Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
I am also a pragmatic person, so I know that philosophy will only get you so far. If you are at the beginning of your journey here’s what you do. List 10 things you are most passionate about. Then list 10 things you are most skilled in. Rate those from 1 to 10. Then take top 4 (2 best from each side) and try to find the best opportunities. Are there any best sellers in Amazon? Are there any keywords with low keyword difficulty, but large volume of searches? Are there any recurring affiliate commission products? Imagine if you did your absolute favorite thing, and getting paid to do it. That’s what you are aiming for, a “hell yeah”!”
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
Write and publish an eBook. You don’t need a traditional publisher and financial backing to publish your own book anymore. In fact, Amazon.com makes it possible for you to publish your own eBook and sell it independently – with no financial investment on your part. And with Kindle eBook publishing, your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Just be prepared to market it yourself on social media, your blog, or elsewhere if you expect to generate sales.
There’s an excellent chance that you have one or several musical instruments sitting in storage that haven’t been used in years. Perhaps it’s a leftover from when you were in school, or even from your days playing in a band. Whatever the reason that you have it, it’s probably worth money if you can sell it. Brand-new instruments are ridiculously expensive, so people often look to buy used equipment instead, particularly if they are novices.

If you must participate in these kinds of programs, be smart. Load up a secondary smartphone or tablet with a dummy account and do nothing on it that you would otherwise do on your primary device. You still shouldn’t install a tracking router into your home network, but if you must, connect it to your regular router (if this works) and connect a single dummy device to it, like an old laptop or a smartphone. Use that from time to time to do simple things, and keep on using your regular router’s wifi or Ethernet connections for everything else. You could even isolate this, or any other network tracking device, behind its own VLAN, but that’s probably getting a bit complicated for most people.
Set up a roadside stand. Depending on where you live, you could profit handsomely by setting up a roadside stand. If you live near a resort area, for example, you could buy cases of bottled water, put them on ice, and sell them to passers by for twice what you paid. Selling fruit and produce you grow yourself is also a smart idea in highly-traveled areas.
VIPKID provides an international learning experience to children in China between the ages 4-12. Headquartered in Beijing, the company offers fully immersive one-on-one English language instruction provided online by highly qualified teachers. The curriculum is based on the U.S. Common Core State Standards and uses a flipped-classroom approach to foster creativity and critical thinking skills.
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