7 things to do to make Money while Social Distancing

Posted on March 26, 2020

So, we are 10+ days into quarantine.

Yes, we are not alone. The fact is – ALL of us entrepreneurs, freelancers and the self employed will experience varying levels of difficulty due to the disruption on our day to day lifestyle.

Scrolling through social media I’ve seen lamentations and my colleagues openly wondering “wha we go do”?

I am here with several suggestions. Not knowing should not be your excuse because there IS a way once we look hard enough. Before I start, do note that for the following to work these activities must be done together.

1. Create Value

I am sure each of us have done this consciously or subconsciously before and that is what has kept us in business this long. For me, I’ve carved out a niche of services for anyone building a brand around a Carnival celebration. So now that all the Carnival’s have been cancelled for the foreseeable future it is time for me to reinvent what value I can create. I am not quite there yet, but this is ok. I am taking the time out to invite all to join me and let us create value together.

Creating Value does not require a special set of skills

Value can be created in more ways than meets the eye. Usually we automatically think of it in terms of our product offering. What new can we sell? What service can we provide? However, looking a bit more deeply it would be clear that innovation can happen with an existing product or service simply offered to different people, in a different place or in a different way. Maybe none of the above is changed but it is simply done faster!

2. Use your existing resources!

We all have a car and if we don’t I am sure we have a cellphone somewhere at home. Beyond this, we all may have existing things that can be used to generate income. Questions to ask include: Do you own a washer and dryer? Why not become a delivery laundry mart? Do you own a stove and like to cook? What existing resources do you have that you may not be capitalizing on? What if what you own is not tangible, such as an abundance of knowledge in a subject area? We can probably still offer a local ‘masters’ class. (I might actually develop this so if you are down let me know) I am sure we have the answers to our financial concerns right inside our house or our head.

3. Reach Out to companies

Not all businesses have folded due to social distancing. This has actually become a paradise to podcasters and live streamers. Locally the twitter-verse has a renewed popularity as hundreds flock to the platform as a means to pass the time.

Beyond these several businesses such as food delivery have opened up exponentially. Supermarkets have longer lines and many are innovating to include pre packaging of groceries for pick up.

Lines bending the corner on March 12th outside Pricesmart as hundreds of customers flocked to stock up on goods.
Upon the announcement of closures and drastic measures concerned consumers stocked up on toilet paper and other supplies.

All of these changes require support from people – like us. So you may think working at the nearest grocery store was not why you studied for so many years. The Ministry of Health has job listings here.

4. Lower Your Standards

Yes – lower them when it comes to what type of job you will take to make ends meet. We are in a time of crisis, let us not wait for it to catch up with us. Let us be proactive and make connections, find job opportunities and generate cash wherever we can. It is easier for an establishment to trust you to do a task along the lines of your degree program if that establishment has experienced your work ethic doing something else. Also, a smaller amount of money is much better than no money at all. Under usual circumstances it may devalue your abilities or reputation but all is fair in love and war. For the foreseeable future we are at war with COVID 19 and as such regular rules do not apply. Take the work where and when you can get it and keep the income flowing.

5. Work remotely

Did you know that there are over 60 websites within which you can leave your information and work remotely for someone else.? Simply google “work remotely” and you will see a plethora of options. I suggest upwork or fiverr for freelancers and flexjobs and remote ok for the self employed.

Everyone displaced by COVID 19 should sign up for at least 20 work remotely websites!

The more we sign up for the greater our chances. I expect this and a bit more from full time entrepreneurs such as myself. Anyone with full time or part time staff should consider how they can covert their business into a remote work environment and still be sustainable. I think of us entrepreneurs as eco systems in our own right. The absence of one of my events would automatically mean approximately 100 people without a one time paycheck and hundreds more with something missing. Multiply that by 8 events for the year multiplied by countless other cancelled things you would have a lot of talented people waiting for something to do. One of my colleagues lamented that he would build a stage in his backyard out of boredom. I laughed at his remark, but I am still thinking how can I utalize his skill so we all can work remotely. In a recent discussion my Mom told me that during the countrywide shutdown during the 1990 coup bakeries and many others introduced a delivery service. 30 years later bread vans still about with at least three in my neighborhood alone. Building a flexible business model that is effective today may be the innovation the world needs tomorrow.

6. Be open with your talents to your friends and family

Most of us may have a less than straightforward relationship with our family. Many of us may have friends we just connect with and ask personal questions, even worse, some of us are stuck at ‘wyd.’ Let us adjust the narrative and inject a bit more meaning in our conversations. Let us see how our skills or what we have can be used to benefit our friends and family. The only thing we may have is “time” in front a computer but one of your family members may need a virtual assistant. How would you know if you never ask? Today, this week, let us reach out to our extended family and friends. Not the ones we speak to daily but the ones who we know for a while but we still can’t pinpoint where they work or what they do. When we reach out, let us not ‘hard sell’ our services but rather show interest in their day to day life and offer our goods and services where we see it can add value. Heavily discount these or give it away for free for the first time. I guarantee that helping a friend or family member pro bono now has a better chance to yield us more money later than putting up what’s app statuses about event cancellations.

7. Stay active online

Now, more than ever , if we have no online presence we do not exist. Our presence in group is actually forbidden by law so what better time to upgrade each online platform we’re located. When last was your linkedIN updated? Did you discover tiktok yet?

@curtisroach

You ever be bored at the house bored?🔥🔥 ##checkthisout ##bored ##fyp ##foryou ##xycba ##rap ##viral

♬ Bored In The House – curtisroach
Now social media is not a one size fits all type of thing, so decide which platforms are best for you and come most natural for you to update. I feel as though I have been encouraging myself and my colleagues to do this through posting on @EEEmpire’s stories excerpts from their day or tips on how to do something. I still have a long way to go as my story highlights are due for an upgrade. This will take some effort but if we want to make money from a distance social media is the best platform to start.

Overall, the power is in our hands to create a future for ourself. Remember that freedom you felt when you decided your own schedule for the week? When you set your own hours and goals? Well good news, that freedom still exists. This crisis will certainly level the playing field for a lot of business as many of us will be starting over, revisiting our day to day operations creating new patterns. Whichever business survives now is probably going to thrive in better days! It is up to us to come out on top.


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