A little creativity can go a long way toward helping you make money doing things you enjoy. Take a look at some of the suggestions here, then think about ways you can get paid to do what you love to do.
Get paid to shop – Mystery shopping is a great way to make money in your spare time by providing valuable customer service feedback to businesses. It’s flexible and fun, and just about anyone can do it. The most important quality you need is to be reliable. It also helps to be observant and have good writing skills. Mystery shopping is done around the world, so there are probably mystery shops being done in your neighborhood right now. For more information, get a copy of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual at http://www.idealady.com/. The book includes a list of 150 companies hiring shoppers across the US and Canada and around the world, along with lots of insider tips.
Get paid to talk – You’ve seen those people handing out samples in the grocery store or demonstrating a product at the home show. They get paid to do that, and you can, too. To be good at this, you need an outgoing personality. You have to be willing to speak up and get people to try what you’re offering, take a coupon, or watch your demonstration. You can find these jobs by watching the help wanted ads in your local newspaper. For more information, see http://www.narms.com/.
Get paid to party – Direct sales companies, such as Tupperware, Pampered Chef and others, offer a great way to make extra money or launch a lucrative new career. You get paid to go to parties, do product demonstrations and take orders. You set your own schedule, so you can fit work into your life, not try to squeeze life in around a job. For more information, see the Direct Selling Association at http://www.dsa.org/.
Don’t want to be a sales representative? You can get free products by hosting a party in your home. Look for a local representative in your phone book and ask how you can earn free products by hosting a party.
Get paid to be in the movies – You don’t have to live in Hollywood to be an extra in a movie or TV show. Your city or state probably has a film commission where you can get information about upcoming productions. Do an Internet search for “film commission” and your city or state to find them. My local film commission regularly lists opportunities to be an extra in movies or TV shows, be a crew member on an independent film, or even to get paid to be in the audience of a TV show.
Get paid to drive – If it seems as if you are always in your car, or your car is often parked in a high-traffic area, you can use your car to make money by getting it painted with an ad. Advertisers look at what kind of car you drive, its condition, where and how much you drive, how many people see the car when it’s parked and other factors when choosing cars for these promotions. If you and your car are what they’re looking for, they will pay you to show their ad on your car. (More info: http://www.autowraps.com/)
Get paid for your opinions – Participating in focus groups and other market research doesn’t provide regular income, and there are often limits on how often you may participate. However, I’ve got lots of opinions, and I’m always happy when I can get paid for them! I’ve been paid for opinions on music, clothes, and even the scent of a laundry product. You can increase your chances of getting selected by registering with market research companies. Check your phone directory or the local mall to find one in your area.
There are also many places online where you can get paid to write opinions or reviews, or to fill out surveys. Make sure you understand how you will be paid before spending a lot of time on this. Many sites pay in credits that can only be redeemed with them, but some pay in cash.
Get paid to do your own thing – When you can make money doing something you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work at all. My main career involves speaking and writing, both things I enjoy. I’ve also been paid for my opinions, made money as a mystery shopper and been a movie extra! Use your imagination to find ways to make money while doing what you enjoy. I call it “Solo-reneuring” and that’s how I’ve made my living for more than eight years. Do you love animals? Start a pet sitting or dog walking service. If you enjoy crafts, dance or playing an instrument, you may be able to teach a class or offer private instruction to people who want to learn what you know. For more information about Solo-preneuring, see http://www.idealady.com/solo.htm.
General information – When considering any of these opportunities, make sure you understand what you will be asked to do and how you will be compensated. Then you can decide if it is worth your time and effort.
Be careful about paying to be listed in data bases. Some companies charge you to apply with no guarantee of work. You may be paying for a legitimate opportunity, or you may just be saying goodbye to $20 or more. Find out what you will get before paying a fee.
You probably won’t get rich doing these things, but you can get paid to do things you enjoy. Even if you don’t make a million dollars, your life will be richer for the joy and satisfaction you get from your work–and you’ll have at least a few extra dollars in your pocket!