Finance 201: The Million-Dollar Idea Factory (What’s Your Hustle)

I’ve revealed to you the secrets of wealth creation, one of which is create multiple streams of income. I know this is easier said than done. If you’re like most and me, you don’t know how to do this or you ask yourself what else do you know how to do. Let’s face it, we can’t all come up with the Snuggie®. Or can we? The Snuggie was created by someone who wanted the warmth of a blanket without having to expose their arms every time they wanted to change the channel or flip the page of a book. Boom! The million-dollar idea factory is right between your ears. What do you already know?

Black people, especially women, are no strangers to the concept of creating multiple streams of income. We just may not think of it that way. It’s widely referred to in slang terms as “your hustle”. While there is a negative connotation to the word “hustle”, hustling people out of their money, this is not the premise used in this context. It’s all about what are you going to do to make the ends meet. Your day job may not be paying all of the bills so you need to do some things on the side. This is creating multiple streams of income.

Now that we have the language lesson out of the way, let’s talk about how you do it. I go back to focus on what you already know. Think about what you do for your day job and ask yourself how you can benefit others. I would love for someone at FEMA to write a book on how to deal with FEMA when your house floods. When my house flooded in 2010 I would’ve given anything to know how to deal with a natural disaster effectively. Do you think I found a single book on how to walk me through something like that step-by-step? No. But how many people have survived a natural disaster or work for agencies that deal with crisis that have this knowledge? Hundreds of thousands. (Note to self, great book idea).

Sell your skills: Do you have great sewing skills? Do you work for a magazine? Do you have great attention to detail? There is a website,, where you can sell your expertise to people for $5 and up depending on the type of work they want done. There are other sites that are looking for virtual administrative assistants such as Fancy Hands. Are you a stay-at-home mom who left the workforce, there’s a site for you to hire out your skills on a part-time basis. is one such site. When I was laid off from my job in 2011, I did independent consulting for start-up medical device companies who needed my expertise in business and market development. If you can find it, there is a market for your skill set.

Network marketing: The fastest growing network marketing niche is health and wellness. Beachbody, LLC and Body by Vi™ Challenge from ViSalus are two very popular organizations. I would argue the most famous network marketing companies are Mary Kay and Avon. Network marketing is basically you selling the products to others but then turning those customers into sellers. You earn a commission on the products you sell as well as the products those in your network sell. There are network companies out there for jewelry, cosmetics, coffee (Organo Gold has become very popular), etc.

Write a book: one of the best ways to increase your wealth and help you achieve greater financial success is by writing a book. I’m in the process of writing a book and I have three more topics planned. They are all based on my experiences. One of the secrets to creating wealth is learning. I took two courses that taught me how to write a book and they provide coaching along the way.

Volunteer your skills: if you’re good at something like graphic design or social media marketing but don’t have a job doing it, you can volunteer your services to build a portfolio. Once you have a portfolio to show off you can start selling your skills. Don’t just build the portfolio, create the platform from which to showcase your work. You can buy a URL for $12, use a pre-made website template and post your work. Use social media for free advertising. As you volunteer for people ask them for testimonials and references.

Highlight your expertise: take all of the above and turn it into a strategy. Do you own a hair salon? Write a book about how you successfully started your own salon and sell consulting services to others who want to follow in your footsteps. Don’t own a salon yet but that’s your dream? Get creative. Learn how to do social media marketing and volunteer your time to a successful salon owner in exchange for coaching on starting a business.

Non-traditional sources of income: have you heard of secret shoppers? You can get paid for going to stores as a secret shopper. Companies hire people to provide feedback on their stores. The more experience you have the more jobs you can go on and higher pay. Set up an eBay store and help people sell stuff they don’t want. When the internet first “started” experts didn’t think people would use it for shopping, just research. They felt people would still go to brick and mortar stores. Those companies who weren’t ready to embrace change soon found themselves lagging behind the likes of Apple iTunes and URLs, or website addresses, are the new real estate. You can make money from buying and selling URLs (also known as domains).

You don’t have to quit your day job if you don’t want to, I didn’t. Poor people think “one or the other” rich people think “why not both”.


Real Talk | Real Things | Real Results


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