Do These Things in a Recession and You’ll Make Extra Money to Relax

A stupidly simple guide to less stress.

Tim Denning
Aug 4 · 8 min read
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Illustration by xiaoali.net

Having no money in a recession equals enormous stress.

US GDP dropped 32%. Things just got real.

The time to make extra money is now no matter how safe you think you are. A regular job means you are only 4 weeks’ pay away from starving if you don’t have a lot of savings.

This is a happy story. Even if you don’t need the money you can always use it to help people during the chaos. Money is an amplifier of your true self. If that self is kind then lots of people are going to benefit from the extra money you earn. If you’re an asshole with money like I once was then we can fix that too.

These things equal extra money. Do em.


Write “copy” to get paper with dead people’s faces

The word copy is weird. It just means write words that help sell. Copy is words used for marketing purposes. In other words, a business selling stuff needs words to sell what they do.

Copy appears on websites. Copy appears in newsletters. Copy appears in brochures. Copy is all over social media. Copy is the one sentence above your Instagram photo.

The internet is full of copy (words). Someone needs to write those words and get paid. Why not you?

Take a copywriting course on Udemy if you don’t know where to get started. Learn copy. Send messages on LinkedIn offering to write their copy.

Launch an online course on Teachable

Benny Boi Hardy shocked the internet when he shared his 7-figure income statement from writing on the internet. What did it prove? Most of the money he makes on the internet is from online courses.

Anyone can create an online course. A course is just teaching a skill.

Can you teach people maths? Can you teach people accounting? Can you teach people how to film awesome videos? Can you take a photo better than me?

You don’t have to be the best at a skill to teach it.

That’s the part that blew my mind. I always thought you had to be at the top of your game to get paid to teach. You don’t.

You only have to be better at a skill than the person you’re teaching.

Watch a 17-year-old

Those young guns who haven’t even finished school yet can teach you a lot. Flynn Blackie is making us all look like dead corpses walking around without a purpose. The kid is 17 and is showing all of us how to make extra money on the internet. I had a phone call with him: mind blown.

What does he do? Well, he makes websites.

Like geez man. He’s 20 years late to the party and yet he’s made enough money to quit his pain-in-the-ass English teacher’s classes for good. (Plus he has swag when it comes to choosing reading glasses.)

Look at the 17-year-olds for inspiration. What are they doing? Don’t know? Ask em. Tear their door down and say “Flynn what the heck are you doing man. Tell me!”

Kids are making more money than us grandpas get from our 9–5 job. It’s ridiculous — and beautiful. Why not you?

Coach one person

All that sport you watch is not for nothing. Sport shows us the power of coaching. You want extra money? Become a coach. Now. Do it.

You are a plumber. Coach someone who wants to be a plumber. You are good at gardening. Coach someone on how to grow tomatoes. Make it a magical experience. The question is this:

What result do you have that someone else wants? That’s what you can coach people on and make extra money from.

Here’s how:

  • Find people with problems. Offer to fix them and be their coach.
  • Create free content to find people who have problems. They will email you their problems or leave them in the comments for you. Gorgeous.
  • Coach via Zoom calls so you don’t have to leave your home and can coach more people.
  • Accept money from all over the world using a PayPal or Stripe account.

A self-published book on Amazon

Todd Brison did it. Why not you? Sorry I can’t hear you. Louder.

This guy does not have a book deal. Most people have never heard of him (he’s a good kid, trust me). Yet he earns a big chunk of his living during these uncertain times from selling books on Amazon. His secret?

Blog posts are his test. If a blog post with 1000 words does well, it’s probably going to make a good book. His other secret? He publishes multiple books a year — rather than a one-hit, bet the farm, put it all on black and hope for the best hit (many writers fall for this delusion of hits).

Writing books is not hard.

You can write a helpful book, use Fivver to get a freelancer to format it for Kindle, have a custom book cover created on 99Designs, and upload it to Amazon. There are plenty of blog posts you can search for that will help you go down the rabbit hole.

Do you answer emails? Congrats! You’re a writer — me too.
***High-fives everyone***

Sell an eBook and change your life

This one is often misunderstood. What’s an eBook as opposed to a book you publish on Amazon? Let me explain:

  • An eBook is sold on your website
  • An eBook is normally shorter than a book you buy on Amazon
  • An eBook doesn’t have to be professional
  • An eBook can be a rough draft
  • An eBook is imperfect

I’ve written a few eBooks and made plenty of extra cash from them. A friend of mine famously made $400K USD by selling an eBook about how to launch a website. This stuff is not hard if you’re willing to try. The question is, will you?

