Author Topic: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!  (Read 24559 times)

Offline TxGal

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Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:19:56 PM »
Many of the ideas I think would be good in my area are things I don't have the skills/physical abilities to do. I'm trying to think outside the box.

I'm unemployed. My husband is disabled and unable to work.
I live in rural Texas in the middle of nowhere. It's more than an hour to any large town.
I'm computer savvy and can use many software programs, including create websites using Wordpress.
I consider that I'm very good with researching on the Internet.
I have a degree.
I can cook with healthy ingredients and have lots of knowledge about nutrition, but no certification in this area.
I can sew well.
I have a garden.
I have chickens. I can hatch some to sell.
I have cleaned a few homes to earn some cash.

I'm really struggling now financially and using my stash/savings to put food on the table.
I've cut every bill down to the minimum and can barely survive financially (unless I can make an extra few hundred dollars each month)--it's very tight!

There are few/no job openings in my area. I really want to find SOMETHING I can do other than low hourly wage. :(


Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 12:27:44 AM »
TexGal,

Hatching chickens is a start, and something that can be done concurrent with other projects.  While physical business may be limited to your area (like selling the chickens) having internet virtually allows you to turn out work from home.  It's really hard to advise someone as to what they should do as a business venture, without knowing their love or passion areas of interest, and if a business in their favorite subjects would be doable where they are.

One longer range plan might revolve around nutrition/cooking/thriftiness.  If you could write an ebook about cooking, planning, storing, low cost quality meals... how to feed a family simply and well on the cheap, and sell it in a place like Amazon for $2.99, I think that would work.  A blog that gave tidbits out for free to get exposure (blog can be concurrent to writing the book) and then a little viral marketing (like Heavy G did with 299 days) to boost it off.

There are many who can't cook, they might never have been taught, or never needed to before, but with times changing, they need something better (and less $) than Hungryman or Stouffers.

You would need a clever marketing angle, title and such, something that grabs people and pulls them in.  Spirko, king of marketing, might can help you with that once you map out a direction.

Cheap ebooks sell well, it's a lot of work up front, but later you can do other things as the books sell.  I know someone who writes little "prepper porn" survival stories (I'm even mentioned in one) and sells them for $1.99 ea.  He writes a new one every few weeks, and it nets him about $2,000-$2,500 a month now.  Seems like he makes just over $1 each.

~TG
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 12:33:39 AM by TexasGirl »

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 12:32:42 AM »
Thanks TG. I appreciate your feedback.

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 12:50:58 AM »
What is "prepper porn"? ???

TexGal,

Cheap ebooks sell well, it's a lot of work up front, but later you can do other things as the books sell.  I know someone who writes little "prepper porn" survival stories (I'm even mentioned in one) and sells them for $1.99 ea.  He writes a new one every few weeks, and it nets him about $2,000-$2,500 a month now.  Seems like he makes just over $1 each.

~TG

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 01:04:32 AM »
What is "prepper porn"? ???

They are fictional short stories, usually a collapse scenario where people try to get from point a to point b thru some sort of chaos, have certain cool things, or do cool things along the way.  It's a prepper/survivalist's version of a paperback romance novel.  Like "gun porn" it doesn't really have to do with human sex-type porn.

~TG

Offline mxitman

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 07:30:38 AM »
If you have a video camera, start making some DIY videos of stuff that you know, tips, tricks whatever you can put together doesn't really matter. If your good with wordpress start a blog and post your videos and start building an audience, use the SEO software to help build links and then post them on every forum you can, and also facebook etc...

Now I use youtube, so then after you get a few videos up, turn on the monetization...this puts the little ad's up on the bottom or for the first 15-20 secs of your videos, even if nobody clicks on them you still get paid, even more if you get clicks. I don't even have that high of a view rate, but people watch mine for longer which helps.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RicksDIY/videos?view=0&flow=grid

I only have around 30 videos up so far but I'm making $200-$250 a month right now on them, last year when I had 15 videos I was pulling in $70-120 a month. The trick of course is using the right keywords and search tools, but if your good with WP you can figure it out. I'm hoping I can just keep building it up over time, nothing is perfect but the extra $ sure helps.

