Build on the success of others by putting your own unique spin on a funny yoga video.
Attract a large enough YouTube following on and you can generate some serious ad revenue.
Certainly, not everything lends itself to humor.
But if you can find a way to bring some humor to your business/idea, you may be laughing all the way to the bank.
2) Make it hip
AirBnB is now advertising classes, tours, and other things to do when you travel.
That’s where I learned about “sky yoga.”
Part yoga, part dance, part cool social meetup, event production company, Bender, describes itself as an “urban playground for body and soul.”
The company produces yoga-dance events complete with DJs.
And they do it on warehouse rooftops and in other inspiring places in LA, Chicago, and coming soon — Melbourne.
The evening events seamlessly transition from yoga to a night of dancing and cocktails under the stars.
The Bender website says that they “work with a team of the most experienced and creative yoga teachers, DJs, designers, and other collaborators – each hand-picked for their specific voice and fit with our flavor.”
Sounds to me like they may be open to proposals for collaboration from other creative/healing types or people with access to creative urban settings.
Steal this idea
It’s hard to make certain businesses like bookkeeping or SEO consulting cool.
That said, I know a realtor who hosts an annual April 15th/IRS deadline happy hour for clients, building contractors, lenders, and others in her vast network.
Depending on what you want to do, look for ways to make it newsworthy by adding an element of hip to it!
3) Tap a new demographic
When you think of yoga enthusiasts you probably picture fit people in their 20s and 30s. Or at least adults.
That’s what Jamie Dix thought too until the early childhood educator and certified yoga instructor started using storytelling to get her students to experience different yoga positions.
Soon her colleagues were asking her to teach them how to do the same with their students.
As you think about your own gifts or interests (travel, creative writing, repairing things, sports, etc.) – ask yourself, what are the obvious and less obvious markets you can tap?
Don’t just think in terms of age, gender, race, and the like.
Consider too, groups who share a common experience or challenge…
Maybe grieving parents… teens aging out of foster care… people struggling with addiction… survivalists… rural singles…
Whether you feel personally called to serve a specific group — or you just see a market need — additional audiences mean additional income.
4) Tap a new species!
Third graders and seniors are one thing.
But who connects yoga and animals?
Miami-based yoga instructor Suzi Teitelman and the creator of Doga Dog did.
Her classes consist of a series of yoga poses that dog owners can incorporate with their pooch.
The dogs seem to lap up the light stretches, massage, and relaxed bonding time with their humans.
And their time-squeezed/guilt-ridden dog owners appreciate being able to get in some exercise while also spending time with their best friend.
Dogs aren’t the only four-legged creatures getting into the yoga act.
Yoga classes end with the traditional Hindu salutation “nameste” which in Hinduism means, “I bow to the divine in you.”
But if you’re showing people how to do yoga atop a horse, then make that “neighmaste.”
There are several books on equestrian yoga which emphasizes balance, building core strength, breathing, and mindfulness.
At the cleverly named Equine Om in Saint Augustine, Florida, yoga instructor and horsewoman Miranda Inabinett teaches classes to riders and trains other instructors in her method as well.
Finally, the vacationers at Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado near Steamboat Springs don’t do yoga while atop a horse.
Instead, they enjoy a popular girlfriend getaway that combines the fun of riding with a morning yoga class all wrapped around a luxury vacation.
If you haven’t acted on your own great idea because it feels too overwhelming to tackle on your own, take heart.
This unique vacation idea was born when a cowgirl from Montana who went to college on a rodeo scholarship (who knew?!) and a former social worker turned yoga and meditation instructor living in Florida were introduced by a mutual friend at a horse sanctuary in Hawaii.
They went out and found a ranch to partner with and have been riding strong ever since!
Steal this idea
Like to write?
Then take a page out of Brenda Bryan’s book Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi.
It’s just one of half a dozen books on the subject. Proof that writing pays.
Again, you don’t have to be engaged in a given activity to look for practitioners in need of a ghost writer for their own niche-specific book.
