Start an Online Store

You’ve heard the word…but what does it mean…exactly?

Drop-shipping is an e-commerce business model that allows you to sell a product directly to the consumer through your own online “Company store” without having to buy any inventory, or rent a storage / shipping facility. No financial  investment in inventory or storage = less financial risk.

No shipping to the customer = easier for you.  Your job is Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.

The beauty of drop-shipping is that you can carry a variety of items in your store because you don’t have to warehouse any of it. You can choose to carry as many or as few products as you want to manage. Once you decide what you want to sell, you can usually find a drop-ship supplier to supply it.

Here’s how it works:

  • The customer places and pays for an order through your online store
  • You forward the order and shipping details directly to your drop-ship supplier 
  • Your supplier packages and ships the order directly to the customer 
  • You pay the wholesale price to the supplier and the difference is your gross profit.  You can expect between 10-30% based on your chosen retail pricing strategy.

A drop-ship directory is a database of suppliers that are organized by niche where you can find products to sell. Companies like Worldwide Brands vet every company in their directory for legitimacy.

Because your business hinges on the quality of your drop-shipper, keep in mind that a successful partnership between you and your distributor is essential.

Before you choose any vendor, you should always place a test order to see…

  • Shipping time within 1-2 business days
  • Did the product arrive safely and undamaged?
  • The quality of their Customer Service

It’s also very important to ask if the vendor offers a real time inventory feed so you don’t sell sold out or backordered items.

Customer service and your online reputation can make or break your business, and you are staking the reputation of your online store by linking yourself to your drop-ship distributor.   If they are unreliable, it will reflect negatively on your Company. In the age of social media, news spreads lightning fast, so it is crucial that you do whatever you can to maintain a positive image for your online store.  Unfortunately, you will have very little control of product fulfillment – you can’t control when a customer will receive their product.

Want to start your own drop-shipping business? You can literally start for under $5 with a free open source shopping cart.

All you need is a website, free credit card processing – and you can start taking orders immediately.

For example:

  • Sign up for webhosting – $3.95/month
  • Install an open source shopping cart – Free
  • Install an SSL certificate – Most hosts will give you an SSL certificate for free to secure your website
  • Free credit card processing service – $0/month, 2-3% fee per transaction
  • Website template – $20-$50

Total = $3.95 to $53.95 (if you purchase a template)

An easier, but more expensive method is to utilize a site like Shopify with Oberlo extensions and a processor such as PayPal or Stripe which make automating your shop and inventory a breeze.  This option gives you more creative freedom if you are not a technical wizard. But, they will cost you approximately $50/mo. plus processing fees.

As with any business venture, there are always downsides.  Any expectation of a get rich quick option needs to be realistic…making money with a drop-ship store still requires time and attention to produce an income.  The most important thing is to research your options before opening your Store.

Have you heard of MTurk??

Are you Tech Savvy looking for some simple side projects utilizing your talents for money?  

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace that allows Individuals and Businesses to outsource jobs to people who can perform tasks virtually. The only requirement to complete tasks and collect payment from Requesters is a computer connected to the Internet and to be at least 18-years-old.

Tasks could include: 

  • simple data validation 
  • research 
  • survey participation
  • content moderation

MTurk harnesses the intelligence, skills, and insights from a global workforce to streamline business. This helps solve specific internal data processing problems that require human judgment and intelligence, such as moderating content or research. 

Traditionally, companies had to hire a large expensive workforce to complete these tasks.  Mturk is a way to break down a manual, time-consuming project into micro-tasks called HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) to be completed by workers over the Internet.

How it works:

  • search for HITs on the website
  • accept HITs that meet your knowledge criteria and schedule
  • complete HIT within specified time period
  • get paid once the completed HIT is approved by the Requester

Requesters have several options for ensuring their HITs are completed in a high-quality manner prior to payment:

  • auto-approving them when they receive two answers to the same HIT that match
  • manually approving completed HITs
  • Vet workers with qualification tests to validate skill levels. Workers on the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site will build statistics based on accuracy, timeliness and number of approved HITs to give Requesters further data when hiring.

