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Self-employment Opportunities & Skills Development



Make Money from your Creative Talents

Many people today need to find a sideline occupation to supplement their income. It’s worth examining how you can explore your creativity to generate revenue. Creative people with a passion to pursue their talents create passionate, successful businesses; assess your interests, hobbies and quest for knowledge to start-up a viable business.

  • Writer

Writing articles can earn you an excellent income, although it is essential that you have a good command of the language, and know beforehand what topics editor’s want. Take a look at the hundreds of magazines on display at your local magazine store, covering just about every conceivable subject from crafts to auto mechanics. And there are hundreds more that your local store just do not have room to display. Start by listing every subject you can think of that interest you. Say you’re an insurance agent. What about writing a short article (750 to 1,000 words) on the basics of life insurance? If backyard container gardening is a hobby, you could write about how you decide which herbs and vegetables to grow each spring. Check out which magazines correspond with your interests. Choose subjects that you know best for your first few articles. Draft an article that copies the style and approach of the particular magazine(s) that you are targeting. Draft a concise cover letter that explains your background and interest in the subject, and ask whether they would be interested in publishing the article. Send a copy of the cover letter and article to all of the magazine(s) you are targeting.

Contact Theresa ( to order self-study tutorials: “Introduction to Creative Writing”, “Introduction to Business Writing”, “Proofreading & Editing” and “Getting Published”; editing and Web design.

  • Musician

You have to know what is happening in the popular music scene if you want to make money in this industry (assuming you already know how to play an instrument, sing, read music or have a talent for songwriting). Avenues to explore include getting a recording contract, songwriting, teaching, and gigging. There are a lot more inventive ways to earn money; for example, every music student needs a music teacher. Every radio station needs royalty free production music. Many businesses need an ad jingle. Every club needs a band. And all of the above need talented musicians in supporting roles to make it possible. What about creating ambient music in restaurants, elevators, doctors offices, music on hold for telephones, advertising jingles, local theater and musicals, movie scores, corporate and training or marketing videos? Plan to spend some time learning all there is to know about your chosen path. There are many online learning resources for the musician. Remember, you’ll get as much money out of your music as the effort you put into it. Try some online songwriting classes; enroll for one-on-one mentoring, or read books on the topic of interest.

  • Artist

Being an artist can be very profitable if you know where to find clients. Potential outlets for your art include (a) Interior Decorators: Contact all of the interior decorators in your local and surrounding areas; inform them that you are available to create custom pieces for their clients. Offer prices comparable to other available art in your area. If you are capable of producing murals and sculpture make that known to each of them as well. (b) Furniture Stores: Offer to create artworks that compliment their most popular furniture groupings. Consider offering pieces on a consignment basis, creating a situation that is mutually beneficial for you and the store owner/manager. Many real estate agents, builders and property developers stage a residential home or vacant showroom to attract potential buyers. In these situations, the show unit is beautifully decorated with fine art and furniture. Offer to provide art pieces in each of their units that can be purchased with a client’s new home/condo. Contractors are often asked by new homeowners to create murals; offer to undertake the job on their behalf. Approach independently-owned retail stores to exhibit your work; even stores (diner, cafe or restaurant) that do not focus on home decor would benefit from displaying your art to adorn their establishment. Other avenues to market your art include flea markets, and art galleries. You could also generate an income teaching art.

  • Crafts & Hobbies

Take your love for creating items and begin showcasing them on the Internet through dedicated Web site, online video, and social media. Read More.

  • Consulting & Coaching

Do you have knowledge and experience in a particular field? Consider offering your expertise for a fee. People need coaching in different subjects to facilitate their own thought processes. Additionally, you could condense your knowledge into a book, eBook, video series or audio guide. 

Contact Theresa ( to create a business plan.

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