Or maybe you have an insider’s perspective on the horse world and think equine yoga could be the next big thing.
If you have marketing experience — or just a determination to learn — then partner with an equestrian yoga instructor to scale the training nationally or internationally.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to making money without a job-job, there are endless ways to take a single idea and build on it.
Just remember… changing course starts with a great idea – and the willingness to act on it.
Or, if you already have a new direction in mind, use this time to read a “how to” book on this new path.
Go to Amazon and search for “How to start a [fill in the blank] business.” You’ll be amazed at what you find!
Or check out courses with a proven track record on things like how to turn your photos into cash or how to get paid to travel.
5) Take a tax-deductible vacation
If your dream includes relocating, hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.
Plan ahead to do things like arrange informational interviews with local entrepreneurs or craftspeople or to otherwise gather research about things like local costs, vendors, groups, and opportunities.
Say you spend two out of seven days doing research, calling on future customers, or even collaborators.
As long as you make what the IRS* considers a “good faith effort” to make a future profit within three years, then you should be able to deduct that portion of your trip as a tax-deductible business expense. (Tip: Be sure to document how you use your time)
You don’t have to be contemplating a move to take a tax-deductible road trip.
If you want to cash in on the profitable romance writing genre then head to the annual Romance Writers of America conference happening this July in Orlando.
I was at the 2016 conference to deliver a keynote to 3,000 attendees.
Among other things, Josh started a communal dining experience where guests eat a gourmet dinner in a giant dumpster as a way to “highlight the untapped potential in often-overlooked foods and solve the world-wide problem of food waste.”
And this year you can get a front row seat as a celebrity Greek chef, a specialty produce supplier, and others pitch their business to industry experts.
Think of it as Shark Tank for the specialty food industry!
But instead of funding, they’re pitching for profitable promotional opportunities.
And speaking of funding — the cost to attend is anywhere from $99-$200 depending on your situation.
But Sorry — You Can’t Go
After I got totally pumped about the Summer Fancy Food Show it turns out it’s not open to the general public. What??!!!
The site states that because they are “a trade event designed to promote growth in commerce in the specialty food industry… [the] event is open to qualified buyers and industry professionals (18 years of age or older).”
Reading that I knew a lot of change seekers would be discouraged and give up.
And like I always say, information will set you free.
So I picked up the phone and called the organizers for more information.
I was right.
Turns out all you need to establish that you are a “qualified professional” is a business card (how hard can that be?!)…
Or a certificate from a culinary or wine school.
Or a pay stub that says you work in some food related job like a restaurant or a local cheese shop or on a local farm.
Or a link to your food/beverage related blog or Instagram account.
Or other evidence that you are even exploring the world of food and beverages.
If you’re not sure, post your situation on the in the comments below, and I’m happy to try to help you find a way.
My brother-in-law Eddie spent 30 years as a field technician for a major manufacturer of office equipment.
Then at age 58 the company laid him and most of their other long-time technicians off… only to later ask them to come back at minimum wage with no benefits.
So much for job security and loyalty.
He did his job well. But for Eddie, repairing office equipment was just that — a job.
His true passion was following sports – and especially football.
Eddie once told me his dream job would be to work for ESPN. He said he didn’t care if he was the guy who hauled equipment around – he just wanted to part of the game.
When I got an email from Michelle Hill I immediately thought of my brother-in-law.
Because Michelle is doing what sports lovers like my brother-law only dream about.
She found a way to make money hanging out with NFL players.
I first met Michelle in 2006 when she attended the Work at What You Love workshop in Ventura, California.
(This happens to be the same workshop Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady attended back in Massachusetts. If you missed my interview with Dyan and her spectacular photos from Antarctica, you can still get the replay here.)
Back then, Michelle was in the baking business.
In fact, I still have the business card for Michelle’s Cookie Kitchen.
But after a year-and-a half, Michelle realized she liked donating her cookies for various non-profit benefits a lot more than she liked selling them.
So, she closed the door on her budding baking business.