Start a paid newsletter

Newsletters are the new blog.

Zat Rana did it. Why not you? He set up a paid newsletter and invited some folks to take a read. He makes enough extra cash to be his own boss, for life. I’ve spoken to Zat via email. He’s not a genius. His brother is not Elon Musk. His dad didn’t open a trust fund for him.

Zat is a normal guy that sells a newsletter using Substack. Why? He wants to share his thoughts and be helpful. How much does Zat make? Go to his page and do the maths.

Zat charges $8 a month for his Substack newsletter.
Zat has 40,000 email subscribers.

The typical conversion rate of free to paid subscribers is 10%, according to Simon Purdon.

Do the maths: 4000 subscribers x $8 per month = $384,000 USD per year.

That’s a lot of burritos to keep your stomach full during the recession.

If Zat can write free content, capture email subscribers, and start a newsletter without a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship, why not you?

Get paid to write for a traditional publication

Forbes and INC pay people like Nicolas Cole and Brianna Wiest to write a column. Neither of them are brainiacs. They are, however, real people with thoughts they want to share. They wrote for free. Then they pitched themselves and got access to an extra income stream.

Publications will pay you to write for them. All you have to do is publish a few articles on the internet and ask them. If they say no, publish some more and then ask politely again. This technique for making cash is highly underrated.

Feel like a dirty little freelancer

I have a dark secret: I am a dirty little freelancer.

I sell my words for burritos and to pay parking fines. I have a client in the US who pays me on the side to write for their company blog. I write about business with a spring in my step.

What they pay me in an hour is more than I get from half a week at my 9–5 job. I don’t tell you that to brag. I tell you that because freelancers are not the dirty money grabbers they are made out to be.

Freelancing is a great way to make extra cash. Start with a marketplace like Upwork and then branch out on your own so you can charge more.


Bonus ways to make extra money in a recession

You can make extra cash, or you can take away expenses too. I recommend doing both to increase your upside. De-risk yourself in uncertain times.

Pay off debt

Start with paying off debt. If the “buy now, pay later” vermin are hunting you with a pitchfork then pay them off. Get those suckers off your back. Or if you have an evil credit card then you know what to do it: pay the life out of it.

Turn investments into liquid cash

I wrote about selling my entire investment portfolio. Sitting in cash is an excellent way to reduce stress and remove the worry of the stock market from your life. Cash gets you through the tough times. If you need extra money, consider selling some of your investments.

Become an eBay god

That junk you don’t need anymore has a home: eBay. My favorite line when my girlfriend asks me what to do with junk is this: “eBay it.”

eBay will take your material possessions and give you cash for it so you can use it to chill out during these stressful times. Sell your junk.

Give away your time to someone affected by the recession

Oops….this one pays you $0. Sorry. I included it because right now millions of people around the world are suffering.

If all you do is make extra cash and sit in your castle with all your one-hundred-dollar bills, then life is going to be pretty miserable. A recession is a call to arms. You can use some of your time to help people through this difficult period in human history.

The joy you get from helping others in need will far outweigh any extra cash you make.


Brief interlude

When you say can’t, I say can.

Can’t!

Can!

Sing it with me now. Let’s do this. One for the money, two for the recession, three just for you! Shit, I’m all outta tunes — you get the point: you can. (Can’t believe you made me sing it you crazy son of a gun.)


That’s How You Make Extra Cash in a Recession

Zat Rana did it.

Nicolas Cole did it.

A 17-year-old did it.

Brianna Wiest did it.
Amazon guru Todd Brison did it.
I did it in-between working a 9–5 job.
All-about-the-Benjamins Hardy did it.

Why not you? There are plenty of ways to make a little extra cash in a recession, that make your life easier. The strange part is the cash you discover won’t be the best bit. You’ll realize you are so much more capable than you ever imagined. Your creativity muscle will be pushed to its limit.

And when you have cash, you can go from survival mode to thrive mode by using your talents to help people who have been left out in the cold because of a recession nobody saw coming.

Make extra cash in a recession to discover your untapped potential.

Join my email list with 40K+ people for more helpful insights.

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Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. www.timdenning.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 119,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. www.timdenning.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 119,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

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