BTW, a friend who helped me has a channel with over 200 videos on gun stuff, he makes anywhere from $900-1500 a month of his videos...it's crazy getting money deposited over and over...wonder why Jack doesn't turn this on with his videos.

If you have any Q's just email or pm me....

Rick



Offline David in MN

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 07:54:51 AM »
I lost my "job" a year and a half ago. I had spent 7 years in R&D in the food industry and by the time I left I was so disgusted by both my co-workers, conditions, and corporate America I couldn't go back. I started a small business doing woodwork, jewelry, and other art. It all came about after I gave a cutting board to a friend for his wedding and three other friends said they'd like one too.

Read Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. It will put you in the right frame of mind. I keep it on my ipod and listen monthly. Very inspiring.

I can make a good amount of change selling paracord bracelets. I'm pretty good and specialize in models with fishing line, sinkers, and hooks. For $5 of materials (mostly the clasp) I can sell them between $20-$30. The "survival" community is rife with opportunities like this. As a sewer, you could make winter hats that have pockets for hand warmers (good for hunters). You could build a heavy-duty bandolier stocked with survival gear for a hiker. Don't look past simple ideas like these. Any product with a permaculture function stacking effect is what business people call a "value add". You might be surprised how many you can come up with.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 08:21:08 AM »
You could also write non-fiction ebooks (typically fairly shorter than a standard novel and sell for $2-3) and offer them through Amazon on their Kindle format.  I'm working on one as possibly part of a series.  They tend to be more about pulling together readily available information or writing down information in a field where you have some experience than doing years of research.  Cookbooks for e-readers are also selling well right now, especially nutrition focused or "comfort food" types.

What is your degree in?  Is it something you are still interested in and would like to work with?

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 11:52:47 AM »
My neighbor couldn't continue his trade as a painter and part time tree planter (seasonal) after he fell off of a ladder.  He now makes jewelry specializing in a single mineral.  He travels a fair bit to shows where he sells his goods and he mines his own rocks from Australia where he goes once a year.  He mostly works from a home shop and makes a decent living.

Moral of the story is, what can you make from home, sell over the internet and occasional trade shows?

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 09:33:19 PM »
I have a Business degree. I can run a business; I just cannot seem to determine a business for myself.  :-\

You could also write non-fiction ebooks (typically fairly shorter than a standard novel and sell for $2-3) and offer them through Amazon on their Kindle format.  I'm working on one as possibly part of a series.  They tend to be more about pulling together readily available information or writing down information in a field where you have some experience than doing years of research.  Cookbooks for e-readers are also selling well right now, especially nutrition focused or "comfort food" types.

What is your degree in?  Is it something you are still interested in and would like to work with?

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 06:19:46 AM »
I have a Business degree. I can run a business; I just cannot seem to determine a business for myself.  :-\

I hear you.  I dropped out one year away from an accounting degree with a good GPA.  And I'm great with accounting, but terrible with handling money, which is why I let Jay deal with it.

Since you have the background, I would gather all of the ideas you come up with, realistically figure out how much each would potentially make divided by the number of hours you would need to put into a finished product, and that might make some decisions a little more clear.

For instance, I know people that love to knit and want to sell it, which is fine for a hobby, but a sweater might take 2 weeks of all day long knitting, then you can only sell it for $80 tops.  That's $1 an hour and not worth it.  On the other hand, you could write a short how-to ebook on something you already know, with a little research, finish it up in a few days and sell it for $2.99.  You get about $2 every time someone buys it, and you add a new one every week.  You don't have to create a new sweater every time you want to make a sale, you just create one time and continue to add to the pile of potential money makers.

I'm not saying something like that is simple or easy.  It depends, and doing a lot of marketing helps tremendously.  But it's less time and labor intensive than knitting a sweater.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 09:00:24 AM »
Totally good advice. I make more in selling quick projects than the stuff I really care about. I love selling Nakashima inspired round tables but.. Cut the tree, age the wood, level it, inlay butterflies, rout leg holes, mount legs, oil rub, dry... The actual profit is terrible. Cutting boards and wine stoppers are better.

