If you scroll down this website and look at the right column, you’ll see a section of “recent comments.” At any given moment, you’ll see that a vast majority of them are on my articles about multilevel marketing (MLM) scams. Most of the comments from MLM distributors defending what I’ve shown to be pyramid schemes using the FTC guidelines are laughable to the point that there are a few people who subscribe to comments for entertainment value alone.
Rarely are there any comments worthwhile here, but there was one quick sentence from a JeffM on Friday night that was worth digging a little deeper. JeffM, a ViSalus distributor, said:
“If someone needs a few hundred extra on the side of their job and does not have the time for a part-time job, as a finance expert what would you recommend?”
I wouldn’t exactly call myself a finance expert. Even in my niche of finance, personal finance, I still have plenty to learn. Aside from that, there’s a lot going on in that single sentence.
My first thought was that I hope that JeffM realizes that MLM is a part-time job. In fact, in many cases it is another full-time job, one that pays less than minimum wage on average. In previous comments, he had said said that the people who fail are the ones that don’t put in the work. I doubt he’s found a magical time machine that allows him to do all that work in no time. It doesn’t add up. Time and again, I’ve heard how much time MLMs distributors put in. It’s quite common to see them marketing their stuff on social networks. You can see them spending their evenings and weekends at
brainwashing training conferences. Finally, you can look at just about any MLM’s income distribution statement and see the average hours worked by distributors… the number is never zero.
From all this, one thing is abundantly clear: If you don’t have time for a part-time job, you don’t have time for MLM. It saddens me that people like JeffM could use this kind of marketing to draw people in so that they can profit off them.
With that MLM myth blown up, let’s look at the more important part… making money.
When you are looking for a few hundred dollars with no time for a part-time job, you are essentially talking about the quest for passive income. There’s a great analysis of whether passive income truly exists from Jonathan of My Money Blog. I suggest that you read that article for full analysis, but I like the conclusion: “I can’t really think of anything truly passive, besides maybe winning the lottery. So I suppose ‘passive’ really just means ‘less work than other stuff’.”
If you were looking for a more complete solution, I suggest that you check out Get Rich Slowly’s Make More Money: How to Supercharge Your Income. It covers such great ideas like how to Maximize Your Salary, Take a Second Job, Become Better Educated, Make Money from Your Hobbies, Start a Side Business, Start a Website (or a Blog), Become a Landlord, Sell Your Stuff, and Get Creative. There are several things in here that don’t answer what JeffM is looking for, but considering that his question is unrealistic, it makes sense to go with the best realistic ideas. The idea of making money from your hobbies is a great one and is probably the best workable solution to JeffM’s question.
Finally, I would suggest saving time and learning how to be more productive. That way you create the extra time to earn extra money. Books like Getting Things Done and Never Check E-Mail In the Morning are great. In addition to those, there’s my list of ways to save money… recognizing that a dollar saved is a dollar earned.
The short, common sense answer is to JeffM’s question is that there is no simple answer on how to gain a few hundred extra without putting in some time. In order to make money others have to be willing to give you theirs. They typically don’t do that unless you provide them with value. Providing people with value takes your time… and there’s nothing wrong with that. A better question for JeffM would be, “What value does MLM provide people?” I’ve seen inanimate objects like a shelf at Wal-Mart or a virtual space like Amazon sell products and they do it much better than MLM.