If you're trying to save up for a summer vacation or brand new TV, your first thought might be to cut down on spending. Although this isn't a bad strategy, you might want to consider finding capital in a different way, says Kendra Adachi, the founder of the Lazy Genius Collective, a site that breaks down intimidating topics for everyday readers. She hosts a podcast and wrote a book by the same name.
"For women, especially, when money is tight the response is to become more frugal rather than saying, 'I need to increase my earning potential,'" she says.
To do this, Adachi suggests trying to monetize a skill you already have.
For example, if you're good at preparing for tests, you might be able to sell study guides. If you excel at setting goals and accomplishing them, you could create an accountability service where others can check in with you about the progress they are making toward their own goals.
"We all have things that we do that feel so deeply natural to us that we assume everyone else knows how to do them," she says.
Capitalizing on a skill you already have is more cost-effective than learning a new one, since paying for classes can often eat up money and time.
If you're having trouble identifying a skill you could sell, ask yourself, "How do I bring practical help or practical joy to my life or relationships?" Adachi says.
If you can't think of any, ask around. Adachi came up with the idea for the Lazy Genius Collective after asking five friends what they thought she was uniquely good at. "All five of these people said I'm really good at distilling a bunch of complicated information into simple conclusions," she says.
Asking your friends for feedback can feel awkward but will likely be useful because "people see us differently than we see ourselves," she says.
Some strengths are easier to transform into a business than others, Adachi says: "Being a good listener is harder to monetize than knowing how to organize a closet."
But there are many non-traditional skills that people find valuable and would be willing to pay for.
For example, Cecilia Meis, a digital nomad and a writer, earns $600 per month in passive income by selling templates that can help other digital nomads track their budget, travel, freelance projects, and other goals.
"I'm fairly active on various online writer, editor, and digital nomad groups," she told Grow. "What began as a very human conversation about organizing, budgeting, and optimizing turned into a little venture."
Bernadette Joy, founder of Crush Your Money Goals, started selling resume writing and consulting services six years ago. In 2020, she has earned $3,000 "from just a few clients."
"I didn't really think people had a hard time writing resumes," she says. "Now I've been able to build courses and services around that."
Pinning down what you're good at outside the parameters of your day job can help you earn the extra money you need in order to reach your financial goals.
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