Anna wrote in with a common question: how to get started working on your own?
I hear these questions a lot, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Despite the variations, most of them have a common theme. Here’s how Anna put it in her message, which I’m sharing with her permission:
I was recently laid off after working in a middle management position for the past four years. The layoff was sad, but not completely unexpected. The company has been losing money, and while I’d like to think I was irreplaceable, I know the truth is that they simply had to eliminate some positions.
My job was tolerable—I didn’t love it and didn’t hate it. I’m not opposed to going back into the workplace, but the job search is difficult. Many people are looking for work in my field, and some of them are much more experienced than me. I was making a good salary and might have to take a lower one if I was actually able to find a new job.
Besides, what I really want to do is work for myself. I want to find a way to create some kind of small business that pays the bills. I’m not trying to get rich, but I do like the idea of establishing my own security. I don’t know where to start, however. There are lots of things I’m excited about, from writing to making crafts to helping people with their taxes (I know, that’s weird), but I have no clue how to “monetize” these things.
I have a college degree in Psychology. I don’t have any debt except for a student loan that is low-interest and can be deferred for a while. I’m a fast learner and can afford to spend a few months without income while I’m starting up, but not much longer. What should I do?
I’ll share my advice to Anna in a forthcoming post … but first I’m wondering, what would you suggest?
What are the first things she should do to begin creating more self-reliance? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.
Keep your advice as specific and helpful as possible, and remember: it’s not just Anna who wants to solve this for herself. LOTS of other people are thinking about the same things and looking for ideas.
Update: Thanks for the great input. We’ll announce the winner in a follow-up post within the next week.
*Free prize! Our biased judges will choose one answer from the comments and award a $50 gift certificate to UnconventionalGuides.com. All answers must be in by Wednesday at 9am PST.