Whenever I talk with people about the entrepreneurial lifestyle, I often hear them complain that they don’t have time to pursue their goals but they also can’t quit their jobs. It’s a cruel catch-22: you need time to start a business, but you need money to support yourself until your business is a success. You could quit your job to get all the free time you could want, but then you won’t have a source of income until your business starts making money. You could keep working at your current job for 40+ hours each week, but then your progress will be severely hindered by how little time you have.
So does that mean you’re forever stuck in the 9:00-to-5:00? Actually, no. Some of the savviest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met have figured out the secret—make money while you sleep. It sounds crazy, but there are a lot of ways that you can add supplemental income that don’t add significant working hours to your day. These might not let you quit your job yet, but they’ll help boost your savings so that you can invest more or build up the nest egg you need to take the dive into the entrepreneurial lifestyle full time.
WRITE AN E-BOOK
Are you an expert in your field? Write an e-book about making it in your industry or another related topic and sell it online. Amazon and Apple both have easy ways to create and format e-books, and they only take a small percentage of your sales revenue. You just need to take a little bit of time now to research and write your book. Then put it online, market it, and it’ll start selling.
Are you an expert in photography? Do you know quite a bit about coding? You can share your knowledge with others through websites like Udemy or Teachable. The best part about teaching online is that it requires little to no maintenance once you’ve launched your courses.
CREATE AN AFFILIATE MARKETING BLOG
One of the most popular ways to make passive income is by launching an affiliate marketing blog. Basically, you apply to be an affiliate for a given site, brand, or product, and then you’re given a special link or code that you share on your blog, website, and/or social media accounts. When people use your link and buy a product, you get a commission from the sale. Amazon and eBay both have affiliate programs, and you can find others online, as well, including ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing, and Avangate.
If you write an e-book and/or start a blog to sell affiliate marketing products, you can not only make some extra income, but you can also work on building your brand. Just select a topic field that relates to your business and choose products that you love. Then you’ll set yourself up as an expert and a thought leader, effectively building your personal brand while you make money on the side.
TRY PEER-TO-PEER LENDING
If you have some savings built up but you’re not quite ready to leave your job, you might want to try being a peer-to-peer lender. Investors on peer-to-peer sites typically get between five and nine percent in interest, and their loans are usually paid back within a short period of time, as well. So, if you want to do something better than putting the money you’ve saved in a low-interest savings account, this might be a good option. Plus, it literally takes no time beyond agreeing to lend to a borrower.
SELL PRODUCTS ONLINE
Selling products online is a great way to earn some passive income. eBay and Amazon are both good websites to sell products on. And if you’ve already sold all of that old junk sitting in your basement, you may want to consider drop shipping for companies – you sell the company’s products, and they take care of the rest – including shipping.
These are just three of the many ways you can make money without quitting your day job. They’re easy, fast, and they’re so simple that you might want to keep doing them even after your business is up and running. Try one or more of these out today and see how much you can increase your income while you build your business.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 28, 2016 and has since been updated with additional information.