I got this amazing comment on the blog yesterday and just had to share it with ya… Not only is it chalk full of lessons and ideas, but it’s freakin’ hilarious and gives me a case of the jellies* every time I read it, haha… Side Hustle Nation represent!
WhadUP, J Money! Lil Vee from Charlottesville, VA here. Love, LOVE this and your entire challenge series. Wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to go on a serious challenge of my own. I am calling it the $10K challenge and have enlisted the help of my husband, friends and colleagues to meet this goal.
I started September 15th after reading your blog. The idea is that, instead of being a spend-machine, I will sock away ten grand by getting rid of crap and doing side gigs from your Side Hustle Series – and I will hit my savings goal by Christmas.
A bit ambitious, right? Well, pop-POP, J Money – Lil Vee is up $4100!!! The biggest chunk of my mad cash came through selling used books. I used bookscouter.com to find who would give me the most cash for my books, went to the sites to get a pre-paid USPS shipping label, sent off the books and *poof* they send a check.
I’ve sold designer clothes, shoes and handbags (ebay is my friend), made some mad cash secret shopping, and have started selling other crap at a local auction house. (The auction house is surprisingly lucrative since folks are on the prowl for holiday deals.)
But TODAY, J. Money – TODAY I made the proudest addition to my $10K challenge collection by selling my junk mail. You heard me, brother. Yesterday, I got a coupon from Tommy Bahama in the mail for $50 off a $100 holiday purchase. Worthless to me… (I bought a gift for my cousin a few years back and have been getting junk mail from them ever since.)
So, I decided to pimp it out on ebay with a starting bid of 99 cents. And BOOYAH, BABY – $14.51 for my junk mail: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141460508129?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1561.l2649
Since I only have two months to go, I have gone into high gear and everything must go! My colleagues in the super-cube have been tracking my progress with me and this challenge has inspired them to purge for the holidays rather than spend. We are sharing new ideas every day and having a blast. Brother J., your challenge has brought joy to our work.
I look forward to reading more about your progress and wish you the best – although I wish you would just give up on Craigslist already… it’s for losers. You’ll never make any money there.
Did y’all count all the hustles she’s got going on?
I counted a total of 6:
- Selling used books
- Selling designer clothes, shoes and handbags (this leads me to believe you’re a girl?)
- Secret Shopping
- Selling crap at local auction houses
- Selling junk mail!
- Craigslist hatin’ ;)
[The links up there go directly to our side hustle articles VEE is actively workin’]
That’s the biggest takeaway with this letter: TAKING ACTION. How many people do you know who talk a mean talk when it comes to ideas or making money, but then just sit there on their asses and do squat? Or worse, bring your ideas down with 1,001 ways it’ll never work out?
Well not Lil VEE and crew up in her “super-cube” haha… She’s amassed over $4,000 in a little over a month and a half! And she still has almost two full months left until Christmas to keep racking them dollars up too – that’s crazy. And incredibly smart on surrounding herself with a positive community too. It’s all about ridding yourself of the toxic people in life (like the downers I just mentioned above) and replacing them with lovers and supporters. It was one of the ways my friend Mario increased his net worth by $100,000 the past two years – by sticking with the right crowd!
I also love that VEE came up with a new hustle of her own: The selling of spam mail! Brilliant!
I may be slow to the game, but I’ve actually never seen this done before. And now I’m kicking myself for literally trashing away a good 5 coupons just this week! I can’t believe this works!!
I was originally going to ask her to write up a detailed Side Hustle post on this for us, but I think it’s pretty self-explanatory:
- Grab your junk mail from the mailbox
- Pluck out all coupons
- List them on eBay, or, God forbid Craigslist (which works perfectly well, thank you very much ;))
Then, whammo! You can get the proudest additions to your cash pile too, haha.. And this would be the only time when you actually WANT to receive junk mail going forward… In fact, if you really wanted to put this in overdrive you could even go out of your way to sign up to every single store and coupon site out there until you’re just bombarded left and right where you’d need an entire assembly line going just to push it all online and get that $$ into your pockets, haha… It could be a real production! Or at the very least, an interesting experiment?
Let’s talk about the power of having a *goal* too
It’s one thing to say “Oh, I’ll try and make some money this month doing this or that” but an entirely different one by not only stating a solid number, but also attaching a deadline to it. Nothing gets done without something to shoot for. Even if VEE “only” ends up with $5,000 at the end – it’s still $5,000 more than she probably would have just poking around without any real purpose.
There’s two tricks with making extra money:
- Figuring out how to actually get the money
- Being motivated to do so.
The first part we all generally know how to do as we’re not idiots, but just like with losing weight or stopping smoking or eating healthier, etc, without any real motivation or purpose behind it we rarely accomplish our goals. In fact, they’re not even real goals until you attach a plan and a deadline to them anyways. We all want more money in our lives, but what’s the driving force to actually making it happen? Why do we want money? To survive? To buy stuff? To retire early? You have to really lock on and focus on this answer to keep that hustling going. And a goal of $10,000 by Christmas is one hell of a specific mission.
(Though interestingly enough we actually don’t know the entire motivation behind VEE’s plan other than “to purge for the holidays rather than spend” and to have a little fun with her co-workers. So it’s safe to say excitement and getting wins under your belt can push you off to a great start as well. Especially if the time period for a goal is relatively short (it’s not like she’s giving herself 10 years to hit $10,000). Pray tell, what will you be doing with this $10K, Lil VEE?)
And notice she also *told people* about her goal
She specifically enlisted “the help of her husband, friends and colleagues” which alone can produce amazing results ‘cuz once it’s “out there” you have this extra desire to go and make it happen. Who wants to fail after just blabbering about something to all their friends? So your motivation gets super charged even more. And if you tell kick-ass people like VEE is obviously doing, it’ll help generate even more ways to reach your goal too – just like I’m sure her junk mail idea came out of. You might even inspire them to join you!
All this to say it’s possible for any of us to make more money if we really set our hearts to it. The more specific you are and surround yourself with supportive people, the quicker you’ll reach that finish line.
You can check out 50+ other interesting ways to make money here. And please share some of your own down in the comments as well! I’m always on the hunt for more creative ways to bring home that bacon, especially as Thing #1 and Thing #2 continue to devour my wallet…
Thanks for dropping by, VEE. Pop-Pop, baby!
UPDATE: Did Lil’ Vee hit her $10,000?? Click here to find out (and everything NEW she learned too!)
*Jellies = Jealousy in 16 y/o girl talk… and, apparently, in 34 y/o guy talk too.
[Photo by dno1967b]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!