Saturday 6 July 2013

How to make a living...

A financial blog concerning contrarian investing and investment

The older I get the more fascinated I become with all the options and possibilities that exists in the world for how to make a living and to be able to pay the rent/mortgage and to have bread on the table. In some cases I must admit that I can even feel jealous because I would have liked to come up with the great idea and more importantly to be able to push through with it. I think that it is very difficult to do the second part and to really push through with something outside of the classical way of earning ones monthly salary and I am sure that I would have failed with that part in many cases due to lack of skill, due to lack of patience etc.

One of the most important benefits that we have in the world today is the fact that via internet we are able to reach everyone! Not only that but there are several ways to be able to get money from people over internet with credit cards, PayPal etc. It is possible to electronically make sales of books, music, programs etc. at a very little cost for you once the product has been created and it can be "sent" to the entire world directly and without problems!

When I look back at friends from the past and what they do today I find it impressive that some of them in their teens were playing in bands and writing their own music and today a couple of them actually manages to live on the music! The sell the songs over internet, they are present on Spotify, they burn their own CDs and ship that out to the customers. I wish I would have had enough skill to play an instrument and to produce and write music. I can sing a little and was fairly good and active in my youth with that but that is as far as my skill goes and I would never have had the stamina to push that through in a good enough way to be successful.

I have also another friend that managed to jump in on the internet poker hype at the right moment due to his skill in math and statistics he was making some very good money that he pushed into stocks which could have been enough to make a living from dividends. However he is slightly more speculative and he is a gambler with an all or nothing approach to life so the stocks he has today are very speculative and he can make no living on the dividends but he has a chance to become extremely rich. Still all respect to him! Personally I would not be able to do that since I do not like to drop poker hands and I am too often prepared to pay to see what the other player has. For live games in can be useful but for online poker it is a waste of money and time. It is much better to play several tables at the same time and drop the uncertain ones as soon as possible.

Another friend of mine she is a performance artist. She does not have a lot of gigs but when she does she is very well paid and are therefore able to make a living on that! What she does on stage though I would never ever be able to make myself do.

I have met people that have decided to make a profit out of the fact that people no longer go to church and talk to the priest and instead are therefore prepared to go to a life coach that tell them everything they should do in and with their lives. In my eyes it is as valuable as placing tarot cards on the table and to draw conclusions out of that or why not use the dice technique (by Luke Rhinehart, give yourself some options and then throw the dice and then do that option which comes up) for getting assistance in your life. At least the dice technique would be low cost. It is interesting that where there is fear there is also money to be made. Just look at religion, insurance or even hedging that banks as well as "hedge "funds are doing. I neither believe in god, coaching or faith and if I need to hedge something I should not have done it in the first place so I will not be able to make something out of that.

Then we have all the professional sports people (extreme as well as not), we have the professional gamers, professional artist & actors. Many of them are making good money but I just do not have the skill for neither of those things.

I heard two odd YouTube stories lately where they are making good money. One was a guy that was playing computer games and making some kind of diary of it which means he was playing the games and talking while doing so... Apparently not only about what was happening in the game but also life in general. He had managed to get over 100k followers and was earning around 130k € per year. Not bad! Another guy was making so extreme bad rap songs that people hated it but kept clicking on it and watching it. That guy had so many clicks that he made a nice pot of money out of that and still are! I just do not think I am crazy enough to come up with good ideas to attract the people.

We have several bloggers in the world that are making large amount of money through advertisement. The best ones are of course directly connected to consumer products since that will lead people to click on the advertisement if it fits to what was written in the blog article and they are massively controlling which advertisement that pops up to earn those clicks.

I read about a beekeeper that were accepting donations which was for you to adopt your own bee. He started that because of the complications that we are having today with bees dying from parasites etc. so the beekeepers have high costs to keep things running. I think it is a clever and excellent idea! We need the bees for the production of our cereals, fruits and flowers!

I think that one of the most common dreams that people have of making a lot of money is by writing a book, by becoming a famous artist (actor or musician) or athletes which is very interesting since those are very old professions/activities.

Last weekend I ran into a woman that were producing glass rings that she were selling. These kind of things have disappeared and reappeared again. If we look back in time there were always masters of different profession that sold their products to the local people for a fair price. Then we had the industrialisation and many of those masters/designers disappeared because one could not compete with price and was simply not able to reach enough people to sell the few hand-made products. These masters/designers now have found a space again and are coming back by having a home page, take good pictures of the objects and just sell them all over the world via internet. Which masters/designers existed in the past that are still gone but has a chance to reappear?

And then I guess we have us.... me and probably you... that are trying to build up sufficient amount of stocks so that we will be able to live from the dividends at hopefully an earlier moment then when we legally have to retire. Personally I do not think that I would like to retire though. I like to work, I like the interaction with people at work but I would love to decide how much and when I have to work.

One should also not forget the obvious one... there are two ways to be able to make a living on odd things. The first one is that one can significantly decrease the cost of living and secondly one can try to make a good amount of money. I personally think that the middle road is the best one. Keep the expenses low and try to have an acceptable but without being silly income.

Just to brainstorm a little on the topic... Couldn´t hunters, farmers and fishermen sell their products over internet? I would love to buy some moose-meat directly from the hunter that could then inform me, over his internet page, where he shot it etc. By selling it directly to me both of us would earn on the deal. Why not as a farmer have a live camera in the stable and sell the pigs and beef over internet and I as a client could see that the animals were well treated, did not suffer a long transport but was decently slaughtered on the location before being sold.

I went through an old list of British professions... some of them I decided served little purpose today but some where of interest and some probably also exist online I just have not tumbled upon them. Soap maker, Stone cutter, Candle maker, Saddle maker, barrel maker, Leather worker, Blacksmith, Potterer, Carpenter or Glove maker.

What other crazy ways are there to make a living? Are you able to make a living on something out of the ordinary?

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