Updated: Apr 4, 2021
I never wanted to be an entrepreneur; albeit, my side hustles had a slight entrepreneurial undercoat to it.
When I think back to one of the first opportunities that presented itself, I was eighteen years old. I was buying my car on my own, only earning $4.15 per hour. I had zero dollars to use for a down payment and no co-signer. Ohhhh, but Linda. Linda said, "If you pay me $40, I'll make sure your income qualifies you for the car." I turned to Linda and said, "How about this...I'll make my own pay stubs and you come to me for all future needs. I'll pay you $5 for every lead." Linda wasn't expecting me to respond in that way. Linda accepted my offer and I made a nice little bit of change that year.
I also had a nice little bit of change coming in from writing papers for nursing students and selling items on eBay.
I found myself in a position to have to file bankruptcy in undergrad (HBCU's STOP LETTING CREDIT CARD COMPANIES PREY ON YOUR CAMPUS). My grandmother was a Southern-Bible-toting-Methodist woman through and through. She reminded me that the Bible said to pay your debtors. I felt horrible that I was in a position to not be able to pay my debt. And it didn't help that the lawyer I hired was bogus and creepy. He sold me under a bridge. I never wanted anyone to be in my situation again. I became a bankruptcy petitioner and credit repair guru. Another side hustle. And then there were other side hustles that presented themselves.
Recently, a friend was making conversation and hinted at the $600 covid benefit being paid to those who are unemployed. She told me that I should apply for the benefit for my brother. My brother is disabled and works part-time, but no more than 200 hours PER YEAR. I responded, "Why would I apply for that?" She said, "Because he's disabled and he works. He's eligible so why not?"
I don't know. Something just didn't feel right about it. I'm lucky if my brother has a W2 with earnings of $400 for the year. We just enjoy his ability to integrate into society and the ability to work and earn is essential to a man's self esteem. We simply are glad that my brother has an employer willing to work with him. It would feel horrible to file for unemployment considering
I simply said, "Naw. He's good. Someone else maybe able to benefit though."
Not too long ago, I probably would've applied. I also probably would've bought food stamps, pretended to be someone's employer or sell 'clean' urine for a drug test. I would sell anything not nailed down.
Just because you see someone living well doesn't mean they are blessed. The devil rewards people for doing his work too.
Today, I'm blessed. My family wants for nothing, and this includes my brother. He has access to the same level of care as the rest of us. He goes to my dentist and my primary care doctor. What's good for one, is good for all. He's never had to go without and he never will. I don't need to fraud the system to get ahead. And no judgement to anyone else. Every time I even think about doing something lacking in integrity, there's this yellow butterfly that follows me. I know that's my grandmother. My grandmother was a woman of few words, but those few meant so much. "If you're gonna do something, do it right," "You gotta stand for something," "Call on the mighty name of Jesus," "Close one door before opening another," "Don't add chaos to confusion." That butterfly reminds me that when I operate from my highest position of integrity and good, I am always blessed.
I remember becoming an extreme couponer. My husband thought the idea of having hundreds of bottles of detergent was absolutely insane. That is until he calculated what I spent on those bottles compared to what I could sell them for. He and I both are numbers people. He said I needed to sell. I was extremely hesitant. I got great joy from giving the items away for free. Selling the items felt like it would somehow cheapen the efforts.
I tried selling, but every package I sold chopped away at my soul until I stopped couponing and selling items all together.
I'm completely fulfilled when I give items away. It feels so rewarding. Whether a person in need, a close friend, family or a stranger, it feels so good to give someone something I have simply because I'm in a position to spare it. I LOVE to give.
Taking by any means that call my integrity into question...well....well that's simply counter intuitive.
I give because I am abundantly blessed. And because I give and do so from the heart, every need I have is fulfilled.
So, no, I can't sell you that package or make a pay stub for you, but I most certainly can show you a few ways to make money without doing shady shit. One of those ways would be swing trading--my favorite 'hustle' of all times. The greatest benefit in walking in integrity is that you'll always be able to look yourself in the mirror the next day....