But unlike my brother-in-law who’s hardwired to be an employee, Michelle was determined to be her own boss.
Considering she’d been downsized three times in nine years, it’s easy to see why.
When the economy collapsed in 2008 Michelle found herself in the same boat as millions of other Americans — living off unemployment and tapping her 401k.
Broke but not broken, Michelle sold her possessions and moved to the other side of the country to start over.
Today Michelle’s life is very different.
For Michelle, the turn-around began when she signed up for a course on how to become a freelance copywriter. (Click here for my review.)
Writing sales copy is a skill anyone can learn – and you can make great money doing it.
I know because I’ve personally paid up to three thousand dollars for promotional copy for a single product.
But for Michelle, copywriting turned out to be more of a launch pad.
Today Michelle is a ghostwriter for a number of current and former National Football League players and others in the sports world who want to publish a book.
The “Strong Copy QB” as she dubs herself, counts Levar Fisher formerly with the Arizona Cardinals and Brandon Williams who played with the Baltimore Ravens among her impressive roster.
I wanted to know how Michelle went from having to borrow gas money to working alongside major league players.
What I quickly discovered is that like all success stories, Michelle’s journey offers valuable lessons for anyone seeking to change course.
That’s why I’ve asked Michelle to be my next guest on the NEW Big Dreams Small Steps Success Stories Series!
Now all you need to do is scream at your garden, “Grow, damn it!”
You can’t rush your dreams any more than you can rush a garden.
Some of the seeds you planted simply won’t take.
You can get discouraged about that if you want.
Or you can consider that those particular seeds weren’t meant to grow and then plant some different ones.
Other seeds seem to take forever to sprout and even longer to bloom.
Sometimes things happen so slowly you think nothing is happening at all.
During the first few years of my own business, I had days when I was so discouraged I wanted to “throw in the trowel.”
But I didn’t.
And neither should you because that’s usually the time when you wake up to find your first magnificent bloom.
The day you wake up and discover the life you dreamed of is the life you’re living.
So hang in there.
Patiently nurture those tender shoots and your field of dreams will grow.
6) Enjoy the Journey
As Osler observed, it’s the ongoing work of gardening that brings the joy.
You can’t just plant a garden and be done with it.
It’s like saying, “Well, I finished growing as a person now. What’s next?”
Rather, gardening is about coming up with ways to make the garden more interesting or fun or diverse.
It’s about redesigning the garden to come up with new ways to add value to all those it serves.
Mirabel Osler’s name comes up again and again in the world of gardening writers. So I decided to do a little digging myself.
As I read Stefanie Hargreaves review of Osler’s book, A Breath from Elsewhere, I could not help but think of its application to the process of changing course:
“Osler’s argument – to break the golden rules, follow your instincts, and create the garden that you desire… effectively [draws] the reader further down the path towards the garden as refuge – a place perfectly suited for ‘inspiration or freedom, for discovery or surrender.'”
Why Teaching Others May Be Your Fastest Path to Cash
Do you enjoy sharing knowledge with others?
If so, giving talks… leading workshops… or running retreats could be the quickest way to grow your small business – and your fastest path to cash.
People with interests as varied as fitness, image consulting, real estate, and career coaching are hearing the sound of opportunity knocking!
And now, so can you!
Opportunities in the Conference World
According to ConventionIndustry.org, each year 205 million people attend the 1.8 million conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate/business meetings.
And that’s just in the United States.
That’s good news because conferences are a great place to get your message in front of dozens or even hundreds of future clients or customers — without having to “sell.”
In the last few months I’ve spoken to large audiences at two conferences — Women in Trucking and Romance Writers of America.
Like all conferences, participants could choose from dozens of smaller breakout sessions.
And in most cases, the people leading them are there because they asked to be.
Since attendees decide which sessions to go to, the key is to propose a topic that will appeal to the broadest possible audience.
Did you write a book on prosperity?
Offer a session called, “How to Make Sure Your Kids Grow Up Rich” — which of course, really means educating their parents.
Are you a nutritionist or a personal trainer?
