Keys to the Castillo

6 SIMPLE Ways to Start Making Money on Your Own (That Actually Work!)

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Once you start seriously thinking about how to increase your income, you start to notice just how many different avenues there are to putting more cash in your pocket.

For a long time, I was scratching my head.

I didn’t personally know too many people with money.

Those that did, either got rich through:

  • nepotism
  • connections (lots of people in both China and Russia got rich literally overnight when the economy transitioned from that of a complete socialist model to a more capitalist one)
  • working in a business that is just… unpleasant and boring
  • a combination of the three

I wanted to put together this detailed list of a few ways you can start learning valuable skills, while also making money.

The problem I’ve had with so many of these ‘side hustle’ ideas you see on generic websites, is that firstly, many of them have a low profit yield.

You’re spending $10 to make $11.

At the end of the day, the work just isn’t worth it in many cases, especially if you’re just getting started.

Without further ado, here’s a list of things you can start learning TODAY to make money.

  1. Fixing phones and/or flipping them

This is by far one of the best hustles out there, if you’re good with your hands, and enjoy tinkering and picking things apart.

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend picking up Feldon Richards’ course ‘iPhone Repair Academy’.

Yes, I bought the course, and have been applying it. No, that is not an affiliate link, and I don’t personally know him (yet!).

My first repair was just on my old iPhone 6, replacing the screen and battery.

It took a while, but I found that the time flew by, because I found myself so immersed in it.

If you’re the type who would prefer NOT working on a screen all the time, and would rather be able to blast your favourite music, while more or less doing the same thing over and over, and making $$, this is a skill I recommend you learn.

  1. Start a cleaning business or other labor service

I don’t recommend doing this kind of business long-term – at least, on the fulfillment side.

You’re getting into business to make money to free yourself and live your life – not to keep painting houses or planting trees at age 55.

Then again, some people really do enjoy this, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now, I know many people out there are immediately going to dismiss doing labor as an option. They consider it to be beneath them, and they don’t want to get dirty.

Fine. That actually works out in your favor if you ARE willing to do this stuff.

The barrier to entry for a lot of these services is laughably low.

In fact, I remember back in high school how a buddy of mine started a landscaping business. It wasn’t much – just a few ads on Craigslist, his pickup truck, and some basic equipment – but that was enough to start getting gigs.

At the time, I didn’t recognize the opportunity we had. I didn’t have a ‘business mindset’ at all, but I can only imagine how wealthy I would be today if I had just taken that idea and ran with it.

This is one of the major advantages of living in a western country, and it’s why so many people worldwide are desperate to immigrate and come here for work.

You can literally make a half-decent living with just your bare hands and some tools.

A plumber can make $100 just to show up at someone’s house, and then tack on another $100 for the actual work.

No way in hell a plumber in Mexico or China is making that kind of money – not in a million years.

What kind of labor can you do?

  • Painting
  • Cleaning – window washing, pressure washing concrete, house washing, roof cleaning, rain gutter cleaning
  • Landscaping – mowing lawns, planting trees, felling trees, trimming hedges, removing tree stumps,
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Masonry
  • General handyman
  • Granite countertops
  • Roofing
  • Lighting
  • Junk removal
  • Kitchen cabinets

Some of these require certification, others don’t. Is it worth it?

That’s up to you.

If you’re open to doing labor, then I totally recommend you dabble in a few of these, which have a lower cost of entry. Once you start making more money, you can certainly branch out.

One last thing – remember I said you probably don’t want to be on the fulfillment side forever?

That’s because what a lot of guys end up doing, is running everything remotely.

You can check out this interview here, for example, of a guy who grew his window cleaning company to $1 million in annual revenue, and then moved to Costa Rica with his family. 

With a proper set of systems in place, he can run literally run the entire thing from the beach.

P.S. – you could get started today with my ebook ‘Your Profitable Cleaning Business Blueprint’. Click here to learn more.

  1. Online freelancing

This really had me stumped for a while.

I saw so many people making money on the internet… but what exactly were they doing?

And how could they charge so damn much for their services?

It’s simple – the services they offered generated more revenue for their clients than the cost of their service.