When a Requester approves a task, MTurk transfers funds to the account of the Worker who completed the task. In the U.S., workers can transfer earnings to their Amazon Payments account or to their gift card balance. Outside of the U.S. funds can be transferred to gift cards, and in some cases, transfer earnings to bank accounts.

For technical types who want to earn money in their spare time, the MTurk web site solves the problem of finding work you can do wherever and whenever you want using the skills you already possess.  To make money by completing tasks with MTurk, visit

The legend behind “Mechanical Turk”

In 1769, Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen astonished Europe by building a mechanical chess-playing automaton that defeated nearly every opponent it faced. A life-sized wooden mannequin, adorned with a fur-trimmed robe and a turban, Kempelen’s “Turk” was seated behind a cabinet and toured Europe, confounding such brilliant challengers as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. To persuade skeptical audiences, Kempelen would slide open the cabinet’s doors to reveal the intricate set of gears, cogs and springs that powered his invention. He convinced them that he had built a machine that made decisions using artificial intelligence. What they did not know was the secret behind the Mechanical Turk: a chess master cleverly concealed inside. (Source: Amazon Mechanical Turk website)

Ready to start selling on eBay?

By now you probably know more than one person who swears they make a ton of money selling on eBay.  Have you considered looking into it, but feel overwhelmed? Surely there must be more to it than just listing something and watching the dollars roll in.  How, exactly, do I start? If this is brand new to you, be sure to start slowly, and most importantly – learn the rules before jumping in the deep end to make sure you stay within the law (state, federal AND eBay).  eBay doesn’t subscribe to the  “I didn’t know better” philosophy as an excuse when their rules are violated.

What are you planning to sell?  

Junk around your house will only take you so far, but is a great way to start and see which items sell better than others. (Also a great way to de-clutter your house!)

Start going through your home room-by-room and looking up items on existing eBay listings. You might be very surprised at the items that sell.  Some examples of items that have value on eBay but don’t seem like they would sell for much include:

  • kitchen items, dishwear, pots and pans, lids, etc.
  • empty glass bottles 
  • craft supplies 
  • jewelry and watches (even broken – people buy them for parts)
  • Anything new in a package, including toiletries, socks, etc.
  • Empty printer cartridges
  • School supplies
  • Clothing items

As a new buyer or seller, start with low ticket, smaller items.  You’re less likely to be scammed, and the learning curve for shipping is less expensive.  Avoid buying or selling high ticket items that could be easy to counterfeit – designer clothing, bags, autographed memorabilia and electronics.  Selling any counterfeit item can get you banned immediately. 

Take clear photos of each item prior to listing, using a plain white background. Make sure NOT to use other peoples photos or stock photos without written permission from the owners.  You may be banned if you violate copyright infringement laws.

Pricing for profit

Research before pricing.  eBay has its own obscure rules, and  things sell for what people are willing to pay vs. pricing something what you “think” it’s worth based on what you paid for it.  Research what eBay buyers have already paid for items similar to yours, then price items to sell, keeping in mind your time and shipping costs (and how badly you want to get rid of it!)

Start with a fixed price while you get the hang of things. Once you have established yourself in the marketplace, you might want to consider trying the Auction method.  It is riskier, but might be a quicker turn – this is why really knowing your market is so very important.

Decide up front if shipping is included: free shipping is a sales hook for some and not for others. Regardless, the cost of shipping is either included in the price or in addition to the sales price. Weigh each item and calculate those costs prior to listing.

Make your return policy fair and easy – because no doubt it will be tested. eBay wants buyers to feel confident purchasing on the site, so they guarantee that if an item isn’t as described or doesn’t arrive, the buyer will get a refund.  If you don’t subscribe to this theory, people won’t return to your site. Require that items be returned unused in the same packaging, and you can resell it!

Understand your Limits

eBay places selling limits on all new sellers, until you can establish a positive selling history, and limit your fraud exposure.  You can request higher selling limits once you have proven yourself.

