If you feel like today is March 38th, you are not alone. The coronavirus pandemic has broken lots of records and one of them is extending March into what seems to be the longest, loneliest month in all of history. I’m not kidding here.
Since I write about finances and money issues rather than medical problems, I’d like to say this: There are some solutions to the money issues and problems you are facing, so don’t throw in the towel just yet. Consider virtual jobs as the solution to your money situation!
Use Your Down Time to Perk Up!
With every depressing scenario we see on TV, days are stretching out and all blend together, don’t they? It’s hard to think that spring may have sprung when so much is just hanging in mid-air when it comes to life, work, and normality. That’s why you should use the creativity inside of you right now.
It has been often said that people are very resourceful when it becomes really necessary and I can’t think of anything more important right now than trying to battle against what all of us are dealing with…the pandemic. Projections indicate that over the next eight weeks, almost 50 million Americans may be unemployed because of it and we really don’t know if and when normality will return to our lives.
In the meantime, rent and mortgages must be dealt with, groceries purchased, and mundane bills like gas, electric, and phone are all coming due. So how will you deal with them and the pressure you are feeling about it if you aren’t working and you are still waiting for help from Uncle Sam? The answer may just be a little “creativity” you have deep inside yourself. What do I mean by that?
Sometimes We Get a Little Complacent, So Reverse Course Now
Abe Lincoln had to sit by the fireplace to solve his problems and still managed to go on to accomplish great things. You don’t have to do it that way luckily because we still have electricity and yes, we even have the internet!
As bad as it is being quarantined, that internet connection offers you a big—or should I say “gig”—opportunity? Here are just a few virtual jobs to supplement your income right now sitting at home using your talents and skills that you didn’t think could solve your current money problems.
A virtual assistant (VA) is a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location. Why not use your real life job skills and market yourself as a VA?
Theoretically, a VA can do anything any other support staff does, except bring the coffee (although home-delivery coffee is a possibility under current circumstances!). Virtual assistant duties are not limited to clerical work. Many VAs provide marketing, web design, bookkeeping, and other services.
You can even market yourself to a specific target industry. If you know a lot about real estate, for example, a real estate virtual assistant performs many tasks, but only for realtor clients.
There are lots of VA training courses available online (for a cost) if you need help getting started. VAs can earn $10 to $15 per hour at a minimum depending on their skill set. At the higher end of the scale, some VAs can earn up to $30 per hour.
Now may be the perfect time to use you knowledge to teach it to others via the internet, become a freelancer, and teach your skills online via a venue by advertising on Facebook or other social media. You can use something as simple as Skype or Google Hangouts to set up one-on-one or group lessons, or create a course on a teaching platform such as Udemy, Teachable, Thinkific, or WizIQ, and charge for them to earn some income.
Even if you are doing this kind of thing for the very first time, you can still charge reasonable fees that will be attractive to others who may be bored or looking to make their downtime a great learning experience.
More Virtual Jobs
There are other virtual options to make money. If you like to write, become a freelance writer for websites. If you’re short on time, you can work on a site like Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to perform small tasks. If you have graphics skills or other services to offer, you can list them on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. If you can transcribe audio, you can work on a site like Rev to caption videos. Use your imagination and I’m sure you will find some online work that is suitable for you.
How to Start Your Home Virtual Business
A few great advantages to starting a virtual business are that it’s fast, affordable, and easy to do. Since you already have the skills and equipment to get started, you can find your first client and be on your way pretty quickly.
First, determine the type of service you want to offer and to whom. Will you specialize as a graphic designer or bookkeeper? Will you focus on a niche market? Once you know what you’re offering, you’ll want to set up your price for your services, but make them both reasonable and yet deserved for your expertise and experience. Per hour rates are best to begin.
Look to see what others are charging and what services they are offering online to get a feel for the offer you want to make. You’ll also want to check out local business licenses if needed, but that might be your only start-up cost.
Another great move is to set up a website or a LinkedIn page to make it easy for people to learn about you.
Finally, listings of virtual assistant work and services are also on telecommuting jobs boards and freelance boards.
When the notion of a “side hustle” is mentioned, many people think of it as something someone else does and not them. Wrong. We all have the ability to think and do something that can earn us some money, even if it’s not something that will make us rich. You don’t have to be the guy who came up with the electric lightbulb (was it Edison or Swan? or someone else? – the battle rages on) because we all possess some kind of knowledge or skill that we can draw upon and right about now seems to be the time to draw! Get out your crayons please and a big sheet of paper.
If life was previously easy for you, congratulations and welcome to a new reality. If it was hard, well, you may even be more suited than many to deal with the current problems. Don’t think that because you were a little complacent that a short term rescue is coming tomorrow.
Maybe it will, but maybe it won’t. Let reality cultivate and help crash your money shortage with a just a little effort and creative thinking.
What can you do right now that uses your real life skills to earn money? Side gigs are fast becoming a wave so get on board and be a part of it! What is stopping you?