If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re in the top 30% of the wealthiest people in the world. Most Americans, Europeans and Australians like me are incredibly lucky. Sure, many (most?) of us live off our paycheque each week and don’t have access to a big bank account with all the funding we need, but we live good lives and spend money on plenty of things that we can cut back on, as essential as they might seem at first.
Your average family or single 20 year old can quite easily cut back by eating in every night, holding back on saving for that little holiday, buying new music off iTunes or by disconnecting Foxtel. In a side project economy we’re lucky enough to be able to cut back on something that lets us invest in a side project that gives us a shot at following our dreams and obtaining financial freedom.
It’s an opportunity not afforded to enough of us, yet the side project economy is growing by the day.
The side project economy lets us:
- Learn to code on Treehouse for $20
- Buy materials for our Etsy projects off alibaba for a tenth of the cost of the store in your local shopping centre
- Make our own eBooks using standard computer software
- Start up your own website for $20 on Wordpreess, complete with a free theme that looks better than what $5,000 would have gotten you in 2009
- Listen to interviews with successful people in your chosen side project market for free on YouTube
- Apply for a credit card and buy a few things that we need to get started
- Reach out for free to learn and network with people willing to lend a hand or tip on Twitter
- Invest the $500 we managed to save over a few months in contracting someone on freelancer.com to make a basic version of your tech idea in order to see if it’s attracting any interest
- Make a $20 site, write good content, attract an audience, set up Google AdSense and sell the site in Flippa for $1,000
- Take annual leave to dedicate a bit of time to launch or head to the markets, sell and test the waters
- Get a cheap iPod Touch off eBay and bum free wi-if from Maccas
- Get lessons worth tens of thousands of dollars from Seth Godin on SkillShare for $37
- Accept payments from anyone around the world via Paypal
If we live within our means, we’ve all got the opportunity to try side projects and increase our wealth and knowledge. Maybe nothing will come of it and maybe you’ll blow your dreams wide open. We live in an economy where we can at least try.
EDIT: If this post resonated with you, check out Chris Guillebeau‘s best selling book The $100 Startup. Also worth checking out Melbourne startup Side Racket – great place to list your side project or join another.