” or “how to earn good money” etc.
This is almost always followed-up with asking our opinion on the various available options, and will they “suit me”.
A quick answer to last question is doing something that you love to do. If you already know what that is, then you are a lucky person indeed.
This article is about our own personal experiences and this will vary from yours. But please read on as we cover many important considerations you need to be aware of to make sure there’s the right fit.
Elsewhere on the BusinessNavigate website we’ve written about the need to have the passion for what you’re doing and whether you have to right entrepreneurial mindset to move forward.
We have also provided you with information how to create a positive perspective on life. And if you want additional help in your journey of discovery what you want to do, we have the Inner Entrepreneur Course.
Now you want to know more about the different ways to make money on the side. Essentially there are three main options that we’ve tried:
- real estate investment, renovations and development
- some type of stock market or cryptocurrency trading
- learning how to make money on the internet
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 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 money, lost money, made it back only to lose it again, we abandoned two of the options we’ve tried as they just weren’t the right fit, for us. We are now in our sweet-stop and loving it!
We’ll explore some of our reasoning below and this is akin to you looking over our shoulder and experiencing our 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 our aim is to help you avoid lost time and/or money by learning from our experiences.
How to make money fast: Strategies that don’t suit us
Real estate investment, renovations and development
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 over again.
The risks are well known to those who suffered massive losses as part of the Global Financial Crisis, when housing prices in the US fell on average approximately 30%.
We also 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 partly 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.
Stock market or cryptocurrency trading
Stock market trading
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 that?
Unless you’re extremely well trained and very disciplined, with your limited budget you’re just a pawn in their 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.
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 reason was that 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.
Not an environment we want to be part of.
The cryptocurrency market is very interesting and we’re keeping a “watchful eye” on the developments.
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units, verify transactions, and keep records.
This means that cryptocurrencies’ transaction fees tend to be much lower than those charged by traditional financial institutions like banks and credit card companies.
The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency also means it’s not under the jurisdiction of any one government or regulatory body, thus providing some degree of protection from legal interference for its users.
But because the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies, the prices are determined by supply and demand, and there are no Central Banks or other government policy measures that can influence the price.
In other words, they’re worth whatever people will pay for them at any given time, which means their value fluctuates constantly.
Cryptocurrencies have been subject to extremely high levels of volatility in the market at levels that suggest unbridled speculation, a bit like a Ponzi scheme.
How to make money fast: Strategy that does suit us
Making money online
Based on our consulting background – as you’ll see when you read our Bio – the best option for us was to pursue entrepreneurship in the context of the internet – for us it was just the perfect fit.
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 it 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 else we can help you), we implore you to find another equal high-quality resource that is a better fit with you.
But please be careful.
Be careful of the so-called “gurus”
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 their 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 manipulation and most of these pitches are almost invariable based on the precepts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (aka NLP).
By the way, we are 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.
The problem with most of these “spruiker pitches” is that they usually spend way more time and money developing these clever pitches than they do on the products they sell, trying to suck-in the unaware.
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 and then leave it up to you to fill in the rest.
Sadly most people end-up giving up, so please be careful.
If you want to find a way to make money on the side, we hope this article about our own experiences has helped you decide. As you know we have explored all of these options and offer first-hand experience in all three.
The right fit for you may be different from what has worked best for us. So it is important that you do your own research about which option might work better for you and your situation.
For us, it boils down to two simple things: Be happy and be productive.
If you can achieve both of those things simultaneously then you are doing well. If one or the other is coming at the expense of one another then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your approach?
 wikipedia.org, Subprime mortgage crisis
The subprime mortgage crisis in the United States was a major contributor to the 2007–2008 global financial crisis. The main cause was the collapse of a housing bubble that saw large declines in US home prices and lead to mortgage defaults and foreclosures, and the devaluation of housing-related securities.
 wikipedia.org, Short selling
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.
 independent.co.uk, Scandal over failed VW takeover
In October 2008 Porsche announced it’s intention to buy VW. This caused a staggering rise in the VW share price. London and Wall Street hedge funds, who had been betting against VW, suffered an estimated $24bn of losses as result. The architects of this drama – Porsche’s then CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and CFO Holger 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.
 investopedia.com, Ponzi Scheme
The term “Ponzi Scheme” was coined by Charles Ponzi, a criminal who used the scheme to defraud investors. It is an investment fraud that involves paying initial investors with money from new investors rather than from profit earned in the business. These schemes usually offers unusually high returns or none at all and collapse when the flood of new investors dries up and there isn’t enough money to go around. A Ponzi Scheme also known as “pyramid scheme.”
 wikipedia.org, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
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.
BusinessNavigate, Inner Entrepreneur Course
Inner Entrepreneur is designed especially to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn about entrepreneurship, identify your passions, interests and skills, and how to research and evaluate business ideas.
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