Image representing the cost of living increasing

With the cost of living staying stupidly high lately and there being yet another war firing up to give OPEC another excuse to keep oil prices up, a lot of us are scratching about looking for ways to get more money.

You can’t work a second job, otherwise you’d never see your kids.

You can’t get more pay at work because that’s not how employment works.

So you’re left with few options.


ou could sell off some of your excess rubbish on Facebook Marketplace (which I’ve been doing a bit of lately) or you can think a bit more deeply and look for something that you can do that won’t fry your brain too much but will still bring in some coin.

So what exactly is that?

What can you do that feels like it’s almost effortless?

I’m not talking about finding your life’s purpose here. That was last week.

This week I’m talking about something that you know how to do that others don’t know how to do.

Something that feels so simple and easy to you, that if you were to do it for someone else, or teach them how to do it, it wouldn’t suck all the energy out of you to do.

I have a few things I do that I just never struggled with.

Public speaking is one. I’ve just never had a problem with it. To me it makes a world of sense that I have something to say and the intelligence to back it up and that no one would have asked me to speak if I didn’t know how to.

And this is why I teach other people how to do public speaking.

I find it effortless to speak in front of a crowd so I find it equally easy to teach others how to do it.

It’s fun. It’s easy. And people pay me for it.

Another thing that I find quite effortless is copywriting. I’ve been doing it for a long time. And helping others to use better words is not something that stretches my brain too much. And it’s something that people will pay me for.

I even wrote a free little course to help people do it better.

More recently, I bundled the things I enjoy doing the most into a package for male founders that is designed to help them not be dickheads and present themselves in a way that better supports their startups and growing businesses.

For me, this stuff isn’t hard to do. And people pay me to do it.

Which leaves one big question.

How do you work out what your particular thing is?

The easiest way to answer this question is to look to the stuff that people at work ask for help with that you find really easy to do.

It might not be stuff that lights your fire and gets you passionate, but it also doesn’t burn all your energy as you’re doing it.

Here’s a few examples of what a few friends and clients of mine are doing on the side after we went looking for ways for them to make more money:

  • A photographer that now makes and sells simple websites
  • An executive admin that now teaches people how to use MS 365
  • A teacher who now gets paid to tutor
  • A comms officer who now writes tender responses

In all of these cases, these are things that each person found effortless to do, yet others had struggles with.

The trouble is that most of us, when we want to make more money, go looking for things that can make us the most money. And those things are usually things that are hard to do, or involve something illegal.

The reality is that you don’t want to work an extra 4 hours a day just to give yourself a little more pocket money. You want to work a few hours a week to top up your income while doing something that doesn’t wear you out.

So looking for something that you do almost without effort is a place to start.

And after you begin doing this for a while, something happens.

The point where your new thing does better than your old thing.

It sounds a little like a dream scenario.

You are working in a job that you tolerate because the benefits are good. But you’re doing a side gig that really lights you up.

At first, it’s a little here and there. Then one day you begin resenting your day job because it’s getting in the way of you being able to accept more work in your side gig. And it’s making you leave a lot of money on the table.

You’ve reached the tipping point.

Your new thing is more enjoyable than your old thing.

You’ve learned how to run a business.

You’ve run out of patience with your day job.

You’re just about to make the jump into going full time in your new business doing that thing that everyone seems to struggle with that you find easy.

That’s the danger of starting a new thing that you enjoy and that doesn’t stress you out. It makes you less tolerant of the crap that goes on in your job.

You get to say how much you’re paid.

You get to take lunch when you want.

You get to work the days you want.

You get to spend time with the kids.

And that’s the whole point.

Not all of us need to change the world or do work of great significance.

Sometimes all we need to do is the thing that lets us have lunch with our husband, go for a walk in the morning with our kids, and leave us with enough energy at night to make love like we used to do when we were young.

So what’s your thing?

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