Feedback Scores are a real thing

Your trading experience both as a buyer and seller determines your “score”. The higher your score, the more trusted and authentic you appear. It’s critical as you establish a positive history so that your feedback score is as high as possible in order to increase your sales.  A good way to do this in the beginning is by making multiple small purchase transactions – then rate your seller and ask for their feedback as well.

Making money on eBay  is a long term commitment, not a get rich quick scheme.  Building a name and reputation within the eBay community takes time.  But the most important aspect is learning the rules, and following them.  Ethics is priority #1.

There is SO MUCH MORE to the process, this is just a quick overview.  But history and a quick glance at the site tells us that eBay is alive and well – just figure out what works best for you!

Let your commute pay for itself

You hear daily now about how to make money online, right? Well what if you don’t think you are tech savvy enough to work online, or would prefer being out and about and meeting people while making extra bucks with your side gig?

Here are a few ideas for you “on the move” types:

Ride Share

If you have a reliable vehicle and know your way around town, there are openings for drivers in all the cities where ride sharing is permitted. Try Lyft or Uber (or both).

Package delivery

You could consider delivering packages for companies like AmazonFlex.  Make $18-$25/hour – Be your own boss, set your own schedule.

UPS hires part time and seasonal drivers. In addition, a whole slew of personal delivery companies have popped up that hire you to make deliveries with your own car:

  • Citizen Shipper
  • Juno/Roadie
  • LaserShip

Pick your own route – maybe even on your way to and from your day job!  You could potentially earn anywhere from $8-$50 for local drops and around $650 for long distance deliveries (maybe on that vacation road trip).

Deliver Food

The money making side of companies like Door Dash, Uber Eats, Postmates and EatStreet can give you some good beer and gas money during your down time.  Flexible and worth $10-$20/ hour is not a bad way to spend a couple of hours each day on your way home from the 9-5.


Rent Your Car

Now, let’s say you don’t want to deliver food, or people, or packages.  But, you have a car that is in good condition.  Why not make some cash while you are at work by renting it out. Companies like Turo and to make your vehicle work for you.

If you can fly a drone (you’ll need to be licensed) check out pilot opportunities at DroneBase.

Anyone who says there are no opportunities to work around your day job schedule is missing the boat!  Make that afternoon commute pay for itself!

Digital Information Products

Do you have a passion or expertise for something that you would love to share and make some money in the process?

Consider creating Digital Information Products that can be sold on FB, Shopify, Amazon, Udemy and multiple other locations – depending on your target audience.  Monetize your knowledge by helping others in your selected niche.

Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.  It will take research, marketing savvy and most importantly, should fulfill a need of your intended audience – providing value by solving a problem they currently have.  Your content should guide them to a solution.

If you scroll through Facebook, you see tons of DIY and How To videos.  All of these are popular because people love to learn tips and tricks to making their life better and easier.  Cooking videos with step by step video instructions turn everyday people into a chef.  Repurposing videos showing how to recycle junk into useful products make you feel like you are helping the planet while creating something new.  People aren’t just asking for information anymore, they want “hacks” and guidance to making their life better.

What niche can YOU fill? A great place to start is with your own interests. Try to match a profitable business with your passion.  Search online for thriving markets – there is a ready and willing market for what you want to sell. Humans follow trends and fads…so that’s likely where the money is, until the next trend comes along.

Doing your research should give you a good idea of the sales potential for your chosen topic.  Dog Obedience? Yoga? Nutrition? Pottery? Gardening?

What exactly Are Digital Information Products?

Now that you have determined your topic, you can produce any sort of digital piece you want, for as many platforms as your target market is at. Your offer could come in the form of a video, an ebook, audio recording, a webinar, or a monthly membership website. The content, whatever the format, should be useful – A how-to guide, strategies, or tips, provide something your customer NEEDS.

The best part is: they are inexpensive to create – using only your time and ideas. This means that if the product doesn’t take off, you aren’t out a large sum of money.  If creating the actual format worries you – Outsource!  Hire someone to white label the content for you, or buy pre- produced products that you can private label.