Likewise, I could (and have) build a suit of armor but a $25 bracelet moves quicker.

I guess my point is that building the Taj Mahal is great but putting up a few townhomes might have a more consistent cash flow.

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2014, 07:09:00 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.

Feeling very frustrated today.

At this point....I'm super glad I HAVE a stash, because...I still have food to eat and haven't ran out of tp yet.

Maybe I can write about money-making ideas that can be done from a homestead? Not what I'm doing, but what other people are doing. haha


Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 07:26:18 PM »
Maybe I can write about money-making ideas that can be done from a homestead? Not what I'm doing, but what other people are doing. haha

Hey, I'm sure you're not the only one asking, so that's not a bad idea...

Offline Hootie

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 09:06:52 PM »
don't know how you would start... but I hear there is money in transcribing audio to text (legal transcripts, audio notes, podcast...)

I do it for free using a free tool (http://otranscribe.com/) to help start and stop the audio to make transcribing a little easier.

again, no idea how to start a business. Just an idea.

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2014, 09:10:16 PM »
Thanks for the cool link!

don't know how you would start... but I hear there is money in transcribing audio to text (legal transcripts, audio notes, podcast...)

I do it for free using a free tool (http://otranscribe.com/) to help start and stop the audio to make transcribing a little easier.

again, no idea how to start a business. Just an idea.

Offline HawthorneCA

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2014, 09:18:42 PM »
I had always planned on going back into the workforce full-time when my daughter went to college, but with my 89-year old mother in law now living with us, that plan hit a wall.  I do part-time work out of my home but there is no way to really increase that workload to full-time.  About six months ago, I signed up for TextBroker.  It barely pays minimum wage but it's been a great way to get my feet wet and start writing again.  I have a friend who can write quickly and bs her way through any subject matter - she usually clears about $500/month working during the morning.  Not me, I average $75-$100/month but I also am picky about what I'll write about.  If it's too much research, I pass. 

But what the TextBroker opportunity has done for me is to give me confidence in my ability to turn out a pretty decent creative article.  Because of TextBroker, I'm currently working on my own website (hope to have it completed by the end of March) in a specialty niche that my degree is in.  It's been a difficult and fun experience and I'm hoping to get it to create a small but steady income while I work on my next one!  (So many ideas, so little time!)

I would think you could do something similar with a homesteading theme.  It costs very little to get going and you could earn the $$ to pay for it with your TextBroker articles.


Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2014, 10:14:06 PM »

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2014, 05:42:53 AM »
You might want to consider propagation of permaculture specific plants.  They are, by nature, perennial, low input, production types of plantings.  It's very difficult to find specific types, and usually entails a long-ish wait for shipping.  Might not be your cup of tea, but the demand is high and supply is scarce.  You'll also benefit by having these plants on your property year round.

You might need to check your local laws to determine if you need a nursery license to sell them, but it seems like a solid supplemental income that more or less grows itself.  The proverbial "money tree".

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2014, 08:30:56 AM »
You might want to consider propagation of permaculture specific plants.  They are, by nature, perennial, low input, production types of plantings.  It's very difficult to find specific types, and usually entails a long-ish wait for shipping.  Might not be your cup of tea, but the demand is high and supply is scarce.  You'll also benefit by having these plants on your property year round.

Especially if your crystal ball can predict a home construction boom for your State in the future.  Timing is everything.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 03:14:03 PM »
For the short run, assuming you could get out, there are lots of elderly people in every community that need help around their homes. Whether it is cleaning, cooking healthy meals for them, running errands... it is really hard to find good people to help out. If you have the heart for something like this, you could check with your church, retirement homes in the area, adult center, word of mouth... put the word out that you would be willing and you could probably have more work than you want.

Pet sitting is another thing that is very tricky for people. Someone trustworthy to come and watch over pets is a valuable commodity.

Farmer's Markets??? Even if you don't have a fabulous garden, lots of vendors sell home-baked or home-canned foods and do pretty well... If you have the means to start plants, you could sell starter plants, too. Soon it will be prime gardening time and there will be a need for starter plants. Even selling baby chicks might go at such a place.

