Last Updated on Apr 1, 2020 by James W


Many young entrepreneurs immediately try to start businesses that focus on developing new apps or launching Kickstarter campaigns. Although those approaches work well for some people, you shouldn’t overlook more traditional self-employment paths. If you suspect that making apps and selling products through Kickstarter aren’t the right options for you, try these classic routes to self-employment.

Become a Real Estate Agent

Becoming a real estate agent requires very little financial investment, which makes it a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who don’t have much money saved. You will, however, have to devote your time to learning the skills it takes to work as a licensed real estate agent.

Each state has its own real estate license requirements, but no matter where you live, you can expect to spend from several months to more than a year completing the required education courses, including a real estate prelicensing course, and passing your real estate salesperson exam.

Many real estate agents choose to join real estate brokers or agencies that give them access to support services. Even if you join an agency, though, you’re still responsible for finding clients and promoting your services. This situation means that real estate agents often feel as if they own their own businesses even when they work with other professionals in the industry.

Work as a Freelance Writer

Working as a freelance writer requires very little startup money. You just need a computer, an internet connection, and excellent writing skills.

It can take a couple of years to build a client base, so it makes sense to start freelance writing as a side job. If you have the right skills, though, you can eventually find companies that are willing to pay for your services.

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Because you need to attract clients, you can start your career by creating a blog through which to share some of your best writing. You can also send samples to companies you want to work with or share your writing through social media platforms.

As long as you keep developing your skills and forming more professional connections, you can build a successful career with nothing more than your brain and a computer.

Focus on Direct Sales

Direct sales give you an opportunity to build relationships with clients and educate people about the products you sell. People who excel in direct sales usually have outgoing personalities that help them earn money from the connections they make.

You can take advantage of several benefits when you sell items directly to customers. Some perks include setting your own schedule, controlling how much money you earn, and deciding what types of products interest you. Direct sales can also help you start your own business without spending a lot of money. Entrepreneurs who start retail stores can expect to spend thousands of dollars before they even open their doors. With direct sales, you eliminate much of the overhead, allowing you to start earning profits quickly.

It’s important to work with a company that gives you a lot of support. If you decide to build your business by selling Amway products, you get to participate in a system that will teach you how to find success. Some companies just ship you products and expect you to figure the rest out on your own. Avoid those businesses so that you can find success as soon as you enter the industry.

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Open a Franchise

Opening a franchise can require a significant financial investment that makes it difficult for some people to follow this career path. If you can get money from investors, though, opening a franchise could give you a chance to own a business without starting from scratch.

When choosing the type of franchise you want to invest in, look at how much you will have to spend and find out whether other franchisees have found financial success. Opening a Supercuts hair salon costs only between $144,000 and $294,000. Opening a Hampton by Hilton hotel, however, can cost more than $14 million.

Self-employment is part of the American dream for many people. Just because you want to take control of your life, though, doesn’t mean that you need to follow the latest trends. Established self-employment paths often work very well indeed.


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