MARKETING your offer 

Of course you will want to get your offer in front of your target market, right?  So you can start with inexpensive FB ads, directed towards those people who have already expressed an interest in the type of product you are selling.  Entice them with a giveaway…a free gift in exchange for their email address.  Perhaps a condensed .pdf version of what you are selling. Whet their appetite to learn more, build their trust by offering more value in each message, and then up-sell using an email marketing campaign series.  Email marketing is a virtually free method to reach your market.

Get started 

  • Choose your topic and research, research, research. Become the expert.
  • Decide on your format and where you want to market
  • Make the magic happen: write your book, record your audio or make a video about your topic
  • Advertise and build your targeted email list – Go for the No
  • Sell, sell, sell!

If all of that sounds like too much to start with, you might consider becoming an affiliate for others who have already created their offers and are killing it! Check out the Passion to Paycheck offer from Jay Shetty to see how it’s done!

Lack of Motivation? Or something else…


It may not be that you lack motivation, but that you simply practice procrastination. Procrastination is defined as deliberately delaying or putting off something that requires your attention — even though you know that the outcome may cause negative consequences.  But in all honesty, you may be avoiding your task based upon some form of fear.

Most humans tend to gravitate to those things we find pleasurable and put off what we find painful in some way.

The trigger point of procrastination differs with every person. Often the cause of this problem might be due to anxiety – such as worrying that the outcome won’t be perfect, or even worse — flat out failure.

Ask yourself:  What is the worst that could happen?

Then: Take Action. Run toward your goals. Failure at some point is inevitable – but to get where you want you’ll have to face it head on.  Tell yourself that Thomas Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at developing the lightbulb.  And you can now thank him that you can see to read this

Why are you building someone else’s income stream?

Imagine if you will – a good paying corporate job, nice home, happy family, club sports and yearly vacations?  Now, have you considered what might happen if you got your walking papers tomorrow?

Today’s corporate working environment is much different than the long term, work for a company from graduation thru retirement and get a pension that our parents enjoyed:

  • Companies are regularly bought and sold, and workers are terminated. There is very little loyalty
  • “Contracts” are renegotiated on the regular – commissions or salaries are cut to bring company profits in line with changing market dynamics

That’s where the Side Hustle comes in.  If you spend time building your own multiple income streams, rather than depending on someone else’s business to take care of you, a pink slip won’t panic you.

Notice I said Income Streams. As in Plural.  The reason being – things change on a regular basis.  The affiliate commissions you get could dry up if the company goes belly up.  The leads you get from FB or IG can go away if FB decides to randomly suspend your account (hey, it happens!) The MLM you promote changes it’s terms and your commissions get cut.

If your entire business is built on someone else’s goodwill and they change the terms — you have no business!  Being dependent on someone else in your life and business takes control out of your hands and adds anxiety. 

The bottom line is — and let me quote my Grandmother, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” 

But How do I choose my Side Hustle?

As you can imagine, I belong to several online mastermind groups where we exchange ideas, teach and learn from others who are all looking for  and working in one or multiple side hustles.  They are amazing platforms to learn what to and what not to say.

The number one question usually posted by newbies in these groups is: How do I find a side Hustle?  The 2nd most popular question is: are MLM’s my only side Hustle option?  Well…the answer to the 2nd question is easy: NO.

The first question is much more difficult to identify — its a very personal choice.  In your world, you more than likely have limited time, so your side Hustle needs to make sense to your situation.  And hopefully, you can make it something you are interested in and will enjoy spending your side time on. How do you prioritize your limited time for maximum results?

5 questions to ask yourself when identifying what to choose:

  1. Are you passionate about your idea?
  2. Do you know where your first customers will come from and what type of revenue can you expect?
  3. How much time do you have to devote to it?
  4. How much time and money will it take to get started?
  5. Is the business something you can sell for a profit later on?

