“We all have an unexpected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test”Isabel Allende
I think we can all agree that no one could have foreseen the events that we are all facing in 2020. Regardless of whether or not we were facing another recession, it is inconceivable that something could’ve brought us all to our knees, and then plunged us into financial strain and fearing for the one thing we all probably take for granted……our health.
Gone are the days where we could watch from afar, as others battled bravely through challenging and disastrous circumstances. It is no longer every man for himself, but it’s about what each of us can do to help each other through this incredibly challenging time.
A while back I wrote about how businesses are turning to freelancers and how the job market is slowly transforming to that of a tech-based, online environment. The article also explains how to protect yourself from job losses and economic disasters and opportunities to start your own business.
I also wrote about how AI is changing the workplace and how to increase your technical knowledge as this will not only give you employment opportunities but also opportunities to establish alternative forms of income online.
We are now experiencing a live example of what I was referring to. Unemployment rates have hit levels nearly higher than in the Great Depression, and the World Economic Forum states that this statistic is set to worsen by the second quarter of 2020. Who knows how long governments will be able to sustain unemployment benefits until the economy recovers, which some economists have predicted, will take years.
The bright side
Instead of curling up into a ball and dreading what the future brings, think like an entrepreneur or business owner (remember I always say, make your life, your business) and find ways to take advantage of your current conditions.
The importance of updating your knowledge and skills
Although the future seems bleak, and we’re all scrambling to find our way, this is the perfect time to polish up on your knowledge and skills. The information you gain gives you a favorable position in the workplace when the economy recovers and business as usual resumes. Employers look more favorably upon employees with more up to date and in-demand skills. These skills will also give you the opportunity to earn an alternative income if circumstances change unfavorably at places of employment.
Besides technical skills, the most in-demand skills within and without the workplace are creativity, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence.
In my personal opinion, I think creativity and emotional intelligence are the most important skills an individual can possess. Creativity not only allows you to think outside the box in your job but also in your personal life. Emotional intelligence is what helps you to keep it together so that you can make better decisions. Recognize your emotions and control them, do not let it control you. For example, in this economic climate, instead of only looking for ways to pay your bills, creative people will hold it together and find alternatives by thinking outside the box.
Just like businesses and entrepreneurs, you need to evaluate ways to turn things around when they go south.
Examples of using creativity to earn an alternative income
1. WRITING ONLINE
I have recently looked at recruitment websites to see how many employers are still recruiting. I was surprised to see how many freelance writing jobs have suddenly become available. Technical writers, storytellers, content writers, staff writers etc, seem to all be in demand.
Having a skill in writing could very nearly ensure you always have an opportunity for an income in any economic climate. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but it’s always having.
Some websites that pay for writing articles:
This website is perfect for freelancers and bloggers, whose articles offer a wide selection of topics such as lifestyle, and environmental issues. Fees are negotiable, but they pay from $50 to $150.
This website focuses on how to make money online. Unfortunately, I could not find information that explains how much they pay per article but you can contact them from the website for that information.
Known as America’s only Humor site, this website invites creative, comical people to write articles that tickle your funny bone. And who doesn’t need that these day right! No experience is necessary for this one.
For the storytellers among us, this is the perfect opportunity to get paid for your stories instead of just telling it to your friends, children, and colleagues. From short stories to full-length articles, the author gets to take their pic.
2. DO ONLINE SURVEYS
Be aware that some of these sights are not legit. Do your due diligence before you begin.
Getting paid for providing your opinion doesn’t seem like such a bad idea does it! All you need to do is simply fill out the survey, submit, and voila you get paid. However, some websites offer a points reward system, some offer vouchers or various other forms of payment, so make sure you know the deal before you embark on your survey filling journey.
Be aware that it might take you a while to build up your income, as the pay per survey will not break the bank. However, it is a low time and effort approach for those who want to make some extra dough at the same time as watching their favorite show!
Some legit websites that offer paid surveys
Once you register on this website you will immediately receive surveys in your email. Once you complete your surveys you have a choice to cash out via PayPal or gift vouchers.
