When you walk into almost any coffee shop these days, what do you see? Instead of grabbing coffee as they run off to work, more and more people are doing their work at the coffee shop. And that work is taking on a lot of new looks, as well. You’ll see writers and designers working on their laptops, Uber and Lyft drivers taking a break while they wait on fares, people meeting to discuss new business opportunities, and much more.

All of these are examples of what many call a sharing economy. As more and more people shift their priorities from owning commodities to gaining independence, more opportunities arise for making money and changing the future of work. The sharing economy is really not hard at all to join. Just follow a few simple tips, and you’ll be on your way.

KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER

Believe it or not, your personal talents, abilities, and/or assets may be in high demand. Are you a talented writer or artist? Do you have a knack for organization? Do you know where to get the best deals? Do you have a beautiful house or apartment in an attractive area? Is your driving record clean, and do you have a car that’s less than 10 years old?

These questions might seem random, but they all represent things that can make you significant amounts of money on a regular basis. From freelance work that uses your personal talents to driving for a ride-sharing company and everything in between, there’s a place for everyone in the sharing economy. You just need to evaluate what you have to offer so that you can find your place.

START SMALL TO OVERCOME FEAR

If you’re like a lot of people today, you’re probably at least a bit apprehensive about quitting your job to join the sharing economy full time. That’s okay! You don’t have to dive in head first. In fact, a lot of people start participating in the sharing economy with a part-time gig or two. You might try driving for Uber or Lyft on the weekends or evenings. You might post a few pieces of jewelry you made on Etsy. You might do a few tasks on TaskRabbit.

Using these part-time gigs to add some supplemental income, you can start saving money while you see how simple it is to work in the sharing economy. As you start to see that this is a viable opportunity, and as you gain experience with different mobile apps and platforms, you’ll realize that you have nothing to worry about, and you’ll be able to take the plunge.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES

While almost everyone’s aware of the big sites and mobile apps like Uber and Airbnb, there are other ways to join the sharing economy that you may not be aware of. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find a lot of sharing economy apps and opportunities, including but not limited to:

Yerdle – Have unused stuff taking up room in your house? Post it on Yerdle. Looking for something new but don’t want to spend a lot? Search for it on Yerdle.

JustPark – Looking for a reasonably priced parking space? Have an extra space at your house? JustPark is a great sharing app where you can pay a reasonable rate to park or get paid to let people park in one of your spots.

DogVacay – This site connects pet owners with pet sitters in their area.

And these are just a few of the many sites and apps available to help you join the movement. Follow these tips and become a part of the sharing economy today!

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