These smart women have discovered surprising ways to turn their generous natures into cash. Learn their secrets so you can start earning too!
"I earn $20,000 a year working 15 hours a week!"
“I was working as a graphic artist, but when my parents got sick, I needed to take care of them. Not only was it challenging to bring them to doctors and care for their health needs, but I also had to learn about things like long-term care insurance and financial and estate planning. When I realized there were other families who needed the same type of information and could use support, I created Grand Family Planning.
“Although I had no background working with caregivers, since I had learned a lot from my own experience, I knew I could help others by providing information and guidance on planning for, navigating through, and surviving as a caregiver of a loved one.
“When I meet with a potential client, I analyze their needs. Then I speak with lawyers and accountants and provide the client with a report that gives them ideas for solutions. They may need a power of attorney, a care plan or a trained and vetted caregiver, for example. I help them determine what to do and what’s a priority.
“In addition to working one-on-one with clients, companies also hire me to educate their employees who are caregivers, and I teach classes at a local community college that has a program for students age 55 and up. I also market my services on social media and my email list.
“I love running my business because I get to provide families with information they can’t get anywhere else. It’s rewarding to offer solutions that help people who feel stuck and overwhelmed. I work 15 hours a week and make $20,000 a year—money that pays the bills and goes back into the business.”
"I make $150 an hour helping people de-stress."
“Fifteen years ago, when I moved to California, people I met were encouraging me to take yoga and meditation. At that time, I was working in a high-stress job and they thought it would help me cope better. I took classes and tried many types of practices, but I could never turn off my mind and fully relax.
“Then, five years ago, I was searching for something to help me reconnect with myself and de-stress. A friend told me about breath work, a type of meditation that includes simple techniques to help you become aware of your breathing and feel calm. After the first class, I was hooked—I felt more relaxed, confident and free for days afterward. I was so excited that I wanted to spread the word, so three years ago, I became a breath work coach.
“To launch my business, I completed an online course on mindfulness awareness, as well as a two-day training with my breath work teacher, which cost about $200. Although it wasn’t necessary, it helped me learn how to work with clients. I created a website using Wix, a free service where you can design a website, and I found my first clients through word of mouth.
“Now I work with busy, stressed out people one-on-one or as a group, in-person or on Zoom, a free videoconference platform. My clients are located locally and throughout the US. I market the business with my blog, podcasts and social media. Each session lasts about an hour, and I charge $150.
“I love that breath work is so simple, but it makes such a huge difference in someone’s life. The money I make doing this pays the bills, goes back into the business and pays for extras like my daughter’s summer camp.”
"I earn $400 a week caring for a senior citizen!"
“When I was working at a convenience store, my neighbor had a stroke and went blind in one eye. A local church organization that was helping her asked if I could volunteer to help with bathing, laundry and meals, and I agreed. After a few months, it was clear that the woman needed more care, so the organization contacted SYNERGY HomeCare, but the woman asked if I could be her caregiver. I had taken care of my husband when he was sick, and I was enjoying helping her, so when I found out I could be paid for it, I was thrilled.
“I filled out an application and had blood tests to screen for tuberculosis. The company offered orientation, training, and other resources. I also had to take a test and answer questions about things like how to prevent the spread of infection.
“Once I was hired, I quit my job and started helping my client with cleaning, cooking, and bathing. I also went food shopping and to doctors’ appointments and made sure her home was easy to navigate. After several months, I moved on to working with a new client.
“I enjoy the work, and it makes me feel good that I’m helping someone in need. I work 40 hours a week and make $10 an hour — money that pays for extras like trips to the zoo with my granddaughter or eating out!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.