Since you are a good seamstress, how about making cute items that would sell there? Aprons are easy, quick and inexpensive to make... Make a sign offering your services for making curtains or other home-decorating items custom.

Just a few ideas...

Offline gopack84

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 11:52:46 AM »
Something that's in demand around here is tailoring, especially things like dance costumes, cheerleading outfits, prom dresses, etc. That business has picked up as more and more girls are buying dresses at consignment shops in the last couple of years. And lots of time they'll travel because the last thing a high school girl wants to buy is a dress worn by one of her classmates last year.

The Horror!!!

 It is somewhat seasonal though. But talking to the lady that altered my daughter's dress for a fall dance last November, she had more business than she could do and was kind of upset that she didn't have anybody she could really refer people to. Of course, we do live within 40 miles of Atlanta so even though we're not urban out here, there's a lot of population density relatively nearby.

Offline Moonvalleyprepper

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 01:16:18 PM »
This is a great thread! I've been starting down this path myself, and have discovered I have a lot to learn. Some resources that have been good for me so far have been, Five minutes with Jack, Gary Vanynerchuck, and Pat Flynn.

I find it interesting that Jack, Pat, and Gary all have the same base philosophy, "Follow your passion." You have to choose something that your interested and passionate about our it will be difficult to keep at it.

I just cannot seem to determine a business for myself.

What are you passionate about?

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 01:43:32 PM »
...thinking...   ::)

pasĀ·sionĀ·ate
adjective
1. showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief.
"passionate pleas for help"
synonyms:   intense, impassioned, ardent, fervent, vehement, heated, emotional, heartfelt, eager, excited, animated, adrenalized, spirited, energetic, fervid, frenzied, fiery, wild, consuming, violent; literaryperfervid
"a passionate entreaty"
very keen on, very enthusiastic about, addicted to;
crazy about, hooked on, nuts about, nutso for
"Elizabeth is passionate about sports"
excitable, emotional, fiery, volatile, mercurial, quick-tempered, high-strung, impulsive, temperamental
"a passionate woman"

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2014, 01:46:17 PM »
I know the other two, going to find out more about this guy: Gary Vanynerchuck

Offline Generations' Bounty

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2014, 02:55:38 PM »
TxGal...if you're undecided about what you want to try, you might consider throwing several seeds out and see what germinates (figuratively speaking) from all the ideas that have been mentioned. I'm in the process of a major career change at the moment from a traditional corporate role to full time permaculture. I'm trying to keep plenty of diversity in my initial offerings to see what gets traction. Then I'll adapt to those indicators.

Above all, keep your head up. My wife is also disabled and unable to work, and in my experience I'm much more effective when my attitude is in the right place. Sounds like you're doing we'll in this department, but don't forget how important it can be.

Best of luck!


Offline airborne1092

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2014, 04:45:14 PM »
My wife recently filled out an application for Enterprise rent a car. She got a call back and was asked to take an online skills test. She got  as far as that, but didn't get selected. They wanted to know your tech & CS skills, whether you have children at home, etc. The job was working from home helping customers with reservations. You had to have a decent computer (not a laptop on wifi), a reliable phone line (not a cell phone) and asked you to be able to work 6-8 hour days without interruption.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2014, 05:52:15 PM »
My wife recently filled out an application for Enterprise rent a car. She got a call back and was asked to take an online skills test. She got  as far as that, but didn't get selected. They wanted to know your tech & CS skills, whether you have children at home, etc. The job was working from home helping customers with reservations. You had to have a decent computer (not a laptop on wifi), a reliable phone line (not a cell phone) and asked you to be able to work 6-8 hour days without interruption.

I've heard of other legitimate national companies doing this as well, outsourcing their customer service calls to people working from home.  It works really well for some people.

Good first post, by the way - welcome!

Offline TxGal

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2014, 05:04:04 PM »
I've been making a little extra money tutoring high school students prepping for college entrance tests

Offline surfivor

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Re: Help me think Entrepreneurially, please!
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2014, 07:44:50 PM »
I can give you advice on ruby on rails web development, javascript, css, HTML.you can learn a lot from online tutorials