Friday, March 9, 2012

Making Money as a Student

Making Money as a Student

Often it can be hard to balance school, work and friends as a student. Money is tight and so is time. I am going to talk about a few creative ways I have managed to make money as a student and how to use that to take your ideas to the next level.

Shifting Your Mentality

You need to shift your mentality in order to be more successful in life. Each of us needs money to survive. From a young age whether its good or bad you were told to work hard so you can get a good job and earn a steady income. This subconsciously programs you to think that getting a job is the only way to make money. This means when you are looking at your bank account and your bills and realize you need to make more money to pay for everything, you automatically think to yourself "I need to get a job." Then you may or may not be part of the small percentage that actually goes out and tries to secure a job. This mentality completely limits you and stunts your growth as a unique individual. You need to shift your mentality to automatically think "What can I do to make money?" Then you begin the brainstorming process, thinking of multiple different ways to make money, one of which may be getting a job. That may or may not be the best idea but you will never know unless you weigh your options. 

How I Made Money as a Student

1. Pick up Trash
No you're not a prisoner, and you will make way more money than any of them. This is simple and you can make a killing in a small amount of time. Make a simple flyer, post it in your apartment complex, canvas a neighborhood, put it on Craigslist, get it in your church newsletter. Advertise that for free you will come to their house and pick up any items they want taken to the landfill. Then do just that go and pick up their junk. You will find that a lot of the stuff is still good and useable they just don't want it for whatever reason. This is how you will make your money. Save those things and each Saturday take all the stuff you collected to your local flee market and sell it. Everything you sell is pure profit for you and everyone is happy. 

3. Walk dogs
Its pretty self explanatory and not hard in any degree. Advertise it just like the trash service. Charge 15 dollars for a 30 minute walk. Do it daily! I had a friend that made over 50,000 dollars a year walking and watching dogs during the day.

2. Jailbreak I phones, install Android on HP Touchpads. Two really simple things that have a ton of information and how-to videos on the internet. Post a Craigslist add and charge $15 dollars to jailbreak an I phone, $25 dollars if you go to them. Do the same thing with the HP Touchpads. Charge to put the Android operating system on them. I have even gone as simple as installing Microsoft word on someones computer for them. Some less tech savvy individuals would rather buy the software and pay someone to install it just so they don't have to deal with it.   

Build it and Grow it

You don't want to do these things forever. Use them as a means to an end, a way to network and build your circle. Continue to think of ways that you can make money and develop your own business. The three things I have talked about above are just a few of the things I have done over the years to make money. My freshman year I interned at a screen printing shop doing graphic design. During that time I created and branded my company Konfusion Clothing and started printing and trying to sell shirts. I used a lot of other little things like I listed above to make money and continue to build Konfusion Clothing. I have leveraged a few other things to get the money necessary to expand it that I would like to talk about.

1. Business Plan Competitions
A huge advantage that you have as a student is the programs offered at your school that only you can take advantage of. Most schools will have a business plan competition. They will award money as their prizes so that you can try to start your business. Find out what your school has to offer then work to build a solid business plan. Use a teacher at the school as a mentor to give you advice and feedback on your business plan. Network with kids in your classes, you will be surprised at how much this will help your business. You will find tons of free information and even free labor sometimes.
2. Platform funding
Something that has become very successful in the last few years are platform funding websites like Kickstarter and Indigogo.  Through these sights you create a project that usually consists of a video and a write up explaining what you are trying to do and what you want to accomplish. You set a goal as to how much money you need to raise to start or expand your business. You also set up pledge tiers and the rewards received for each pledge amount. For example someone trying to start a pottery business may offer a small bowl for a $20 dollar pledge, a vase for $50 and so on.  After considering my options for expanding Konfusion Clothing I decided this was the best option for me. You can check out my project here.    

3. Investors
Investors are a great way to raise the capitol you need for your next business ventures. They are not easy to find or secure but not impossible. They will want a percentage of ownership in the company in exchange for the money they are investing. They can be either an active partner or a silent partner. Those are all things that can be negotiated and discussed. If you network yourself correctly doing the small jobs I talked about earlier you will be a lot more likely to know potential investors. I have had multiple people approach me and offer to invest large amounts of money in Konfusion Clothing. After weighing my options and looking over the deals I decided that I wanted to try platform funding before bringing in investors. The only reason that even happened however was because I had built a good network of friends doing these small jobs to make money as a student. 

Leave a comment with ideas you have to make money as a student. 

See a sample Kickstarter project by visiting Konfusion Clothings at    


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