Updated: Apr 20
Every teacher's script was “go to college, get a good job, be successful and happy.” Period!
But I had kids in my class that didn’t want to go to college and felt that no one wanted to guide them because of it.
I made it a point to help them think about their talents and discussed options they could start pursuing now, that would help prepare them for a successful life without college.
If they wanted to pursue college some other time fine, but I didn’t want them to feel crippled because they weren’t going at the moment.
So if you’re still deciding where you want to go to college or if you don't want to go at all at the moment, but you’re hecka creative, here are a few business ideas you can take on.
Create Merchandise on Printful
If you are a talented young person, you’re always designing and drawing, and you always made others around you laugh with the crazy things you said, this is a business you can get into.
Sale your designs on a tee shirt, mug, etc., using Printful.
You can then upload your design onto Printful endless supply of products. They will print your design on the item as the customers order the item.
This means you don’t have to keep an inventory yourself of your product. Printful takes its cut from your customer sales, so there is no startup cost for you.
You then tell Printful which store you want to market your product on.
If you have a website you can sell the items on your website, or you can create an Amazon seller's account or an Etsy account to sell your items.
Last, promote your products on your social media platforms or with your business cards.
Sell on Amazon
Sell items on Amazon by creating an Amazon Seller account. Now, there is a $39 cost to get started and this is the basic account.
The account charge per month varies depending on the services you need Amazon to provide for your business.
For example, if you’re using a print-on-demand company like Printful to produce your items, you won't need Amazon to stock and ship inventory for you.
However, if you're selling items you purchased through a wholesale company like Dollar Days, you may want Amazon to keep your inventory and ship it when customers purchase.
This would be beneficial if you didn’t want to or have the space to keep your own inventory and ship items to customers yourself.
You would just have the items come to your home, then ship them to the Amazon facility near you, and Amazon would stock and ship your items.
Pretty cool right?
Sell on Etsy
Etsy is another platform to sell your items. You don’t need a website to sell on Etsy. You can directly link your Printful account to your Etsy store to start selling print-on-demand items.
Etsy is also a great platform if you're creative and crafty. Many people look to Etsy to provide unique handmade items.
If this is something you're good at, Etsy may be the platform for you.
Also, Etsy has a very minimum startup cost. To open the account is free but Esty charges $.20 per listing plus a percentage of each item you sell.
This is not bad if you don’t have a lot of money to pour into starting a business.
Create a book with KDP
If you have an idea for a story, have written a story, or created a cool planner or notebook you can open a Kindle Direct Publishing account and self-publish your own book.
You have three options to print your book. You can print it as an ebook, paperback book, or hardcover book.
This is great if you want to self-publish your creation until you can market yourself to a publishing company.
It is through Amazon, so once you publish your book, you'll be available on Amason’s platform, giving customers the option to purchase your ebook on Kindle devices and purchase your paperback and hardcover on Amazon.
They'll print on demand so you won't need to house inventory, you can even avoid an Amazon Seller’s account until you can afford it.
Amazon of course will charge you a percentage per sale. But that’s it. No start-up cost to you to publish your very own book.
Become an Influencer
If you’re the type of person that’s on social media all the time, you can become an influencer and make tons of money.
You would have to switch your current account to a professional account or creator account to see more tools, or just create a whole other account. It’s up to you.
But a few ways to monetize your account is to become an affiliate marketer for brands you use and can recommend to others.
Starting out though, you will have to make your normal purchases from these brands and post your experiences and recommendations on your platform.
The more followers you get the more you will evolve your venture into sponsored posts and free products from brands you love.
This is only the beginning, social platforms will also pay per reel if you gain a certain amount of followers.
This is a great business if you already love interacting on social media and to start there is minimum to no cost.
Create a Youtube Channel
If you have a skill you can teach others or knowledge you think others will find valuable, you can create a YouTube channel to share it.
It cost nothing to start a YouTube channel and most of what you post will be on your channel for life.
This may take time to start but it will only get better each year as people seek out your expertise.
Even if you have a talent or have always wanted to be in entertainment, YouTube is a great platform to showcase your abilities.
You can earn money from YouTube based on the number of views and subscribers you get, also you can get brands to sponsor the content you create.
Make Prints of Your Art
If you're an artist and want to monetize your talent, you can mass print your art with a print-on-demand company and sell it on your website or other stores.
A company like The Print Space is a great place to start but do your research and find the right company for you.
I also found an artist named Lizzie Snow, that sells her art on her blog FortyOneHundred.
She gives great tips on what to do to start selling your art. She even has a video for us visual learners, walking you through her process step by step.
Major Take Away
There is so much talent in this world and no person young or old should be made to feel less than others because they don’t have it all figured out.
While you or a young person you know is trying to navigate the process of adulting, try a few of these suggestions to keep the money flowing while you decide which path is best for you.
These side hustles can become main hustles with a little encouragement, hard work, and initiative.