What do you think of when you hear the word “hustle?” Many people see hustling in a negative light. They think that a person who hustles is someone who is dishonest, fast-talking and conniving. What if I told you that the word hustle was first used in the 1800s to describe a person moving aggressively towards success? It defines a person who is clear about their goal to succeed and actively moving towards that goal! Is that you? Are you a hustler? Do you have a clear financial goal outlined that you are committed to achieving?  

The times have changed! Gone are the days where working for a company for 20 years is rewarded with a retirement and gold watch. Now companies will often “downsize” more seasoned employees to be able to hire two or three for the salary of that one. Social Security is a joke and even if it’s around when you are older, do you really want to live off $797 per month? I don’t think you can do very much traveling and enjoying retirement with that. There’s much to complain about, but complaining doesn’t change anything. It’s time for us to get passionate, educated and moving towards creating financial independence! 

Psalm 112- 1-3 tells us that the man who fears God and honors his commandments will be blessed with wealth and riches in his home. Why are so many Christians broke? I believe it’s because many believed riches would just happen – like fall out the sky. While I’m fully convinced that God can have someone walk up to me and give me a million dollars, I’m also convinced I can make my own million (and when the other person shows up, I’ll have 2 million)! 

Almost five years ago I decided I needed to become a hustler (remember that’s a person moving aggressively towards success). My husband has a good job and we live fairly well, but that wasn’t enough for me. I got passionate about leaving a legacy of wealth for my children. I want them to go to school without student loans and to help them purchase their first homes and invest in their business and our current income didn’t make that a reality! I wanted to be a millionaire overnight, but it doesn’t work that way. It takes a plan, a mind shift and ACTION to create wealth so I started with a goal that stretched me but didn’t overwhelm me! My goal was to make an additional $40,000 without having to work 9-5. I wasn’t sure where to start so I decided to try several different avenues to accomplish my goal. By the end of 12 months I had accomplished my goal! It wasn’t easy. I had to be willing to be committed to the outcome but flexible in my approach.

One thing I learned is “opportunity is everywhere.” The more I looked for opportunities to make money the more I found. Not every opportunity I found was for me, but I found enough things that I loved to do until I was able to accomplish my goals. Now over a year in the process I’m learning how to monetize my passion and get paid for doing what I love. I believe everyone can do it!

Even if your goal isn’t to be an entrepreneur, I encourage you to find additional streams of income because the last several years have proved trying for many people. When gas goes up so does everything else and most employers aren’t giving raises to match the speed of gas prices, but you still have options! 

Below I’ve listed 24 things you can do TODAY…every item on the list was actually tested (by my friends, clients or myself) so I know they work!

1.     Have a garage sale – I know a couple of people who paid their mortgage doing this – Most people have a bunch of stuff they don’t use. I bet you do too!

2.     Have a private sale, inviting people expressed appreciation for your fashion sense – I had a friend make $300 selling costume jewelry she wasn’t wearing – You can sell shoes, clothes, art, etc. This is an upscale garage sale!

3.     Babysit – you know at least one couple that would like to go out tonight without the kids! 

4.     Sell books on Amazon – Especially textbooks – I made $100 in less than 2 hours (check out www.amazon.com for more information)

5.     Sell your gently used items to a consignment store – One of my clients made $150 at one store selling items she was no longer wearing.

6.     Braid or Twist hair (this service is usually in high demand especially if you are GOOD!)

7.     Use your truck to help people move items or pick up items from a store

8.     Use your truck to haul off unwanted items

9.     Sell your cds/dvds – A lot of stores will purchase these items if they are in good condition

10. Sell cookies, cakes or cake pops or other desserts – People love sweets! Make sure you can bake. :-)

11. Sell plates, especially soul food – People love good food and a lot of us hate to cook. See note from #10

12. Prepare someone’s taxes (only if you are qualified)

13. Donate plasma (that would be LAST for me)

14. Provide rides for people who need to run errands (this could become a full time business – there is a great need for transportation for the elderly) Update: when I first wrote this blog in 2012, Uber hadn't hit the scene, but now we see this really works!

15. Do alterations for people – both tall and short people are always looking for a good tailor.

16. Design a t-shirt and sell it  - have your customers pre-order and pay. Prepaid orders will prevent you from spending money you don't have.

17. Clean homes

18. Organize closets and/other spaces

19. Sell your gold (make sure you shop around for the best price)

20. Make and sell gift baskets

21. Sell your old phones and electronics

22. Sell handmade items – scarves, quilts, jewelry

23. Be a personal trainer – works better if you are in shape

24. Tutor

I’m sure there are many more ways to make money. Maybe you can’t do all of these, but you can do at least 1! Doing one is a great start! The more you train yourself to look for opportunities to make money outside of a traditional 9-5, the more opportunities you will see. With the money you earn, you could pay off a debt, take a vacation or my favorite – use the money to invest in something that will make even more money. The purpose of this list is to help you see – you have options! You aren’t stuck! You don’t have to wait on your boss to give you a raise or the market to improve. You can improve your own economy, starting TODAY!

For more help building a wealth mindset, get your copy of The Black Woman's Guide To A Wealthy Mindset @ http://www.blackwomenbuildwealth.com/resources/black-womans-guide