Whether you’re looking for income or just a way to follow your passion, these paths can get you started
Mark Nelson is one of them.
His custom-made saddles now start at $2,000 and take him about 40 hours or more to make. His primary clients are historic re-enactors and extreme cowboy competitors, who strive for the authentic costuming and saddles. He also builds custom western stock saddles fitted for an individual horse and his or her rider.
Nelson admits he’s not making a lot of money. His upfront material costs usually top $800 per saddle. While his business slowly ramps up, Nelson is logging in two-days a week as a caregiver at a nearby residential alcohol and drug addiction treatment center, earning $9.50 an hour.
Turning a hobby into paying work can ruin your passion for it, so you need to plan ahead and take it a step at a time. And if you need the income now, you might want to supplement your fledgling business with outside work initially, as Nelson has done.
There are plenty of great home-based jobs out there for you. Here are five popular ones to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on factors such as experience and where you live, are primarily derived from U.S. Department of Labor data.
Could you turn your craft hobby into a business? >>
Qualifications: It’s hard to set the bar here. In general, a sense of design and artistic bent will get you noticed. But the intangible skills of self-motivation and discipline, combined with a unique product and some sales chutzpah is what will help you succeed. You should have a handle on bookkeeping, or hire someone part time to help with record keeping. The IRS will want to know what you’re up to, especially if you are selling online via credit cards.
Are you a self-starter with top-level expertise? >>
Qualifications: Community colleges and nonprofit organizations are developing training and certification programs to help more people tackle this post. Nurses, social workers, medical professionals and insurance experts are in high demand for these positions. But if you’ve steered your own exasperating path through the medical system, you might be the perfect person to take on this role, but take the time to add the necessary skills to get certified. No licenses are required to practice, but there are several credentialing programs. Contact the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants, a professional group in Berkeley, Calif., and the non-profit Patient Advocate Foundation for more information.
Do you have a large social network and a lot of get up and go? >>