Do a talk for road warriors on how to eat healthy or stay fit on the road.
You’d be surprised at the kinds of conferences that will embrace your topic.
Just ask Beverly Farrow.
Beverly spent years earning her doctorate — only to discover that being a university professor was not fulfilling.
She could have fallen into the common trap of remaining in a job simply because she didn’t want to “waste the degree.”
Fortunately, Beverly looked instead for a way she could combine her love of teaching with her passion for helping others find a new career path of their own.
Last week, she led a workshop at a local non-profit conference in West Virginia called Strengthening Families and Children.
Even she was a little surprised at how well it went! I was not sure what kind of audience to expect (number of participants or background) because the conference was open to social service providers and families.
Anyway, I was blown away because my room was FULL!
It was a 90-minute session and the feedback was unbelievable– and I received a couple of invites for future engagements.
My title was. “Find Your Genius and Work in It.” Basically Valerie’s “Life First, Work Second approach to career planning from 30,000 feet.
AND I received my FIRST honorarium… which was a total surprise.
Beverly shared her big news on a private discussion forum for other graduates of my course on how to become a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach.
I mention this because this kind of sharing inspires others to take action.
And one great idea always leads to others!
Finding Opportunities in Unexpected Places
Coincidentally, Hillary Saffran of Alaska works in social services herself.
Like most people who are transitioning from having a boss to being their own boss, she’s actively building her coaching business on the side.
Responding to Beverly’s success Hillary writes:
Just this morning I came up with an idea for a workshop and am in the process of working out an arrangement for the workshop room.
With just a little knowledge about the business side of owning an RV park, Audrey could also offer workshops or webinars on the theme — How to Come Up With Additional Profit Centers for Your New RV Park.
The same partnering approach can be used for many niches.
For instance, our prosperity coach could give that same fiscal education for kids talk at libraries or other venues frequented by stay-at-home moms.
And our stylist could partner with clothing stores or malls to show shoppers how to build a fabulous wardrobe on a budget.
(To test my theory, I once asked a local mall manager whether his or other malls would be open to that kind of thing. His answer: “Absolutely!”)
But to really see how giving talks… or leading workshops… or running retreats… could be your fastest path to cash, I’m going to ask you the same question I asked Lourdes from Montreal.
Would You Rather Make $15 OR $20,000?
Lourdes will be joining Audrey as an incoming student for the upcoming Profiting from Your Passions® coach class.
And like Audrey, she’s looking at coaching as a way to supplement her retirement income.
Right now Lourdes is applying for jobs in Montreal to teach ESL at $15 an hour.
But her BIG plan is to spend winters in Quito, Ecuador.
She’s already visited several times including renting an apartment for three months. So she knows the area pretty well.
Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of opportunity knocking!
What if on her next trip to Quito she mapped out a workshop-retreat-tour for other retirees considering following her same path.
I happen to know a little about the subject, because a few years ago I ran a Relax, Renew, and Reinvent retreat in Ecuador.
We spent half of each day in workshop mode exploring ways participants could turn their interests into income. The rest of the time we were tourists.
Lourdes’ retreat would also include sessions on how her guests can create their own portable income streams.
But unlike my trip which was for career changers, Lourdes’ would target hers specifically for other retirees – very likely other women – who are considering wintering in Ecuador as well.
Just the kind of people who might be intimidated to explore a big city in another country on their own.
In addition to seeing the local sights, I’m picturing Lourdes introducing the group to various residential neighborhoods and walking them through the logistics of living in another country.
Things like the best places to buy groceries… how to get their mail… and do their banking, etc.
Lourdes could even offer very specific services — like helping her guests to find and secure seasonal housing for the following winter.
With my own retreat, participants covered their own airfare.
The per person cost for hotel, most meals, a van and driver, tour guide and a few other items was around $1,000.
Let’s say 10 people sign up for Lourdes’ 6-day, 7 night “Spend Your Winters in Warm and Fabulous Quito” workshop-retreat-tour.