Here you will earn gift cards and rewards. You can then use your rewards towards sweepstakes or bigger prizes which you can cash out with PayPal or your Visa card.
LifePoints doesn’t just send you any old survey, but matches your interests and profile.
3. ONLINE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT JOBS
You don’t need to be in an office to provide assistance to individuals and businesses. Use your organizational and technical skills to provide support remotely.
You can find these jobs on recruitment websites or online marketplaces for freelance services.
Some websites where you can get hired for virtual assistant jobs
On Fiverr, you can offer Ebooks, social media services, writing services, support services, etc. It is an online market place where businesses are the buyers and individuals, groups or companies offering services are the sellers.
Another freelance marketplace. Here you negotiate your rates directly with employers seeking freelance services.
This is a crowdsourcing marketplace where there are a huge number of employers on the lookout for virtual assistants.
This is a global freelancing platform where businesses and individuals connect. A variety of services are in demand, from writers to customer service support, marketing, data science, and analytics etc.
Promoting other businesses’ products can be a very lucrative income. However, it might scare some people away as it concerns technical abilities which some of us don’t have and think that only web designers have the ability to do. There are platforms that help those who do not have the experience to do affiliate marketing and show you how to set up from scratch. Click here to learn more and even get started immediately.
There are several more of these marketplaces and collaboration platforms. Use your creativity, think outside the box and start working!
4. Take advantage of what people are perceiving as doom and gloom to take control of your finances
Learn and understand the stock market
Another factor that is suffering is our personal finances. Again, it’s might seem like we’re deep-diving into an endless cavity of financial loss, but again, it is the perfect time to pay attention to what’s happening in the markets and take advantage.
Risk and Reward
During my time in self-isolation, I decided to take a closer look at the stock market. By nature, I am a very skeptical person and always thought the stock market is not for me as it is too risky. You would think I’d step a mile back from the stock market idea in these economic conditions right! Wrong! During the course of my ‘studies’ I learned how the true brave make their money in the stock market, by taking advantage of economic conditions.
I also learned that value investing is a tried and tested strategy for successful investing. Find really good companies with strong balance sheets, wait for stock prices to plummet, and get right in there! These excellent companies are rarely cheap, so this would be a great opportunity for a new investor to get into the market at lower prices. Analysts have predicted that stock prices may drop after the 2nd quarter of 2020, so it’s worth some attention.
On some platforms, there is no minimum limit to start investing, so you can invest as little as $50. And I would suggest you start small anyway if you’re new to this.
Remember though, always do your due diligence, read, read, and read some more. Familiarize yourself with the businesses you choose to invest in and make sure that they can sustain themselves through economic downturns. It is also vital that you pay attention to the economy and how it shifts the markets. And of course, there is always a chance of failure, so only invest what you know you can lose, without putting yourself at even more financial strain.
To gain my knowledge I followed Warren Buffet and Phil Town from Rule One Investing. They simplify this complicated world so much, that even I could understand it. There are hundreds and thousands of YouTube videos where you can learn this information for free and from scratch, with as little effort as a simple search. It’s worth a browse.
5. Expand your thinking
You see there are so many ways that you can protect yourself from these unforeseen circumstances. Creative and determined people always find ways to make lemonade out of lemons. There is always a way out, it only requires a bit of thinking and a lot of doing.
If you’re lacking motivation, read my blog on How to motivate yourself, from an Entrepreneur’s perspective
If you’re too afraid to make changes, whether you lack self-confidence or simply think you might fail, read my blog on Overcoming your fears and facing life head-on. Since this article was aimed towards those wanting to start an online business, you will also get some tips on how to get your mind and priorities in order to start an online business.
If you need a feel-good story of inspiration, read my article on Overcoming Adversity, and learn how you can overcome even what seems like the most daunting and impossible circumstances and come out on top.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone facing these challenging times. Remember we are all in this together. Support and help each other through these dark times, and the sun will surely shine again.
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