During my high school days, I was a pretty decent golfer (about a 2-3 handicap, for you other golfers out there). I was asked by my local club professional if I would help him teach his junior golf clinics that summer. If you have specialized skill in any sport, there are definitely opportunities out there for teaching others the fundamentals (and getting paid).
Small crowdsourcing, online, and real-world tasks, sometimes called micro jobs, have become an increasingly popular way to pick up extra cash. Short-task websites offer a way for buyers and sellers of services to connect. These gigs generally don't take much effort and, as a result, don't usually pay much. However, if your goal is to earn a few extra dollars, then micro jobs may be just what you need.
The Focus Room (693 Fifth Ave at 54th St; 212-935-6820, focusroom.com) is a market-research company that provides companies like the MTA, L'Oreal, HBO and major banks with feedback from people like you. Well, maybe not exactly like you. "Clients set the criteria—they may want people in New York who read travel magazines," says company president Ira Weinstein. Register through the website, then if your demographic info and preferences match what a client is looking for, you'll be contacted to participate, earning between $85 and $500 each time. Clients most often want nurses, doctors, travelers and prestige-product fans.
Be proactive. Remember Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." Make plans, complete with as many calculations as possible, then anticipate everything that can go wrong. Then make contingency or backup plans for each scenario. Don't leave anything to luck. If you're writing a business plan, for example, do your best to estimate when you'll break even, then multiply that time frame by three to get a more realistic date; and after you've identified all the costs, add 20% to that for costs that will come up that you didn't anticipate. Your best defense against Murphy's law is to assume the worst, and brace yourself. An appropriate amount of insurance may be something worth considering. Don't forget the advice of Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who made several incredible breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease: "Luck favors the prepared mind."
Become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of services for their clients, all of which can be completed online. Depending on the day, they may open and reply to emails, schedule online work or blog posts, write mock-up letters and proposals, or perform data entry. You can look for virtual assistant jobs on sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
I’m a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. To give you an idea of what is possible with blogging, DollarSprout.com is part of a group of blogs that routinely brings in over $100,000 a month in revenue. While it takes time to build your blog up to that income level, you can get the initial set up done in under 30 minutes (no experience needed).