My husband is one of the millions who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was not laid off, but travel restrictions made him unable to return to his work as a teacher in Thailand.
We went home to the Philippines last March 14. Our original plan was for me to stay here and for him to return. He should have started working last May 7 but he’s still here until now.
Thankfully, we have other skills and the internet. I re-started online freelancing, so I asked for help from my husband to up my working station. He created a nice bookshelf which has started a business idea. I encouraged him to build a plant rack and I’ll try to sell it. We sold 5 racks in the first week and our gross sales for the first month surpassed our salary as teachers.
If you also lost a job or a business right now, you can also create income-generating opportunities especially that you have internet access. Here are ways on how you can do it.
Observe what’s on-demand and fill in what’s missing.
The plant industry is booming right now. It is tempting to join the bandwagon of plant sellers but looking closely, it is already saturated. There are plenty of sellers of pots and plants. But there’s little competition for plant racks which is a need for a “plant parent”. So we have chosen the path with less competition(the competition came afterward).
Those who filled-in the need for PPE like masks and face shields early also thrived. If you want to sell a product well, be the best, or be early. By the time other merchants realized that these products are profitable, the market was full.
Be the best, or be early.
2. Expand your skills.
Job security is dead. If you only know one skill and the industry where you apply that skill collapses, you’re out. It’s not yet too late for you to learn new craft no matter how old you are.
During the most unpredictable times, the most flexible will survive. It’s easier to shift gears if you have stored on skills. There are millions of free courses and other learning resources. Choose one at a time and practice by doing.
3. Start where you are.
Look at what’s available around. The opportunity you are looking for might just be in front of you. Do not dismiss a possibility that you haven’t tried, especially if it costs you nothing to try it.
My grandmother, my aunt, and my uncle are farmers. I grew up close to the garden but I never considered that there is a business opportunity for me in that area until now. I’m not sure how the idea started but I tried posting strawberry seedlings in my e-commerce shop. Surprisingly, it took off. It is my best-selling item in my shop.
I tried selling Thai products, jewelry, snacks, and more but none of them sold as many as the strawberry seedlings in a short span of time. Before you start browsing for suppliers in other places, look at your hometown first.
4. Don’t be afraid to quit.
Don’t quit is a cliched motivational statement. But it’s not always applicable. Go ahead and quit if it’s not working.
It’s difficult to quit especially if you have invested so much in something. But you will not see other opportunities that might work if you’re too busy on something that is not for you. You will only see open doors if you stop banging on that door that clearly won’t open.
I just closed a website I worked on for three years. I was not able to monetize it and it was honestly the reason why I started it. It was not a passion project. I enjoyed writing but the website gave me more stress than joy. So I stopped. Now I am able to focus on other stuff that brings joy and/profits.
It’s okay to quit.
5. Create opportunities for others.
The only way we can survive this crisis is together (while maintaining distance). Greed makes any disease more deadly. Things will get more difficult if we only think of ourselves.
When you build bridges for others, you create your own path too. Teach your skills. Create employment. Lend a hand. There is nothing too small if you’re trying to help.
Want others to share your business? Share their business. Want others to buy your products? Buy their products. Want others to recommend you? Recommend them. Do the first move. The golden rule still applies, no matter how modern our world has become.
Difficult times bring out the worst or the best in people. Choose the latter. Create and share opportunities.
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