Generally, there are 5 main services you can provide:

  • High-ticket closing – This means that you’re getting on the phone or a video call with a prospect, and getting them to agree to a deal. That’s it. You don’t have to own a product, you don’t personally have to deliver what it is they are buying – you just have to figure out if the product or service is right for them, tell them the price, answer their questions, and get them to agree to pay an invoice. You then take a commission. Essentially, it’s commission sales, except you can do this for any business that requires some initial dialogue with prospects before they can start working together.

  • Copywriting – You can write emails, tweets, Instagram captions, blog posts, Youtube scripts, sales letters, and any text that would appear on a website. Basically, copywriting is salesmanship in print. If you can write a message that compels a market to pull out their credit card and buy something they see online, you will make money.

  • Web design – Pretty self-explanatory. You use a tool like WordPress, Elementor, Webflow, or even just Carrd, to create a web presence for a business or commercial entity.

  • SEO – This stands for Search Engine Optimization. It basically means that you’re going to help business’ websites rank on the first page of Google, or even the very top spot. Companies will pay a lot for this, because this allows them to bring in way more business organically.

  • Lead generation – you’ll often hear people talking about Facebook ads or Linkedin. Those are just tools to help businesses attract more customers. You can partner with local brick and mortar businesses, like restaurants, trucking companies, cleaning companies and the like. Simply choose the best method, or mix of methods to attract more clients to them, and you can charge a flat fee or percentage. If you can bring $10k worth of business in, you can certainly justify charging a business $2000.

  1. IT

I don’t personally have experience in IT, but the reason I have it listed, is because with the right certifications, you can land a decent-paying job in IT relatively quickly. On top of that, the work can be done completely remotely.

Check out The Based Pluto for a detailed breakdown of how you can be making at least $70k a year in IT within just 1 year.

  1. Teach English

I don’t recommend this as a long-term strategy, but there is definitely a lot of demand for ESL teachers, especially in China.

Now, with the whole scamdemic thing going on, teaching in person in China is probably not going to happen for a while for most people.

However, you can still do it online, and at least make decent side money from it.

  1. Tutoring, consulting, and coaching

If you’re talented in a certain skill, such as dancing or playing the guitar, then you can train others in that skill.

Now, if you don’t have connections, it can be a real grind to build this up to a full-time income, so I would only recommend it for side money. ‘Piano teachers’ are a dime a dozen. Same goes for ‘guitar teachers’. 

However, if you have some very niche knowledge, like how to pass a major test, like the IELTS, LSAT, or MCAT, then you can definitely charge good money, since getting a high grade on these tests is super important for students.

It can make or break their future career prospects.

In addition, you can do a lot of coaching online. Fitness coaching, health coaching, language lessons, you name it.

In fact, if you already have extensive experience in another business or industry, you can turn around and offer consulting to others who want to break into it.

For example, Dan Koe not only consults about how to start making your first $5k a month as a freelance web designer, but since he amassed a large following on Twitter, he also offers coaching on how to grow your Twitter account strategically.


Notice I didn’t say anything about selling products.

That’s because finding or developing a product, marketing it, and delivering it, can be way more capital and time-intensive than the services I listed above.

Once you have some money coming in, then by all means, start dabbling in selling a product.

But if you’re broke, or at least not financially stable? My advice is to not start by selling a product.

I also didn’t mention something like starting a coffee shop or food truck.

Again, these are essentially product-based businesses. Also, profit margins can be slim, while also requiring a lot of manpower and paperwork.

One does not simply ‘start a coffeeshop’.

You’ll need to find a location, get the papers in order, hire staff, order inventory, equipment, and probably get a business loan.

On top of that, when you run a physical location, you open yourself up to the possibility of legal trouble, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Do what you want.

But, again, this is a list of ideas for you if you’re not very well off, and want fast, legal ways to increase your income.

Starting a coffee shop or food truck is something you can do later down the line, when you’ve got a form of relatively stable income, and you can afford to fail.

If you’re just getting your feet wet in business, I highly recommend choosing one of the models I mentioned in this post, and just going for it. 

  • you won’t need to shell out a bunch of money to start
  • you won’t need extensive years of training and certification
  • you definitely don’t need to be a genius

You just need to follow proven paths to success, and believe you can make it happen.

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