As humans, I think we all possess some degree of entrepreneurial spirit, or at least curiosity. We love to create, discover, and learn new skills. Our drive to feel fulfilled is part of what makes us human, after all.
Now, whether you’re interested in the arts, science, or another field, I think this general concept about human nature holds true. Our creative spirit is reflected in the incredible accomplishments we see around us in everyday life.
Personally, I have always been interested in ways to make extra money. Specifically, making money online is also one of my passions, and it has lead me to become involved in a number of projects and businesses throughout my life. It has been a little over a year since I started DollarSanity and looking back, I’m immensely happy to have come this far.
I also think making money is certainly a topic that fascinates other people too.
There are thousands upon thousands of websites and forums that discuss ways to make money and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, If you search for the term ‘make money,’ you’ll end up with more than 100 million results on Google.
That is an incredible amount of results! Considering the widespread interest people have on this topic, I thought it would be fitting to share my own experience and journey throughout life, and to cover some of the most interesting side hustles and online businesses I have used to successfully create new income streams.
Whether you are a young entrepreneur who has just started their journey, or a seasoned veteran with several streams of passive income, I hope you find my personal experiences valuable, thought-provoking, and even inspirational.
Entrepreneurial Basics – Flipping to Make Extra Money:
Flipping is one of the oldest money making methods in the world. It is also one of the simplest ways to make money, and people have been successfully running ‘flipping’ businesses since the creation of money and the end of purely barter-based economics.
If you think about it, flipping is really at the core of any successful business. Businesses purchase merchandise from manufacturers, mark prices up to make a profit, and then sell to consumers. This basic form of arbitrage is how retail works.
People can also flip almost any product. House flipping is one common side hustle people may start, but there are thousands of other possible niches where a flipping business could begin and succeed. In fact, there are even flipping challenges and podcasts that cover the business model in detail.
As someone who has possessed a bit of an entrepreneurial drive since a young age, I was interested in making extra money and starting my own business. Naturally, I took to flipping products for my first entrepreneurial venture and I never looked back!
My First Money Making Venture – Selling Custom Candy Packages at School:
When I was 11, I decided to try my hand at making some extra money on the side at school. I knew that if I could find a product that would always be in demand by my fellow classmates, I might just be able to make some extra money.
I started out by purchasing a few bulk candy packages from my local supermarket, and then I brought them to school. I then looked for classmates who wanted to purchase candy from me, and I established a miniature client base. I initially started out by selling candy to my classmates at lunchtime, but things picked up when I started taking custom candy orders.
My classmates would place orders for specific candies they would want the next day, and I would head home, pack bags to match my orders, and bring them to school for my happy customers the very next day. When my business started to grow, I would sometimes have to bring an entire second backpack to school that was only filled with my custom candy bags.
Ultimately I couldn’t run my candy business consistently, but it allowed me to make $20-$30 on occasion and that was a considerable amount of money for an 11 year old. Plus, starting my candy business introduced me to a world of side hustling, flipping, and money making that I would continue to love and be involved with.
My Second Money Making Venture – Selling DVDs on eBay:
My interest in making extra money and general entrepreneurship followed me to college, and this is where I started my second side hustle and really made some money.
Earning additional income in college always made a difference. Between the cost of textbooks, school, and general living, times could definitely feel tough. Seeking to make some money on the side, I decided to start buying DVDs and flip them on eBay.
DVDs were in high demand at the time, and eBay was ripe with bids on the most popular films and series. There just so happened to be a DVD outlet store in my city that had a wide selection of DVDs available. I could buy high-quality DVDs in bulk, bring them back to my dorm room, and usually find interested buyers on eBay without much of a problem. Additionally, a DVD only cost me approximately $0.70, and people were buying them from eBay for around $7-$10. That’s one incredible profit margin for selling some DVDs on eBay!
You would be amazed at the demand people had for DVDs. Some months, I was able to break $1,000 in sales just from selling DVDs on eBay, and this was throughout my college years! It didn’t happen every single month, but selling DVDs (alongside my lucrative event management gigs) was my first major success at making extra money through a side hustle. It helped me with my finances throughout college, and it helped show me that you really can start a successful online business and make money.
Moving Forwards – My Amazon FBA Business:
I experimented with a lot of other money making projects and other entrepreneurial ideas throughout my life. From opening a bar, building my own house without a bank loan to making money by selling my stock videos online, I continued to experiment with developing new income streams and making extra money.
However, my biggest success by far came when I started my own Amazon FBA Business.
It was 2014 when I discovered Amazon FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon. Seeing as I have always been interested in ways to make money online, the Amazon FBA business model was extremely attractive to me. I wanted to start my own business, and I was willing to experiment and test until it worked.
I spent time reviewing the terms and policies for selling on Amazon, and you can also read my post on 21 things you should know about Amazon to understand why you need to know the rules of the game before you decide to play. I spent time researching the best products to sell on Amazon, and then I began purchasing merchandise from Alibaba to then flip on Amazon for generous profit margins.
My Amazon FBA business was able to make a profit rather quickly, but it did require a lot of testing. However, the testing did go immensely well, and of the 17 products I decided to test, 16 worked! Gradually, I started cracking the Amazon ranking algorithm, and some of my products are now ranked in the top 1,000 items for their categories.
Currently, sales are remaining strong and steady, with around 25 goods being shipped out every day. I’ve covered my journey of starting an Amazon Business in depth in previous posts, so I won’t go into immense depths with this post or cover the specifics.
Looking back however, I do find it funny to examine the similarities of my humble candy business, my DVD selling experience, and my Amazon ventures.
All 3 business ideas started with the same idea: find products that are in demand, and flip them to make a profit.
I might have been in distinctively different life stages during the onset of each of my flipping ventures, but the process never really changed too much. It was all a matter of doing some product/market research, picking a product, and just starting out.
I think that last part is especially important for any other entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business or side hustle.
Taking a risk and just starting is a step that many people can never get past. However, if you never take that initial step you won’t ever be able to succeed. If I could give a single piece of advice to other entrepreneurs, it would be to take that initial leap of faith (after some careful planning) and to remember the basics.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling candy to schoolkids, starting a side hustle with DVDs on eBay in your college dorm room, or launching a million-dollar Amazon FBA business. All successful businesses and online side hustles require the same fundamental skills, an understanding of how to market to consumers, and the ability to actually provide people with value.
At the end of the day, your determination, willpower, and drive can carry you a lot further than you ever might imagine!
If you want to start your own online business, do it. I have been able to start numerous online businesses and side hustles throughout my life just by finding products that are in demand and flipping them to make a profit. Visit thrift stores, yard sales, or clear out your attic, and find some discounted (or free) products that you can resell for a profit. You might have some winners and losers at the end of the day, but ultimately, the only way you can improve your business skills is through practice. If I can do it, you certainly can too. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish, and you may even earn some extra money on the side and start your own successful online business.