Make a pro/con list for each idea.  Compare them when making your choice. There are SO MANY options to consider.  Here is a list off the top of my head:

  • Affiliate Marketer
  • eBay flipper
  • MLM
  • Freelance on Fiverr or other sites
  • Online tutoring
  • Resume writing
  • Blogging (your own blog or contribute to others)
  • Shopify store (selling your own handicrafts or others)

This list is by no means complete, and your options are limited only by your own imagination — so get out your notepad and start brainstorming!

Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

The desire to achieve success is inherent in most every human being. But, successful people don’t just become that way. Happiness, wealth, a great career, are all the result of motivation, hustle and hard work.

Use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better, to get a little bit closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work.  But, a hunger for success means you have the power within you to achieve your goals if you apply that motivation consistently.

What you do consistently every day will turn into habits over time. Choose those that will lead you to success, like positive thinking, self discipline, utilizing your time well, and learning new things. In time, they will become automatic, not requiring thought, attention or effort. 

We are a sum total of our daily habits.  Spend time up front setting goals and breaking them down into manageable, bite sized steps: 

Define your dream.  What is your big picture?

Stay focused and disciplined. The art of getting sh*t done is huge.

Turn off your phone, email and TV.  Create a space conducive to focusing on your tasks.

Write down your goals for the month, week and day. Post them where you can see them.

Focus on your to-do list and get it done.  Cross off tasks as they are completed.  There is great satisfaction in watching your immediate progress to help you stay on track.

Treat your time like the valuable resource that it is.  Spend it on the things that add value to your life and lead you in the direction of your goals.

What is Passive Income?

What do you think of when I say the words “passive income”? For me, I like to think of it as making money while I sleep — or better yet, while I vacation.

Passive income is generally defined as a stream of income earned requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it or to grow it. Examples of passive income can include rental income and any business activities in which the earner does not materially participate.

If you want passive income for life, however, you have to get to the point where your assets are earning for you. But first, you’ll have to put in one of three things: time, money, work, or all three.

You can earn passive income whether you work a 9-5, own a business, are a blogger, or just have extra cash set aside to invest.

The seeds you plant today are the money will grow tomorrow.

Here are several ideas ranging from starting with no money to investing money to make more money:

Reverse passive income: cutting your ongoing monthly expenses And putting away the savings for a rainy day or an investment opportunity!

Rent or sell an existing asset: Renting out even a single room in your personal space, or equipment you own can be a great way to earn income passively on things you aren’t currently using.

Credit Card Rewards: Earn passively just from spending the money you already do, in the form of Cash back, gift cards, and travel awards.

Take advantage of sign-up bonuses for new cards — earning the equivalent of 20% — 40% cash back in travel or statement credit.

Do you write a blog, have a website or a YouTube channel?  Two words: advertising dollars.

Display ads like Google Adsense might be a great way way to earn a few passive dollars from your Blog or website traffic.

If you don’t want to clutter your site with ads, you might consider Non Display ads.  These allow advertisers to place retargeting scripts on your site, allowing companies to gather information and market to your audience on Facebook or other channels.

Utilize Google’s built-in monetization tools for YouTube accounts with 1,000 or more followers.  Sell the ad space in your uploaded videos.

Affiliatize your blog.  This is a passive income technique where you can sign up to promote certain products or services on your site, for which you will be paid a flat fee or a percentage of the amount of the sale.  Just by referring business their way, you can earn a percentage of each sale generated.

You can find affiliate offers by contacting vendors directly or on dedicated websites such as

Invest in CD’s: CDs are simple, straightforward, and a low risk way to earn interest.  If your goal is to make money while you sleep, there isn’t anything more passive than CDs. The longer the CD length, the higher the interest rate typically is. Your rate is locked in, regardless of how interest rates fluctuate during the length of your investment.

Dividend Investing: Buy shares in companies with a history of good dividends, and reinvest the dividends automatically back into more shares.

Buy cash-flowing assets: This is how you make money with money. These options include  dividend investing, business lending, real estate. These are great options — if you have money to invest!

There is no reason you CAN’T make some form of passive income, regardless of how much money you have to start. Start big, start small…just START.