And let’s say she charges a very reasonable $2,999 per person.
That means she’d earn a cool $29,999.
Minus $10,000 for expenses – and Lourdes’ profit is a cool $20,000!
For Lourdes to make that same amount of money teaching ESL at $15 an hour, she would need to log a whopping 2,000 hours – which translates into fifty 40-hour work weeks!
Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
If you enjoy teaching, informing, educating or otherwise awakening the joy in others… what are you waiting for!
Last Chance: Registration Ends Tomorrow
In As Little As 3 Months
You Can Train to Become a Licensed Profiting From Your Passions® Career Coach & Business Idea Generator…
And Launch Yourself Into a Whole New Career — and Life
(Even If You Have NO Prior Coaching Experience!)
Master a proven business idea generation and coaching system to help discover unique ways to turn interests into income
Quickly gain confidence in your ability to successfully work with paying clients or workshop attendees
Launch yourself into the perfect portable business so you can work where and when you like
Fortunately for Audrey, Lourdes and 18 others from the UK, US, and Canada, this year’s class includes a Mega-Bonus.
It’s an additional 5-hours of training on How to Design and Deliver Your Own Money Making Workshops and Retreats(a $799 value)
You’ll discover how to take the 7-step Profiting From Your Passion®formula and deliver it in the form of a 30-45 minute talk… a half or full-day class, or a multi-day workshop or fabulous destination retreat — even on a cruise!
Plus we just added another extremely high value bonus – your own professionally designed website. That way you can launch your new career — and life — fast!
And because you can start earning money is as little as 3 months — the course pays for itself.
Click here now to discover whether becoming a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® coach is right for you.
But hurry because registrations ends Tuesday, November 15th at midnight ET.
For the first time in the human experience, we have a chance to shape our work to suit the way we want to live instead of always living to fit in with our work… We would be mad to miss the chance. ~ Charles Handy
Another angle is recently retired men who hate sitting around doing nothing.
And having a fun side gig is just the solution!
Opportunity #13 Race or ethnicity
As you’ll see in your Paid to Brainstorm Factsheet, race is another demographic where we see an upward trend.
For instance, women of color are starting businesses at 3 to 5 times the rate of other groups.
And the highest rates of growth in entrepreneurship among Hispanics.
If you’re a person of color — or if you have a strong affinity with any racial or ethnic group – then it may make sense to niche in that community.
Even if you start out focusing more broadly you may discover that – just like a lot of women follow me or millennials tend to follow other millennials – other people of color may just naturally gravitate to you.
Or you may decide to be deliberate in reaching out specially to a specific community.
Like Maru Lozano from Los Angeles.
Maru has a real passion for entrepreneurship.
So one of the things she decided to do after graduating from Princeton was help Latino youth.
Both those who are college-bound as well as those who need someone to help them think outside the job box.
Here’s Maru talking about her experience in the course:
Opportunity #14 Helping young people
Every year my local TV station does a story on these poor high school kids on the hunt for a summer job.
They put in applications at the mall or the fast food places… but they just can’t find a job.
In the video I talked about various organizations who need people who know how to think outside the job box.
Here’s a few others…
Opportunity #23 Colleges and universities
Outside of Europe, the US, and Canada young people make up the majority of the population.
No wonder Sir Richard Branson and others are actively working to introduce college students and others to entrepreneurship.
Colleges and universities everywhere are the next big frontier for profiting from your career coaches.
Think about it –
You’ve got these tremendous shifts in the nature of work itself.
You’ve got more and more people working in the so-called gig economy and the sharing economy.
You’ve also got all these parents paying these crazy high tuitions pressuring colleges to make sure their kids graduate and find a good job.
Which means administrators at liberal arts colleges especially are scrambling to match their curriculum to the job market.
But what if instead of asking, how can we prepare our students to get a job, these same college administrators asked a different question…
Namely, how do we prepare our students to create a livelihood?
A livelihood could be a job-job.
But it could also be self-employment or some combination of a job and self-employment.
A livelihood could be being able to support yourself through your art or music or writing.
Or having multiple streams of income, like I do!
The point is, the very notion of creating a livelihood is so much more expansive than getting a job-job.
So not only would students be exposed to far more possibilities…
But the ability to come up with an income generating idea whenever they need one is a skill they’d have for the rest of their lives.
So for anyone who works at a college now – or anyone who wants to partner with colleges, there’s never been a better time to do it.
Opportunity #24 Alumni
You could also work with alumni too.
Every college or university has an alumni association whose mission it is to bring value resources to their members.
That could be running a webinar or setting up a table to offer free coaching advice at their next gathering.
Opportunity #25 Professors
And students aren’t the only ones searching for alternatives. I’ve spoken at over 80 colleges and universities and I can tell you from experience that even some faculty are interested as well.
Especially faculty who didn’t get tenure or who started out thinking they wanted to go the professor route and then changed their mind.
Coincidentally, Dr. Beverly Farrow from West Virginia used to be a university professor herself.
But recently she’s been tapped for another opportunity. You’ll hear all about that in a minute.
But first, check out this short video of Beverly and the other “Opportunity Analysts” featured in our next five opportunities.
Opportunity #26 People who’ve been in prison
If you think it’s hard for ex-pats to get a job in another country – it’s even harder for ex-cons to find employment in their own country.
That’s why you see the Texas department of corrections among other states training select groups of prisoners in entrepreneurship.
No wonder a local non-profit counseling center that helps state and federal parolees recently wrote Profiting From Your Passions® coach Beverly Farrow into a grant to lead workshops to help ex-cons start a small business.
Personally I’d much rather see someone come out of prison who knows how to sell T-shirts or ice cream than drugs.
Opportunity #27 Actors, film crew, and other creative types in between gigs
Susan Baker lives in LA.
She’s also spent years in the film industry.
So she knows from first-hand experience the need that actors, script writers, stage crew and others have for flexible income streams they can turn on between gigs.
Susan also knows a lot of people in and out of Hollywood are looking to escape the job world all together.
Opportunity #29 Niche with people in specific occupations
One of the other people you met in the video is attorney Kelly Monteiro Caesar.
Her niche is helping law students, other attorneys, and even judges who want to start a business. (If you saw Paid to Brainstorm Video #1, you saw the fun example of the judge who loved working with her hands!)
The legal profession isn’t the only one teaming with people who want to change course.
Did you know that a study found one in two doctors are burned out and have little interest in their work?
But remember what you learned in Paid to Brainstorm video #2…
Complaints equal opportunities!
Someone who seized on this opportunity is a physician named Akinniyi Osho, MD from England. But he’s also always had one business or another going on the side.
Today one of those businesses is being a Profiting From Your Passions® career coach.
Sometimes other doctors seek him out because they want to transition out of medicine altogether.
Others just want a business they can do on the side like he does.
So whether you work for the postal service… or in manufacturing… or in retail… or human resources… or sales… or in a-n-y job –
You can speak from personal experience about the frustrations of other people in your same job.
Opportunity #30 Stay-at-home moms
There are already millions of stay-at-home parents – mostly moms — who also want a home based business.
Add to that group, all the young parents who are still in their job-jobs but who’d l-o-v-e to find a way to afford to stay at home with their kids.
That’s why I wanted you to meet Jen Schultz (the last coach in the video) of CreativeIncomeDesign.com from British Columbia
Jen was already a successful life coach when she and her husband were expecting their first child.
That’s when she decided to run workshops for new or expecting mothers looking to work from home.
Still Just Scratching the Surface
There are of course many MORE ways to profit from your gift for thinking outside the job box.
Just this week I chatted with two different people who were considering studying with me.
Terry lives outside of New York City and spent decades in corporate marketing (a field he said had a high degree of burn out).
And Jennifer is a school teacher in Canada.
In about 5 minutes I found a way they can both make money.
Registration for Profiting From Your Passions® course closes next week.
The Early Bird Discount ends Saturday, November 5th.
I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...